Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘contemporary-fiction’

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.”

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Publishers Weekly says Small Things “may provide a measure of hope to those who might otherwise have given up in despair”

Posted on January 19th, 2018 by pajamapress

SmallThings_Website“The late Australian artist Tregonning’s wordless graphic tale, completed posthumously with help from Shaun Tan, captures the way anxiety can ravage children’s lives….Tregonning creates a visual language for the pain of depression and anxiety, and her story may provide a measure of hope to those who might otherwise have given up in despair.”

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Canadian Bookworm calls Timo Goes Camping a “delightful chapter book”

Posted on December 26th, 2017 by pajamapress

TimoGoesCamping_Website“This delightful chapter book is due to be released in March 2018, plenty of time before camping season here in Canada kicks in….

When the trip begins, Timo immediately finds his knowledge useful, helping tie the frying pan to Hedgewick’s pack with the knots he learned about. As the trip progresses, Timo’s knowledge continues to come in handy. There is much teasing from Suki about the mistakes made along the way, and even about Timo’s book-learning until Timo gathers the courage to discuss how teasing can hurt people’s feelings. I liked the opportunity taken for this discussion and the way it came up naturally through the plot. I liked the topic of a typical Canadian pastime such as camping.

Of course, the thing I loved most about this book was how even Suki agreed by the end that every adventure needs a librarian.

This is a good book for kids to introduce the idea of camping and some of the activities involved in such an adventure, the importance of not going into an adventure without some knowledge and preparation, and about ensuring that teasing doesn’t become hurtful. The illustrations are lovely, bringing the animals to life, along with their environment.”
—Shonna Froebel

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Best Pirate will “pull readers into the pirate drama” says Hakai Magazine

Posted on December 20th, 2017 by pajamapress

BestPirate_Website“Cat person or dog person? Choose your side and hang on for the ride as the Tuna Lubbers and the Frilly Dogs race to find the booty in Best Pirate….When [Augusta Garrick] comes face to face with a pirate kitty, she learns that working together—even if it involves an arch-enemy—is the best way out of a jam and sharing makes us all richer. The richly colored illustrations, dramatic expressions of the characters, and dialogue written on scrolls pull readers into the pirate drama.”

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Princess Pistachio and Maurice the Magnificent is “deliciously funny and thoroughly satisfying” says Through the Looking Glass Children’s Book Reviews

Posted on December 18th, 2017 by pajamapress

PPMM_Website“This delightful Princess Pistachio chapter book adventure is deliciously funny and thoroughly satisfying. Pistachio is not daunted when she is presented with a problem, and her optimism is refreshing and inspiring.”
—Marya Jansen-Gruber

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Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess receives praise from Becky’s Book Review for “wonderful” characterization

Posted on December 9th, 2017 by pajamapress

MacyMacMillan_Website“My thoughts: I loved this one. I really liked Macy. But I loved, loved, loved Iris. Together these two make for a GREAT read. I also enjoyed the other characters in the book. (Her best friend, Olivia, her mother, her step-father-to-be, Alan, her step-sisters-to-be, Kaitlin and Bethany.) Macy is a flawed heroine–my favorite kind. So in terms of characterization, this one was wonderful. The language–the writing–was great….I would say the writing was lyrical and poetic in places.”

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The Theory of Hummingbirds is “a sweet, gentle novel says Youth Services Book Review

Posted on November 10th, 2017 by pajamapress

TheTheoryOfHummingbirds_WebsiteRating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a starred review) 5

Everything works out in the end, but in a way that feels natural and realistic. A glossary of hummingbird facts and an author’s note add dimension to the story. This is a sweet, gentle novel about friendship….Recommend to readers who are moving beyond early chapter books into middle-grade fiction. Also recommend White Fur Flying by Patricia MacLachlan and Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo.”
—Renée Wheeler, Leominster Public Library, Leominster, MA

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CM Magazine praises The Theory of Hummingbirds for “aspects of the story [which] make for excellent critical literacy discussions”

Posted on October 21st, 2017 by pajamapress

TheTheoryOfHummingbirds_Website“…Like Alba, author Michelle Kadarusman experienced juvenile surgeries for clubfoot, as described in her ‘Author’s Note’, and Alba’s perspective here is delightfully authentic….

Indeed, it is these facts that will keep readers intrigued over and above the more common theme of friendship that binds this story, elevating this novel to a rich and thought-provoking read. A glossary of Alba’s Hummingbird Facts appears at the end of the book….

The total design of the book, including its various fonts and hummingbird images, is captivating.

In a couple of places, aspects of the story make for excellent critical literacy discussions. Alba’s single mother takes a shine to Alba’s medical specialist; is a personal relationship between them appropriate? And Alba constantly longs to be ‘normal’ until the ending when she decides that her bad foot ‘didn’t have to be normal, because it wasn’t normal that mattered.’ Is Alba really abnormal, or is diversity, and the way we think today about difference, the new normal? Important discussions for classrooms and beyond.

Highly Recommended.
Bev Brenna

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Canadian Children’s BookNews calls Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess a “beautifully crafted and affecting novel-in-verse”

Posted on October 20th, 2017 by pajamapress

MacyMacMillan_Website“Shari Green’s beautifully crafted and affecting novel-in-verse provides a sensitive depiction of a young girl wrestling with change and learning some important life lessons in the process. The unlikely friendship that develops between Macy and her neighbour Iris (who is facing some major life changes of her own) as they bond over books and fresh-baked cookies, is heartwarming and inspiring. Even once Macy and Olivia reconcile, both girls are increasingly struck by the need to help Iris and her friend Marjorie to remember and to tell their stories. This book is a thoughtful reflection on what makes a family, the power of friendship and the sacredness of stories (our own and others).”
—Lisa Doucet

Read the full review on page 23 of the Fall 2017 issue of Canadian Children’s BookNews