2020 Great Reads from Great Places
August 6, 2020 • Features & News


Every year the Connecticut Center for the Book selects a title to represent our state at the National Book Festival, a program of the Library of Congress. In fact, all the affiliate Centers around the country select titles from their state which represents an aspect of their local literary culture, either addressing a topic of regional interest or written or illustrated by someone from or currently living in the state. They are usually books that appeal to our younger readers, although they can, of course, be enjoyed by all!

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress creates an annual list of Great Reads and this year the Connecticut Center for the Book has selected New Kid, by Jerry Craft as the 2020 Great Reads selection for Connecticut.

Prizes Awarded for New Kid

Winner of the 2020 Newbery Medal
Winner of the 2020 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Author Award
#1 New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the 2019 Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature
Finalist for Audie Award – Middle-Grade Book of the Year
San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller
Indie Bestseller for Early & Middle-Grade Readers

A full listing may be found on Jerry Craft’s website.

About the book

A timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real.

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 the winner of the Newbery Medal for his graphic novel New Kid. He has worked on numerous picture books, graphic novels, and middle-grade novels. Jerry is the creator of Mama’s Boyz, an award-winning syndicated comic strip. He has won five African American Literary Awards, and he is a co-founder of the Schomburg Center’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival. He received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts and now lives in Connecticut. Visit him online at www.jerrycraft.com

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