Jerry Craft made history as his graphic novel New Kid became the first graphic novel to win the John Newbery Medal.
New Kid is about Jordan Banks who’s anxious about being the new kid at school and one of the few kids of color. While that concept could be interesting enough, the graphic novel is really an examination of micro and macroaggressions Jordan endures from classmates and teachers.
Craft also earned the Coretta Scott King Author Award for New Kid, which was one of many graphic novels honored. Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me written by Mariko Tamaki with art by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, was named a Printz Honor book. The Asian/Pacific American Awards honored two graphic novels: Stargazing by Jen Wang won for Children’s Literature and They Called Us Enemy, written by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, and Steven Scott, with art by Harmony Becker, won in the Young Adult Literature category. In Waves by AJ Dungo and Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe won Alex Awards. Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka won the Odyssey Award for best audiobook.
Graphic novels had been named Newbery Honor titles in the past but this is the first win for a graphic novel.