The New Kid
When children transition from picture books to chapter books or graphic novels, they often seek stories that feel authentic and relatable. Authors like Judy Blume or Kate DiCamillo have mastered the art of taking real-life worries and situations and presenting them in ways that resonate with young readers. Jerry Craft's 'New Kid' is one of those books.
'New Kid' follows Jordan Banks, a middle school boy who starts attending a private school in a new neighborhood. Any kid who has ever stepped into a situation where they feel like an outsider or who has had to navigate different worlds will enjoy this coming-of-age story about an artist trying to find his place and being true to himself. Jordan has to deal with being the new kid, being a Black kid in a predominately white school, traveling between neighborhoods, and being an artist in a world that is not always kind to artists. The story is funny and relatable and it's no surprise it won the Newbery Medal and the Krikus Prize for Young Readers.
SUpdate 4/09/23: It's shocking to us that some school districts have been attempting to ban 'New Kid'. It is unacceptable to censor books simply for featuring Black protagonists and acknowledging the realities of their lives. We encourage parents to speak out against this naked racism and censorship and support the Freedom to Read Foundation.