At 3 years old Jarrett was pouring his own breakfast cereal, and his grandparents knew something had to change. They took him in, and his loving, addicted mother became a penpal, flickering in and out of his childhood.
It's a good and interesting childhood, full of good people who made not so good choices, and following his life from birth to highschool graduation. Comic-memoirs are a unique kind of book and this one is a masterpiece. With every word, we get to know Jarrett, and with every picture we come to understand him. He shows us more then he tells, and that is a joy.
A deeply personal graphic memoir. I had to read it in one sitting as I could not tear myself away from Jarrett's world. His portrayal of his family and friends is so authentic and beautifully felt. This could have been a very different story, and that is testament to the strength of love. The style and feel of the illustrations match perfectly with the nostalgic feel. A must read for sure.
Krosoczka is a writer-illustrator best known for his popular kids series Lunch Lady and Platypus Police. His graphic memoir, however, is a powerful story that will appeal to all ages. At a young age Krosoczka was abandoned by his heroin-addicted mother, leaving his ornery grandparents to pick up the slack. He grows up amid an atmosphere of cigarette smoke, casual barbs and endless cocktails, all the while seeking to express the turmoil of emotions inside. What could be bitter is sweetened by Krosoczka's adult understanding of the family tensions that produced his situation and the delightful art that proves to be his liberation. Great stuff.
Powerful graphic memoir. Beautiful, gritty and a testament to what love, strength and even a not so traditional family makeup can accomplish. Realistic look at life, love, addiction and family. This book will stay with you long after you close the cover. Ages 14 to adults.
This memoir is a courageous story about one young man’s experience growing up in a household marked by addiction, secrets, and silence. When Jarrett’s mom prioritizes her drug dependence over her son, Jarrett goes to live with his grandparents—who suffer from addiction in their own way, too. Resonant, heart-gripping, and honest, Hey, Kiddo will inspire young adults to turn to their passions (like comics and art!) to get through tough times.
The powerful, unforgettable graphic memoir from Jarrett Krosoczka, about growing up with a drug-addicted mother, a missing father, and two unforgettably opinionated grandparents. 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.
About the Author
Jarrett J. Krosoczka is a New York Times bestselling author, a two-time winner of the Children's Choice Book Award for the Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year, an Eisner award nominee, and the author and/or illustrator of more than 30 books for young readers. His critically acclaimed graphic novel memoir "Hey, Kiddo" was a National Book Award Finalist. His work includes several picture books, select volumes of Star Wars: Jedi Academy, the Lunch Lady graphic novels, and the Platypus Police Squad novel series. Jarrett has given two TED Talks, both of which have been curated to the main page of TED.com and have collectively accrued more than two million views online. He is also the host of The Book Report with JJK on SiriusXM's Kids Place Live, a weekly segment celebrating books, authors, and reading. Jarrett lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife and children, and their pugs, Ralph and Frank.
Praise for Hey, Kiddo:
A National Book Award Finalist
Denver Public Library's Best & Brightest Books of 2019 Booklist Editors' Choice - Youth CBC/ TeenReads.com Teen Choice Awards ALSC Notable Children's Books In the Margins *Recommended Nonfiction Book List and a Top Ten Title Action Book Club Selections TLA Texas Topaz Reading List for Nonfiction PA Young Reader's Choice Masterlist Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literacy Awards (The Cybils) - Winner Indies Choice Best Young Adult Finalist EBSCO SEE-IT Award (Finalist) Ann Arbor Kids Read Comics Awards Nominee Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award (Master List) Oklahoma Sequoyah Masterlist
"The story is a true reflection of the seesaw of life: There are moments of hardship and conflict, but also scenes of joy."-- The New York Times
"A candid, emotional graphic memoir about life with a heroin-addicted mother and rough but loving grandparents." -- New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
"Inspiring...poignant and funny...A testament to the power of art and creativity -- and a chain-smoking grandfather -- to save your life." -- New York Times Book Review
"Powerful...Krosoczka movingly reveals the complicated origins of his humor and art." -- Washington Post
"Deeply heartfelt...Sure to have a profound impact on those who pick it up." -- Paste Magazine
* "Honest, important, and timely." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "A must-have, this book will empower readers." -- School Library Journal, starred review
* "This nuanced graphic memoir . . . tells a story of finding identity." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "Krosoczka has meticulously crafted a severely honest portrayal of addiction, resilient familial love, and the healing power of art..." -- The Horn Book, starred review