Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘juvenile literature’

School Library Journal hails Acts of Courage as a great read for students

Posted on June 15th, 2012 by pajamapress

In this novel, Laura Ingersoll Secord grows from a curious 12-year-old in Massachusetts to a fearless heroine in Upper Canada. The book is based on the true story of an American family trying to prosper during the years leading up to the War of 1812. Laura’s father is a captain in the American militia who travels frequently. After years of fighting rebel discord, he moves his family north to create a new settlement in Upper Canada. Laura marries genteel James Secord, a businessman and Loyalist, who fought to protect Upper Canada. Her journey to heroism and fame begins here. After boldly rescuing James, injured in battle, she overhears American soldiers planning a surprise attack on Canadian troops. Laura embarks on a dangerous 19-mile journey past enemy lines, through snake-filled swamps and rocky terrain, to warn the soldiers. This decision leads to the Canadian victory at the Battle of Beaver Dams. The rich and detailed descriptions of the rigorous lifestyle settlers endured in the early 19th century will enthrall readers… Secord’s story is a great way for students to learn about the politics of the period and the relationship between the United States and Canada during post-Revolutionary War times. Maps of the Ingersolls’ journey to Canada and Laura’s walk are sure to pique students’ interest and encourage further research.

Amy Shepherd, St. Anne’s Episcopal School, Middleton, DE

Rebecca Bender wins the Blue Spruce Award!

Posted on May 28th, 2012 by pajamapress

Pajama Press author Rebecca Bender has taken home the Blue Spruce Award for her debut picture book, Giraffe and Bird (Dancing Cat Books, 2010)!

The Blue Spruce Award is part of the Ontario Library Association’s annual recreational reading program, the Forest of Reading. Readers from across the province voted for their favourite in a shortlist of books for their age category; Giraffe and Bird was chosen by voters aged 4 to 7.

Rebecca received the award at the 2012 Festival of Trees on May 15, the same day her second picture book, Don’t Laugh at Giraffe, hit the shelves. Quill & Quire has already given the sequel a starred review, saying, “Endearing animal buddies Giraffe and Bird return in Rebecca Bender’s stellar second book, Don’t Laugh at Giraffe…a warm, gentle tale with a good message and plenty of funny moments, making it a great choice for sharing. After all, the story reminds us, it’s always better to laugh with a friend that at one.”

Pajama Press will be releasing a Giraffe and Bird greeting card line this summer, and further books are being planned. For those who just can’t wait, the characters will interact with fans on special Facebook pages, The Giraffe and The Bird.

 

CanLit for LittleCanadians praises Don’t Laugh at Giraffe

Posted on May 23rd, 2012 by pajamapress

Rebecca Bender‘s experiences in design and publishing (now as art director/designer at Pajama Press) have served her well, helping her create the touchable, plush animals that are Bird and Giraffe.  Bold acrylics fill the pages (try and find large sections of white anywhere) bringing the richness of the settings to act as companions for the distinct characters on which she focuses.  But Rebecca Bender goes beyond just drawing animals in bold colours:  she creates personalities with expressive visages (hard to do on a small bird) and morphologies, with lessons to teach and learn.  Recognizing that we’re all a little bit Giraffe and a little Bird makes them even more endearing.” –Helen Kubiw

Click here to read the full review.

Last Airlift “highly recommended” by Ten Stories Up

Posted on May 18th, 2012 by pajamapress

[Last Airlift] would make a wonderful story, even if it were completely made up.  But it’s not.  Last Airlift is 100% nonfiction…At the same time, it reads like a novel, with characters and dialogue, bringing the experience of a young refugee vividly to life…Highly recommended to history fans, native North Americans interested in other cultures, and kids who love survival stories. –Lindsay Carmichael

Click here to read the full review

Rob on the Road

Posted on April 20th, 2012 by pajamapress

Rob Laidlaw has been reading, speaking, and signing his way across Western Canada this spring, promoting his book No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs.

“It’s always a highlight to find people who are so interested in dogs and other animals,” Rob said on his return to Toronto. “What’s really encouraging is not only that they’re interested, but they also want to do their part to help.”

The trip included a range of events from a keynote speech at the Critteraid I Heart Animals Banquet in Penticton, BC to elementary school and library talks in Surrey and Sidney BC to a book launch in Winnipeg’s McNally Robinson bookstore.

“I try to vary my talks to keep them fresh, interesting and current,” Rob said. Fortunately, this series of very diverse events allowed him plenty of variety. One stop that earned him a fair amount of media attention was Winnipeg, where the Winnipeg Humane Society borrowed a term from No Shelter Here and awarded the first Dog Champion of the Year award to eight-year-old Christina Sudoma at Rob’s McNally-Robinson launch. Later, Rob was one of five speakers at “An Evening of Compassion, Advocating for Animals” in Winnipeg’s Park Theatre.

“It was a great event and an ethusiastic crowd,” Rob said. “I think the evening entertained, stimulated and empowered a lot of people and, for me, that’s what it’s all about.”

Now that he is home again, Rob is back at work at Zoocheck, the animal protection agency he founded. He plans to go on tour again in the fall when the paperback edition of No Shelter Here is released.

School Library Journal calls True Blue “A compelling and moving read… worthy of any school curriculum”

Posted on April 16th, 2012 by pajamapress

Ellis explores the courage it takes to stand up for a friend in a town shattered by a murder. Jess’s best friend, Casey White, has ambition and passion. A budding entomologist, she seeks an adventurous life outside their small town. So when Casey is inexplicably arrested for the murder of a girl at a camp where the teens are counselors, Jess feels incredibly alone. The townspeople are quick to assume Casey’s guilt. While Jess’s mother (a woman with a mental illness) demands a call to action to release Casey from jail, Jess says nothing to defend her best friend to her cruel and small-minded classmates. Jess wants Casey to be exonerated and goes so far as to dream up an escape plan but, in the end, she fails to come to Casey’s aid and actually helps the prosecution build the against her. Ellis’s masterful novel makes every word count, thus highlighting Jess as a deeply conflicted, not totally reliable, narrator who is so afraid of losing the only part of her life that she values–Casey–that she doesn’t realize how much her actions have cost her. A compelling and moving read, True Blue is about the courage to believe in oneself and fight for what’s right, even when it is the hardest thing to do. A book worthy of any school curriculum.

–Kimberly Garnick Giarratano, Northampton Community College, Hawley, PA

Five-Star Amazon.ca Review of Emily for Real

Posted on April 16th, 2012 by pajamapress

I enjoyed Emily For Real. The prose flows nicely, the characters are authentic, and Emily’s voice is immediate and compelling. Emily is a real teen, as are her friends. It’s never wise to keep secrets from anyone, especially those you love, but there is one thing in Emily’s life that is not kept secret — she is loved.

Click here to read the full review.

CanLit for LittleCanadians reviews Last Airlift

Posted on April 10th, 2012 by pajamapress

…Tuyet becomes a heroine of her own story, using her fortitude, observations, and humanity to navigate the new territories outside of the orphanage and to make herself fit in.

Read the Full Review Here

The Westfield Booktalker calls Last Airlift “fascinating and poignant…”

Posted on March 22nd, 2012 by pajamapress

Click here to read full review.

Review of No Shelter Here in School Library Journal

Posted on March 16th, 2012 by pajamapress

“Canine lovers will discover a broad array of topics useful for caring for dogs and becoming an advocate for their humane treatment…Children will come away from this book educated and inspired to become “Dog Champions””

- School Library Journal