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Jarrett J.
Bestselling Author/Illustrator
National Book Award Finalist
Travels from: Boston, MA

“Jarrett was WONDERFUL and I have heard praise from both parents and teachers, about his pacing, engagement, and the fact that he really understands kids!” – Redmond Elementary

​​​​​Jarrett J. Krosoczka, known since boyhood as “JJK,” is the New York Times bestselling author/illustrator behind more than forty books for young readers, including his wildly popular Lunch Lady graphic novels, select volumes of the Star Wars™: Jedi Academy series, Hey, Kiddo, which was a National Book Award Finalist and Sunshine, winner of the Boston Globe Horn Book Award and an Earphones Award winner. Krosoczka creates books with humor, heart, and deep respect for his young readers—qualities that have made his titles perennial favorites on the bookshelves of homes, libraries, and bookstores over the past twenty years.

In addition to his work in print, Krosoczka produced, directed, and performed in the full-cast audiobook adaptations of his graphic novels. The Hey, Kiddo audiobook garnered both Audie and Odyssey Awards for excellence in audiobook production. The Lunch Lady audiobook cast is led by Kate Flannery (The Office) and is rounded out by famed audiobook narrators and real kid actors! Krosoczka has been a guest on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, has been profiled in The New York Times, was featured on Good Morning America, and has delivered three TED Talks, which have accrued millions of views online. Krosoczka has garnered millions of more views online via the tutorials he has produced for YouTube and TikTok. As well as working on his books’ film and television adaptions, Krosoczka has also written for The Snoopy Show (Apple TV+) and served as a consultant for Creative Galaxy (Prime Video), and appeared in live segments for the show.

Realizing that his books can inspire young readers beyond the page, Krosoczka founded School Lunch Hero Day, a national campaign celebrating school lunch staff. A consummate advocate for arts education, Krosoczka also established the Joseph and Shirley Krosoczka Memorial Youth Scholarships, which fund art classes for underprivileged children in his hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts.

Krosoczka lives in western Massachusetts with his spouse, their three children, pugs Ralph and Frank, and a French bulldog named Bella Carmella.

Jarrett’s Authors Unbound Profile: 

Sunshine: A Graphic Novel

Graphix |
Graphic Novel

The extraordinary — and extraordinarily powerful — follow-up to Hey, Kiddo.


When Jarrett J. Krosoczka was in high school, he was part of a program that sent students to be counselors at a camp for seriously ill kids and their families. Going into it, Jarrett was worried: Wouldn’t it be depressing, to be around kids facing such a serious struggle? Wouldn’t it be grim?

But instead of the shadow of death, Jarrett found something else at Camp Sunshine: the hope and determination that gets people through the most troubled of times. Not only was he subject to some of the usual rituals that come with being a camp counselor (wilderness challenges, spooky campfire stories, an extremely stinky mascot costume), but he also got a chance to meet some extraordinary kids facing extraordinary circumstances. He learned about the captivity of illness, for sure but he also learned about the freedom a safe space can bring.

Now, in his follow-up to the National Book Award finalist Hey, Kiddo, Jarrett brings readers back to Camp Sunshine so we can meet the campers and fellow counselors who changed the course of his life.

Lunch Lady has villains to fight at school and camp in this action-packed book. First, Dee, Terrence, and Hector come face to face with a very special guest on Author Visit Day–but there’s something a little off about the world-famous writer. What evil designs does he have on his agenda? Then, the kids take a sigh of relief and are relaxing at summer camp. What evils could befall them there? Of course, there is the legendary swamp monster. Stories say he haunts the camp at night. But that’s just a legend. Or is it?

This new edition includes brand-new, full-color versions of Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta and Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown, as well as all-new exciting materials in the back !

The Second Helping (Lunch Lady Books 3 & 4)

Knopf Books for Young Readers, |
Middle Reader Book

Serving justice . . . and lunch!

Hector, Terrence, and Dee have always wondered about their school lunch lady. What does she do when she isn’t dishing out the daily special? Where does she live? Does she have a lot of cats at home? Little do they know, Lunch Lady doesn’t just serve sloppy joes–she serves justice! Whatever danger lies ahead, it’s no match for LUNCH LADY in these two exciting adventures packed into one book! Get ready for the return of this exciting series, by the author of Hey, Kiddo.

This new edition includes brand-new, full-color version of Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute and Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians, as well as all-new exciting backmatter!

