Kid’s Book Review: Cardboard Cowboys

Kid’s Book Review: Cardboard Cowboys

About the Book and Author

This is the first book that multi-award-winning author Brian Conaghan has written for children aged 10-13 years. His other stories are more suitable for older readers. Cardboard Cowboys is a contemporary feel-good adventure story with fantastic characters and lots of heart. It is published by Bloomsbury.

Even though I found him living in a house made of cardboard, Bruce is a massive legend. FACT. So this mine and Bruce’s story. You don’t have to believe it happened, but it did. All of it.
Nobody at school can see past Lenny’s size to the person within. So when lessons get too tough, Lenny always goes to his bench to think. At least there no one can see him. Then one day, midway through lobbing his empty can of Irn-Bru into the canal he’s stopped by Bruce. Bruce lives in a cardboard home hidden away by the banks, and he doesn’t approve of kids messing up his front lawn …
But a bumpy start soon gives way to an unexpected friendship – and an epic road trip – that will change both of them for life …

Cardboard Cowboys Cover

Brian Conaghan was born and raised in the Scottish town of Coatbridge but now lives in Dublin. He has a Master of Letters in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow. For many years Brian worked as a teacher and taught in Scotland, Italy and Ireland.

His first YA novel for Bloomsbury, When Mr Dog Bites, was shortlisted for the 2015 Carnegie Medal, and his second, The Bombs That Brought Us Together, won the 2016 Costa Children’s Book Award. We Come Apart, a verse novel co-authored with Carnegie Medal winner Sarah Crossan, won the 2018 UKLA Book Award, and his fourth novel, The Weight of a Thousand Feathers, won the 2018 Irish Book Award for Teen & Young Adult Book of the Year.


Book Review

I found I couldn’t put down from the moment I opened it

Cardboard Cowboys is a book that I found I couldn’t put down from the moment I opened it. This book is a great read because something is always happening, from busking to travelling, something was always just a page away.

This book doesn’t have too many characters, meaning it is easier to follow. The story mainly focuses on Lenny, an overweight 11-year-old, and Bruce, who is a homeless person who lives in a “big shoebox” by the canal. It follows an adventure that they go on together to find Lenny’s brother.

My favourite character would have to be Trisha Woods, a girl who goes to the same school as Lenny, because she always helps and motivates people, especially Lenny.

This book is a good one for anyone who likes family life and adventure stories. I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of 8 who loves a good book about life. It also has lots of things in common with The Night Bus Hero by Onjali Q. Rauf, so if you have read and enjoyed that book, then you might like this one too.

Page Preview

If you would would like to buy a copy of the book we invite you to order it from your local independent book shop.

Or, you can shop on-line and support our Kids Reviews page by sourcing your discounted book via this link

Please Buy Here

Alternatively, we suggest that you visit your local library and request to borrow a copy from a friendly librarian.

Whichever you choose we hope you enjoy being part of your unique reading community – happy reading everyone!

Reviewer Profile

  • Name: Alastair
  • Age: 11 years
  • Likes: science and space, Lego and sports
  • Dislikes: mushrooms and blue cheese
  • Favourite Book: Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson
  • Favourite Song: Hello by Adele
  • Favourite Film: Star Wars