John Newbery Medal
The 2020 winner of the John Newbery Medal, awarded to an author for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for
children, is “New Kid” by Jerry Craft. He is also the illustrator of the graphic novel.
“New Kid” also won this year’s Coretta Scott King Author Book Award, which recognizes an African American author of outstanding books for children and young adults.
Craft’s main character, Jordan, has left his neighborhood school to attend a challenging private school. But between his old friends and his new classmates, he doesn’t really feel as if he fits in anywhere.
Jerry Craft has published many books as an author and illustrator. He’s also the creator of a syndicated comic strip, “Mama’s Boyz,” that appeared in newspapers from 1995 to 2013.
“I wanted to give 10-year-old Jerry Craft a book he could read and say was his own,” Craft told a reporter. “The things I had to read in school couldn’t have been further from my life.”