Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘Historical Fiction’

“Wendy Orr…uses her formidable writing skills, poetic prose and narrative poetry to bring [Dragonfly Song] to life” says Oregon Coast Youth Preview Center

Posted on April 3rd, 2018 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_WebsiteVerdict: Australian author Wendy Orr, author of Nim’s Island, uses her formidable writing skills, poetic prose and narrative poetry to bring this historical fiction to life, juxtaposing the old ways of Crete with the changes brought by the invading Minoans. Highly recommended for middle, high school, and public library collections.”
—Jane Cothron

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Pirates and Privateers warns readers that Two Times a Traitor “is near impossible [to put down]”

Posted on January 23rd, 2018 by pajamapress

TwoTimesATraitor_Website“[5/5 stars]…Two Times a Traitor is a riveting time-slip adventure. From first page to last you are caught in the vortex that whisks him from the present back to the past. When the sword slices his hand or musket balls whiz by, you feel and hear both. His emotions become yours as he wends his way through dangerous actions and foreign places where he doesn’t know the rules, yet his life depends on knowing them. Bass vividly recreates past places and times and her characters, both good and bad, compel you to discover how Laz resolves the conflicts he faces as he matures from an immature youth to a teenager wise beyond his years. Beware: Putting the book down is near impossible. Nor is this book just for older children and young adults; adults will equally be enthralled with this historical novel that explores a period in Canadian history of which few Americans are aware. Once you begin to read, you soon discover why this highly recommended book was chosen as a 2017 Junior Library Guild selection and one of the Best Books for Kids & Teens for 2017.”

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Kids’ Book Buzz gives Two Times a Traitor 4.5/5 stars!

Posted on December 17th, 2017 by pajamapress

TwoTimesATraitor_Website“We rated this book: [4.5/5]

I never thought I’d like a character who betrays his family and friends, but 12-year-old Laz is a character you are going to root for….

My favorite parts are full of action as Laz becomes a pirate, spy, and messenger and returns home to be an older brother and son. If you could travel through time through a medallion, then the rest is a pretty believable story. I like a lot of historical fiction, so this book really interested me, but I didn’t know a lot about Halifax or this particular war.”
—Neela, Age 9

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Canadian Children’s BookNews says “Resurfacing after being immersed in [Two Times a Traitor]…is certainly a challenge”

Posted on December 13th, 2017 by pajamapress

TwoTimesATraitor_Website“Two-time winner of the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People, author Karen Bass follows up Graffiti Knight and Uncertain Soldier with Two Times a Traitor, weaving an exciting tale of adventure, time travel and war, all within a historical perspective.

Bass’ writing provides a visceral experience of the events leading up to the Siege of Louisbourg, thrusting Laz into a life completely unknown to him, without technology, clean drinking water or regular bathing. Armed with his parkour skills and a certain knack for getting people to trust him, Laz manages to get by and even thrive under such harsh conditions….

Resurfacing after being immersed in Bass’ highly charged, patriotic and engrossing portrayal of 1745 is certainly a challenge, not just for Laz but for the reader as well.”
—Amy Mathers

Read the full review on page 26 of the Winter 2017 issue of Canadian Children’s BookNews

Log Cabin Library says the action in Dragonfly Song is “thrilling to say the least”

Posted on November 9th, 2017 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_WebsiteWhy I wanted to read this: Wendy Orr is the author of Nim’s Island, which I’ve read and enjoyed and once I read the premise of Dragonfly Song I was intrigued by how it is based on the legend of King Minos of Crete. and the Minoan civilization….

Dragonfly Song is written in both free verse and prose, which I thought was an interesting choice at first, yet Orr’s transitions come together smoothly, developing Aissa’s character and giving insights into her inner thoughts. Aissa was so resilient and even a bit silently rebellious, which I really appreciated about her character….[D]espite everything she grows into this strong girl determined to win her freedom and show everyone what she is capable of.”

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Dragonfly Song gets ★★★★ from reviewer Jill Jemmett

Posted on November 7th, 2017 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_WebsiteRating: ★★★★…I really enjoyed this story….[A] great introduction to the Ancient Greek style for young readers, if they also have some guidance from an adult.”

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Blue Stocking Thinking recommends Dragonfly Song for readers who “love being absorbed in another world”

Posted on November 6th, 2017 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_Website“I love the gentleness and the vulnerability in this story. I also love the hope, the knowing that there is more in store for Aissa. And I love Aissa’s sense of good and her perseverance. My goodness, she certainly perseveres.

This is a book to give readers that love being absorbed in another world. Readers that don’t need flashy events on every page, readers that can wait. It is so worth the wait.”

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Resource Links praises Two Times a Traitor for “its attention to historical detail”

Posted on October 24th, 2017 by pajamapress

TwoTimesATraitor_Website“To utilize a thirteen year old and place him directly in harm’s way proves to be quite a zany approach to tackling historical fiction, and a young reader will certainly relate to the main character…At the beginning of his other-worldly experience, Laz will try to conceptualize it through electronic texts he wants to send to a friend, but eventually those texts are dismissed for a more genuine attachment to the past, one where Laz will befriend the French defenders in Louisbourg and feel himself conflicted by his initial promise to betray them.

Two Times a Traitor is well researched and although Bass does shift some of the events around to further her plot she does the honourable thing to mention those inconsistencies in an historical note at the end of the book….[P]erhaps the real worth in this book is in its attention to historical detail and for that it should be regarded as an excellent educational resource.”
Zachary Chauvin

Read the full review on page 34 of the October 2017 issue of Resource Links

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.”

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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