Class Act
Class Act

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Annotation: Eighth grader Drew Ellis recognizes that he isn't afforded the same opportunities, no matter how hard he works, that his privileged classmates at the Riverdale Academy Day School take for granted, and to make matters worse, Drew begins to feel as if his good friend Liam might be one of those privileged kids and is finding it hard not to withdraw, even as their mutual friend Jordan tries to keep their group of friends together.
Catalog Number: #213474
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 249 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-288550-2 Perma-Bound: 0-8479-8465-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-288550-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-8479-8465-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2020937195
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
Puberty is on the horizon for thirteen-year-old Jordan Banks, who returns in this hilarious and heartfelt companion to New Kid (rev. 1/19), the Coretta Scott King and Newbery Award-winning graphic novel. Jordan is now a year older, and a tiny bit more secure in his second year at Riverdale Academy Day (RAD) School. He still has the familiar comfort of loving parents (whose preference is for Jordan to spend his upcoming high school career at RAD rather than transfer to an art school, as he desires); and pals Liam and Drew (when the two are not embroiled in their own tensions over social class). Jordan and his friends navigate microaggressions, well-meaning but sometimes inept teachers, colorism, absentee caregivers, and other complex issues. Along the way, the trio demonstrates vulnerability, ranges of emotions, and willingness to always crack a joke -- after all, they are teenage boys. Jordan's friend Drew's coming-of-age as a Black boy in a predominantly white environment is very thoughtfully explored, particularly the tension of navigating how to be an academic achiever in a context that is reluctant to acknowledge him as such. In one especially telling moment during a school visit by Black and Latinx students from underfunded "sister school" Cardi De Academy that goes terribly wrong, Drew is asked if "they let you be smart here? Or do they try to melt your wings?" Craft adeptly balances poignant questions like these with laugh-out-loud moments in the lively illustrations, making Class Act a substantial snapshot of the interior life of boys, especially Black boys who are too often not afforded such attention, love, and care.
Kirkus Reviews
Jordan Banks has returned to the elite Riverdale Academy Day School for eighth grade, and although he still doesn’t smell like an eighth grade boy—much to his dismay—his growth spurt comes in other forms.Unlike New Kid (2019), this sequel offers the perspectives of not just Jordan, but also his best friend, Drew, and his wealthy White friend, Liam. As Jordan navigates what may be his last year at RAD before transferring to art school, he frequently compares his experiences with Drew’s: Both boys are Black, but Drew is taller, more athletic, and has darker skin. Drew also has a new flattop that attracts unwanted touching from non-Black kids. This story focuses on how differently RAD students and teachers treat light-skinned Jordan and dark-skinned Drew and also how middle-class Jordan, working-class Drew, and rich Liam negotiate a friendship of mutual respect and care. RAD administrators and teachers have also realized that they need to work on diversity, equity, and inclusion, but their leadership choice for this initiative results in more microaggressions for the students of color. Jordan’s cartoon “intermissions,” black-and-white pencil sketches, capture his imaginative wit while conveying perceptive observations about race and class that ring true. Each chapter’s title page textually and illustratively echoes popular graphic works for young readers such as Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid.A well-Crafted, visually rich, truth-telling tale for our troubled times that affirms the eternal importance of friends. (author's note) (Graphic fiction. 9-14)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Jordan Banks has returned to the elite Riverdale Academy Day School for eighth grade, and although he still doesn’t smell like an eighth grade boy—much to his dismay—his growth spurt comes in other forms.Unlike New Kid (2019), this sequel offers the perspectives of not just Jordan, but also his best friend, Drew, and his wealthy White friend, Liam. As Jordan navigates what may be his last year at RAD before transferring to art school, he frequently compares his experiences with Drew’s: Both boys are Black, but Drew is taller, more athletic, and has darker skin. Drew also has a new flattop that attracts unwanted touching from non-Black kids. This story focuses on how differently RAD students and teachers treat light-skinned Jordan and dark-skinned Drew and also how middle-class Jordan, working-class Drew, and rich Liam negotiate a friendship of mutual respect and care. RAD administrators and teachers have also realized that they need to work on diversity, equity, and inclusion, but their leadership choice for this initiative results in more microaggressions for the students of color. Jordan’s cartoon “intermissions,” black-and-white pencil sketches, capture his imaginative wit while conveying perceptive observations about race and class that ring true. Each chapter’s title page textually and illustratively echoes popular graphic works for young readers such as Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid.A well-Crafted, visually rich, truth-telling tale for our troubled times that affirms the eternal importance of friends. (author's note) (Graphic fiction. 9-14)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Horn Book
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Horn Book (8/1/20)
Word Count: 13,864
Reading Level: 2.8
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.8 / points: 2.0 / quiz: 509058 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.2 / points:5.0 / quiz:Q78043

New York Times bestselling author Jerry Craft returns with a companion book to New Kid, winner of the 2020 Newbery Medal, the Coretta Scott King Author Award, and the Kirkus Prize. This time, it's Jordan's friend Drew who takes center stage in another laugh-out-loud funny, powerful, and important story about being one of the few kids of color in a prestigious private school. Eighth grader Drew Ellis is no stranger to the saying "You have to work twice as hard to be just as good." His grandmother has reminded him his entire life. But what if he works ten times as hard and still isn't afforded the same opportunities that his privileged classmates at the Riverdale Academy Day School take for granted To make matters worse, Drew begins to feel as if his good friend Liam might be one of those privileged kids. He wants to pretend like everything is fine, but it's hard not to withdraw, and even their mutual friend Jordan doesn't know how to keep the group together. As the pressures mount, will Drew find a way to bridge the divide so he and his friends can truly accept each other And most important, will he finally be able to accept himself New Kid, the first graphic novel to win the Newbery Medal, is now joined by Jerry Craft's powerful Class Act.


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