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Hey, Kiddo

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Hey, Kiddo is the graphic memoir of author-illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Raised by his colorful grandparents, who adopted him because his mother was an incarcerated heroin addict, Krosoczka didn't know his father's name until he saw his birth certificate when registering for a school ski trip. Hey, Kiddo traces Krosoczka's search for his father, his difficult interacti Hey, Kiddo is the graphic memoir of author-illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Raised by his colorful grandparents, who adopted him because his mother was an incarcerated heroin addict, Krosoczka didn't know his father's name until he saw his birth certificate when registering for a school ski trip. Hey, Kiddo traces Krosoczka's search for his father, his difficult interactions with his mother, his day-to-day life with his grandparents, and his path to becoming an artist. To date, nearly one million people have viewed Krosoczka's TED Talk about his experience. Artwork from his childhood and teen years will be incorporated into the original illustrations for the book.


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Hey, Kiddo is the graphic memoir of author-illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Raised by his colorful grandparents, who adopted him because his mother was an incarcerated heroin addict, Krosoczka didn't know his father's name until he saw his birth certificate when registering for a school ski trip. Hey, Kiddo traces Krosoczka's search for his father, his difficult interacti Hey, Kiddo is the graphic memoir of author-illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Raised by his colorful grandparents, who adopted him because his mother was an incarcerated heroin addict, Krosoczka didn't know his father's name until he saw his birth certificate when registering for a school ski trip. Hey, Kiddo traces Krosoczka's search for his father, his difficult interactions with his mother, his day-to-day life with his grandparents, and his path to becoming an artist. To date, nearly one million people have viewed Krosoczka's TED Talk about his experience. Artwork from his childhood and teen years will be incorporated into the original illustrations for the book.

30 review for Hey, Kiddo

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lola

    I only realized I have read this author before (five times, actually) when I read the author’s note and realized that he’s the creator of Lunch Lady. No wonder I didn’t figure it out. This is not humorous, or light, or action-packed like Lunch Lady is. Because this is a memoir—the author’s. And a very honest one at that. It’s never easy to share your truth with the world, because what if your words are not well-received, what if you’re judged, what if you didn’t carry your message across? But it’s I only realized I have read this author before (five times, actually) when I read the author’s note and realized that he’s the creator of Lunch Lady. No wonder I didn’t figure it out. This is not humorous, or light, or action-packed like Lunch Lady is. Because this is a memoir—the author’s. And a very honest one at that. It’s never easy to share your truth with the world, because what if your words are not well-received, what if you’re judged, what if you didn’t carry your message across? But it’s still important you try. I’m glad this author tried, despite his initial reluctance. He mentioned becoming motivated to create this graphic novel after giving a TED talk and receiving an overwhelmingly positive response, and I’m so glad he did. In this book, we follow Jarrett from childhood to adolescence to graduating high school. We see him interact with his mother, who was a heroin addict, his grandparents, who raised him after witnesses their daughter’s decline into darkness, and later on his father. It’s not an easy story to read, definitely darker than most YA graphic memoirs that get published. Actually, graphic memoirs to begin with aren’t very popular, but those that I have read were nothing like this. I’m not trying to say it’s a depressive story. On the contrary, it is hopeful, family-focused, and will motivate you to do everything possible to accomplish your own dreams. But the child neglect, of course, affected me. The author wrote this book in hope that readers will be able to understand and perhaps connect. I say he has achieved his goal. I can’t wait for this book to come out and see it skyrocket to NYT bestselling status. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Reads Ravenously

