Rating: 5 out of 5.

Have you ever hugged a book after you finished reading it? I did. Jarrett J. Krosoczka’s Graphic Novel memoir is so moving that I instinctively held it close to me, thinking ‘this book is so precious, every youngster who loves reading should have it’.

The tagline of the book said ‘How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction’. The author has dedicated the book to his grandparents, mother and to ‘every reader who recognizes this experience’. Jarret then takes the reader down the memory lane, first introducing us to his grandparents Joe and Shirl, who brought him up while his mother spiraled down the path of drugs and crime.

It’s incredible how kids can remember so much. Jarrett’s life turns out to quite an emotional ride, starting with his birth and ending with his high-school graduation. The story is interspersed with touching letters between him and his mother. Real photographs of the letters are included in the copy, which make the reading experience even more intimate.

“Hey Kiddo” is an important tale reminding us how a little love and a push in the right direction make things all right, even in the most difficult of times. Jarrett has his own art-style, with a childlike charm which is quite incomparable to other books in the genre. He uses sepia like tones that add a nostalgic effect to the panels, making his memories and story more vivid. If you haven’t read it, you must!

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