Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell - ADVISABLE

The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell, 288 pages. GRAPHIC NOVEL. Knopf (Random), 2018. $13.

Language: G (0 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG (A boy cross dresses as a girl, threat of violence, girl who acts like a man); Violence: PG (Bully threatens other kids in the neighborhood)


AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH                

The Cardboard Kingdom is a collection of adventures of different kids in a neighborhood.  Each imagines their life as an adventure! They create superhero suits out of cardboard and battle evil on their street.  Heroes address some challenging topics that may confuse young children, one boy becomes "The Sorceress" as his alternate persona. Another girl dresses as a man and dons a mustache.  But when a bully terrorizes the group, they have to decide if many different people can come together for a common goal.

This book has some very cool qualities.  First, though Sell is listed as the author, there are a lot of authors who each wrote their own story and Sell weaves them together.  It works perfectly since the kids in the neighborhood are all very different and represent lots of cultures and backgrounds. The kids are also a diverse group. The book addresses gender roles and exploration in a safe way for children who may be exploring those ideas as well.  The stories are engaging and illustrations are fun.  If you ever imagined yourself as a superhero you will love the book. Fans of D.C. Comics or Marvel's Universe will connect with this neighborhood of new superheroes.   It has engaging appeal like Dog Man and Best Friends and kids will snap it off the shelf.     

Michele Edgley, Library Technology Teacher

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