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Cardboard City

by (author) Katarina Jovanovic

afterword by Hedina Tahirović-Sijerčić

Tradewind Books
Initial publish date
Jun 2023
Language Arts, Social Studies, English, ELL, SpEd
Grade Levels
4 to 9
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2023
    List Price

Where to buy it

Descriptive Review

Fans of Deborah Ellis will enjoy this captivating, fast-paced story about two Romani siblings living under a bridge in Belgrade, Serbia. Originally living with their overprotective grandmother, or ‘baba’, Nikolai, a young, gifted trumpet player, realizes his dream of playing with musicians in another town. His sister, Saida, avoids being married off by running away. This novel is based on the transient Serbian population called gadhi, who have their own laws and customs and live in an “altered reality” in cardboard cities. “Their lives, though laced with sorrow, were rich with dreams.” What they lack in food, money, and comforts, they replace with stories, music, dance, and laughter. This novel will tug at your heartstrings, giving a glimpse into the lives of the forgotten, disadvantaged people who seek a living to survive. Highly recommended for reluctant teen readers. Jovanovic, an award-winning local author, was born in Serbia, where she worked as a journalist.

Other End Matter: Recipes, Historical notes
Bibliography: No
Index: No

Source: Books BC - BC Books for Schools

About the authors

Katarina Jovanovic was born in Belgrade, Serbia, where she worked as a journalist in radio broadcasting. She is the recipient of The Christie Harris Children’s Literature Award (The BC and Yukon Book Prizes) for The King Has Goat Ears (Tradewind Books), and the Chocolate Lily Award for The Blue Vase (Tradewind Books). Katarina teaches education at Vancouver Community College, and lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband, Bojan.

Katarina Jovanovic's profile page

Hedina Tahirović-Sijerčić is the author of six children’s books, several collections of poetry and many other books including the autobiographical novella Rom Like Thunder,and Romani čhib: An Overview of the Romani Language and Culture. She is also the co-editor—with Cynthia Levine-Rasky—and a contributing author of A Romani Women’s Anthology: Spectrum of the Blue Water.

Hedina Tahirović-Sijerčić's profile page

Editorial Reviews

⭐️ “A cleareyed and artful view into the lives and dreams of two Romani teens.”

Kirkus Reviews, starred review