On April 7, a Zoom room full of cheering fourth and fifth graders welcomed Jerry Craft, author of the graphic novels New Kid and Class Act, for a virtual visit to the Annie Bosworth Library. As a full-division activity, the entire group had read New Kid, which last year became the first graphic novel ever to win the prestigious Newbery Medal. Students kept the author overtime with accolades, questions, and comments about the book, which tells the story of a Black seventh grade boy navigating his first year at a new, mostly-white private school in New York. Craft told the group that the book was inspired by his own and his children’s experiences, saying, “I make books I wish I’d had as a kid.”
Craft’s appearance was the library’s second author visit of the year. In January, author-illustrator Robin Ha Zoomed in for a period to talk to the Upper Middle School about her graphic memoir, Almost American Girl. The book, at once humorous and intense, begins when Ha is 14 and her mother announces that they’ll be leaving their home in Seoul, South Korea, for a vacation in Huntsville, Alabama. Soon her mother is remarried, the visit turns permanent, and Ha must adjust to a new language, a new school, and new relatives. Enthusiastic students peppered Ha with fantastic questions about her drawing style, her career, and her life story.