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Doug TenNapel

Cam, the main character, and his Dad are going through a rough time. Both are trying to find a way to live without Cam’s mother. Loneliness, grief, and fear show up throughout the story in heartbreaking quiet ways and not so subtle ways. Add no job, financial woes, bully troubles, and a birthday—well these guys have their hands full! Cam’s father needs a miracle or a bit of magic to afford a gift for his son’s birthday. After looking for a birthday gift for Cam, Cam’s dad stumbles onto a cardboard box that seems to have more secrets than what meets the eye. And magic is just what he finds in the cardboard box. Magic and trouble! Father and son twist, bend, and build people out of cardboard. Except, rather than having inanimate objects littered around the house, they become a bit more animated. And that’s where the trouble begins. From the word getting around about a magical cardboard that can make your dream come true, to having to solve before the situation gets any worse than it does, follow Cam come to terms with his mother's death, and learn how to fix the problem around him.

This comic book is built around a brilliant idea! Cardboard people and monsters that come to life! One thing I will say about Cardboard, is that we never truly learn why or how the cardboard comes to life or any concrete reasoning behind the rules of the box. I’m all for mystery and magic. Sometimes, not knowing fills a story with wonder and power. I personally didn’t mind that, but some people do not enjoy that kind of unanswered questions in a story. A fun adventure packed with action that will find an audience. As the story continues, it builds up more and more suspense and action. It’s quite a sharp turn from passive writing to an aggressive plot. I enjoyed the unexpected twist of the plot, but it could be seen as too spontaneous. The illustrations are perfect, and have a very distinct personality to each character. I heavily recommend reading Cardboard by TenNapel.

Grade Level:

- Suggested: 3rd-5th

- Advanced: 2nd

- Genre: Graphic-novel

- Key Elements: Cardboard, magic

- Possible Themes: Sometimes, things aren’t always like they seem

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Happy Reading!

-The Book Lover-

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