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2021/2022 Inprint Cool Brains! Reading Series

Inprint Cool Brains! Jerry Craft Livestream Event

Sunday November 14, 2021 4:00 pm

This is a livestream reading and will be accessible from the Inprint website. Details on how to access the reading will be provided to those that register in their Eventbrite email receipts.


2020 Newbery Medal winner Jerry Craft, author and illustrator of the middle-grade New York Times bestsellers New Kid, Class Act, and several other works, recently made national headlines when Katy Independent School District (serving a suburb of Houston, Texas) canceled a virtual appearance by him and took his books off library shelves because a small but vocal group of community members took issue with his work. Although after several weeks the event was reinstated and the books were restored to library shelves, the need to heighten awareness of free speech and ensure that Houston-area kids and families have access to excellent books like Jerry Craft’s is important.

Inprint invites you to a free livestream event featuring Jerry Craft. Join us as he talks about his work with local YA author Liara Tamani and then responds to video messages/questions submitted by kids.

Hey kids, send in short video messages/questions for Jerry to be included in the livestream event! Kids who send in a video will be mailed a free copy of Class Act.  Send videos via email to info@inprinthouston.org by Wednesday, November 10, 12 pm CT. Please include your mailing address in the email

  • Videos should be no longer than 30 seconds.
  • Videos can include a question for Jerry about his novels New Kid, Class Act, his other books, about his life as a writer, or a general message about what his books mean to you.
  • Begin the video with your name, your school, and what grade you are in.
  • Select videos will be part of the livestream event for Jerry to see and respond to.

BOOK DISCOUNTS: Our partners at Kindred Stories are offering a 10% discount on Class Act by Jerry Craft. To receive the discount, order your copy of Craft’s new book at www.kindredstorieshtx.com using the coupon code CLASSACT.

A NOTE TO TEXAS EDUCATORS: Kindred Stories has partnered with Alessandra Bastagli, Editorial Director of Astra House Publishing, to donate 200 copies of Jerry Craft’s books to Texas librarians and teachers. Simply email your name, school name, and school address to info@kindredstorieshtx.com and they’ll send you a free copy of New Kid or Class Act while supplies last.

JERRY CRAFT’s New York Times bestseller New Kid, has been described by Booklist as “one of the most important graphic novels of the year.” A recipient of the Kirkus Prize, the Newbery Medal, the Coretta Scott King Award, New Kid is “at once tender and tough, funny and heartbreaking. Hand this to the middle-grade reader in your life right away” (The New York Times).

“As an African American boy who grew up in Washington Heights in New York City, I almost never saw kids like me in any of the books assigned to me in school,” Jerry writes. “Books aimed at kids like me seemed to deal only with history or misery. That’s why it has always been important to me to show kids of color as just regular kids, and to create iconic African American characters like Jordan Banks from New Kid.

Jerry’s  sequel Class Act was selected as a “Best Book of 2020” by The New York Times, Forbes, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal. Kirkus writes, “Class Act is a well-crafted, visually rich, truth-telling tale for our troubled times that affirms the eternal importance of friends.” A starred Publishers Weekly review adds, “Deftly weaving discussions of race, socioeconomics, colorism, and solidarity into an accessible narrative, Craft offers a charming cast journeying through the complicated landscapes of puberty, self-definition, and changing friendships, all while grappling with the tensions of attending an institution that structurally and culturally neglects students of color.”

Jerry is also the author of the middle-grade novel The Offenders: Saving the World While Serving Detention! and the creator of the award-winning comic strip Mama’s Boyz. He is the co-founder of the Schomburg Center’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival and has worked as a cartoonist at Marvel, Harvey Comics, King Features Syndicate, and Sports Illustrated for Kids.

LIARA TAMANI is the author of the acclaimed young adult novels Calling My Name, a 2018 PEN America Literary Award Finalist and SCBWI Golden Kite Finalist, and All the Things We Never Knew, a 2020 Kirkus Best YA Book of the Year. She lives in Houston, Texas and serves on the Inprint Advisory Board.