Compelling Graphic Novel

Today I have a compelling graphic novel that does not sugar coat the trauma wrought on families who have a member who is an addict.   This is a true story and will serve as a way for kids to develop empathy for others who face similar difficulties.  It also reminds us that families are complicated and loving and tough and that the people who show up for you really do matter.

Don’t forget to follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or by email so that you don’t miss a new evolution from the author of the Lunch Lady series.  This is not your everyday mac & cheese.

Title: Hey, Kiddocompelling graphic novel hey kiddo

Author: Jarrett Krosoczka

Target: 6th grade and up

Series: No

What this book is about:

This book is autobiographical and shares how the author was raised by his grandparents because his mother was addicted to heroin.  His grandparents love him dearly, but they also smoke and drink to excess at times.  This book profiles the author’s journey as he discovers and nurtures his passion for art, as he learns of and comes to terms with his mother’s addiction and how he eventually finds his father.

Why I love this book:

  • This one really pulled at my heartstrings.  The author does a wonderful job telling his own story with compassion and also acknowledging the real failings of the adults around him.  His grandparents gave him the support to pursue his art but addiction can reek havoc on families, and this family is no exception.
  • The artwork is fabulous.  With its muted colors, it gives the effect of a memory.  Jarrett has also included actual artwork from his childhood and the background separating the chapters is the wallpaper from his grandparents’ house.  This book reads like a video recording of his memories and kids will be swept up.
  • When I finished reading I felt that I had an intimate understanding of Jarrett’s childhood.  The details are vivid and the characters are so well fleshed out.  He gives us an understanding through the illustrations of what is happening, even when he is too young to understand it himself.

Who this book is for:

This is where I stumble a bit.  The language and circumstances are certainly for older kids, but the graphic novel format will make it more appealing to a younger crowd.  This is not a graphic novel full of laughs but it does have a lot of heart.  It is kind of like blending The Dumbest Idea Ever! and Sunny Side Up with a dash of tough love thrown in.

Final thoughts:

A real departure from the author of Lunch Lady!  A well-crafted memoir that reinforces how graphic novels have moved way beyond comics.

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Hey, Kiddo.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.