Graphic Novel Rec #11: Class Act

Creator: Jerry Craft

Publisher: Quill Tree Books & Harper Alley

I’m going to be honest. I held off reading Class Act. I didn’t hold off because I wasn’t interested or I didn’t think it would be good. I held off, because I knew that with the success of New Kid tons of people were going to check it out even without me hyping it. That being said, I’m so glad I finally did read it.

If you’re not familiar with this book, Class Act is the follow-up to Jerry Craft’s Newberry Medal, Kirkus Prize, Coretta Scott King Author Award winning book New Kid. New Kid is a realistic fiction story based on the experiences of Craft and his two sons as they attended private schools.

In Class Act, Craft tells a story that provides a different perspective than found in most literature. I realize this is a “different” perspective for me, because I’m a white man. I can just imagine how powerful it is for young students of color to read this book and feel seen. I imagine it’s similar to how I felt reading Flamer.

Class Act has a wide cast of characters which create a rich world for Craft to tell his story in. You could read Class Act without having read New Kid, but why would you not want to read New Kid?!

My favorite bit of cartooning with Class Act are the comics that the character Jordan creates. These “kid-created” comics provide a way for Jordan to reflect on the events of the book and share his thinking. This is a powerful storytelling technique that adds more depth to Jordan.

Teaching Considerations:

  • Genre: Realistic Fiction
  • Units of Study: Realistic fiction, Social Issues
  • Grades: 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Middle School

Published by Eric Hand

I'm an educator and literacy professional with a long-standing passion for comic books and graphic novels.

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