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New Boy

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  354 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
Fifteen-year-old Rob Garrett wants nothing more than to escape the segregated South and prove himself. But in late 1950s Virginia, opportunity doesn’t come easily to an African American. So Rob’s parents take the unusual step of enrolling their son in a Connecticut boarding school, where he will have the best education available. He will also be the first student of color ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published November 28th 2005 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Community Reviews

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Mar 05, 2012 Rachael rated it it was ok
Shelves: class-books
In the book New Boy, by Julian Houston, a fifteen year old African American boy named Rob Garret is trapped in a world of segregation. Rob’s number one dream is to prove himself in this world of impossibilities for his race. Unfortunately, in the 1950’s, his homeland Virginia, does not offer him as much as he needs for success. Because Rob has extremely good grades compared to most of his classmates, his parents take the unusual step of sending him to the Draper Boarding School in Connecticut. F ...more
Sep 12, 2007 Melody rated it really liked it
Gripping, true to life story of a young southern black boy who goes North to boarding school, sent by his parents to escape segregation. Well-written though there are a few spots where the grown judge drowns out the vulnerable boy. Very nicely done, overall.
Feb 17, 2015 Soham rated it did not like it
The genre of prejudice in the American 50s is an old one, but every once in a while a book comes to take that genre and completely reinvent it. That book should feature a strong protagonist, a good cast of supporting characters, and entertaining byplay between the characters. Unfortunately, New Boy by Julian Houston does not manage any of these. New Boy is about a young black boy named Rob Garrett who is the first African American to attend a prestigious Connecticut boarding school. The read ...more
Apr 08, 2010 ØrionSof2014 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was pretty interesting. This book is about a kid named Rob and his struggle with going to a boarding school in Connecticut. Rob is african american and most of the kids that go to school there are white. It is really hard to go to the school because if Rob makes one bad move all eyes will be on him. This book is really good and it sounds like its non fiction.
I can make a text to world connection to this book. Rob and hundreds of people have done the same thing. Rob needed a b
Jan 01, 2010 Mateo rated it really liked it
This book is about a black kid, Rob, that just moved to Virginia. He faced racism before but now it might be like never before. He attends to an all boy, all white school. He makes friends there and then he hears that there is a protest against racism. He wants to attend to the protest but he doesn't know what the consequences would be. If he goes to the protest he could go to jail and his friends might doubt him, and if he doesn't he will have to leave his family dumbfounded.
The connection I
Jun 03, 2015 Linda rated it liked it
I have been putting off writing/rating this book because I have not been sure what to give it. I kept debating between 2 or 3 stars.....I finally decided 3 stars. In a nutshell, its the story of a black student who is the first one to integrate a boarding school in Connecticut. He was raised in Virginia during segregation. His parents want to insulate him from segregation, so he is mostly driven in the family car, over having to ride a bus and sit in the back. He is an especially bright and hard ...more
Apr 10, 2014 Kevin added it
New Boy by Julian Houston is a Historical Fiction dated during the period of segregation in the United States of America. In the book the main character Rob Garrett is entering a school where he will be the first black student in its long history. While here Rob has to deal with the ignorance northerners had toward segregation in the south. He also has to deal with having to go to school while his friend at home are trying to make a difference. Eventually Rob has to decide whether to stay home ...more
Sally Kruger
NEW BOY, set in the 1950's, is the story of a Southern high school student whose chance to attend a boarding school in Connecticut is an eye-opening experience. Rob Garrett understands that the opportunity to enroll as the only black student at Draper has the potential to open doors for him that continuing to attend his local high school in Virginia will not. He knows he should be grateful, but he is also incredibly nervous.

The administration at Draper makes Rob feel welcome, and classes are int
In 1950s segregated Virginia, Rob's parents are black professionals who send Rob to a Connecticut boarding school so he can get the best education possible. As the school's first and only black student, Rob works hard to make the honor roll and defy stereotypes. But in the North attitudes about blacks are not much more enlightened than in the South. Rob is also stunned to see two classmates, one Jewish, the other Italian, ostracized by the ruling class of boys. During an eye-opening Thanksgiving ...more
Feb 02, 2015 Debbie rated it liked it
Teen/YA historical fiction

