Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 – New Kid

Spread the love

I had already written this post before Monday’s wonderful news that for the first time in history a graphic novel, NEW KID, had won this year’s Newbery Medal. Congratulations, Jerry Kraft. And Jerry created this year’s Multicultural Children’s Book Day poster.

Thrilled to be participating in this fabulous initiative for the fourth year. Bringing diversity to children’s Literature is a priority. Please enjoy my book review below and the link to hundreds of other reviews across the blogosphere.

Title: Middle School is hard enough without being the…NEW KID

Author & Illustrator: Jerry Kraft

 Publisher: Harper Collins, 2019

Format: Graphic Novel

Ages: 9-13

Themes: middle school, new kid, cartoons, kids of color, fitting in, privilege, racism, micro-agressions, bias, African-american, diversity,

Awards: Newbery Medal 2020

*this book was gifted by the Publisher for this event



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? (Publisher)

Why I like this book:

An outstanding middle grade graphic novel about not only being the new kid in a new school, but about the ways privilege, bias, and racism play out. Jordan attends a wealthy school on financial aid and is one of the few kids of color there; he experiences incredible micro and macro agressions, and as a light skinned black boy, he sees racism play out in a variety of horrifying ways. There’s also a lot of spot-on commentary here about financial privilege, on gifting, and on judgement of those who are in the haves and those who are in the have nots.

I found Jordan to be a really cool kid, with good parents. I loved the differing perspectives of his mom and dad, and how even thought, at first, you are inclined to stand with the dad against the mom, at the end you realize that his mom had the hindsight that the rest of us were missing.

The art and humor in this novel are ace. Craft includes a ton of pop culture in this book, which will appeal to this age group. Each chapter references a movie in some capacity and puts Jordan into it (The Hunger Games, West Side Story, Fight Club, etc). Interspersed throughout the narrative are panels from Jordan’s own art, which depict more of his internal conflict.

While in some ways this is a slice of life novel rather than very plot driven, one key moment of tension in the story is when Jordan is forced to sit with “the weird puppet girl” and finally learns why it is she’s always wearing a weird puppet and doing weird things. He has a reckoning about his own biases, and he uses this as an opportunity to validate this girl’s experiences. He also learns to stand up and be a leader, calling out injustices where he sees them, even when it makes him sick to do so.

A great story full of funny, sharp social commentary. This is a must have in all upper elementary and middle school libraries and classrooms. This book is packed with bias and micro-agressions that are important for kids to read about and understand.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators.  

Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues.

MCBD 2020  is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

Super Platinum

Make A Way Media/ Deirdre “DeeDee” Cummings,


Language LizardPack-N-Go Girls


Audrey PressLerner Publishing GroupKidLit TVABDO BOOKS : A Family of Educational PublishersPragmaticMom & Sumo JoCandlewick Press,


 Author Charlotte RiggleCapstone PublishingGuba PublishingMelissa Munro Boyd & B is for Breathe,


Author Carole P. RomanSnowflake Stories/Jill BarlettiVivian Kirkfield & Making Their Voices HeardBarnes Brothers Books,  TimTimTomWisdom Tales PressLee & Low Books,  Charlesbridge PublishingBarefoot Books Talegari Tales

Author Sponsor Link Cloud

Jerry CraftA.R. Bey and Adventures in BoogielandEugina Chu & Brandon goes to BeijingKenneth Braswell & Fathers IncorporatedMaritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_MejiaKathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry BlossomSISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. NorrgardJosh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER,Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture Groove,  Lauren RanalliThe Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon ChappellPhe Lang and Me On The PageAfsaneh Moradian and Jamie is JamieValerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena PublishingTUMBLE CREEK PRESSNancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen JacksonAngeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm TreeAuthor Kimberly Gordon BiddleBEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia WenjenSusan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books)Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the OceanEvelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the WorldShoumi Sen & From The Toddler DiariesSarah Jamila StevensonTonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book SeriesTeresa Robeson  & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTukGirlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book ClubFinding My Way Books, Diana Huang & IntrepidsFive Enchanted MermaidsElizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling CastleAnna Olswanger and GreenhornDanielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow JeepneyMariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta DiminutaSara Arnold & The Big Buna BashRoddie Simmons & Race 2 RioDuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical DebutVeronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series  Green Kids Club, Inc.

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty ArabAfsaneh MoradianAgatha Rodi BooksAll Done MonkeyBarefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial BookwormsMichelle Goetzl & Books My Kids ReadCrafty Moms ShareColours of UsDiscovering the World Through My Son’s EyesEducators Spin on itShauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylinkGrowing Book by BookHere Wee ReadJoel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}Imagination SoupKid World CitizenKristi’s Book NookThe LogonautsMama SmilesMiss Panda ChineseMulticultural Kid BlogsSerge Smagarinsky {Australia}Shoumi SenJennifer Brunk & Spanish PlaygroundKatie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

TWITTER PARTY! Register here!

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

This entry was posted in Diverse Children's Books, diversity, graphic novels, Multicultural Children's Book Day, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 – New Kid

  1. I am sooo looking forward to reading this book!

  2. Have heard so much about this book. I am delighted to see that it has received the Newbery medal! I need to get a copy! Enjoyed your enthusiastic review.

  3. Patricia Nozell says:

    So glad that you were chosen to review this important book. I read very little middle grade, and almost no graphic novels, but after reading your review, I think this is one for which I’ll make an exception.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.