The First Helping (Lunch Lady Books 1 & 2)

Knopf Books for Young Readers |
Middle Reader Book

Hey, Kiddo: A Graphic Novel

Graphix |
Young Adult

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


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.

The Principal Strikes Back (Star Wars: Jedi Academy #6)

Scholastic Inc. |
Middle Grade

There’s a new principal at Jedi Academy, and Victor Starspeeder senses a great disturbance in the force! The sixth book in the New York Times bestselling series.


As told through a mix of comics, doodles, and journal entries, it’s Victor Starspeeder’s third year at Jedi Academy! It’s also his first year EVER without his sister, Christina. Plus, things at Jedi Academy are… weird. After last year’s security breach, Principal Marr has been demoted and replaced with Commander ZC-04, a big, scary droid. There’s a curfew, new regulations, and everyone is on edge. But when Victor and his friends dig a little deeper into the changes at the school, they find that there’s a lot more to this story than the droids want to admit! It’s an all-new, out-of-this-world Jedi Academy adventure as The Principal Strikes Back!

The Force Oversleeps (Star Wars: Jedi Academy #5)

Scholastic Inc. |
Middle Grade

Victor Starspeeder is back in action with more lightsabers, space races, and middle school escapades in the newest volume of the bestselling series “Star Wars: Jedi Academy”!


Victor Starspeeder is back at Jedi Academy for year two, but it’s not going the way he’d planned. He was thrilled about Drama Club and hoped to get the lead in this year’s musical… But a new kid got the role! What gives?! Plus, he keeps oversleeping and getting to class late . . . Worst of all, his big sister Christina is getting ready to graduate from Jedi Academy, and there are rumors going around that she’s a Sith! What’s a Padawan to do? In times when he feels more alone than ever, Victor will have to trust the ways of the Force and his friends if he’s going to survive year two in this all-new chapter in the Jedi Academy series.

A New Class (Star Wars: Jedi Academy #4)

Scholastic Inc. |
Middle Grade

“A New Class” arrives in the fourth episode of Star Wars® Jedi Academy! There are some new faces and old, but the amount of laughs and fun is still the same!

Victor Starspeeder is psyched to be starting school at the Jedi Academy. His sister, Christina does not share an enthusiasm for Victor’s newfound educational path. She’s horrified that her annoying baby brother will be there to cramp her style.While Victor means well, his excess energy leads him to spend a lot of time in detention with the little, green sage, Yoda. Yoda wants to channel Victor’s talents, so he makes the young Padawan join the drama club. Victor is not pleased. “Learn to control your anger, you must! Successfully manage their emotions, a good Jedi can. Box step and jazz hands … hee hee … young Padawan will!”Victor will have to make new friends, get on his sister’s good side, learn to use the force, and hope the year’s drama club performance (“Wookiee Side Story”? “Annie Get Your Lightsaber”?) goes off without a hitch!

It’s Tough to Lose Your Balloon

Knopf Books for Young Readers |

From the author of National Book Award finalist Hey, Kiddo.

Lost balloons. Melted ice cream. Babysitters.

Life as a kid can be pretty daunting. But don’t let these troubles get you down. With the right attitude, a hurdle can become a hammock and an obstacle can become an opportunity!

Veteran picture book creator Jarrett J. Krosoczka teaches kids to look on the bright side of things. With lively illustrations and spot-on humor, It’s Tough to Lose Your Balloon champions resilience and helps children navigate childhood indignities while making them laugh at the same time.

Peanut Butter and Jellyfish

Knopf Books for Young Readers |

From the author of National Book Award finalist Hey, Kiddo.

Peanut Butter and Jellyfish are best of friends and swim up, down, around, and through their ocean home.
Crabby is their neighbor. He is not their best friend.
But when Crabby gets in trouble, will Peanut Butter and Jellyfish come to the rescue?
You bet they will!
From award-winning picture book creator Jarrett J. Krosoczka, this is a funny and touching story of friendships old and new, and about being brave enough to apologize.

Punk Farm (Punk Farm Books)

Dragonfly Books |

From the author of National Book Award finalist Hey, Kiddo.

After a long day of work, Farmer Joe goes home to bed.

But meanwhile, back at the barn . . .
Cow sets up her drums.
Pig plugs in his amp.
Goat tunes his bass.
Chicken sets up her keyboards.
And Sheep checks the microphone.

They are Punk Farm and tonight they’re ready to ROCK!

With adorable farm animals – and a surprise tribute to Old MacDonald – this rollicking tale is sure to have kids cheering–and singing–along.

