Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘free-verse’

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess is one of Shari Green’s “insightfully poignant tales” says CanLit for LittleCanadians

Posted on May 15th, 2017 by pajamapress

MacyMacMillan_Website“Shari Green, author of Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles, has found her story as a writer of extraordinary middle grade novels in verse. Though I suspect she can write just about anything–middle grade, young adult, speculative fiction, non-free verse–her talent is definitely in writing insightfully poignant tales in the impassioned and crisp free verse style. As in her earlier book, Shari Green uses few words, but the right ones, to grow a story of such sensitivity for and awareness of her characters and readers that all will leave the story fulfilled. Her characters’ stories connect with us in ways we cannot put into words. I was astounded that a little girl could gain so much wisdom, courtesy of Iris and Shari Green of course, about life’s stories that she has a middle-aged woman such as myself in tears and heeding her advice.

Hearts are waiting, worrying, hurting
–in need of a message
you can send.
 (pg. 226)

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess is a message from the writing goddesses that everyone’s life is just a story or series of stories that need to be told to be fully appreciated but no worries here because one of their scribes, Shari Green, has taken on that task capably and, like Iris, with wholehearted extravagance.”

Click here to read the full review

Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles “is in itself a miracle” says CanLit for LittleCanadians

Posted on September 6th, 2016 by pajamapress

RootBeerCandyAndOtherMiracles_WebsiteWith her parents’ marriage in need of repair, her friend and neighbour Daniel suffering with cystic fibrosis, a community divided and occasionally hostile, the compassionate Jasper being disgraced and driven out of town, and the church’s chalice missing, Bailey and Felicity Bay need a miracle or two.

…Good and bad may ebb and flow like the tides but that’s just the nature of things….Nonetheless it doesn’t stop her from making an all-out effort to help, whether it be her parents, Jasper, or a beached dolphin, and try to turn the tides of adversity.

Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles is Shari Green’s debut novel but it is an accomplished story in form and content worthy of a seasoned writer….Balancing structure with plot is complicated. Yet Shari Green dives right in, creating characters and circumstances that effortlessly carry the reader from beginning to end on waves of sentiments, some fearful, most benevolent, all heartfelt. Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles is in itself a miracle…

Click here for the full review.

Waterloo librarian recommends Nix Minus One

Posted on October 21st, 2013 by pajamapress

Nix_C_PRINT_Nov13.indd“You will think about the characters in this book, even when you’re not reading. Animal lovers, especially, won’t be able to put it down.

Note: Nix Minus One is one of 10 works of fiction nominated in the White Pine (Grades 9 – 12) category for the 2014 Ontario Library Association Forest of Reading Awards.”

– Heather Woodley, a collections development librarian with the Region of Waterloo Library.

Click here to read the full review.

Nix Minus One is PW “Best New Books” pick

Posted on July 26th, 2013 by pajamapress

Pajama Press is pleased to announce that Nix Minus One by Jill MacLean is a Publishers Weekly Pick for the “Best New Books for the week of July 29, 2013.” One of eight selections in a variety of genres, MacLean’s book was chosen by PW‘s editors  from among their many previously-reviewed, recently-released titles.

You can view the full list of PW Picks here.

You can read PW‘s review of Nix Minus One here.

Happy reading!

Nix Minus One “echoes with the rhythms of family life” —Books YA Love

Posted on July 15th, 2013 by pajamapress

“A dog, beaten and ignored.
A girl, risking and reckless.
A boy who must step out of his safe-place to save them…

I lived in Newfoundland in early grade school (on a now-closed Air Force base), so I have a strong mental picture of the isolated small coastal town that Roxy longs to escape, where Nix’s solitary ways are known to everyone, where a story can never be untold.

Request this novel-in-verse from your local library or independent bookstore; they might have to order it (Pajama Press is a small Canadian firm, not one of the “Big 5″), but it’s so worth waiting for!

Have you ever felt like the only person who could fix a situation?”

Click here to read the full review – but beware of spoilers!

