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Cardboard Cowboys

He is a boy on the edge of adulthood struggling to fit into a world that only sees perfection: He is a man who been damaged by life living down by the canal in a cardboard, but very tidy, home. 

Lenny is struggling to fit into his new school; he is fat, bad at sport, loves English, poetry and art. He has a love of music and sings in his bedroom in front of the mirror. Trouble has come to Lenny’s family; his beloved brother Frankie has gone away, not to return home for many months. His mother is not coping; his father is a long haul truck driver. Basically none of them are coping with the dramatic changes in their lives.

Bruce lives down by the canal in a cardboard shanty, well-hidden on the bank, not happy to draw attention to himself. Lenny frequently skips school when things get to tough. He throws a can in the canal and draws Bruce’s ire about littering and so a tentative friendship beings to build: two misfits both trying to find a place in a world that is hard, relentless and difficult.

The stress of his home life, issues at school and a desire to find out just what Frankie really thinks, sees Lenny convince Bruce to come with him on a road trip to visit Frankie. Bruce is at first reluctant, eventually agreeing to come with him as Lenny is determined to go, with or without his friend.

In this charming, funny, heart-felt work from Brian Conaghan, Cardboard Cowboys, a first in this mid-range reader category for this award winning writer, he takes a look at the issues of modern society, when you simply do not fit, the real strength and love of friendship and the changes that can be made when you take a chance and begin to believe in yourself.

An epic road trip, a learning curve for Lenny, a liberation for Bruce and a realisation for Lenny’s family, all come together  to create a story young readers will easily relate to while addressing the heinousness of bullying behaviour and the power of love and friendship.

Author Brian Conaghan
Publisher Bloomsbury Children's Books
ISBN 9781526628602
Distributor Bloomsbury Children's Books
Released May 2021