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Hey, Kiddo

Length: 2 hrs and 50 mins
Categories: Teens, Bios & Memoirs
5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The powerful, unforgettable memoir from Jarrett Krosoczka, about growing up with a drug-addicted mother, a missing father, and two unforgettably opinionated grandparents. 

A National Book Award Finalist! 

In kindergarten, Jarrett Krosoczka's teacher asks him to draw his family, with a mommy and a daddy. But Jarrett's family is much more complicated than that. His mom is an addict, in and out of rehab, and in and out of Jarrett's life. His father is a mystery - Jarrett doesn't know where to find him, or even what his name is. Jarrett lives with his grandparents - two very loud, very loving, very opinionated people who had thought they were through with raising children until Jarrett came along. 

Jarrett goes through his childhood trying to make his non-normal life as normal as possible, finding a way to express himself through drawing even as so little is being said to him about what's going on. Only as a teenager can Jarrett begin to piece together the truth of his family, reckoning with his mother and tracking down his father. 

Hey, Kiddo is a profoundly important memoir about growing up in a family grappling with addiction, and finding the art that helps you survive.

©2019 by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (P)2019 Scholastic Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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An incredible listen

I drove an extra 5 miles on my way home from work just to finish every last word.

This is one of the most moving audio books I’ve ever listened to. The voices. The music. The video games sounds. The music selections. It was as perfect as it gets.

I belly ached laughed at times and teared up at others. And I downright cried when it was over because I didn’t want it to end. A brilliant production.

Although the book was a finalist in the 2018 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, don't let that fool you. This book is for adults too. Especially if you grew up in a house where any sort of addiction (and chaos around that) was present. It was healing for me in ways I can't even articulate.

I'm going to get a copy of the print edition now just to see the artwork. After you listen to this (especially the author's notes at the end about how the art was created), you'll probably want a copy of the print edition too. But do yourself a favor and LISTEN to this book. The reading performances are soooo good. I got lost in the characters voices. Especially Grandma Shirley.


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Captivating memoir

I decided to get this audiobook because I was very intrigued on how someone might turn a graphic novel into an audiobook. I was familiar with the story, as I had read it already. So, I was unprepared to be affected by this performance as deeply as it hit me. The book itself is brilliant, and the graphics are so well done. However, this audiobook brings it to another level. Hearing the pain and sadness, coupled with the joyful moments from the author’s own voice made it so powerful. The addition of sound effects and music, along with an amazing and long list of cast members made this experience so intriguing that I listened to it in one day. I was particularly struck by hearing the voice of his actual father, along with his daughter’s voice of his own childhood persona.

The topic that is grappled with in this book is so important right now, as the opioid epidemic affects nearly every single person in one way or another. Yes, this is not the normal topic for a graphic novel, or the normal lightheartedness that Jarrett usually brings to his book. Putting this story out there was so courageous and will do so much to help those who are struggling with these issues to feel not so alone. Give this one a listen, and pass it on. This book could change your life.