Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘contemporary-fiction’

Missing Mike will have dog lovers "waiting on the edge of their seats" says Resource Links

Posted on June 18th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“Rating: E…The verse novel format lends itself well to the frantic and emotional nature of a natural disaster and Shari Green’s writing is carefully crafted. This is a timely book, as wildfires have become a more common occurrence in western Canada and the United States….Dog lovers will also be waiting on the edge of their seats to find out if Mike and Cara are reunited.

Cara’s search for her dog and for a feeling of home will resonate with readers of all ages, and this book would make an excellent addition to a classroom or school library.”

Thematic Links: Natural Disasters; Wildfires; Family; Home; Dogs
—Alice Albarda

Read the full review on page 7 of the June 2018 issue of Resource Links

Canadian Children's Book News calls The Theory of Hummingbirds an "endearing story"

Posted on June 18th, 2018 by pajamapress

TheTheoryOfHummingbirds_Website“In her first middle grade novel, author Michelle Kadarusman skilfully uses emotional honesty to capture the turmoil of not fitting in and the hard journey to acceptance in terms children can easily understand. Alba’s spirited nature keeps her afloat through the tough times having a clubfoot has caused, but she is not immune to wanting to be like her classmates, or dreaming of breaking free from her disability.

Alba and Levi’s friendship is a joy to read about. Able to ground each other when needed, they also support putting aside skepticism and doubt for the sake of the other….Drawing on a tale from Peru, Kadarusman ends The Theory of Hummingbirds with the constructive message that all we can do is what we can do. Even a hummingbird dropping beads of water on a raging fire makes a difference, and Alba’s endearing story is sure to change readers as well.”
—Amy Mathers

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Missing Mike "showcas[es] author Shari Green's genuine flair for originality" says Midwest Book Review

Posted on June 6th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“Showcasing author Shari Green’s genuine flair for originality and narrative driven storytelling, Missing Mike will prove to be of extraordinary interest for children ages 9 to 12, making it an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to elementary school and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections for young readers.”

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CanLit for LittleCanadians says "Cara's love for Mike is so deep that her anguish at being separated from him is palpable" in Missing Mike

Posted on June 5th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“With high summer temperatures and low precipitation predicted for the western provinces this year, there could be record wildfires again like the ones that imposed extensive evacuations on Fort McMurray in 2016. The circumstances of those forced evacuations and the tragedies and stories embedded within cannot be easily told or read but Shari Green, herself an evacuee in 2016, has the voice, the words, and the heart to tell it in her newest middle grade novel Missing Mike….

Missing Mike was…a heartbreaking story to read. Cara’s love for Mike is so deep that her anguish at being separated from him is palpable. She envisions a multitude of scenarios that Mike might be enduring or anticipates where he might be, alternating that distress with reflections on the things she and he did together. But more than the story about a missing dog, Missing Mike is about home and the different configurations it might take. Cara who spends some time working on crosswords, realizes that the synonyms for home are not always structures. They can be feelings and people and more.

Shari Green, who has impressed all readers with her exceptional novels in verse (Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles, Pajama Press, 2016; Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, Pajama Press,  2017) does not disappoint with this latest middle grade novel in free verse. The genre is a tough one to write but Shari Green has perfected it. She gets the voices dead on with a limited vocabulary and still tells an honest story about a family’s response to disaster and specifically a young girl’s determination to be reunited with the dog she loves and finding home whatever and wherever it may be.”

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“[Green's] ability to convey complex emotions is on point: uncertainty, regret, nostalgia, loyalty, love, and friendship are palpable” says Quill & Quire in their review of Missing Mike

Posted on June 5th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“In Missing Mike, Vancouver Island-based writer Shari Green, known for her award-winning middle-grade verse novels Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles and Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, mines the dynamics of loss, change, and belonging when a family is forced to flee from encroaching wildfires….

