Graphically Contrasting Cultures

A Review of Jerry Craft's New Kid


  • John Franklin Pittsburg State University



Jerry Craft's 2019 Coretta Scott King and Newbery Medal-winning novel New Kid is a thought-provoking, aesthetically pleasing study in comparison-and-contrast between protagonist Jordan Bank's home life in his neighborhood (Washington Heights, near the George Washington Bridge in New York City) and his school life where he is a new 7th grader (Riverdale Academy, an elite and exclusive prep school) that benefits from the medium: graphic literature.


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Author Biography

  • John Franklin, Pittsburg State University
    John Franklin (BA Rice, MA Miami of Ohio, PhD Florida; certified to teach English and economics) began his career at Jones High School in Houston. During that time, he combined his love for literature with a love of travel, spending 12-week summers biking or backpacking to visit the settings of the drama, fiction and poetry he loved to teach: Scotland for Macbeth; London for Dickens; Canterbury for Chaucer; and the Lake District for Wordsworth. One Fourth of July he ventured further abroad, discovering himself atop the Acropolis in Athens, thinking, Here I am at the birthplace of democracy on the birthday of the greatest democracy that has ever existed. He has spent his life since then appreciating and sharing his good fortune. John Franklin (pronoun he) is a Professor of English and Director of English Education at Pittsburg State University in Southeast Kansas where he teaches Literature for Middle and Secondary Schools. He may be reached at  






Young Adult (YA) Book Reviews