Craft, Jerry. Class Act. Jerry Craft, Illus. Graphic. HarperCollins/Quill Tree, 10/2020. 256pp. $22.99, 978-0-06-288551-7, PB $12.99, 978-0-06-288550-0. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 5-9
This follow up to New Kid looks deeper into the lives of students at an elite private school. Much of the focus is on class issues, centering on Jordan’s friend Drew, a black boy living with his grandmother. In addition to class, questions of race, identity, and stereotypes are explored in the context of life in eighth grade—friend troubles, puberty, and awkward crushes. Jordan’s comics, which go into depth about things he and his friends are dealing with, are interspersed throughout the book. Sometimes funny, sometimes painful, Craft once again tells an honest story with authentic characters, humorous observations, and sharp insight. The art is expansive, using a full palette of colors to bring the world to life. Each panel contains images in the background that add depth to the story. A bonus: sprinkled throughout the book in addition to chapter headings, there are Easter eggs based on the work of other writers and graphic novelists.
Carla Riemer, Independent