Keynote Lectures

Fostering Growth Mindset (Professional Development)

Jarrett will detail one person’s power to make a difference in a kid’s life via personal experiences with his teachers. Jarrett has brought his experience everywhere from the TED stage to the White House in the final days of Obama’s second term. Jarrett will also cover the importance of art education — not to become a professional artist but to be a creative problem solver and to enhance mental health.

Reaching The “Reluctant Reader” (Professional Development)

Jarrett firmly believes that young readers are not reluctant; they just have yet to connect to the book that will shake them from dormancy. Jarrett will recount his childhood reading habits and the reading habits he has observed in his own children and share the triumphs he has witnessed across the country in his travels as a graphic novelist.

School Lunch Heroes (Professional Development)

As the founder of School Lunch Hero Day, Jarrett has helped create a culture of gratitude in school cafeterias across the globe. Well before the pandemic deemed them essential, Jarrett shined a light on the hard work our School Lunch Heroes do in our school cafeterias. He has spread that message everywhere from the TED Stage to Good Morning America. “A child can’t focus on learning unless they have a full belly.”

The Power Of School Libraries and the Danger of Book Banning (Library/School Conferences)

Jarrett will recount the profound role the school library played in his tumultuous childhood and detail several stories that he’s gathered from the school libraries he’s visited over the past twenty years. Jarrett will also share his experiences with having his books banned and challenged, and the irony of having graphic novels forbidden from his own children’s classrooms.

Live Stage Reading of Hey, Kiddo

Part literary event, part experimental theater—this remarkable evening will leave your audience laughing, thinking, and emotionally moved. New York Times-bestselling-author Jarrett J. Krosoczka brings his critically-acclaimed graphic memoir to life on your stage! Hosts will cast local, multigenerational readers to join Jarrett for a live, unabridged reading. Their voices and projected artwork from the print book, along with music and sound effects from the award-winning audiobook, will tell this story of family addiction, redemption, and the saving power of art.

In-Person School Visits

With more than twenty years of wowing young audiences across the country, Jarrett combines his wit, pacing, and stage presence to hold onto short attention spans for every second of his presentation. Jarrett will spend the first 20-30 minutes of stage time delivering a multimedia slide lecture that details how he grew from a kid who loved to doodle to an award-winning and bestselling graphic novelist. Included will be a detailed look into Jarrett’s creative process in taking an initial idea to become a beloved published book. Jarrett will then spend 20-30 minutes live drawing for the audience while simultaneously answering questions from students—a mesmerizing experience! Inspired by Jarrett’s online tutorials, the feed from an overhead camera will be projected to the screen, bringing audience members within inches of Jarrett’s pens and pencils! There is no size audience that he doesn’t love getting in front of. Jarrett will focus on different titles, depending on the age group.
  • Picture books: Punk Farm and Peanut Butter and Jellyfish
  • Lunch Lady graphic novels
  • Young Adult Graphic Memoir—Hey, Kiddo and Sunshine

In-Person Workshops at Schools

Graphic Novel Workshop

How do you organize visual ideas in a clear manner to tell a story? What’s the difference between a word balloon and a thought bubble? What are gutters and panels? The graphic novel format will be broken down, and students will gain a deeper understanding of storytelling through comics! Jarrett will also give great tips to avoid the pitfalls that young cartoonists often fall into. (Hint: Write the words before you draw the word balloon…)

Schools will need to provide an easel with paper, paper, and pencils for each student.

Writers’ Workshop

Students will write a story as a collective group, with Jarrett orchestrating their creative output. We will collectively brainstorm and learn about the power of collaboration. A large focus will be on the plot—beginning, middle, and end will be charted out from everyone’s input. We will discuss what happens to our character and how those events change our protagonist.

Schools will need to provide an easel with paper. Students will only need their openness to brainstorming.

Illustrators’ Workshop

Jarrett will draw for the students and demonstrate easy-to-replicate techniques, such as character expression, perspective, shadow, and gesture. After each drawing demonstration, students will then draw their own characters and implement the lesson just learned. As they draw, Jarrett will go from student to student offering them encouragement and praise for their work.

Schools will need to provide an easel with paper, paper, and pencils for each student.

