The Cardboard Kingdom

by Chad Sell

When 16 children in one neighborhood take on superhero personas, stories unfold in... read more

When 16 children in one neighborhood take on superhero personas, stories unfold in their extended imaginary play. Using cardboard and bits of scrap to make their costumes, they transform themselves into the Huntress, the Mad Scientist, the Big Banshee, the Gargoyle, etc., and choose up sides for their mock backyard battles. This graphic novel switches back and forth between their fantasy world and their daily lives in which they create their cardboard constructions. This device is effective at portraying their shared imaginary world but, along with the shifting points of view from chapter to chapter, does require a bit more work at reading the pictures than most graphic novels for middle- grade readers. But for those willing to study the illustrations and put in the work, the rewards are great, including humor, family drama, and peer conflicts and social hierarchies that will resonate with most children. The diverse cast of characters includes kids of different ethnicities, sizes, and gender identities. (Ages 8–11)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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