Book: New Kid (2019)
Author: Jerry Craft
Genre: MG, Contemporary/Graphic Novel
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Basic plot: Jordan’s the new kid at his brand new prep school. What he really wants is to go to an arts school, but his mom insists on this academic prep school. And now that he finds himself away from the neighbourhood kids, he’s not always sure where he fits in. It’s hard being the new kid…
1) There’s just something about prep school settings that are fun to read about. They’re kind of like boarding schools, without the boarding.
2) I really liked all the friendships in this book. I’m glad Liam turns out to be a real friend. When you first meet him, it seems like it’s going to go in the opposite direction. I also really liked Drew, especially with how he and Jordan are able to connect.
3) I found the subplot involving Alex and the puppet on her hand to be very interesting. At first, I thought it was odd and questioned why the author chose to put this character in the story. But, as the story progresses, I really like how it story-arcs… From how Jordan’s parents making the mistake of telling her parents that Jordan is her friend (when, at the time, he wants nothing to do with the “weird girl”) to how he digs deeper into the reason for the puppet and, finally, his solution.
4) Love the comic elements… the doodles. I thought it was a nice way to show Jordan’s love of art. And the moment when his teacher finds the doodles… A tense moment in the story.
5) I thought Jerry Craft did a nice job bringing out many of the issues that black students face in situations similar to Jordan’s. The one that really struck me was the book recommendations given to the black students were all gritty titles about kids in slums, belonging to gangs, etc… And then the same teacher turns around to recommend some fun fantasy to one of the white students.
6) My favourite line is at the end of the book. Jordan is hanging with his neighbourhood (non-prep school) pals when he starts explaining the meaning of the word metaphor. His friend says: “Actually, Jordan, that’s a simile.”
WHAT’S NOT COOL…
1) The zombie-school kids I found… weird. Just a preference on my part. Not a huge deal-breaker, though.
My rating is 4.5 Stars (out of 5) – I really enjoyed this graphic novel. I liked the characters and the story arcs. A definite two thumbs up from me. 🙂
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday…