An Honest Glimpse into Middle School
'New Kid' by Jerry Craft follows main character Jordan, a seventh grader who wants to go to an art school, but has his parents end up sending him to an academically-oriented private school. He is one of a few kids of color in his class, and even though he does have someone showing him around and befriending him who is not a student of color, he begins to wonder just how he can best fit in and why the kids who look like him are the ones who seem to not be appreciated as much.
The story does a nice job of having readers question the relationships between characters, no matter their color, and inspires thoughts about inclusion and how to best create instances where that is most possible. He makes a variety of friends as the story goes on, even with some whom he wouldn't have thought he would ever be friends. The story, as a graphic novel, showcases the themes and issues in a way that only words wouldn't have been capable of, and this is a definite plus for 'New Kid'. It is especially neat how the images propel the story along in ways that highlight the importance of the few words that Craft uses in the book.
An interesting and inspiring book, 'New Kid' brings honesty and humor to the forefront, as well as a host of other emotions.