DC Family Reads Kicks-Off with New Kid by Jerry Craft

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Central Library

DC Family Reads Kicks-Off with New Kid by Jerry Craft

Get Psyched for Summer Challenge!

DC Family Reads is a new DC Public Library literacy program that compliments DC Reads, a program for adults and teens. DC Family Reads will include books that a family can enjoy reading, discussing and doing related activities together. The first DC Family Reads features New Kid by Jerry Craft, winner of the 2020 Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Book Award. Unlimited eBook copies are available for download on OverDrive from May 15 - June 15. See below for related information and activity ideas for children and families.

DC Family Reads will get you excited for this year's Summer Challenge/Read20 from June 1 – Aug. 31. 

Don't have a library card? Get one online and begin reading today?

About the book
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?

About the author

Jerry Craft is a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator. His book, “New Kid,” is the winner of the 2020 John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature. It is the first graphic novel in the Newbery’s nearly 100 year history to receive the award.  Craft is only the fifth African American author to land the coveted prize. “New Kid” was also awarded the Coretta Scott King award for outstanding work by an African American writer. Craft is the second person to have simultaneously won both awards in the same year.

In 2019, New Kid was the first graphic novel to win the Kirkus Prize in the “Young Readers’ Literature” category.

Craft was born in Harlem and grew up in the Washington Heights section of New York City. He is a graduate of The Fieldston School and received his B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts. He resides in Connecticut with his two sons and two beagles.



A librarian makes the case for graphic novels for kids - The Washington Post
Graphic Novels for Kids: Classroom Ideas, Booklists, and More | Reading Rockets
Graphic novels for elementary and middle grade children have become enormously popular and widely accepted by parents, teachers, and librarians. In this resource section, learn more about this highly visual form of storytelling and how it can be used in the classroom, meet some writers and illustrators of graphic novels, and browse the "best of" booklists.

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Jordan and Josh are twins and basketball stars, but everything changes when Jordan gets a girlfriend.
 Cover image for The crossover / by Kwame Alexander.

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Jin Wang is excited for his new school until he discovers he is the only Chinese American student.
Cover image for American born Chinese / Gene Luen Yang ; color by Lark Pien.

El Deafo by Cece Bell
Young Cece develops superpowers that help her navigate the challenges of going to school while coping with hearing loss and a bulky hearing aid.
Cover image for El Deafo / Cece Bell ; color by David Lasky.

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
Vera’s single mother can only afford a Russian summer camp, but it’s nothing like the fancy camps where Vera’s wealthy friends spend the summer.
Cover image for Be prepared / Vera Brosgol ; color by Alec Longstreth.

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez
Things do not go as planned when María Luisa starts seventh grade at a new school in Chicago.
Cover image for The first rule of punk / Celia C. Pérez.

All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson
Imogene was home-schooled and used to helping her parents at Renaissance fairs, but her transition to public school is not as charming.
Cover image for All's Faire in Middle School

It All Comes Down to This by Karen English
Sophie’s promising start as the first African-American student in an all-white school is interrupted by the Watts riots in 1965 Los Angeles.
Cover image for It all comes down to this / by Karen English.

Enjoy these graphic novels for adults that pair with New Kid

Draw a Map of your Cafeteria, School, etc.
Jordan, the new kid in New Kid, loves to draw maps of his school: the cafeteria, the schoolyard and more. However, Jordan’s maps are more than guides because he uses humor to tell us what his life is really like.

Draw a map like Jordan’s. Focus on your school, the way you get to school, or even on something from your neighborhood. The options are endless!

Sometimes Jordan writes funny things about his life next to the drawings. Try writing an insider’s guide to your life. Describe your school, your classmates, your friends or anything else.

If you like to write and draw use both methods to make a map or a guide to your life, your school, etc.   

What Type of SuperHero Are You?
Jordan draws himself as an imaginary superhero, The Not-So-Dark Knight, but he ends up feeling like a real-life superhero when he stands up for his friends. Would you rather be an imaginary or real-life superhero? What would your superpowers be? Draw yourself and share it to social media using the hashtag #AtHomeWithDCPL!

Want some extra help drawing?

Kids can check out free video tutorials on Just For Kids Access Video, including the That’s Imagination: Creative Drawing series or the Art With Joy series.

Teens and adults can explore out free drawing classes on Lynda.com with their DC Public Library card, including the Drawing Foundations series and the 21-Day Drawing Challenge.

    New Kid Book Cover