Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell

I bought this book for my library a pretty long time ago, but only just read it now in April. I’m so glad I did because I really liked it and can recommend it more confidently now. In fact, I recommended it to the literacy coach at our school and she got it to be the “one book, one school” summer reading book. I’m pretty psyched about that as it’s a graphic novel. I was disappointed to have one teacher tell me she “hated it” and it “was terrible.” I hate to be one of those people but I’m going to straight up say “then you didn’t get it.” And maybe even “then you don’t understand how to read good books.” I think this book has a lot offer kids,and I especially love the emphasis on creativity and make believe, something we do don’t see often enough outside of picture books. (that’s one of the reasons I especially liked Seance Tea Party by Reimena Yee.) In fact, I see I focused on that in my original review over on GR:

This is just terrific. a wonderful homage to children playing in the most creative of fashions, of using their imaginations, of just having fun having make believe adventures. What I especially loved is that one: they aren’t babyish. And I always like to see older kids having creative fun and pretending. and two: each story has some insight into their non-make believe life, which covers a lot of things like bullying, family dynamics, and gender expression. A really lovely book.

And of course, the other thing I like about this book is the way the p.o.v. changes for each chapter (with a different author for each section) and you really find out about each character and his or her own issues. And some of them do have very real and relatable issues with themselves and their families.

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