Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘middle-grade-fiction’

CanLit for LittleCanadians says "Cara's love for Mike is so deep that her anguish at being separated from him is palpable" in Missing Mike

Posted on June 5th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“With high summer temperatures and low precipitation predicted for the western provinces this year, there could be record wildfires again like the ones that imposed extensive evacuations on Fort McMurray in 2016. The circumstances of those forced evacuations and the tragedies and stories embedded within cannot be easily told or read but Shari Green, herself an evacuee in 2016, has the voice, the words, and the heart to tell it in her newest middle grade novel Missing Mike….

Missing Mike was…a heartbreaking story to read. Cara’s love for Mike is so deep that her anguish at being separated from him is palpable. She envisions a multitude of scenarios that Mike might be enduring or anticipates where he might be, alternating that distress with reflections on the things she and he did together. But more than the story about a missing dog, Missing Mike is about home and the different configurations it might take. Cara who spends some time working on crosswords, realizes that the synonyms for home are not always structures. They can be feelings and people and more.

Shari Green, who has impressed all readers with her exceptional novels in verse (Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles, Pajama Press, 2016; Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, Pajama Press,  2017) does not disappoint with this latest middle grade novel in free verse. The genre is a tough one to write but Shari Green has perfected it. She gets the voices dead on with a limited vocabulary and still tells an honest story about a family’s response to disaster and specifically a young girl’s determination to be reunited with the dog she loves and finding home whatever and wherever it may be.”

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Missing Mike “is a touching, lyrical story” written in an “effortless and candid” style says Fab Book Reviews

Posted on May 24th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“Canadian author Shari Green, author of the critically acclaimed and award-winning novel-in-verse Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, returns with Missing Mike, a middle grade novel (also in free verse) about a young girl’s unbreakable bond with her rescue dog Mike and what happens to Mike, her family, and their community when a devastating, seemingly unstoppable wildfire hits their town….

Overall, Missing Mike is a touching, lyrical story with the beautiful, boundless relationship of Cara and Mike as its core and achor. Shari Green’s writing style is effortless and candid, a perfect match for Cara’s natural and appropriately trusting, childlike narrative. Readers who love stories about human-animal bonds, children’s novels told in free verse, or middle grade titles that explore family dynamics and strength in facing adversity might find much to love about Missing Mike. Those who enjoy the writing of authors such as K.A. Holt, Katherine Applegate, Barbara O’Connor, Beth Vrabel or Alison Hughes might also want to check this moving middle grade novel out.”

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CM Magazine “Highly Recommends” Missing Mike by award-winning author Shari Green

Posted on May 4th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“In Missing Mike, a free verse novel, Green takes readers into a wildfire scenario much like that experienced by the residents of Fort McMurry in 2016, an event that was viewed by Canadians across the country via various television or online news outlets….

Green ends Missing Mike…with a number of unknowns regarding the family’s future because of the fire’s larger, long term impact on the community of Pine Grove and its inhabitants.

Green’s choosing to tell this story via free verse was the correct stylistic decision. Her descriptions, particularly those dealing with the evacuation, are absolutely gripping. There’s much to like in Missing Mike. Green also authored two other verse novels, Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles and Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess.

Highly Recommended.
—Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.

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Kiss the Book calls Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess “A great story of empathy”

Posted on February 28th, 2018 by pajamapress

MacyMacMillan_Website“This book in verse is the middle school Schneider Award winner, and is a sweet read. Full of lessons learned from people Iris has met as well as books she has read, this is full of titles named dropped (I love books that do that)! A quick read for either the upper elementary or middle school student. I love the diversity – yes, Macy is deaf, but the disability doesn’t drive the story. A great story of empathy.”

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Children’s Books Heal calls The Theory of Hummingbirds “a powerful and captivating story”

Posted on February 20th, 2018 by pajamapress

TheTheoryOfHummingbirds_Website“Why I like this book: Michelle Kadarusman has crafted a richly textured story about [Alba], who has a leg that is directionally challenged. It is a powerful and captivating story about differences and abilities and ‘learning to love who you are and what you can do.’ It is emotionally honest and filled with heart.

It is important for readers to see themselves in realistic characters like [Alba]….

The author’s use of hummingbirds as a poignant metaphor to help Alba embrace her life in a meaningful way and pursue her big dream. ‘Hummingbirds don’t sit around moaning about their tiny feet and that they can’t walk,’ she says. Like [Alba], the author was born with talipes equinovarus (CTEV), more commonly called club foot.

The plot is paced well with the perfect amount of tension to keep readers intrigued, engaged and guessing.  This is an excellent book for any school library.”

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Reading by the Pond says Dragonfly Song “was beautifully [written]“

Posted on February 8th, 2018 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_Website“This is one of those books that I can’t believe we almost missed. Fortunately a former MSBA member reviewed this and I decided to request it and read it. Wow – this is really something….The book was part prose and part poetic narrative and was beautifully done.”

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Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles “is a delight from start to finish” says The Crimson Review of Children’s and YA Literature

Posted on January 25th, 2018 by pajamapress

RootBeerCandyAndOtherMiracles_Website“This book is a delight from start to finish….The tale is written in verse, with spaces between speakers, with each character’s voice being very clear.”
—Holly Flores

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YA Books Central reviewer Kristie Lowry “cannot recommend Dragonfly Song enough”

Posted on January 24th, 2018 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_Website“Part fantasy, part fairy tale, and part myth, DRAGONFLY SONG is completely gorgeous….Aissa is a heroine to be admired….

Aissa is wonderfully resilient, and although my heart broke for her constantly as I read, I never doubted that this fierce, smart, loving girl would triumph despite the many forces working against her.

I cannot recommend DRAGONFLY SONG enough. I was sad to turn the final page and leave Aissa behind, but I suspect she’ll stay with me for a long while.”
—Kristie Lowry

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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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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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