Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Summary: A neighborhood group of kids plays some pretty complex imaginary games in this graphic novel, aided by their extensive use of cardboard to make costumes and other accessories. Each chapter is written by Chad Sell and another writer, and focuses on a different kid in the group. There’s some gender bending, with the sorceress being played by a boy in a long gown and heels, and a girl in a mustache taking the role of mad scientist. While parents occasionally question these choices, the other kids never do, and there is a satisfying aura of acceptance around the games all summer long. Even the bully is shown to have a difficult home life and is eventually drawn into the fun. At home, kids are dealing with divorce and absent parents, but the camaraderie and joy of play help them to put aside those issues when they don their costumes. 288 pages; grades 4-7.
Pros: A celebration of imagination, adventure, and being true to yourself, told in graphic format with a diverse cast of characters and plenty of colorful costumes.
Cons: There are a lot of characters to keep track of.