It seems that Lenny’s Mum exists behind her secret letters to Frankie, her bingo stickers and TV quiz shows. Dad makes his too hot curries but is often out on his lorry runs. He’s promised to take Lenny with him, like he did Frankie, but Lenny isn’t holding out much hope.
Lenny collects the brown enveloped letter from school before his parents can read the contents. He knows that they’ll be asked to attend a meeting with his Headteacher, Mrs Hick. However, Lenny has an idea about how to get through that obstacle.
There’s another obstacle, though, the biggest one; Frankie. Lenny blames himself for what happened while it seems his parents do too. Then so much of Lenny is weighted down by his size. It seems that everything, from showers, to mealtimes, lessons, to how he knows others see himself, comes back to his weight. It’s the reason he bunks off school to sit on the bench by the river. That’s where he meets Bruce. Although Bruce is a lot older, they become buddies. Somehow, Bruce offers Lenny a feeling of significance for which he’s been searching. What more might come from this? Possibly a road trip? A journey to make it all better?
Cardboard Cowboys is the first middle grade title from award-winning YA writer, Brian Conaghan. Bookwagon loves this title for the way the writer gets right inside Lenny’s head so that we feel with him, reflect and hope…. What a superb and meaningful book!