    4.5 stars! What a wonderful memoir! I honestly cannot remember what made me request this graphic novel from the library, it is so not my normal reading zone. But I am very glad I did. Jarrett Krosoczka, author of the kids graphic novel series Lunch Lady, tells the story of his childhood and teenage years. His mother's addiction and father's absence had an impact on his life, but not as profound as the grandparents who stepped up and raised him. This was unputdownable, I finished it within a few h 4.5 stars! What a wonderful memoir! I honestly cannot remember what made me request this graphic novel from the library, it is so not my normal reading zone. But I am very glad I did. Jarrett Krosoczka, author of the kids graphic novel series Lunch Lady, tells the story of his childhood and teenage years. His mother's addiction and father's absence had an impact on his life, but not as profound as the grandparents who stepped up and raised him. This was unputdownable, I finished it within a few hours. My favorite parts of the book were his grandmother who seemed to be a complex and lively woman who didn't always make the best choices, but she loved fiercely. I think this is a great book for teens to read to understand kids with this background. It's also a story too many kids are living themselves. Follow me on ♥ Facebook ♥ Blog ♥ Instagram ♥ Twitter ♥

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cassie Thomas

    I understand that when others read this book they may only focus on the fact that there is so much darkness, but from someone who experienced similar circumstances as a child and into adulthood - there was brightness in the fact that grandparents raised us, but the negative light that shone of biological parents was just that, negative. As someone who could relate to a lot of scenes in Hey, Kiddo, I am thankful to know that my experiences are who shaped me, just like Jarrett, I'm also thankful t I understand that when others read this book they may only focus on the fact that there is so much darkness, but from someone who experienced similar circumstances as a child and into adulthood - there was brightness in the fact that grandparents raised us, but the negative light that shone of biological parents was just that, negative. As someone who could relate to a lot of scenes in Hey, Kiddo, I am thankful to know that my experiences are who shaped me, just like Jarrett, I'm also thankful to know that the emotions I felt/feel are completely justified and "normal". There will be teenagers and adults who will NEED this book and there will be others who don't understand, and that's OK. It doesn't take away from the fact that Jarrett shared what shaped him in a beautiful memoir for others to read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jen Petro-Roy

    Utterly phenomenal. Krosoczka takes his talent to a whole new and utterly personal level.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    After just a few pages of this book, I wanted to find Jarrett Krosoczka and hug him. Just . . . hug him for a minute. I met him, got my book signed, he was so nice! And handsome, and well dressed! And I was like, Hey, what a great guy! Love those New Jedi Academy books! But now, having read this raw and wonderful memoir of his childhood . . . I just want to hug him. This book is every bit as amazing as you've heard. I want it to win all the awards, because I want everyone to read it. I want it t After just a few pages of this book, I wanted to find Jarrett Krosoczka and hug him. Just . . . hug him for a minute. I met him, got my book signed, he was so nice! And handsome, and well dressed! And I was like, Hey, what a great guy! Love those New Jedi Academy books! But now, having read this raw and wonderful memoir of his childhood . . . I just want to hug him. This book is every bit as amazing as you've heard. I want it to win all the awards, because I want everyone to read it. I want it to be assigned to students. This is the perfect marriage of words and pictures, in addition to being such an engrossing story. I'm just so glad that Jarrett had his grandparents, his extended family to love him. I'm so glad that he has a wife and kids of his own now. I just think he deserves all the hugs, okay?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Noe

    I received an advance copy of this at ALA 2018. Hey, Kiddo is an incredibly timely comic about a addiction, family, and resilience. Drawn in an almost hazy style with purposeful use of burnt colors, the artwork makes you FEEL the story rather than reading-from-above. Jarrett is honest - at times unflatteringly so - and that honesty gives weight to the story, even if in the moment it might feel too much. If no one else takes it up, I may write a more in-depth review for graphic medicine. But for n I received an advance copy of this at ALA 2018. Hey, Kiddo is an incredibly timely comic about a addiction, family, and resilience. Drawn in an almost hazy style with purposeful use of burnt colors, the artwork makes you FEEL the story rather than reading-from-above. Jarrett is honest - at times unflatteringly so - and that honesty gives weight to the story, even if in the moment it might feel too much. If no one else takes it up, I may write a more in-depth review for graphic medicine. But for now, I have two claims to make. First, this is going to be one of my picks of the year for the field. Few comics targeted to young adults are this honest and open about addiction. And as the "opioid crisis" and long overdue national attention kn addiction ramps up, we need honest stories. There's already enough fearmongering, misinformstion, and downright ill-will toward addiction. Maybe stories like Hey, Kiddo can bring some humanity back into the conversation. I hope. Second, because the comic doesn't shy away from drug use, teenage misadventures, and includes cursing, I'm expecting this book will face serious challenges from parents who think kids should be sheltered. I hope I'm wrong but given how much more appealing a banned book becomes maybe I want to be right - then it's sure to be read. Full disclosure: I live in Worcester and seeing the place depicted in comics positively is certainly making me enjoy this even more.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carol Tilley

    Most definitely deserving of the praise it's receiving.

