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Author Spotlight:
Jerry Craft

Jerry Craft is the New York Times bestselling and Newbery Medal winning author of the graphic novel, New Kid.  His second graphic novel, Class Act, publishes on October 6, 2020. Craft is also the creator of Mama’s Boyz, an award-winning comic strip which won the African American Literary Award five times. He is a cofounder of the Schomburg Center’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival. He received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts.

He is the creator of Mama’s Boyz, a comic strip that was distributed by King Features Syndicate from 1995-2013, and won five African American Literary Awards. Jerry is a co-founder of the Schomburg’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival. He was born in Harlem and grew up in nearby Washington Heights. He is a graduate of The Fieldston School and received his B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts.

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“Funny, sharp, and totally real! Jordan Banks is the kid everyone will be talking about!”
—Jeff Kinney, Author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid


Awards & Cool Accomplishments

About the Book

Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang, New Kid is a timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real, from award-winning author-illustrator Jerry Craft.

     Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where 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?

“This engaging story offers an authentic secondary cast and captures the high jinks of middle schoolers and the tensions that come with being a person of color in a traditionally white space.”
—Publishers Weekly 

“This is more than a story about being the new kid—it’s a complex examination of the micro- and macroaggressions that Jordan endures from classmates and teachers. Highly recommended for all middle grade shelves.”
—School Library Journal 


Jerry plays well with kids and grown-ups! At Read Out Loud!, our family literacy event, Jerry led a comic book drawing workshop that was packed with very engaged youngsters. Not only does he inspire young artists and writers by sharing and educating, but Jerry is a super person to work with on the grown-up level. He makes good things happen. The success Read Out Loud! was due much in part his ideas, people, and go-getter attitude.

– Christine P, School-Community Coordinator,
Morningside Area Alliance, New York City

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