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A Cardboard Palace

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  15 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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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  51 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Michelle Kadarusman
May 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Allayne Webster masterfully tackles difficult topics with her book A Cardboard Palace. Written with a light touch and deep compassion, this middle-grade story entertains, while deftly providing a glimpse into the dark world of child trafficking, homelessness and extreme poverty. The reader will instantly become attached to Jorge and his friends and invested in their struggle to survive in desperate circumstances. This is a page turner; the setting, characters, story, and its broader message, wil ...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 tha
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 frie
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 essenc ...more
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.
Jun 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was going to be quite boring but I was suprised that it was really good!
I think this book is based off of the pickpockets that are in a lot of countries............
But overall... AWESOME!
Mar 21, 2022 rated it really liked it
i don't know how to read it
Trigger Warning Database
Trigger & Content Warnings

Child trafficking
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. ...more
Ms Harrison
Mar 14, 2020 rated it liked it
A good read for younger years of middle school. It wraps up a little quickly through. I would have liked the end to be a bit more developed.
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
Marion Aranjo
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May 08, 2021
Gloria Woo
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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 th
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Aug 26, 2019
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Allayne is an author of Junior Fiction, Middle Grade and Young Adult literature. She’s the recipient of multiple arts grants, a Premier’s Reading Challenge Ambassador, and a former literary festival board member.
Paper Planes (Scholastic) was a 2016 Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Notable/shortlisted for the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature. A Cardboard Palace (MidnightSun) was a

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