cover image School Trip

School Trip

Jerry Craft. Quill Tree, $24.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-288554-8; $14.99 paper ISBN 978-0-06-288553-1

In this companion to Newbery winner New Kid and its sequel, Class Act, eighth grader Jordan Banks is excited about two things: his acceptance letter to the art school of his dreams, and traveling to Paris with his Riverdale Academy Day School classmates. But he’s also nervous; going to a new high school means leaving his best friends behind. While he has limited time to accept the new school’s offer, Jordan endeavors to disengage from admissions stress by having the time of his life in Paris. As Jordan and his friends prepare to travel abroad, however, they learn that irksome classmate Andy, who’s constantly inserting himself into their plans, will also be traveling with them. Despite various setbacks—including teachers’ credit cards not working, and Jordan and his friends being tricked into sharing a room with Andy—the group makes the most of what they believe is their last hurrah before going separate ways. With his signature laugh-out-loud storytelling, which teems with nuanced character dynamics, tender moments of acceptance and connection, and a multicultural cast, Craft offers a zestful graphic novel adventure that mixes lighthearted fare with thought-provoking observations on lasting friendship in the face of future-based anxieties. Ages 8–12. Agent: Judy Hansen, Hansen Literary. (Apr.)