Jordan is about to start a new school – and 7th grade. His mom is thrilled that he’s going to a really great school, with lots of rich kids and lots of learning opportunities. Jordan, he’s not so sure. He knows his dad has his back, but the school he really wants to go to – an art school – doesn’t take students until 9th grade. So his dad tells him to make the best of things for two years, and they can re-evaluate then as a family.
He’s a bit worried there won’t be any other kids like him, but he’s pleasantly surprised to see there is some diversity – a tiny bit more than they (he and his family) had expected. Still, it doesn’t stop one teacher from calling another black kid in class by a former black student’s name! And at first, Jordan thinks he’ll have more in common with one kid, simply because of the color of their skin – however, this turns out not to be the case.
Making friends, good friends, friends he has things in common with, turns out to be both easier and harder than he thought. As the year progresses Jordan has to take a stand both metaphorically and literally at different points.
New Kid by Jerry Craft is a great graphic novel. It is the story of every kid who wants to fit in, yet be themselves at the same time. It shows no matter who we are, we all worry about being different and yet want to find that sweet place to be ourselves.
Recommended for 6th grade and up.