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A Cardboard Palace

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Jorge lives in a shanty town on the outskirts of Paris. Bill, a controller, has an army of child thieves at his command - and Jorge is one of them.
But soon Jorge faces an even bigger threat. His home is to be bulldozed. Where will Jorge sleep? What will happen to his friends, Ada and Gino? Could a growing friendship with Australian chef Sticky Ricky help Jorge to stop Bill
Paperback, First, 167 pages
Published June 1st 2017 by MidnightSun Publishing
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Jun 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2017
Review first published at

"Lately I don't feel like I belong anywhere - least of all to the people back in the village, or those in camp No Man's Land." Allayne L. Webster in A Cardboard Palace

Jorge is eleven. But he's not a typical 11-year-old boy in Paris. He's never been to school. He doesn't live with his parents. And he doesn't always know when his next meal will come. A Cardboard Palace will show young readers that there are children in the world not as lucky as they
A Cardboard Palace by Allayne L. Webster is set in Paris, but it's not the Paris we see advertised to tourists. Jorge is eleven-years-old and he was taken from his family in Romania years ago and bought to France to work for a man named Bill. Bill collects children and uses them in all sorts of schemes around Paris. He teaches them to beg and steal and makes them live in a small community on the outskirts of Paris. The community is made up of immigrants and they have built houses out of metal ...more
Rebecca jones
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Favourite new author for kids/young adults. The main character, Jorge, was such a likeable kid, especially given his circumstances, - he showed such resilience. A good insight for my 12 year old. There is always a very educational aspect to her books as well - we learnt a lot about the Catacombs in Paris. Loved this.
Robert Moore
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Cardboard Palace
It’s Paris. Beautiful Paris. But take a closer look at the city of love. Eleven year old Jorge is preparing to steal money from an old man at an ATM. As a member of an army of child thieves, Jorge is trapped in a sordid world. The confrontation of the robbery sets both the tone and mood of the story to follow in A Cardboard Palace by Allayne Webster.
The magnificent architecture of the city packed with tourists is in stark contrast to the squalor of Jorge’s cardboard palace
Dimity Powell
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-lit
Jorge is sweet and sensitive with a core of goodness only he doubts. Yet he exists in a barrel of rottenness, fettered to a life of homelessness, petty crime and abject poverty in the heart of one of Europe's most affluent cities, Paris. Unable to see a way to climb out of his life within a cardboard shanty town, he never loses sight of his dream, to one day escape and learn how to cook.

Webster has come into her own with this tale of survival, child-trafficking and endurance. Jorge and his
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
As many of you know, I'll read just about anything set in France. This is the story of Jorge. He lives in a shanty town outside Paris, though is originally from Romania. He was sold to Bill at a young age and now, works for Bill pick-pocketing, stealing and helping Bill run his illegal scams. Jorge longs to be more and when he meets an Australian chef, this finally seems possible. As I read this, my heart broke for Jorge and all those children who are in situations like his, so far removed from ...more
Tina Jameson
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: younger-readers
A modern Oliver Twist - right down to the evil 'Bill Sykes'. The novel has confronting concepts in it that would be challenging to explain to it's younger audience (as an adult they are obvious) - but this is not a book to shy away from. It is eye opening to a world that is very real and that exists alongside our own comfortable and luxurious lives. Jorge's innocence and integrity in spite of grinding poverty and seemingly inescapable slavery to the controlling adults of his world, is the ...more
Sandra Shannon
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fabulous young adult novel. Jorge and his friends have been taken from their parents by a soulless man, Bill. He forces the children to steal for him and treats them cruelly. Jorge and his friends live in a makeshift refugee camp in Paris and can see no way to escape the cruelty and poverty. A must read.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was going to be a lot more childish given the description. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Though it's a children's novel it goes about the subject of homelessness quite realistically and the aspect of adults using children as a means to earn money is true to life as well. Not sure how interesting it would be to a child, but it would definitely be an eye opener.
Mia Rosengren
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Spännande historia om ett utsatt barn i Paris.
Bren MacDibble
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Sep 15, 2017
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Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
What is this about?: It's the tale of Jorge, for whom every day is about surviving, and who wants to save his friends from being sold.

What else is this about?:Child trafficking, which is a dark part of the story.

If you're getting a Dickensian vibe from this blurb, you would be right. Allayne Webster has written a story about Jorge, a young boy who is part of an army of young children that roam Paris, earning money where they can -- and by that I mean, stealing begging and doing anything else
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Allayne grew up in a coastal fishing town in rural South Australia. During her high school days, Allayne became of obsessed with Judy Blume. The only thing she wanted for her thirteenth birthday was the novel, 'Are you there, God? It's me, Margaret.'

As a teenager, Allayne wrote her first epic novel inside three 96 page lined workbooks. Kids in her class wanted to know, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? Allayne's