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Posts Tagged ‘mg-lit’

CM Magazine gives 4/4 stars to Dragonfly Song and calls it “a work of beauty”

Posted on November 16th, 2017 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_Website[4/4 stars]…Wendy Orr’s Dragonfly Song is a work of beauty. From the stunning cover to the mythological imagery and lyrical prose, readers are drawn in and carried along on an intense ride. Since Aissa is mute for much of the story, her thoughts and observations are inserted in the form of short poetic phrases. This change in format does not remove the reader from the story in any way, and these pieces could, in fact, stand alone as beautiful poetry. Those with no knowledge of Greek mythology will benefit from the opening author’s note, but prior knowledge is definitely not a requirement to enjoy this book. Orr’s language is gripping and enchanting, and Dragonfly Song would make a perfect read-aloud chapter book for middle grade teachers. While the academic cross curricular subject areas are obvious, including history, mythology, religion, spirituality, even bullying, I enjoyed this story simply as a pleasure read. Readers will find that Dragonfly Song and its fearless heroine will stick with them long after the final chapter.

Highly Recommended.
Cate Carlyle is a librarian at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, NS.

Click here to read the full review

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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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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Slug Days is “a wonderful discussion starter” says Youth Services Book Review

Posted on October 30th, 2017 by pajamapress

SlugDays_Website“Lauren is an endearing narrator, and readers should find it easy to identify with her….This book would be a wonderful discussion starter, and would be helpful both for children who are on the autism spectrum as well as for their classmates and friends. The winsome illustrations on nearly every page should further endear Lauren to readers, and also encourage early chapter book readers.”
—Renée Wheeler, Leominster Public Library, Leominster, MA

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Princess Pistachio and Maurice the Magnificent “will delight the young crowd” with silliness and antics says Resource Links

Posted on October 25th, 2017 by pajamapress

PPMM_Website“For the primary crowd, this story would likely work best as a read-aloud…Alternatively, it would be a good fit for slightly more developed readers transitioning to chapters. The text is quite humorous, and the silliness in the character’s names and antics will delight the young crowd. Whimsical drawings in Gay’s signature style are on each page, and the layout of text and illustrations will be very appealing for the targeted age.”
Nicole Rowlinson

Read the full review on page 19 of the October 2017 issue of Resource Links

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

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