Pajama Press

Archive for June, 2017

Writing YA says Road Signs That Say West is “Perfect for people transitioning through stages of life, and wondering what more is out there”

Posted on June 22nd, 2017 by pajamapress

roadsignsthatsaywest_website“This is a quiet book, a literary book, and a difficult story to cram between two plain paper covers. A sisterly Bildungsroman is both vast and deep; it covers the happenings over a summer, but also the tendencies of a lifetime thus far, in a way. The narrative is more a series of observations from inside the mind of each girl, and isn’t always seamless. The ‘head-hopping’ can be frustrating for a reader seeking a typical narrative with a rising narrative arc, and this book might be more appropriate to an older reader. I think it crosses over well into being an adult read.

Things happen in this novel, and yet, not much does. It’s a road trip; there are long silences, periods of silent anger, spontaneous, giddy parties with strangers, and a lot of examining internal thoughts….

The novel ends with trailing threads, and for some, the end will seem jarring. But, a road is a constant, just as the narrative of sisterhood and the process of growing, maturing, and separating is a common experience, in many ways. This constantly shifting narrative means that some things aren’t resolved in this novel – bitterness remains bitter ‘til the end, losses still pain, good times are ephemeral. The road goes on, but the one thing that remains is sisterhood. Despite everything, these girls will always be related.

Conclusion: Definitely not for the common crowd, this novel is made up of the pauses between growing pains, and will find its audience among those who have wished to draw closer to their families and see them as complex and enigmatic human beings, instead of the familiar souls they’ve always known. Perfect for people transitioning through stages of life, and wondering what more is out there.”

Click here to read the full review

CM Magazine says “young readers will identify with likeable Laz” from Two Times a Traitor

Posted on June 22nd, 2017 by pajamapress

TwoTimesATraitor_WebsiteTwo Times a Traitor is a coming-of-age novel about a boy who inadvertently time-travels back to 1745 where he finds himself in a war. He also finds a father-figure and grows as a person….

The plot of Two Times a Traitor is carefully woven and tension-filled….

Richness of detail, the result of the author’s careful research, helps the reader suspend disbelief and be caught up in the story….

Young readers will identify with likeable Laz and will enjoy the drama and fast pace of Two Times a Traitor.

Recommended.”
Ruth Latta

Click here to read the full review

School Library Journal calls Waiting for Sophie “a sweet and tender addition for libraries”

Posted on June 21st, 2017 by pajamapress

waitingforsophie_website“This early chapter book offers a relatable story for intermediate readers, who will empathize with the frustrations of waiting for a younger sibling to become old enough to be a playmate. Cartoonish character illustrations on most pages enhance the text. VERDICT A sweet and tender addition for libraries looking for more new sibling materials or titles about patience.”

Read the full review in the May 2017 issue of School Library Journal

My Beautiful Birds is part of Booklist‘s 2016 Editors’ Choice issue

Posted on June 21st, 2017 by pajamapress

mybeautifulbirds_website“Using intricate sculpted-clay artwork, Canadian author-illustrator Del Rizzo tells the story of a fictional family’s escape from war-torn Syria. While war isn’t mentioned specifically in the text, readers will get an immediate sense of danger as they observe the family fleeing from a burning city…[T]his story draws attention to an important world issue without subjecting young readers to its harshest realities.”
Julia Smith

Read the full review on page 102 of the January 2017 issue of Booklist

Orange Marmalade calls Adrift at Sea a “stunning book” that “conveys exceptionally well just what refugee children endure”

Posted on June 20th, 2017 by pajamapress

AdriftAtSea_website“This stunning book tells the story of Tuan Ho, who at age 6 was forced to flee Vietnam with his mother and sisters….

His flight would be traumatic: terror, grief, gunfire, strangers, and perilous days adrift at sea. This taut account conveys exceptionally well just what refugee children endure, enlarging our compassion and will to be among those who welcome, comfort, and receive them today.

Deines’ brilliant paintings easily carry the weight of this story and knit our hearts to Tuan’s family. An afterword, accompanied by some personal photographs from Tuan, provides background to the exodus of the ‘boat people’ from Vietnam and tells more about Tuan’s family’s journey.”

Click here to read the full review

My Beautiful Birds “is poignant but not too heavy” says Orange Marmalade

Posted on June 20th, 2017 by pajamapress

mybeautifulbirds_website“Based on the experiences of a young boy in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, this glimpse of the overarching as well as deeply personal, individual losses for refugee children is poignant but not too heavy. Colorful, clay-sculpted illustrations create friendly, engaging visuals as well.”

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Canadian Bookworm calls Waiting for Sophie “charming”

Posted on June 20th, 2017 by pajamapress

waitingforsophie_website“This book for early readers is charming….

I liked the big brother, big sister story here. Liam is a good big brother, patient and caring. I also liked how the adults didn’t fit stereotypes.

The drawings are simple, but engaging, and show the emotions of the different characters vividly. I also liked how the sometimes offered a different perspective on a scene, and used enough details to make it interesting. I also thought the endpapers were a neat touch, covered with pictures of hand tools.”

Click here to read the full review

Youth Services Book Review says “the [Best Pirate] illustrations are fabulous, full of color, realistic, expressive”

Posted on June 19th, 2017 by pajamapress

BestPirate_WebsiteRating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4…

The illustrations are fabulous, full of color, realistic, expressive – and cute….

To whom would you recommend this book? This would be a fun addition to a pirate-themed storytime.

Who should buy this book? Public and lower elementary school libraries and day-care centers”
—Katrina Yurenka, Moderator, Youth Services Book Review

Click here to read the full review

My Comfy Chair calls Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles “a wonderful, poignant book”

Posted on June 17th, 2017 by pajamapress

RootBeerCandyAndOtherMiracles_Website“I’m very excited to offer a wonderful, poignant book in verse for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday….

The story is lovely, and winds up in a beautiful way with Bailey discovering that sometimes you have to make your own miracles, and that sometimes even miracles aren’t enough. But through the sadness and joy, Bailey remains optimistic, and discovers that families always love each other, even when it is hard to get along.

I strongly recommend this to all who love the sea, and families, and miracles. And even root beer candy.

Five stars out of five!”

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The Write Stuff says “don’t miss [Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles]”

Posted on June 16th, 2017 by pajamapress

RootBeerCandyAndOtherMiracles_Website“Author Shari Green has pulled off a terrific feat. She writes this affecting book in first person point of view in young Bailey’s voice in beautiful, lyrical blank verse — and it works seamlessly. The voice is pitch perfect for a young girl, the characters are all fully developed and completely believable, and the story will leave readers deeply moved and wanting more. This lovely book deserves a far wider readership than the middle-grade audience to which it is being marketed. Don’t miss this one.”

Click here to read the full review