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.
In this companion to Newbery winner New Kid, eighth grader Drew Ellis embarks on a turbulent second year at the prestigious Riverdale Academy Day School in the Bronx alongside best friends Jordan Banks and Liam Landers. Drew and Jordan, who are both African American, face different struggles: Jordan, an aspiring cartoonist from Washington Heights, Manhattan, wishes he could attend art school instead, while Drew, an excellent basketball player from the Bronx, worries he'll fulfill a stereotype if he joins the school team. Yet they both suffer microaggressions at their predominantly white, upper-class private school; in one scene, a non-Black student runs her hands through Drew's hair, despite his vocal discomfort, and in another, white students give Black classmates excluding Jordan "reparations" after watching an exploitative film called The Mean Streets of South Uptown. Interwoven comics by Jordan further depict his experiences as a light-skinned Black boy, while parodic chapter title spreads offer levity. Deftly weaving discussions of race, socioeconomics, colorism, and solidarity into an accessible narrative, Craft offers a charming cast journeying through the complicated landscapes of puberty, self-definition, and changing friendships, all while grappling with the tensions of attending an institution that structurally and culturally neglects students of color. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8 12. \n