by Amy Dyckman
Illustrated by Ida Kaban
Publication: June 15, 2021
There’s a new kid in town and everyone is unsure of what to make of her. According to one student, the New Kid has fleas, but no one really knows for sure. The New Kid is different but the main character realizes there’s nothing wrong being different after pairing up with her for a science project and meeting her family.
Children will enjoy it. I expect lots of giggling to ensue as soon as they meet the New Kid’s family. I enjoyed the illustrations with its muted colors. The expressions on the kids’ faces were entertaining, all a bit confused about the New Kid while the New Kid just does her own thing, howling to her own tune and climbing on trees. I especially loved the attention to diversity in the book with kids of different backgrounds on the playground together. While I enjoyed it, I couldn’t also help but wonder about the implicit comparison of new kids and their families to being wild like animals. I had to drop a star for that. Despite this, the book advocates acceptance and being open to differences. I like the message it imparts. Especially with schools going back into session, this is a worthwhile read.