  8. 5 out of 5

    MissFabularian

    ....gutted me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mrs.

    Powerful. Honest. Beautiful. The author’s note had me in tears. I believe this book is powerful beyond measure. It gives a voice to children of addicts, and it’s a voice of hope and courage.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    If you find a puddle on the floor, don’t step on it because it’s me after finishing this story.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Glatt

    This memoir is every bit as good as people have been saying--a powerful true story of the artist growing up in a family that was so severely affected by addiction. Stunning artwork accompanies raw, real, moving text. I just booktalked this to students and have lots waiting in line to read it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jamie-leigh Haughn

    *4.5 This was such an amazing way to tell a life story, the drawings were fantastic and fit so perfectly with the feel of the story. This book reminded me of a draw my life video and sucked me in totally. I don't typically read memoirs of people I don't know but I'm so glad I read this one. Definitely recommend you pick it up, but be warned this isn't a warm and fuzzy family story! It's real and it's harsh and heartbreaking, but also has silver linings and moments of warmth!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Richie Partington

    Richie’s Picks: HEY, KIDDO by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Scholastic/Graphix, October 2018, 320p., ISBN 978-0-545-90247-2 “I’ve seen the needle and the damage done A little part of it in everyone But every junkie’s like a setting sun” -- Neil Young (1972) “My mother started using when she was just thirteen years old. Joe and Shirl tried to help her, but things just got worse and worse. For everyone. Things were bad at home--things were bad wherever Leslie went. She would run away from home and then turn up Richie’s Picks: HEY, KIDDO by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Scholastic/Graphix, October 2018, 320p., ISBN 978-0-545-90247-2 “I’ve seen the needle and the damage done A little part of it in everyone But every junkie’s like a setting sun” -- Neil Young (1972) “My mother started using when she was just thirteen years old. Joe and Shirl tried to help her, but things just got worse and worse. For everyone. Things were bad at home--things were bad wherever Leslie went. She would run away from home and then turn up again without warning. My grandfather got her an apartment downtown when she was sixteen, thinking that would help her. It didn’t. It only made it worse. She’d steal anything to sell it for heroin. She’d walk into a store with a trash bag, fill it with batteries, and then run out of the store--selling the batteries on the black market to fuel her addiction. She’d shoplift from TJ Maxx and then have her unsuspecting baby sisters return the merchandise for cash. They had no idea the goods were stolen. They thought they were just running errands for their big sister. And Leslie would steal from Joe and Shirl--all the time. One time, Grandma had her purse sitting out on the kitchen table. Leslie grabbed it and ran. Shirley chased her down the street. but it was no use. She had to go out and get a brand-new license and cancel her credit cards. That’s why my grandmother was always hiding her purse in cabinets. But the most heartbreaking moment came when Shirley was washing the dishes one night. She took her wedding ring off and placed it to the side of the sink. Leslie knocked her down, grabbed the ring, and disappeared into the night. On nights that she would return, she wasn’t let in to the house. Leslie banged on the door until it cracked. The only time that Leslie didn’t use was when she got pregnant with me. I was lucky not to be born addicted to heroin. And I was told that--often. But after I came into the world, Leslie started using again. And again and again. My grandfather swooped in, gaining legal custody of me so that I wouldn’t become a ward of the state. Leslie tried halfway homes, trying to recover. But nothing worked. She always went back to that poison.” Cartoonist and author Jarrett J. Krosoczka has a successful career, having created such illustrated children’s books as the LUNCH LADY series and PUNK FARM. HEY, KIDDO is a graphic memoir, told from his teen perspective, of growing up living with his maternal grandparents, Joe and Shirley. This, because his mother was a heroin addict and his father was unknown to him--at least until he was nearly out of high school. For Jarrett, it was tough to have been birthed by an addict who never showed up, even when she promised to, even when she wasn’t in jail. That’s a tough hand to be dealt. But HEY, KIDDO is Jarrett’s own story, not his mother Leslie’s story. That’s why this is actually a really sweet and memorable memoir about the author being raised by his colorful and loving grandparents. I get to regularly visit my own grandkids. I sing, read, and recite poems; run around, take them to the park, build tall towers, give them piggyback rides, and put them down for their naps. Then I’m able to head home and kick back. It’s a much more rewarding gig than when I was an under-appreciated 24/7 parent. That’s why I really admire how Joe and Shirley stepped up big time, in their golden years, to raise Jarrett as his substitute parents. Many of us grow up with wonderful grandparents. But as tweens and teens, we rarely have to negotiate with them, two generations away from our own sensibilities. That Joe and Shirley did such a great job of bridging that multigenerational divide makes me doubly appreciate their efforts and success. I’m also impressed by what a great kid Jarrett was to accept the differences between his own home situation and that of his friends who lived in “normal” parent-child households. Both a joyful, feel-good story of love in the family, and a cautionary tale about addiction, HEY, KIDDO is a first rate graphic read. Richie Partington, MLIS Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.pbworks.com https://www.facebook.com/richiespicks/ richiepartington@gmail.com