Overall the story was enjoyable, however the conversation seemed stilted at times for the voice of a HS sophomore. The infrequent use of crude language made it jump out and seem awkward and out of character when it was used. Other than in quick passing at the very end, it wasn't really discussed why Rob and Vinnie didn't stay in closer contact after he was moved to the infirmary. At the start Vinnie was the only one who was genuinely friendly and kind to Rob at the new
Apr 19, 2008 Zoe rated it it was ok
Houston maintains a lot of historical accuracy in his YA novel about Rob Garrett, the first Black student at a prestigious boarding school in Connecticut. However, the story feels a little dry and lifeless at times because the narrator's voice is so cold and detached, unlike any 15-year-old I've ever known.
Joseph Grant
"New Boy" by Julian Houston is a fictional adventure story about a young African-american teen by the name of,"Rob Garret. His parents were sending him to a boarding school called draper in Connecticut in which he would be the African-american their getting a education. When Rob got to the school he met a friend and his name was,"Vinnie" they connected fast but a lot of people made fun of him because of his acne. Later in the book he meets Malcolm X and Malcolm tells him when he goes back to sch ...more
Jun 13, 2016 Seth rated it liked it
New Boy, by Julian Houston, covers familiar territory in young adult fiction, and with good reason. The 1960's were a tumultuous time in U.S. history. The struggle to end segregation was a long battle. The Civil Rights movement was a conglomeration of many individual, momentous events, and despite Houston's uneven story telling, his inclusion of some of the most important people and protests of the era make the book worth reading.
New Boy focuses on these events at the expense of strong charact
The character seems more like a vessel for historical information than an actual boy living through the time. While I think this book certainly serves a purpose, it was not an overly enjoyable reading experience for me.
Amrit Arora
Dec 10, 2014 Amrit Arora rated it really liked it
The new boy by Julian Houston is about a high schooler, Rob Garret an African American boy from Virginia, who wants to do his part to end segregation. Rob Garret gets sent to an elite boarding school in Connecticut. While there, he finds out that trouble is brewing in his home town. When he returns for a break, he discovers that some of his friends have been planning a sit in at Woolworth’s, their local store, because black people aren’t allowed to sit at the lunch counter. What was good about t ...more
Victor Guerrero
Have you ever been the new kid at school?Well 15 year old Rob Garrett has.The genre of my book is Historical fiction because this book is about how Rob is the first student of color in the schools history.My overall option of this book that is very inspiring and a good written book.

In the beginning of the book Rob Garrett attends a new school. Because Rob need better education for himself so his parents transfer him to a all white boarding school also because he was raised in Virginia during seg
Jul 23, 2009 Sammy rated it it was amazing
Julian Houston's, New Boy is about an African American boy named Rob Garret moves to an all boys and all white boarding school while his friends at home begin to fight for their rights and begin to protest against the law of segregation. The setting of the boarding school is Connecticut and his hometown is Virginia in 1954. Rob’s main external conflict is that he is an African American so he is often turned down by white people that bully him. Rob’s main internal conflict is deciding whether he ...more
Mar 28, 2010 Larissa rated it really liked it
New Boy by Julia Houston, is a moving story that all will enjoy. The main charcter, Rob Garett comes from an educated Afriecan-American Southern family who worked hard for what they now have. With high expectations, Rob's family sends him off to a Coneticut boarding school where he finds himself as the only colored student. He must face difficulties as he works to make friends and sway away from prejudice. This is a both educational yet entertaining story about how a colored student delt with pr ...more
Nov 18, 2013 Frederick rated it it was amazing
I read this some time ago, but remember liking it a lot. Some images come to mind, like his sneaking out of school with a Jewish friend to listen to Jazz in an NYC club in Harlem (I may have gotten some details wrong). Okay, I just picked it out from my shelf and dusted it off. I re-read the first couple of pages, and was surprised to find that his Cousin Gwen (a Harlem school teacher we later discover is a radical) is introduced in the first page. Just from those pages, I remember that the pros ...more
Jan 13, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it
New Boy
By: Julian Houston
Published in 2005
Historical Fiction

