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Hey, Kiddo

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  4,250 ratings  ·  669 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Graphix
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Kristi Starr This isn't a book I would hand a 5th grader. In addition to the language, the content is pretty mature. Krosoczka's mother was a drug addict, and as a…moreThis isn't a book I would hand a 5th grader. In addition to the language, the content is pretty mature. Krosoczka's mother was a drug addict, and as a young man he was pretty bitter about it. The book briefly depicts violence and one image could imply sex (only imply - it's not explicit). It's pretty dark in places as he struggles with his mother's incarceration and feelings of abandonment. At the same time, it's hopeful. I'm adding it in my HS library for sure, but I wouldn't recommend it for the average 5th grader.(less)
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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
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Despite this being a graphic novel, Hey, Kiddo is not an easy or light read by any means. It tells a moving, sad, but also hopeful story of a family affected by addiction and loss. I had not known about this author before, as I don't read many graphic novels, but I would be curious to read his other work as well. This book was excellent, definitely among the best I've read this year. It's a memoir, and the author doesn't shy away from complex issues and being critical of himself and people he lo ...more
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
Cassie Thomas
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jen Petro-Roy
Utterly phenomenal. Krosoczka takes his talent to a whole new and utterly personal level.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine what life would be like if you grew up not knowing who your father is. Imagine what life would be like if you grew up not knowing where your mother is. Imagine what life would be like being raised up by grandparents who couldn't care less about you. Jarrett J. Krosoczka expressed how hard and grueling life was for him as a child through this amazingly written and drawn graphic novel. In this book, it described how he lost his mother, found his father and dealt with family addiction. Conf ...more
A tender story of how families can come in all kinds of shapes. I have to say, Jarrett is more generous to some of his family members than I ever could be in his situation.
Matthew Noe
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Carol Tilley
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Most definitely deserving of the praise it's receiving.
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
....gutted me.
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you find a puddle on the floor, don’t step on it because it’s me after finishing this story.

When I went to the Scholastic Graphix party at SDCC, everyone was talking about Hey, Kiddo, the graphic novel memoir from a well-loved graphic novelist. I’m a fan of telling personal stories in this medium, because the art just adds a layer of depth that you wouldn’t get otherwise, especially when the storyteller is also the artist.

Honestly, if I had to tell you my favorite part of this book, it would
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.
A few years ago, children's author Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Punk Farm picture books; Lunch Lady graphic novels) did a TED talk with 4 hours' notice, about his unusual upbringing: "How a Boy Became an Artist" (

This book is the graphic novel memoir of that experience. Since his mom was addicted to heroin and he didn't know his dad, he was raised by his grandparents. His portrait of them was my favorite part of the book: the measured look at how, even with thei
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Michelle Glatt
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel, memoir
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.
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
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 ...more
Jamie-leigh Haughn
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it

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!
Scott Robins
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gn, ya
Emotionally raw and honest. I admire the courage of Krosoczka in sharing his story and Graphix for publishing such a daring book.
Richie Partington
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Mari Bianco
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Vanessa Williams
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful art work, but the most important thing about this book is that it is so raw and real. I just loved this true story done in a graphic form. Jarrett tells his true life story of being raised by his not so perfect grandparents because his mother was a heroin addict, and his feelings of not knowing who his biological father is. Grab a box of tissues because you will need it.
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book simply for the title. My dad called me kiddo. I’m the end, this slice of life graphic novel snuck up on me and hit me in all the feels. Well done
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing

The author of this book went through so much in his childhood. I don't think I could possibly have survived through that.
A heartbreaking and yet hopeful story of the author’s extensive family. The phrase of his grandparents being one generation removed really hit home to me and I have a feeling many readers will find an aspect of his tale that relates to their own childhood.

My only issue is that while the book does deal with coming-of-age, drugs, family, and finding ones place, all standard teen graphic novel themes, the cover itself looks like it’s targeting a younger, middle grade audience.
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Powerful. A testament o to the saving grace of art.
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Mock Printz 2019: November: Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka 12 74 Nov 28, 2018 06:29PM


Jarrett J. Krosoczka used to be a goofy kid that liked to draw. Now, he is a published author/illustrator with many books to his credit. Growing up in Worcester, MA Jarrett drew relentlessly and always had a cast of characters that he wrote stories for. In 9th grade, Jarrett won a contest with The Worcester Telegram & Ga
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“Stories keep memories alive and people real to us.” 2 likes
“It is said that books save lives, but I also say that empty sketchbooks save lives too. I filled up many, and there is no doubt they saved mine.” 2 likes
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