Hey, Kiddo

By: Jarrett J. Krosoczka

In kindergarten, Jarrett Krosoczka's teacher asks him to draw his family, with a mommy and a daddy. But Jarrett's family is much more complicated than that. His mom is an addict, in and out of rehab, and in and out of Jarrett's life. His father is a mystery -- Jarrett doesn't know where to find him, or even what his name is. Jarrett lives with his grandparents -- two very loud, very loving, very opinionated people who had thought they were through with raising children until Jarrett came along.
Jarrett goes through his childhood trying to make his non-normal life as normal as possible, finding a way to express himself through drawing even as so little is being said to him about what's going on. Only as a teenager can Jarrett begin to piece together the truth of his family, reckoning with his mother and tracking down his father.
Hey, Kiddo is a profoundly important memoir about growing up in a family grappling with addiction, and finding the art that helps you survive.
Author's note. Note on the art. Full-color illustrations.

ISBN: 9780545902472

JLG Release: Feb 2019


Sensitive Areas: Homophobic slur, Mild sexual themes, Strong language, Underage drinking, Bullying, Domestic violence, Drugs and drug addiction, Depictions of bloody nightmares, Depiction of an escalator accident
Topics: Family life , Drug addiction , Grandparents , Mothers , Intergenerational trauma , Art as escapism , Overcoming obstacles , Coming of age , Graphic novels , Memoirs

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Awards & Honors

2019 SEE-IT Award Finalist
2019 EGL Award Winner, Young Adult Nonfiction
2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Honor, Nonfiction
2019 Indies Choice Award Finalist, Book of the Year - Young Adult
2019 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist
2019 Golden Kite Award Honor, Non-Fiction for Older Readers
ALSC Notable Children's Books - 2019
2018 Cybils Award Winner, Young Adult Graphic Novels
Booklist Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth - 2018
Booklist Top of the List 2018, Youth Nonfiction
Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens - 2019
Amazon Best Books of 2018, Comics and Graphic Novels
Publishers Weekly Best Books - 2018

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Kirkus Reviews*, School Library Journal*, Publishers Weekly*, The Horn Book Magazine*, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books*, Booklist*

School Library Journal

In this intimate graphic memoir, Krosoczka looks back on his childhood and adolescence. His mother was a heroin addict, who was incarcerated or in rehab for much of his young life, and his father wasn’t around—until Krosoczka was in the sixth grade, he didn’t even know the man’s first name. The author/illustrator was raised by his loving bu In this intimate graphic memoir, Krosoczka looks back on his childhood and adolescence. His mother was a heroin addict, who was incarcerated or in rehab for much of his young life, and his father wasn’t around—until Krosoczka was in the sixth grade, he didn’t even know the man’s first name. The author/illustrator was raised by his loving but often amusingly coarse maternal grandparents, who were well past their child-rearing days. Though growing up without his biological parents was painful, Krosoczka had a supportive network of extended family and friends, and his art became both his passion and his salvation. The visuals beautifully re-create his early memories, with fluid lines depicting the figures and hand-painted washes of gray with burnt orange highlights in the backgrounds. Borderless panels and word balloons deftly draw readers into the action. Artifacts from the Krosoczka family’s past are inserted into the story, such as artwork and letters, and even the pineapple wallpaper from his grandparents’ home is included between chapters. VERDICT A compelling, sometimes raw look at how addiction can affect families. A must-have, this book will empower readers, especially those who feel alone in difficult situations.–Kelley Gile, Cheshire Public Library, CT

Horn Book

Krosoczka offers a graphic memoir that is altogether more mature in style, theme, and content than his previous work for younger audiences (the Lunch Lady series; the Platypus Police Squad series). Raised by his grandparents, Krosoczka recounts the triumphs and tragedies he experienced from infancy through his high-school years. Regularly left in t Krosoczka offers a graphic memoir that is altogether more mature in style, theme, and content than his previous work for younger audiences (the Lunch Lady series; the Platypus Police Squad series). Raised by his grandparents, Krosoczka recounts the triumphs and tragedies he experienced from infancy through his high-school years. Regularly left in the dark regarding his family—including his father’s identity and mother’s transient whereabouts—Krosoczka eventually learns of his mother’s addiction to heroin and of her habitual incarceration. Other serious hardships—verbal abuse, violent crime, family alcoholism—punctuate Krosoczka’s childhood and adolescence, shifting his interest in art from something to impress his friends to a way “to deal with life. To survive.” Krosoczka’s actual childhood artwork (from early crayon drawings to high-school gag comics) and handwritten letters to and from his mother and others are seamlessly inserted into the gracefully rendered ink illustrations. Applied with a brush pen, the emotive line work fluctuates between thick and thin, while blurred panel edges allow moments to blend into one another. A limited palette of gray and orange washes positions the story in the past, as memory. Krosoczka has meticulously crafted a severely honest portrayal of addiction, resilient familial love, and the power of art, dedicated in part to “every reader who recognizes this experience.” Heartfelt and informative author notes, art notes, and acknowledgments provide narrative closure. patrick gall

Book Details

ISBN

9780545902472

First Release

February 2019

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 1/2" x 6"

Page Count

320

Accelerated Reader

Level 3.5; Points: 2;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 3.8; Points: 6;

Lexile

Level HL510L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Graphix

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Homophobic slur, Mild sexual themes, Strong language, Underage drinking, Bullying, Domestic violence, Drugs and drug addiction, Depictions of bloody nightmares, Depiction of an escalator accident

Topics

Family life, Drug addiction, Grandparents, Mothers, Intergenerational trauma, Art as escapism, Overcoming obstacles, Coming of age, Graphic novels, Memoirs,

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