In an effort to read 100 graphic novels in 2019, I read NBA finalist Hey, Kiddo–a graphic memoir.
Jarrett was born to a drug addicted mother and raised by his grandparents and he tells his story of growing up (often not knowing where his mother was) and not knowing who his father even was until he was in high school. Along the way, he’s trying to you know, become a person, as well as explore his art. There’s nightmares, adjusting to new schools, dealing with addiction in the family, making friends and dealing with bullies, learning to love school via art class, graduations, etc.
While his story ends with his high school graduation, there’s a great author’s note about what happened to the family afterwards–because you will actually care about this family. You’ll want to know what happened. You’ll want to know how they’re doing. It’s a really compelling memoir, and while I was at first skeptical about the illustration style, it eventually grew on me. I do love the way he does facial expressions, and after reading the book, I think it’s clear that some of Jarrett’s aversion to still lives growing up is still evident.
I’m really glad I read this book, and think it’s a great conversation starter about how addiction and addicted parents can affect lives but not necessarily ruin them. Jarrett lived a very good life comparatively, but his mother’s addiction still colored his life. But, as he says in the author’s note, it’s futile to wish things hadn’t been different. They weren’t. So it’s about making something of what did happen–and Jarrett has definitely done that here.