K Is in Trouble (A Graphic Novel)


By Gary Clement

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around January 16, 2024. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

"Visual storytelling at the highest level" — The New York Times Book Review

A boy named K must navigate a world of outrageously unkind adults in this hysterical, Kafkaesque middle grade graphic novel, with art reminiscent of James Marshall.

K is nice, polite, and always does as he’s told. K is also always, always in trouble.

No matter what he does or says, it seems there is someone ready to blame him for everything. K is in trouble for going to school. K is in trouble for staying home. K is in trouble for running an errand, getting sick, or just being thirsty. K gets into trouble with imperious crows, persnickety station agents, bombastic teachers, his own classmates…even one nice fresh carp.

Whether it’s his easily annoyed parents or prickly pedestrians on the street, K gets on everyone’s bad side…and he didn’t even do anything wrong!
Gary Clement takes a unique approach to the absurdities of childhood in this hilarious series opener that reinforces a timeless message: Most adults know less than a talking beetle.


  • "K is my new favorite hero, and my new favorite letter of the alphabet. If you like this book, then you are a wonderful person, and if you don't, then something is wrong with you."
    Lemony Snicket
  • “Even the happiest boys and girls know what it is to be buffeted about by adults…The universality of this experience, which, depending on the adult caprice, can feel like the most acute injustice, gives resonance to K Is in Trouble."
    The Wall Street Journal
  • "If there’s a young existentialist in your life, get them a copy of 'K Is in Trouble.'" 
    The Washington Post
  • "The strange humor and often advanced vocabulary, such as 'interminable' and 'intransigent,' will remind readers of Lemony Snicket."
    School Library Journal
  • *"Clement’s debut graphic novel makes a good case that this age group could find great relevance, at least, in those things we’ve come to call 'Kafkaesque'...A truly unique effort that will become a deeply resonant touchstone for anyone who recognizes in it the occasional strangeness of their world."
    Booklist, starred review
  • *“That Clement never bows to the demands of feel-goodery – or explains away the endless absurdities K must face – is one of the most pleasing, and paradoxically realistic aspects of these weird, wonderful tales.”
    Quill and Quire, starred review
  • “Odd mishaps and hostile grown-ups plague a lonely child in this set of surreal episodes…channeling the spirit of Franz Kafka in the plot and the gothic sensibility of Edward Gorey in the art.”
    Kirkus Reviews
  • “In each of five graphic short stories, Clement presents a situation of powerlessness, oppression, or ennui in which K encounters a small moment of grace…a sympathetic and respectful portrait of the condition of being a child, a condition as familiar now as then.”
    The Horn Book
  • “K is indeed in trouble—in more ways than one—in this quirky, subversive graphic novel.” 
  • “Overall, wickedly funny, a little wacky and with tons of slapstick humour, K is in Trouble is recommended for library collections.”
    Canadian Review of Materials

On Sale
Jan 16, 2024
Page Count
224 pages
Little, Brown Ink

Gary Clement

About the Author

Gary Clement is a Canadian artist, cartoonist, illustrator, and writer. He’s the author and illustrator of several children’s books, among them The Great Poochini, which earned Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award in Children’s Literature—Illustration, and most recently illustrated My Winter City, written by James Gladstone. His illustrations have appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and many other newspapers and magazines across North America. K Is in Trouble is his debut graphic novel.

Learn more about this author