Posted on December 28, 2022 at 12:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

NPR is looking to highlight authors whose work has been challenged or banned around the US.

Today, that writer is Jerry Craft, whose New Kid won multiple prestigious awards ... and has been challenged in school districts in states including Texas and Pennsylvania.

It's the story of Jordan, a seventh-grader who has to navigate the regular dramas of being the new kid in a school, but also the more specific challenges of being a Black student in a mostly white school.

Craft explains to NPR how much he wanted to offer young Black readers a story in which they could see themselves, but that didn't rely on making them the targets of extreme violence.

And his response to book challengers who claim that white children are harmed by books that include white villains is twofold.

One, where is your concern for all the Black students who were mostly given stories about slavery or the civil rights movement, in which people who looked like them were subjected to violence?

And second ... if your child empathizes so strongly with a villain, that's an entirely different problem.

You can read more of Craft's thoughts in his essay for NPR and interview on Morning Edition.

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