76 pages 2 hours read

Jerry Craft

New Kid

Fiction | Graphic Novel/Book | Middle Grade | Published in 2019

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New Kid

  • Genre: Fiction; middle grade graphic novel
  • Originally Published: 2019
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile GN320L; grades 5-8
  • Structure/Length: 14 chapters; approx. 256 pages; approx. 2 hours on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Jordan Banks, a Black middle school student who loves to draw cartoons about his experiences, attends a prestigious school where he encounters bullying and racism.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Racism

Jerry Craft, Author

  • Bio: Grew up in NYC; graduated from The Fieldston School; received his bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the School of Visual Arts; creator of the 1990 comic strip Mama’s Boyz; cofounder of the Schomburg Center’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival
  • Other Works: Class Act (2020)
  • Awards: Newbery Medal (2020); Coretta Scott King Book Awards Author Award (2020); Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature (2019)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Finding Confidence in Middle School
  • Maintaining a Black Identity in School and at Home
  • Balancing Friendships Across Social Class

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Develop an understanding of microaggressions and code-switching.
  • Read/study short paired texts and other resources to deepen understanding of themes related to Finding Confidence in Middle School, Maintaining a Black Identity at School and at Home, and Balancing Friendships Across Social Class.
  • Create a graphic narrative to demonstrate their understanding of the graphic novel form as well as the theme of Finding Confidence in Middle School.