“New Boy” by Julian Houston is a fantastic book about a boy named Rob Garrett, who’s life is anything but normal. He is the first and only African American at Draper Boarding School in Connecticut. While his friends and family are in Virginia, he s trying to fit in the best he can with all of the others. In the late 1950s the United States was a time of segregation and discrimination for African Americans. When he hears about people
Jan 20, 2011 Kwasi rated it really liked it
Take a Stand
I like this book because it takes us back in time in a young teen’s mind during the years of segregation. This book is a great book to learn about the civil rights movement among the young black teens of the 1950s. It’s a perfect book for teens because the book is speaking through the mind of a teenager just like me, so it’s much easier to interpret. Moreover, this book just doesn’t talk about the segregation among black people, but it also shows the others that were afflicted by th
Luong Sy
Jun 11, 2010 Luong Sy rated it it was ok
This was the first book i read during 2nd sesmester. I didnt like the book even though the book was pretty interesting and it was pretty hard to understand at times. The story feels a little dry and lifeless at times and the author's voice is so cold. The connection I made is that people really want to speak out with problems they have, but they're scared because they dont know what might happen. This book was written by Julian Houston and its about a African Boy named Rob Garret who attended to ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen for

It's the 1950s, the time when segregation was still taking place. Even though his parents, especially his mother, tried to protect him from the harshness and unfairness that was still present, Rob Garrett knew that his parents wouldn't be there to watch out for him forever. And his parents knew that, too.

That time came too quickly when Rob was awarded a scholarship to Draper, a prestigious private school in Connecticut, where
Kenya Liggons
Sep 04, 2012 Kenya Liggons rated it really liked it
I really loved reading this book when I had time to sit down and read it. I really like the theme of the book. Rob Garret was the main character and Rob Garret was the only "Negro." or "African American" that went to Draper, Draper was an all white school in the book. Draper was located all the way in Connecticut. He made friends, and they protested to end segregation. They all wanted to be equal.His good friend Gordie Burns doesn't treat him differently because of his race. I think this book is ...more
Jul 18, 2007 Carrie rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
It is the late 1950’s in Julian Houston’s New Boy, when Rob Green leaves his home in Virginia to attend a boarding school in Connecticut As the first – and only – African American in the school, Rob feels pressure to “represent the race,” both to the white students and faculty at school and to other African Americans. His parents are proud of him and are happy that he can have this opportunity. Rob quickly becomes friends with an Italian student and is surprised to see this boy made the object o ...more
Kelly Moore
I was really impressed with this book. It's about Rob Garrett, the first black boy to go to a private, wealthy boarding school in Connecticut in the 1950's. I expected to read about the racism that he runs into at school, but the story went so much farther than my expectations. It explored prejudice on many different levels, partially through Rob's friendship with an Italian boy from New York with bad acne who is tortured by the cruelty of other boys. The characters and Rob's insights were compl ...more
Jul 02, 2014 Andrea rated it really liked it
New Boy is a time piece around a young adult in a coming of age story that involves the civil rights movement of the 60's and how the protagonist must make peace with finding his voice in the an " all white" prep school while at home his friends are in the midst of determining how best to go about making a stand around Jim Crow practices that they are encountering on a daily basis.
I appreciated the story and how the protagonist ultimately finds his voice.
Darius Harris
Jan 30, 2013 Darius Harris rated it it was amazing
I read this book and I really liked it because it really showed you how school was back in the day compared to how it is today. It really showed a lot of detail in it also it showed the kid named Gabriel and his life coming from the south. It was about this kid Gabriel trying to get the best education he can and succeed in life in the slavery days.
He was having a hard time trying to make friends in the new school. He was also the first colored boy in that school. He eventually made friend but
May 14, 2012 Prathosh rated it it was amazing
This book talks about segregation in the 1950s during the civil rights movement. Rob Garrett is the first colored boy in Draper High. Rob talks about his daily life, and about his friends. It is pretty fun to read, and it is a good source for segregation in the south and how they treated blacks in the north.

It is picking up really well. It talks more about segregation in the south and the rules applied to southerners. Now, Rob has 2 friends, one of his friends is Vinnie. Vinnie is getting harra
Feb 09, 2015 Michelle rated it liked it
I want to give it 3.5, but I'll round down because I think I liked this much better as an adult than I would have as a teen. It's a book worth reading. The conflict faced by the main character--integrating his northern boarding school, while staying connected with events at home in Virginia--really did keep me reading. I might be talking myself into 4 stars.
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Julian Houston was born in Richmond, Virginia, and educated in the public schools of that city before attending the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut. He attended Boston University and was a community organizer in Harlem during the civil rights movement. He is now an associate justice of the Superior Court of Massachusetts. Julian Houston lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife a ...more
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“People believe what they want to believe. Even if it isn’t true.” 6 likes
“Perhaps I can't escape the image that others have created for me, but if I don't try, I will never know if I can or not.” 3 likes
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