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mari Bianco

    After putting my kids to bed tonight, I picked up this book. I had pre-ordered it for my classroom, and when I saw that a Goodreads friend had enjoyed it, I was reminded to take it home. I met Jarrett Krosoczka in 2001, just after graduating college when he was writing and illustrating his first picture book, GOOD NIGHT, MONKEY BOY. I remember looking through the galley in his studio almost twenty years ago. I remember not only his vibrant talent, but also his genuinely excited energy that perme After putting my kids to bed tonight, I picked up this book. I had pre-ordered it for my classroom, and when I saw that a Goodreads friend had enjoyed it, I was reminded to take it home. I met Jarrett Krosoczka in 2001, just after graduating college when he was writing and illustrating his first picture book, GOOD NIGHT, MONKEY BOY. I remember looking through the galley in his studio almost twenty years ago. I remember not only his vibrant talent, but also his genuinely excited energy that permeated the room, coloring each illustration and sweeping through anyone he eagerly showed his art to. His contagious energy inspired me. And many years and many books later, Jarrett has done it again. I finished HEY, KIDDO in one sitting. I read this heart-wrenching and heart-warming graphic narrative cover to cover by iPhone flashlight from a bottom bunk bed with a white teddy bear under my head, while the six-year-old next to me hogged the small twin mattress. Once she started snoring, I didn’t move; I was too engrossed in the story. When my neck started cramping, I kept reading. I didn’t even get up to pee, not once! I was completely captivated from beginning to end of this profoundly written and beautifully illustrated story. I hope it falls into the hands of the many children in the world who have to live with addicted parents. I hope it encourages them to follow their own dreams, like Jarrett did, in spite of the hardships that they must face. I hope Jarrett’s story gives them hope. I believe it will.

  15. 4 out of 5

    DaNae

    Did you ever finish a book and immediately want to hand it to everyone you know? This year, it's this one. Jarrett's story is disquieting, genuine, and ultimately so full of hope my heart beat right out of my chest. This acknowledges that childhood is hard and ordinary. That families are important and toxic. That everyone is a factor of their biology but not the summation.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nadine

    This is where graphic novels can really make a difference. Krosoczka writes not only of his reality growing up but of a reality that is engulfing parts of America in the case of parents with addiction issues and around the world - the reality of your family not necessarily consisting of your biological parents - think of all the children of migrant workers being brought up by their grandparents or relatives. The fact that it's in a graphic novel format just makes it so much more accessible to th This is where graphic novels can really make a difference. Krosoczka writes not only of his reality growing up but of a reality that is engulfing parts of America in the case of parents with addiction issues and around the world - the reality of your family not necessarily consisting of your biological parents - think of all the children of migrant workers being brought up by their grandparents or relatives. The fact that it's in a graphic novel format just makes it so much more accessible to the kids who need to read this, but for whom a traditional memoir would fall into the cracks of TW/DR. And that's before one starts looking at the other themes - of an enduring passion, of realising a dream, of persistence under adversity. And that love doesn't always look like fluffy rainbows and unicorns.

