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Hey, Kiddo

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  2,746 Ratings  ·  438 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
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
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 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.
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you find a puddle on the floor, don’t step on it because it’s me after finishing this story.
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.
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!
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Ms. Yingling
Jul 23, 2018 rated it liked it
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
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 ...more
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
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.
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
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
Molly Dettmann
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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- ...more
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.

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.
Kelli Gleiner
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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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Mock Printz 2019: November: Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka 8 51 Nov 07, 2018 03:55PM


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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