Hey, Kiddo selected for 1book 1community

Loudoun County Public Library is thrilled to announce the selection of Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction, by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, for the 2019 1book 1community program. This timely, headline-making National Book Award finalist is a graphic memoir about Krosoczka's childhood growing up in a family as it grapples with addiction. Free copies of Hey, Kiddo are available now in branches or you can read the eBook on our OverDrive or Libby apps through Nov. 23.


WHAT: Presentation and Q&A with Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Saturday, Nov. 23, 2 p.m. (book signing: 1-2 p.m.)
WHERE: Riverside High School, 19019 Upper Belmont Place, Leesburg, VA
ADMISSION: This event is free and open to the public. Admission is first-come, first-served.


1book 1community is LCPL’s annual county-wide reading program that promotes community dialogue and understanding through the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book. Free copies of Hey, Kiddo are available at LCPL branches while supplies last and the eBook can be downloaded from OverDrive through Nov. 23. Copies of the book are also distributed to high schools in Loudoun County where they are incorporated into curriculum.

The program is made possible by the Irwin Uran Gift Fund.


A series of special activities and book-discussions are taking place this fall in library branches and schools, culminating in a public presentation Saturday, Nov. 23, 2 p.m. at Riverside High School. Krosoczka will discuss his work, answer questions and sign copies of his books. The presentation is free and open to the public. 


Hey, Kiddo is an unvarnished account of growing up with a mom who is addicted to heroin. Readers familiar with Krosoczka’s funny and imaginative picture books and graphic novels (including the Lunch Lady series, the Jedi Academy series, the Platypus Police Squad series and Punk Farm) will see a different side of the author-illustrator in Hey, Kiddo, which is intended for ages 12 and older. Often humorous and frequently sad, we follow Krosoczka as he is raised by his grandparents — “two very brash, very loving, very opinionated people” — and comes to terms with the cards he’s been dealt in life. “When I was writing and illustrating Hey, Kiddo … I didn’t pull any punches because of one simple realization: There are difficult truths in our books because there are difficult truths in children’s lives,” Krosoczka wrote in an essay for The Washington Post. “Kids can process difficult truths if they’re given the right context and room to think about them.”


Several dozen nominations were received this year, and all were carefully considered by a selection committee composed of LCPL staff and librarians. “The 1book committee met in July and chose Hey, Kiddo for its quality story, moving content and its timely themes about different types of families, the struggle among families where addiction is present and the importance of finding love with the family you have,” said Susan VanEpps, programming and community engagement manager for LCPL. “Being a graphic novel, it is also a very quick and engaging read for otherwise reluctant readers.”


  • 2018: All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
  • 2017: Inside Out and Back Again
    by Thanhha Lai
  • 2016: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
  • 2015: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  • 2014: Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
  • 2013: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
  • 2012: When the Emperor was Divine
    by Julie Otsuka
  • 2011: Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick
  • 2010: Bicycles: Love Poems
    by Nikki Giovanni
  • 2009: The Wall: Growing Up Behing the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis
  • 2008: Nothing But the Truth by Avi
  • 2007: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • 2006: The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • 2005: Witness by Karen Hesse
  • 2004: The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal


When a loved one is experiencing a mental or substance use disorder, it is important to know how to support them. Health care providers, including those who specialize in treating substance use disorders, can provide structured, therapeutic support and feedback.

For information and resources, call the Loudoun County Department of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Developmental Services at 703-771-5155 or visit loudoun.gov/mhsads

If the situation is an emergency, call 9-1-1.

Loudoun County also offers free training in Mental Health First Aid and REVIVE: Opioid Overdoes Reversal.