Booklist reviews Nix Minus One

Posted on July 1st, 2013 by pajamapress

“MacLean’s free verse style mirrors 15-year-old protagonist Nix Humbolt’s quiet, unassuming nature: “The first time / I came across the word / introversion / was the first time / I recognized myself. Like, / there was a category / for me.” At the heart of the novel, which is set in a tiny Newfoundland village, is Nix’s complex, push-pull relationship with his older, rebellious sister, Roxy, and the tender bond he forms with a neglected guard dog. To deal with the challenges of both, Nix takes refuge in his father’s woodworking studio, channeling ragged emotions he can’t verbally express into smooth boxes, picture frames, and tables. But when tragedy upends Nix’s life, it takes a special girl named Blue—and a special dog—to help him confront reality. Nix’s immediate first-person narration offers astute observations (“Is an adult just a teenager with a layer of veneer?”), and YAs who are drawn to contemporary fiction and verse novels won’t want to miss this poignant Canadian import.
— Ann Kelley

Nix Minus One on CBC Summer Book Panel 2013

Posted on June 24th, 2013 by pajamapress

Children’s Book Panel member Ken Setterington appeared on CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter today with co-panel member Michele Landsberg. The two shared their selections for this summer’s reading list. Setterington’s YA choice? Nix Minus One.

“It’s a fast read, just a good family story, but a story about a young man finding out who he really is. A strong book.”

Click here to listen to the full segment. Skip to 11:27 for the full Nix Minus One review.

Student Review of Nix Minus One

Posted on June 21st, 2013 by pajamapress

Hello I am Joshua I am a grade eight student in Barrie. The book I have read is Nix Minus One by Jill MacLean. The reason I read this book is because I think Jill Maclean is a very good author and I have read many of her books and really enjoyed them. This book is a very entertaining book that makes you want to keep reading because you get so caught up in the emotions of some of the characters. The main character Nixon, goes through a couple of the biggest changes in his life. Nixon is a 15 year old guy who isn’t very popular and his sister Roxanne, known as Roxy is falling for one of the most dangerous guys in school. Bryan Sykes is known to be a drug dealer. Nix would do anything for his sister, but when Roxy doesn’t come home from her friend’s party Nix get very worried. Nix only has a couple friends. Chase McCallum and his sister who they call Blue who seem to be everywhere in the book but Blue is mostly in the barrens bird watching. In conclusion I believe that this book is really entertaining for people who enjoy realistic fiction because I really got attached to Nix and his family. I think readers would find some similiarites of this story to their own lifestyle and overall it’s just a good read. I would rate this a 9.5/10.
—Joshua, Student Reviewer

Nix Minus One is an Open Book Toronto “Sizzling Summer Reading ‘Kids’ Can Lit’” pick!

Posted on June 10th, 2013 by pajamapress

“In Nix Minus One, Nix Humboldt is an introverted teen who is finding his way through the turmoil of adolescence. He is challenged to come into his own by a number of situations in his life: his discovery of a dog who is being mistreated by her owner and his determination to befriend and save her; his burgeoning friendship with Chase and his sister Blue; his need to process and come to terms with an unimaginable tragedy that shakes he and his family to their very core. As Nix struggles to find his voice, MacLean soothes us with the gorgeousness of her writing, the spare but perfect free verse of this unforgettable gem.”

Chosen by Lisa Doucet, Co-Manager of Woozles Children’s Bookstore in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Click here to read the full post.

Publishers Weekly praises Nix Minus One

Posted on May 27th, 2013 by pajamapress

“… MacLean (The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy) writes in short free-verse chapters that read like prose stripped of all unnecessary words. An introvert, Nix watches in dismay as his tempestuous sister flirts with drugs, alcohol, older boys, and risky social scenes: “I thought the yellow sun/ rose over the mountains and set over the sea/ on my sister Roxanne./ Then she hit puberty./ Head-on collision.” More observer than participant at home and school, Nix comes alive in his father’s woodworking shop: “I pick up the dovetail saw,/ cut into the sockets, chisel out the waste…. and by now I’ve forgotten/ anyone’s watching.” Writing with careful, evocative language, MacLean explores love in myriad forms: Nix’s concern for a neighbor’s abused dog that he longs to rescue, his crush on one girl and budding friendship with another, Roxy’s affection for her brother, and his family’s grief over a devastating tragedy.”

Click here to read the full review.