New Kid (DEC181899F, $12.99), written and illustrated by Jerry Craft and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, has become the first graphic novel to earn the prestigious Newbery Medal.
“This distinct, timely, and honest story respects children and gives its readers a glimpse into what it means to be other,” said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Krishna Grady.
The full-color, contemporary graphic novel follows 12-year-old seventh grader Jordan Banks as he starts his seventh-grade year at a new posh private school, where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real. Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds, and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?
“More than anything, I wanted to give 10-year-old Jerry Craft a book he could read and say was his own. That was probably the reason I was not a reader until I was an adult. The things I had to read in school couldn’t have been further from my life. Or if it was someone who looked like me, it couldn’t be further from the life I wanted to live when I got older.”