The recognition of grey areas in life – and the attempts we make to classify and resolve them – is a theme well suited to upper-middle-grade readers; many will identify with Cara’s desire to have a solution for everything. Green highlights this struggle by including crossword clues and answers in the text, some of which Cara finds easier to solve than others. Her troubles resonate as well in the definitions of her puzzle words: for example, what is ‘lost’ can be found, while what is ‘abandoned’ does not always have the same potential for a happy ending.

…[Green's] ability to convey complex emotions is on point: uncertainty, regret, nostalgia, loyalty, love, and friendship are palpable. Missing Mike is a novel that subtly shifts from being about a missing dog to become an exploration of the emotional journey of losing home and finding it once again.”
—Jen Bailey

Read the full review on page 28 of the June 2018 issue of Quill & Quire

CM Magazine “Highly Recommends” Missing Mike by award-winning author Shari Green

Posted on May 4th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“In Missing Mike, a free verse novel, Green takes readers into a wildfire scenario much like that experienced by the residents of Fort McMurry in 2016, an event that was viewed by Canadians across the country via various television or online news outlets….

Green ends Missing Mike…with a number of unknowns regarding the family’s future because of the fire’s larger, long term impact on the community of Pine Grove and its inhabitants.

Green’s choosing to tell this story via free verse was the correct stylistic decision. Her descriptions, particularly those dealing with the evacuation, are absolutely gripping. There’s much to like in Missing Mike. Green also authored two other verse novels, Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles and Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess.

Highly Recommended.
—Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.

Click here to read the full review

Children’s Books Heal calls The Theory of Hummingbirds “a powerful and captivating story”

Posted on February 20th, 2018 by pajamapress

TheTheoryOfHummingbirds_Website“Why I like this book: Michelle Kadarusman has crafted a richly textured story about [Alba], who has a leg that is directionally challenged. It is a powerful and captivating story about differences and abilities and ‘learning to love who you are and what you can do.’ It is emotionally honest and filled with heart.

It is important for readers to see themselves in realistic characters like [Alba]….

The author’s use of hummingbirds as a poignant metaphor to help Alba embrace her life in a meaningful way and pursue her big dream. ‘Hummingbirds don’t sit around moaning about their tiny feet and that they can’t walk,’ she says. Like [Alba], the author was born with talipes equinovarus (CTEV), more commonly called club foot.

The plot is paced well with the perfect amount of tension to keep readers intrigued, engaged and guessing.  This is an excellent book for any school library.”

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Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles “is a delight from start to finish” says The Crimson Review of Children’s and YA Literature

Posted on January 25th, 2018 by pajamapress

RootBeerCandyAndOtherMiracles_Website“This book is a delight from start to finish….The tale is written in verse, with spaces between speakers, with each character’s voice being very clear.”
—Holly Flores

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Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess gets 5 stars from Puss Reboots

Posted on January 21st, 2018 by pajamapress

MacyMacMillan_WebsiteMacy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess by Shari Green is a novel in freeform poetry about a girl trying to come to terms with the big changes in her life. Big changes coming: a new school at the end of sixth grade, a new house, a step dad, and step-siblings (twins)….

The poetry and type face help to express both Macy’s emotional state and the rhythm of sign. ASL has its own grammar — something that is lost when writing out dialog into standard prose. By keeping the lines short and focused on the core actions, items, emotions — there’s more of a sense of how Macy is actually thinking and expressing herself….

Though Macy’s town is never given a name, there are enough clues to suppose it’s somewhere on the north eastern edge of Vancouver Island. The author is from there and it shows in how she lays out the geography of Macy’s world.

Five stars.”

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Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess is a selection in ILA LiteracyDaily‘s list, “More Poetry, Please”

Posted on January 19th, 2018 by pajamapress

MacyMacMillan_Website“In this poignant verse novel, readers will be touched by the humor and heroism of Macy McMillian, who faces unwanted changes in her life as her mother is remarrying and she soon will be forced to move into a different home with her new stepdad and two stepsisters….While Macy’s deafness is a feature of the book, the focus is her gradual acceptance of the changes in her life. This novel in verse is an accessible read about the families we chose for ourselves and the power of stories.”

Click here to read the full review