Twelve-year-old Jordan wanted to go to art school, but instead, his parents enroll him in "one of the best schools in the entire state." Although his father expresses concern about Riverdale Academy Day's glaring lack of diversity, his mother insists that with Jordan's smarts, art school "would be such a waste." Jordan's RAD adjustment is a challenge: gossips and bullies, social hierarchies and figuring out where he belongs on a campus with so few students of color. Art helps Jordan survive--his sketchbook is filled with daily experiences, his sensitive interpretations more astute than his tween years would indicate.
Award-winning author/illustrator Jerry Craft's New Kid is a stand-out 2019 title that has gotten love from many different corners of children's literature. Beyond being one of Shelf's favorite books of the year, it is a finalist for a 2019 Harvey Awards, an ABC Best Books for Young Readers "Great and Graphic" title and a Spring 2019 Kids' Indie Next Great Reads pick.
New Kid confronts (often with humor) elitism, microaggression, racism, socioeconomic disparity and white privilege while also accentuating the many assumptions we make about one another, regardless of background. --Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon