Jerry Craft is back at it with another great graphic novel, Class Act. This book is a New Kid companion, this one focusing on Drew Ellis, the best of Jordan Banks, the main character from the first book.
As a Black boy in eighth grade, Drew’s issues in school are different from Jordan’s in New Kid. For instance, he is frustrated with people being fascinated by his hair and touching it without his permission, and because his skin is darker, people automatically assume things about him, like that he is going to steal from them. Sometimes Drew feels like he isn’t noticed at all. Other times, he feels like he has to work twice as hard to be seen the same way as his white classmates.
One of them is his best friend Liam. Drew can’t help but feeling a withdrawl from his friend after not seeing him all summer. Drew starts to realize that Liam could be a privileged white kid who doesn’t understand what he and Jordan go through as Black students. Drew must find a way to maintain the friendship while helping Liam understand what it’s like to be Black.
I loved how this book was so relatable! I could definitely understand how Drew felt when people touched his hair because people touch my hair without asking all the time. And I understand how friendships with your Black friends can be different than your white friends.
It was also cool to see the characters from New Kid develop more in this book, and we got to see more about Liam and Drew and their teacher in this one and less of Jordan. Plus, Jerry Craft’s way of adding little details in every panel makes the story even more interesting.
In my opinion, the first book was better, but I still really enjoyed this one a lot.
I recommend this book to those who enjoyed New Kid. You don’t have to read New Kid to understand Class Act, but you definitely should as the characters will make more sense.
Three out of four roses!