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Comics and cookies: ‘New Kid’ by Jerry Craft
Try making a digital comic of your own using the free website Storyboard That
Each month, the Iowa City Public Library’s will feature a comic or graphic novel for kids, suggest a sweet treat pairing, include a game or activity, and ask a couple discussion questions about the book.
In the book “New Kid,” Jordan Banks is disappointed that rather than sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents are forcing him to attend a prestigious private school where he is one of the few kids of color in his grade.
“New Kid” is a 2019 winner of both the Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award.
Pairs well with: Tres Leches Cake.
Jordan lives in the Washington Heights neighborhood in New York City, where delicious tres leches cake abounds! Make this easy version adapted for kids by poking holes with a fork in a yellow boxed cake mix cake or packaged individual pound cake. Whisk together one 12 oz. can evaporated milk, one 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk, and 1 cup heavy cream. Pour over cake and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Jordan’s mom puts pressure on him not only to attend Riverdale Academy but also to enjoy it. Drawing helps Jordan cope with the pressure from home and the feelings of loneliness at school. What activities do you do to make yourself feel better when you’re stressed or not feeling like yourself?
- Jordan’s “Tips for Taking the Bus” (pages 56-57) show Jordan changing his appearance over the course of his trip. Discuss the concept of “code switching.” What do you notice in each frame? What is different about his clothing, body language, and the people around him? What do you think Jordan gains by code switching in this way? Can you think of a time you had to "code switch?"
- Jordan is nervous when he decides to try out for a sports team because he hasn’t played any of the sports before. Have you ever had to try something you didn’t want to? How did manage to start?
- By the end of the season, Jordan finds that he actually likes soccer. Have you ever changed your mind about something after trying a new experience?
Find more discussion prompts on Jerry Craft's website jerrycraft.com.
Jerry Craft created the art for "New Kid" digitally using Photoshop! Try making a digital comic of your own using the free website Storyboard That.
Iowa City Public Library holds a graphic novel book club called Comics & Cookies for tweens in grades 3-6 on the fourth Thursday of each month from 4-5 p.m. Check it out!