Oregon Coast Youth Book Preview Center recommends Ben Says Goodbye to “parents who want to help their children deal with their friend moving away”

Posted on October 19th, 2017 by pajamapress

Ben Says Goodbye | Sarah Ellis & Kim La Fave | Pajama Press“I recommend this book for parents who want to help their children deal with their friend moving away. It shows the child taking some time to deal with his feelings and then the parents spending time with him. It ends with hope that a new friend will appear. Teachers may want this book in their library to help students realize that new friends can appear at any time.”
—Tami Harris

Click here to read the full review

Canadian Children’s BookNews calls Road Signs That Say West “an engaging story”

Posted on October 18th, 2017 by pajamapress

roadsignsthatsaywest_website“…Sylvia Gunnery is able to show that the path through life has many bumps and turns along the way. She illustrates that, with good travel companions, the journey to healing and self-discovery can be very rewarding. Gunnery is sensitive, empathetic and insightful with these characters as they explore their paths.

Young teens will easily identify with the characters as they enjoy a youthful summer trip. They may also relate to the secrets the characters disclose, navigating who to trust, and the bonds of siblings and true friendship. It is an engaging story about what it means to let go of the past and align yourself with the path to your own journey in life.”
—Christie O’Sullivan

Read the full review on page 37 of the Fall 2017 issue of Canadian Children’s BookNews

Booktime praises the “beautiful” illustrations in Best Pirate

Posted on October 17th, 2017 by pajamapress

BestPirate_Website“This is the [third] book about Augusta Garrick, a gentle, helpful pirate who has proven her worth among the more traditional pirate pups….The illustrations are beautiful in the book…”

Click here to read the full review

Pajama Press Celebrates Three Nominations with the OLA Forest of Reading Awards

Posted on October 16th, 2017 by pajamapress

Pajama Press is excited to announce that three of our titles have been nominated for the 2018 Ontario Library Association Forest of Reading® Awards.

FrenchToast_WebsiteFrench Toast, written by Kari-Lynn Winters and illustrated by François Thisdale, is a nominee for the Blue Spruce Award.

MacyMacMillan_WebsiteMacy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, written by Shari Green, is a nominee for the Silver Birch Fiction Award. Click here to download the Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess teaching guide.

AdriftAtSea_websiteAdrift at Sea, written by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch with Tuan Ho, and illustrated by Brian Deines, is a nominee for the Golden Oak Award. Click here to download the Adrift at Sea teaching guide.

The Forest of Reading® is an initiative of the Ontario Library Association (OLA) that helps celebrate Canadian books, publishers, authors and illustrators. Every year, over 250,000 participants read a shortlist of books in their age category and vote for their favourites.

Pajama Press extends our congratulations to Kari-Lynn Winters, François Thisdale, Shari Green, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, Tuan Ho, and Brian Deines. Our sincerest thanks go to the Ontario Library Association for promoting reading and Canadian books through this outstanding program.

Booktime calls The Night Lion a “beautiful book with beautiful illustrations”

Posted on October 16th, 2017 by pajamapress

TheNightLion_WebsiteThe Night Lion by Sanne Dufft is another beautiful book with wonderful illustrations….I hope to read this story over and over, and add it to my picture book buying list.”

Click here to read the full review

Dragonfly Song is an impressive work of middle-grade historical fiction” says Quill & Quire

Posted on October 16th, 2017 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_WebsiteDragonfly Song is an impressive work of middle-grade historical fiction. Aissa is a brave, tenacious girl, who rebels against the constraints of her life without appearing anachronistic. There isn’t a lot of young people’s fiction set in the Bronze Age, and the details here are lovingly researched, creating a transportive world. Especially noteworthy is the representation of religion in a pre-Christian setting, as the book explores both its beauty and brutality.”

Click here to read the full review

The Reading Castle raves about Dragonfly Song, calling it “a magnificent, magical book for teens and young adults”

Posted on October 15th, 2017 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_Website“From the first glimpse of the magnificent cover I knew that Dragonfly Song would be a glorious read. A fantasy story embedded in history? A strong heroine? Sign me up!

Long story short: Dragonfly Song was all that I expected it to be – and, at the same time, completely different. Is that a good thing? Definitely! Dragonfly Song is a magnificent, magical book for teens and young adults. During a sleepless night, I couldn’t put the book down. I suffered, laughed and, yes, cried. And although I live and die with books, I don’t cry often….

Dragonfly Song is more than just a good read. It’s a saga, not just a retelling of the legend of the Minotaur, but a tale of fighting for one’s identity. It’s the story of a strong girl taking her life in her own hands, finding her way against all odds….

Wendy Orr slows down significantly. She incorporates rhyme, which makes Dragonfly Song lyrical and interesting to read. Orr’s poetry might be challenging for the average midgrade reader. The sections are not bothersome, though. Embedded in Aissa’s story, at the right time and in the right place, they intensify the feeling of Dragonfly Song being a saga. Orr’s writing makes the book really special and a wonderful read – even for mid-graders!

Dragonfly Song – an outstanding book for young (and old) adults! Read it! Now!”

Click here to read the full review

Vicki is “so glad” she decided to read The Theory of Hummingbirds before gifting it to a middle grade reader

Posted on October 14th, 2017 by pajamapress

TheTheoryOfHummingbirds_Website“[4 1/2 stars]…

I am giving this book as a gift to an eager middle grade reader, but I decided to read it myself before passing it along. I’m so glad I did. Michelle Kadarusman draws on personal experience to craft well a story about learning to see past the surfaces of people and situations to go deeper and achieve understanding and empathy….These messages and the intertwined insights into hummingbirds – beautiful, resilient, fiesty, all in a tiny, exquisite package – are all conveyed with a light but resonant touch.”

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School Library Journal recommends Dragonfly Song to “fans of Shannon Hale’s historical fantasies”

Posted on October 13th, 2017 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_Website“The Bronze Age setting makes for a unique backdrop, and Aissa is a sympathetic character. Her struggles are heartrending, and made more so by the lyrical storytelling style. The descriptions of the dances are especially vivid. VERDICT Hand-sell this unusual tale to fans of Shannon Hale’s historical fantasies.”
Mandy Laferriere, Fowler Middle School, Frisco, TX

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

CanLit for LittleCanadians praises The Theory of Hummingbirds for its characterization of “real children with strengths and challenges”

Posted on October 13th, 2017 by pajamapress

TheTheoryOfHummingbirds_Website“Alba is like the hummingbirds of the title. Most people would see them as delicate creatures, perhaps fragile and vulnerable. But Alba and Levi, hummingbird aficionados, know that the little birds are not always what they seem. They can be intense, even ferocious, not unlike Alba herself….

The Theory of Hummingbirds is Michelle Kadarusman’s first middle-grade novel (Her first book, Out of It (Lorimer, 2014), was written for young adults) and she’s made it reader friendly in more than just vocabulary and content. Her characters are both sensitive and gritty, as the need requires, and neither goody-goody nor reprehensible. In other words, they are real children with strengths and challenges. Because she underwent a series of surgical procedures to correct her own congenital talipes equinovarus, Michelle Kadarusman writes from experience. Hence Alba’s determination and drive for normalcy is written with authenticity and reads the same. If there’s a lesson to learn, it’s that seeing the hummingbirds and Alba and Levi and others only one way does a disservice to them and anyone. We are all far more than our greatest challenge or weakness or even strength. For that, on this day, we should all be ever thankful.”

Click here to read the full review