Pajama Press

Archive for April, 2012

Ten Stories Up calls True Blue”gritty and bitter and sensitive and unflinching”

Posted on April 23rd, 2012 by pajamapress

This is a beautiful book.  I don’t mean the story, but the package.  Congrats to the design department at Pajama Press: I was so busy admiring the fonts and running my fingers over the jacket that I almost forgot to read the book.  But I’m glad I did.

True Blue is not beautiful.  It’s gritty and bitter and sensitive and unflinching – both ripped from the headlines and totally unique.  The mystery kept me guessing, and the characters kept me up late…

…Casey, full of faith and confidence.  Stephanie, who annoyed me so much I caught myself thinking that Casey would have been totally justified in killing her.  The teacher, Miss Burke, whose courage had me in tears.  Jess’s mother, paralyzed by her own helplessness.  And complex, conflicted Jess, who wants something she can’t even identify, and resents Casey almost as much as she loves her.  Jess isn’t admirable, but she’s totally compelling.  These people are worth your time.

Click here to read the full review

Rob on the Road

Posted on April 20th, 2012 by pajamapress

Rob Laidlaw has been reading, speaking, and signing his way across Western Canada this spring, promoting his book No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs.

“It’s always a highlight to find people who are so interested in dogs and other animals,” Rob said on his return to Toronto. “What’s really encouraging is not only that they’re interested, but they also want to do their part to help.”

The trip included a range of events from a keynote speech at the Critteraid I Heart Animals Banquet in Penticton, BC to elementary school and library talks in Surrey and Sidney BC to a book launch in Winnipeg’s McNally Robinson bookstore.

“I try to vary my talks to keep them fresh, interesting and current,” Rob said. Fortunately, this series of very diverse events allowed him plenty of variety. One stop that earned him a fair amount of media attention was Winnipeg, where the Winnipeg Humane Society borrowed a term from No Shelter Here and awarded the first Dog Champion of the Year award to eight-year-old Christina Sudoma at Rob’s McNally-Robinson launch. Later, Rob was one of five speakers at “An Evening of Compassion, Advocating for Animals” in Winnipeg’s Park Theatre.

“It was a great event and an ethusiastic crowd,” Rob said. “I think the evening entertained, stimulated and empowered a lot of people and, for me, that’s what it’s all about.”

Now that he is home again, Rob is back at work at Zoocheck, the animal protection agency he founded. He plans to go on tour again in the fall when the paperback edition of No Shelter Here is released.

Booklist praises True Blue

Posted on April 19th, 2012 by pajamapress

This intelligent mystery is a complete 180 from the author’s leprosy-in-India tale, No Ordinary Day (2011), but is similar in how its impact sneaks up on you…The unreliability of Jess’ first-person account becomes increasingly obvious as we learn the depths of Jess’ jealousy and the dubiousness of her morals. The mystery here is not just a whodunit but how loyalty and betrayal can rest along such a razor’s edge. —Daniel Kraus

Don’t Laugh At GiraffeSneak preview on Facebook

Posted on April 18th, 2012 by pajamapress

The giraffe and the bird are making their Facebook debut! Following the success of their first picture book, Giraffe and Bird, the two companions are getting ready to star in its sequel, Don’t Laugh at Giraffe. The two are in a race to see who can get the most “Likes” on his Facebook page before the publication date on May 15, so be sure to click here to support the bird, and click here to support the giraffe!

An Interview with Last Airlift author Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

Posted on April 16th, 2012 by pajamapress

In this interview Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch discusses Last Airlift, its upcoming sequel, and the merits of children’s non-fiction on Nash Holos Ukranian Roots Radio in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Listen to the interview here.

Kirkus says Acts of Courage is great for American kids, too

Posted on April 16th, 2012 by pajamapress

Written from a Canadian perspective, this well-researched and -documented historical novel offers young readers a fascinating perspective on the events following the American Revolution and leading up to the War of 1812… The author tells a good story and presents some fascinating and little-known history (including such issues as slavery, economics, and social justice) in an interesting way. A historical note, sources and maps supplement the account. An opportunity for American children to see a little-known war through a rarely considered lens.

School Library Journal calls True Blue “A compelling and moving read… worthy of any school curriculum”

Posted on April 16th, 2012 by pajamapress

Ellis explores the courage it takes to stand up for a friend in a town shattered by a murder. Jess’s best friend, Casey White, has ambition and passion. A budding entomologist, she seeks an adventurous life outside their small town. So when Casey is inexplicably arrested for the murder of a girl at a camp where the teens are counselors, Jess feels incredibly alone. The townspeople are quick to assume Casey’s guilt. While Jess’s mother (a woman with a mental illness) demands a call to action to release Casey from jail, Jess says nothing to defend her best friend to her cruel and small-minded classmates. Jess wants Casey to be exonerated and goes so far as to dream up an escape plan but, in the end, she fails to come to Casey’s aid and actually helps the prosecution build the against her. Ellis’s masterful novel makes every word count, thus highlighting Jess as a deeply conflicted, not totally reliable, narrator who is so afraid of losing the only part of her life that she values–Casey–that she doesn’t realize how much her actions have cost her. A compelling and moving read, True Blue is about the courage to believe in oneself and fight for what’s right, even when it is the hardest thing to do. A book worthy of any school curriculum.

–Kimberly Garnick Giarratano, Northampton Community College, Hawley, PA

Five-Star Amazon.ca Review of Emily for Real

Posted on April 16th, 2012 by pajamapress

I enjoyed Emily For Real. The prose flows nicely, the characters are authentic, and Emily’s voice is immediate and compelling. Emily is a real teen, as are her friends. It’s never wise to keep secrets from anyone, especially those you love, but there is one thing in Emily’s life that is not kept secret — she is loved.

Click here to read the full review.

CanLit for LittleCanadians reviews Last Airlift

Posted on April 10th, 2012 by pajamapress

…Tuyet becomes a heroine of her own story, using her fortitude, observations, and humanity to navigate the new territories outside of the orphanage and to make herself fit in.

Read the Full Review Here

CanLit for LittleCanadians says Emily is for real

Posted on April 3rd, 2012 by pajamapress

As the narrator who shares her responses to a stream of stupefying revelations, Emily becomes a real girl, not a cardboard cut-out of a teen…

- HelenK, CanLit for LittleCanadians

Click here to read the full review