  17. 5 out of 5

    G.

    Every once in a while, a seminal reality-based graphic novel hits with profound impact. Fun Home. Stitches. March. Persepolis. Maus. Blankets. Hey Kiddo can now sit at that table. Bravo, Jarrett.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    One of the best graphic memoirs of the year. This ticked all my boxes: fantastic art, incredible storytelling, and that "stays with you after you put it down" factor. Can't recommend this enough.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    What an inspirational story! The author's honesty is amazing and coming from someone who usually makes you laugh made it all the more powerful. The art and the words work together to make the story flow and you really feel like you have stepped into the author's life.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC from Edelweiss Plus In this graphic novel style memoir, Krosoczka describes the difficulties he faced growing up in the 1980s and 90s. His mother was not married and did not even list his father on his birth certificate, and struggled with addiction, mainly to heroin. After the age of three, Krosoczka was cared for by his grandparents and learned not to rely on seeing his mother, who was in and out of residential programs. His two aunts were still at home, and his basic needs were met, but E ARC from Edelweiss Plus In this graphic novel style memoir, Krosoczka describes the difficulties he faced growing up in the 1980s and 90s. His mother was not married and did not even list his father on his birth certificate, and struggled with addiction, mainly to heroin. After the age of three, Krosoczka was cared for by his grandparents and learned not to rely on seeing his mother, who was in and out of residential programs. His two aunts were still at home, and his basic needs were met, but his grandparents had problems of their own. Both alcoholics, they bordered on verbally abusive on occasion. Still, they were generally supportive and encouraged Krosoczka to pursue his art, which was something that helped him cope throughout his school career. In notes at the end, we learn a little about the way the book was written, and also that Krosoczka lost his mother in 2017 to a final heroin overdose. Strengths: In the current climate where openness and frank discussion of issues is encouraged, this will be popular. Krosoczka tells his story in a compelling way and rolls up his sleeves rather than wrings his hands, and the artwork is excellent as always. I particularly liked the way he worked in some wallpaper from his childhood home. Weaknesses: This is very frank, covering issues such as unmarried parents and drug and alcohol abuse, and has some vulgar language. The digital ARC was hard to read at spots, and the grandmother usually uses "fecking", but there was at least one full octane version of that word. What I really think: I really don't want to buy this, because I think it will be hard for the book to find the right audience. Fans of graphic novels who pick this up expecting a light, fun read will be surprised. That being said, I do have students who are being raised by their grandparents because their parents are unfit, imprisoned, or deceased. Not that I'm going to push this book on those students, but other students might be more understanding if they read this, and all students should be able to see their experiences reflected in literature.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    A heartfelt reflection on his own life, author/illustrator Krosoczka decided after a TED talk gone viral to share his life's story in a graphic novel biography because the story makes anyone feel like their life could be understood when oftentimes there was tragic, scary, uncomfortable, or unfortunate events to happen in their life. For Krosoczka, his mother had him very young and was addicted at a very young age to drugs, notably, heroin which eventually took her life as he was writing Hey, Kid A heartfelt reflection on his own life, author/illustrator Krosoczka decided after a TED talk gone viral to share his life's story in a graphic novel biography because the story makes anyone feel like their life could be understood when oftentimes there was tragic, scary, uncomfortable, or unfortunate events to happen in their life. For Krosoczka, his mother had him very young and was addicted at a very young age to drugs, notably, heroin which eventually took her life as he was writing Hey, Kiddo. He was raised by his grandparents who were as loving as they were sometimes aggressive with words (his grandmother) or alcohol (both of them). There was always family around. But the situations he experienced are those that kids are growing up in. He did have his art to work toward and was encouraged, eventually making a living at it and settling with his own family, but this is the snapshot of that time growing up that will connect him with a different set of readers and shares the pain but hopefulness that existed in his life, notably around addiction. In addition, I liked the messages in the back as he ends the story but shares a bit more that can only really be accomplished with a few letters to readers in the back that complete the portrait. Thank you, Jarrett Krosoczka for allowing readers into this world and encouraging a whole new set of conversations with students.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I'm only aware of Krosoczka's comics -- never have read them but know how popular they were in the library -- but this memoir was a total gut punch and will be for readers who aren't familiar with his work at all. This is a book about growing up with a mother who is addicted to heroin, who is in and out of jail and treatment, and it's about having a father who isn't in the picture at all. Jarrett grew up with his grandparents, in a situation that is all too familiar to so many young people today I'm only aware of Krosoczka's comics -- never have read them but know how popular they were in the library -- but this memoir was a total gut punch and will be for readers who aren't familiar with his work at all. This is a book about growing up with a mother who is addicted to heroin, who is in and out of jail and treatment, and it's about having a father who isn't in the picture at all. Jarrett grew up with his grandparents, in a situation that is all too familiar to so many young people today. I could not help thinking about the opioid crisis and how this will resonate with those kids living with grandparents and how those grandparents raising their grandchildren will find so much here. And more, this is the kind of book that will build tremendous empathy for those who aren't in those situations. I especially connected with the end of this book, where Jarrett meets the half-siblings from his father. I have never reconnected with mine -- my father, too, was absent from my life but for different reasons than this -- but I do think about what it'd be like to know my half-sisters sometimes. I don't think it's the right thing in my life, but I love the outcome it had in Jarrett's. The art here is wonderful, as is the author's note about his life and the choices he made for the art in this memoir.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Scott Robins

