Jerry Craft’s children’s books are no longer off-limits to students in a Texas school district.
The Katy Independent School District near Houston reinstated Craft’s graphic novels New Kid and Class Act, the Houston Chronicle reports. Earlier this month, the district had removed the books and canceled a planned author visit from Craft after some parents alleged they promoted critical race theory.
“Earlier this week, the review committee met and determined the appropriateness of the book, New Kid,” the district said. “The reading material is already back on district library shelves, and the virtual author visit is scheduled to take place on Oct. 25 as part of the instructional day.”
Craft’s novels tell the story of a Black student who must navigate the racial microaggressions that come with attending a mostly White private school. New Kid won the Kirkus Prize, the Coretta Scott King Award, and the Newbery Medal.
After news of the books’ removal broke, a Change.org petition circulated in support of Craft.
“Mr. Craft simply illustrates the perspective and perceptions of a black kid in an environment where almost everyone else is white,” the petition read in part. “Those who object to Mr. Craft either don’t understand what they are reading or are superimposing [critical race theory] as an issue. It is not.”
As of Friday afternoon, the petition had more than 2,100 signatures.
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.