Virtual Visits

Jarrett combines his extensive experience delivering multimedia presentations at in-person assemblies with the production value of his popular YouTube tutorials to create a one-of-a-kind distance learning experience:

  1. We send pre-recorded lectures to the schools ahead of time so that we can spend the entirety of the Zoom Webinar interacting. Schools will be able to watch the pre-recorded lectures at their leisure.
  2. Students are coming to Jarrett’s studio, so he can show them things that he would never carry with him during travel—original art, his childhood copy of The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and possibly even a dog or two!
  3. When Jarrett gives drawing demonstrations, each student stands virtually over his shoulder while he draws via his overhead camera.
  4. These are super easy to schedule! We have scheduled every K-12 school in one district, and the presentations have been spread out over a few weeks at times that are convenient to the schools. Jarrett would never be able to travel back and forth like that!
  5. We are happy to set up the Zoom Webinar, or if your school uses another platform, Jarrett can meet you there!

One Book One Community

Jarrett’s graphic memoir ​Hey, Kiddo has proven to be a very popular selection for One Book-One Region events. With so many titles for younger readers, his events have been perfect for organizers who want to reach the entire community!


Jarrett is available to host your literary event! He keeps the event flowing, offering engaging and humorous commentary throughout. Check out the photos above for a look at some of the amazing events that he has served as MC for!

Fostering Growth Mindset (Professional Development)

Comics as Expressive Arts to Teach the Five Pillars of Socio-emotional Learning - Professional Development

National Book Award finalist Jarrett J. Krosoczka teaches a comics workshop that is about so much more than word balloons and panels. In this professional development program, Jarrett leads educators through an analysis of the visual vocabulary of graphic novels. Educators will draw along as Jarrett breaks down the elements that build a story with words and pictures. With Jarrett’s tutorials on facial expressions, educators will learn how to emote on the page with characters while naming their feelings.

Using these tools, Jarrett will lead educators in drafting their own mini-comics based on their lived experiences involving a big emotion. This exercise, which may be replicated with students, will break down the five pillars of socio-emotional learning, Self-Awareness, Social Awareness, Self-Management, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision-Making.

Throughout this exercise, participants have also participated in A.R.T., an expressive arts therapy technique. We Access, Release, and Transform our thoughts and feelings by creating art and story. Titles of Jarrett’s that pair with this PD would be his picture book It’s Tough to Lose Your Balloon and his two graphic memoirs—Hey, Kiddo and Sunshine.

Jarrett’s TED Talks

Jarrett’s Podcasts

Learn Online with JJK!


How to Pronounce Krosoczka!!

Peanut Butter and Jellyfish on Apple TV

Jarrett’s YouTube Vlog

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Boston Globe Horn Book Award Winner 2023
Earphones Award Winner
National Book Award, finalist 2018
Harvey Award, Book of the Year 2019
New England Book Award winner, 2019
Excellence in Graphic Literature Award, 2019
Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor, 2019
New York Times Notable Children’s Book
NPR’s Great Reads selection
Amazon Best Graphic Novel of the Year, 2018
LA Times Book Prize finalist, 2018
Cybils Award, Best YA Graphic Novel, 2018
Bluebonnet Master List, 2014
New York Public Library 100 Title for Reading and Sharing, 2013
Charlotte Award, 2012 – Nominee
Children’s Choices Book Awards, 2011 – Winner
Third  to Fourth Grade Book of the Year
Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, 2010 – finalist
Children’s Choices Book Awards, 2010 – Winner
Third Grade to Fourth Grade Book of the Year
North Dakota’s Flicker Tale, 2012 – Nominee
Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices, (LL1, LL2, LL3), 2010
Junior Library Guild Selection, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2005
Kid’s Indie Next List from Kids Indie Booksellers, 2009
Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Best Books of 2009
Tennesse’s Volunteer State Award, 2008 – finalist
South Carolina Picture Book Award, 2007 – finalist
Abilene ISD Mockingbird Award, 2007- winner
The Texas Librarians Association 2X2 Master Reading List 2006
Child Magazine Best Books of the Year Award, 2005 – winner
ReadBoston’s Best Read Aloud Book of the Year Award 2006 – winner
The Wisconsin State Golden Archer Award , 2006 – winner
RISD Alumni Council Service and Leadership Award, 2005 – winner
The Missouri Building Block Award, 2005 – winner
Virginia Young Readers Award 2005, finalist
Michigan Library Association Mitten Award, 2005 – finalist
Nevada Young Readers Award 2004, finalist
Print Magazine’s Top  20 New Visual Artists Under 30, 2003
The IRA/CBC Children’s Choice Award, 2002, 2004 – winner

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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