School Trip

Quill Tree/HarperCollins/. Apr. 2023. 256p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780062885548; pap. $14.99. ISBN 9780062885531.
Gr 4-8–As Jordan enters his last year of middle school, he receives an acceptance letter from an art school, which is both exciting and nerve-racking for him: he loves art more than anything, but does he really want to be the new kid once again? Jordan and his friends are overjoyed to learn they’ll be taking a school trip to Paris, but when they see that Andy the bully will be joining them, they feel deflated and nervous. In this companion to New Kid and Class Act, the characters that readers love grow and mature while they travel across the globe. The art style stays true to Craft’s first two installments, and the creative approach to demonstrating mood and tone shines through in the illustrations. Craft emphasizes racism, classism, and differences in worldview by creating extreme juxtapositions with the roommate pairings on the trip, which also results in comic relief and laugh-out-loud moments. Further, Craft highlights the importance of traveling both physically and metaphorically to build empathy, referencing examples of microaggressions and the dangers of book bans.
VERDICT This heartfelt, must-read title belongs on all library shelves, as it beautifully accompanies Craft’s first two graphic novels with these characters.

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