Book Review, Books!, Graphic Novel, Middle Grade March, Signal Boost

Review: The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell

Hey all, Dani here.

It is another Middle Grade March review day.  Honestly you guys, I am having a pretty darn good month of reading so far. I think this reading challenge that I started for myself a few years ago has arrived at just the right time this year and I am so thankful for that. With all the stress of packing and the mental stress of getting ready for the move, I really needed some light and fun reads that are still super compelling. Thankfully Middle Grade has just that: great adventure, a focus on friendships, and usually very quick and compelling reads.

So today’s review is for a Middle Grade graphic novel that I was convinced to pick up at Barnes & Noble during their Black Friday weekend sales (if I’m remembering correctly). It was during a big book haul weekend/excursion to B&N and an employee mentioned that there was a coupon specifically for this book and talked about how good it was. So, okay, I’m in. Thankfully this book didn’t disappoint.

Well, let’s jump into the review.

The Cardboard Kingdom


Welcome to a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary boxes into colorful costumes, and their ordinary block into cardboard kingdom. This is the summer when sixteen kids encounter knights and rogues, robots and monsters–and their own inner demons–on one last quest before school starts again.

In the Cardboard Kingdom, you can be anything you want to be–imagine that!

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

This was cute. It took a couple sections for me to get into the story, but after that I flew through the book. The diversity of the kids is fantastic, and not just in regards to race. There are so many different family styles and home lives. I enjoyed and appreciated that.

It was actually pretty cool that the author worked with other authors and creators to come up with all of the kids in the neighborhood. To me that helped to build the community feel for the story.

And I have to say that I love that this book is all about creativity and imagination. It really made me think back to my own childhood, when I would run around the playground with my friends or hang out in the pool, and we would almost always play make believe. It was fascinating to see all the fun stories we came up with.

Not every kid is what you would expect, and some of their stories definitely packed an emotional punch. This story–or technically it feels more like a collection of related stories–was deceptive in that you thought you would just get some fun imagination and shenanigans, but there was also a great deal of depth, the occasional dark moment, and some interesting revelations as well.

I can absolutely say that I am glad I was talked into picking this one up. It was definitely worth the read.

Where to Buy

You can pick up this graphic novel from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local independent bookstore.

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