    Emotionally raw and honest. I admire the courage of Krosoczka in sharing his story and Graphix for publishing such a daring book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This is not a light book, but then Jarret's life was not light. Although the drawings are simple, clean, cartoon style, the story is dark. Jarrett's mother is a drug addict, but we, and he, don't learn this until he is quite older. However, his grandparents see it, and take custody of him, before his life is too upended. HIs grandparents, though they are rough around the edges, make sure he has everything he needs in life, including his access to making art. This is a moving, touching story, which This is not a light book, but then Jarret's life was not light. Although the drawings are simple, clean, cartoon style, the story is dark. Jarrett's mother is a drug addict, but we, and he, don't learn this until he is quite older. However, his grandparents see it, and take custody of him, before his life is too upended. HIs grandparents, though they are rough around the edges, make sure he has everything he needs in life, including his access to making art. This is a moving, touching story, which could have gone sideways. He loves his mother, as any child does, and hangs on the hope that she will come to a major event, a graduation, a concert, but she never does. His grandparents are there though. The detail he has is amazing, and in his instagram account he has been posting pictures of places he wrote about in the book, and what they look like now There is even an instant of him meeting a famous author, who admires his art work, that he meets on this book tour. Don't go looking for light, to be sure. But if you want a good memoir, raw, and sad, but ultimately triumphant, then I would suggest picking this up.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Hager

    This book is both incredibly personal and incredibly universal. Jarrett grew up mostly being raised by his grandparents; his mom was in and out of his life (she was a drug addict) and he didn't know his dad until he was in high school. So where's the universal part? It's that we all have to come to terms with the fact that our parents aren't perfect and they did the best they could. Jarrett does this with a great deal of maturity and grace. I wouldn't say that he makes it seem easy but he also un This book is both incredibly personal and incredibly universal. Jarrett grew up mostly being raised by his grandparents; his mom was in and out of his life (she was a drug addict) and he didn't know his dad until he was in high school. So where's the universal part? It's that we all have to come to terms with the fact that our parents aren't perfect and they did the best they could. Jarrett does this with a great deal of maturity and grace. I wouldn't say that he makes it seem easy but he also understands that it doesn't have anything to do with him.  The best part of this is the fact that it also includes cards and letters that he got from his mom. It's clearly a graphic memoir anyway, but seeing those artifacts is a stark reminder that this isn't a story; it's Jarrett's childhood. It's a choice that makes this particularly poignant.  I also love that Jarrett chose to tell this memoir with pictures and words, not just through prose. It's clear that art was one of his sanctuaries as a child (and probably still now). I haven't read his other books but I want to. He's a solid artist and author. (His others seem to be fiction, but I hope there's another memoir.)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Molly Dettmann

