New release Cardboard City has received a starred review rating by Kirkus Reviews. Written by Katarina Jovanovic, this story follows the lives of two young teens — members of a Romani family, Saida and Nikola. Both experience harsh discrimination at school and crushing poverty in their informal settlement, spread out under a bridge in Belgrade. As described in the review, “When Nikola’s talent for playing trumpet wins him the attention of a musician and an invitation to a famous festival, a path to a new life opens up. The young protagonists are faced with the impossible choice between a loving but impoverished community and a more comfortable future.”
Kirkus Reviews praises Jovanic’s thoughtful approach the the subject matter, noting that “The experiences of the characters [in Cardboard City] are stated simply and evocatively, without overtones of judgment or lamentation. Each character is allowed their own voice and story, the third-person perspective shifting effortlessly between individuals and driving home the dignity of each one.
The reviewer sums up the crux of this tale when stating that it is, “A clear-eyed and artful view into the lives and dreams of two Romani teens.”
Learn more about Cardboard City here.
Read the full review here.