…and the 2020 winner of the oldest and top children’s book award in America goes to “New Kid” by author and graphic novel illustrator Jerry Craft!
For the first time a graphic novel has GARNERED the Newbery Medal, the most prestigious award from the American Library Association. The annual award started back in 1922.
The 249-pages are filled with entertaining and often funny illustrations by Craft, who also creates the award-winning comic strip, “Mama’s Boyz.”
“New Kid” tells the story of Jordan Banks, the main character who’s about to start middle school. Jordan is a very artistic, creative type who spends hours working on his sketchpad—sort of his way of journaling and expressing his feelings. But his mother really wants him to go to Riverdale Academy Day School, a very exclusive private school that goes up through high school, and requires loads of studying and participation in its team sports. Unfortunately, the big, fancy school doesn’t seem to have much to offer when it comes to art classes.
Another concern is the school isn’t very diverse. Jordan will be one of only a few African-American kids there, and it seems like most of the students come from very rich families.
The graphic novel shows what Jordan goes through as he leaves his familiar neighborhood and long-time friends and tries to fit in among students and teachers he’s never met. The view of this “New Kid”—how he feels and figures things out—are delivered through Jordan’s hilarious pencil sketches and caption clouds.
Will Jordan be able to adjust to his new school? Will the school be able to adjust to Jordan? There’s much to learn from this latest Newbery Medal winner!