    I loved this book. Jarrett's story is a powerful one with an overall message of how your don't have to be the product of your circumstances. His Grandma Shirley cracked me up, even though she was really mean sometimes. The love his grandparents had for him, and how they believed in his talent and supported his art dreams was beautifully illustrated and, though they had flaws, reading that author's note where he put beautifully how much they meant to him got me. I loved how old letters and drawin I loved this book. Jarrett's story is a powerful one with an overall message of how your don't have to be the product of your circumstances. His Grandma Shirley cracked me up, even though she was really mean sometimes. The love his grandparents had for him, and how they believed in his talent and supported his art dreams was beautifully illustrated and, though they had flaws, reading that author's note where he put beautifully how much they meant to him got me. I loved how old letters and drawings were incorporated seamlessly into the memoir's comic panels. Obviously this takes place back in the day, but I also loved how this was written in a very accessible way for today's teens, unlike some memoirs where the references and setting aren't fully developed. Excellent read!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Plourde

    REAL . . . that's the word that most comes to mind after reading HEY, KIDDO, the graphic novel memoir by Jarrett Krosoczka. This book feels so real, so intimate--like Krosoczka wrote it only for himself as a graphic journal. Yet, we all get to look at his journal and see the deep, dark world where he grew up estranged from his heroin addict mom, abandoned by his dad, and raised by his stuck-in-a-time-warp-quirky-but-caring grandparents. This unabashedly REAL, life-sucks-but-with-enough-love-and- REAL . . . that's the word that most comes to mind after reading HEY, KIDDO, the graphic novel memoir by Jarrett Krosoczka. This book feels so real, so intimate--like Krosoczka wrote it only for himself as a graphic journal. Yet, we all get to look at his journal and see the deep, dark world where he grew up estranged from his heroin addict mom, abandoned by his dad, and raised by his stuck-in-a-time-warp-quirky-but-caring grandparents. This unabashedly REAL, life-sucks-but-with-enough-love-and-with-a-true-passion (art), you can not only survive, but thrive. This memoir is a gift to YA & adult readers--especially those struggling with family addiction (and, yes, addiction is a disease that devours the whole family). Thank you and bravo, Jarrett Krosoczka!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    The best book I’ve read in 2018 and it took me two hours to finish. So many times when I watch a movie or read a book with a character who is an addict, I am asked to sympathize with the addict. Based on experiences in my life, I am limited in my ability to do that. This book does not color the addict as a villain but the protagonist (the author) is someone with whom I can certainly sympathize. Perhaps too much. My heart breaks and heals many times over, as the author reveals his life story. Let The best book I’ve read in 2018 and it took me two hours to finish. So many times when I watch a movie or read a book with a character who is an addict, I am asked to sympathize with the addict. Based on experiences in my life, I am limited in my ability to do that. This book does not color the addict as a villain but the protagonist (the author) is someone with whom I can certainly sympathize. Perhaps too much. My heart breaks and heals many times over, as the author reveals his life story. Let me know if you want to borrow.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Sevitt

    Intense graphic memoir that is not afraid of ugliness but still chooses to celebrate love. The author acknowledges the benefits of his therapy and it’s impossible to begrudge him the acceptance he has discovered for his parents, siblings and grandparents. Genuinely moving and sad, in a way that all the best families probably are.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kelli Gleiner

    Incredibly moving graphic novel memoir. The artwork does, as intended, look like a memory or dream sequence, and JJK’s style has evolved deeply much from his earlier graphic novels. I can see this book being very helpful for teens struggling with addicted parents or family members through its honest voice.

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