Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘middle-grade-fiction’

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess is “heartwarming and thought-provoking” says The Loud Library Lady

Posted on May 19th, 2017 by pajamapress

MacyMacMillan_Website“⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5…Perfect middle grade free verse! I am so excited to share this with my elementary and middle school students, as I am always talking up free verse, but can’t find enough excellent examples to share with them. Macy’s story is heartwarming and thought-provoking…I especially loved the book references throughout the story, like to the books El Deafo and The Tale of Despereaux - books that kids today will know and be able to relate to….I can’t wait to read this author’s other middle grade novel Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles and order both of these titles for my libraries.”

Click here to read the full review

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

Dance of the Banished is “a dynamic and compelling story” says Worlds of Words

Posted on May 10th, 2017 by pajamapress

DanceOfTheBanished_websiteDance of the Banished is based on true accounts about Alevi Kurds who were victims of war in Anatolia and the Canadian government’s internment camps in Ontario during World War I. The novel sheds light on the subtleties of cultural groups within geographical regions and their fate at the hands of the more powerful….

A dynamic and compelling story with likeable and realistic characters, this fictionalized narrative about how war often makes no distinctions between cultural groups will appeal to middle and secondary readers interested in history, romance, and how political movements on an international scale often wreak havoc at the local and individual levels. A deeply engaging plot that addresses many of the nuances of World War I, this book will make a great companion to Sanders’ series, The Rachel Trilogy, as well as Between Shades of Gray (Ruta Sepetys, 2012), which also address the concepts of movement, transitions, and how politics disrupt individual lives….”
—Holly Johnson, University of Cincinnati

Click here to read the full review

Two Times a Traitor is a Junior Library Guild Selection

Posted on March 9th, 2017 by pajamapress

twotimesatraitor_websitePajama Press is thrilled to announce that Two Times a Traitor by Karen Bass is a Junior Library Guild 2017 selection.

The Junior Library Guild “is a book review and collection development service helping thousands of school and public libraries acquire the best new children’s and young adult books, saving them both time and money….Our services help librarians with collection development and our members trust us to put only the best books into the hands of their eager young readers.” For more information, please visit the Junior Library Guild website.

Pajama Press extends our congratulations to Karen Bass. Our sincerest thanks go to the Junior Library Guild for promoting reading through this outstanding program.

Waiting for Sophie “is a good book for any expectant sibling” says Mom Read It

Posted on February 28th, 2017 by pajamapress

waitingforsophie_website“…Waiting for Sophie is a great older sibling book for younger school-age kids. Sarah Ellis not only captures the excitement of waiting for a new baby brother or sister, but also gives voice to the little frustrations kids can experience when dealing with a new baby in the house, and the desire to have a playmate their age. Sarah Ellis shows readers the fun side of being an older brother, like being the one to make the baby giggle. The gently colored illustrations make this a cozy reading choice for parents and kids, or educators discussing caregiving, to gather together and enjoy. This is a good book for any expectant sibling…”

Click here to read the full review

Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles gets 4 out of 5 stars from Moon Shine Art Spot

Posted on January 24th, 2017 by pajamapress

RootBeerCandyAndOtherMiracles_Website“My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book offers a peak inside a child’s mind. The questions a child must have about parents and a failing marriage. Still young enough to believe in magic and miracles, but too young to fully understand marriage, the reality of divorce, or the ailments of the human body.

A dream for better things and hope of understanding that “leaving” doesn’t mean someone doesn’t still love you.

I loved the cover art. I chose the book based solely on the title and cover art. I was surprised by the story when I started reading it. I was expecting summer fun, beaches, candy, and all things happy-happy. That’s not this book. It had everything except the happy-happy.

For any child reading the story, it is a way to gently explore some of the changes many children face today. I think the author did a great job with the story….”
—Aunt Meanie

Click here to read the full review

Root Beer Candy and Other Miracle is “Recommended” by School Library Connection

Posted on January 17th, 2017 by pajamapress

RootBeerCandyAndOtherMiracles_Website“Eleven-year-old Bailey and her brother Kevin are spending the summer with grandma Nana Marie while their parents go to Marriage Repair camp….After rescuing a beached dolphin, Bailey realizes that she can resolve some situations by her own actions, but must accept those she has no control over. This title is written in free verse, with dialogue written in italics and spacing used to indicate new voices. All of these techniques enhance the rich descriptions of the ocean setting and present a realistic story to the reader. Recommended.”
—Josie Stanmyre

Read the full review in the January/February 2017 issue of School Library Connection

Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles gets a glowing review from Library of Clean Reads

Posted on January 17th, 2017 by pajamapress

RootBeerCandyAndOtherMiracles_Website“…Written in light and lyrical free verse, Shari Green’s warm and wistful novel brings Bailey face to face with both hard and beautiful truths about growing up and growing into her own ability to shape the world.

…This is the first time I read a book in verse and I simply loved it. Although I no longer read middle grade fiction with my kids (they’re teens now) I will read a middle grade book from time to time if it catches my interest. This one did right from the start….

…I was impressed at how easily the author developed such unforgettable characters using free verse, all while building a great plot with excellent pacing.

I know I would have loved this book as a tween, and I highly recommend it. It’s delightful and poignant and one of my favorite books so far of 2017.”

Click here to read the full review

Resource Links says Timo’s Party is a “gentle and useful tale about the power of friendship”

Posted on December 28th, 2016 by pajamapress

timosparty_website“In this follow-up to 2015’s Timo’s Garden, Allenby again recounts a heartwarming story of friendship…

The story reads like an encyclopaedia of friendship with each good act from a friend provoking another. The warm, detailed illustrations evoke a comfortable small-town charm, sure to entice readers to visit Toadstool Corners again and again. The book also does a nice job of highlighting everyday texts within the narrative, including lists, invitations, and newspaper articles, which could prompt discussion about the importance of reading and writing in daily life. A simple apple recipe at the end of the book should inspire many readers to host apple festivals of their own.

Depicting acts of courage, selflessness, and kindness, Timo’s Party is wholly designed to support its readers’ character development. While certainly not flashy, this latest iteration of Timo and friends offers another gentle and useful tale about the power of friendship.

Thematic links: Kindness; Responsibility; Perseverance; Courage; Cooking; Friendship; Mindfulness; Social Anxiety”
Natalie Colaiacovo

Read the full review on page 1 of the December 2016 issue of Resource Links

Timo’s Garden “is a fun, whimsical beginner chapter book” says Peel District School Board Book Reviews

Posted on December 5th, 2016 by pajamapress

Timo's Garden | Victoria Allenby & Dean Griffiths | Pajama Press“Timo the cottontail rabbit has signed himself up for the upcoming garden tour. He creates a list for what he would like to keep, discard and add to his garden however tension begins to mount as he worries that one week might not be enough time to make his ‘good’ garden look great. By mid-week Timo is getting tired of telling himself how much he loves gardening as the realization sets in that all his hard work may not be enough. Furthermore, each day he turns down spending time with his friends to work on his garden project. Just when things are starting to come together, it rains all day on Friday. By Saturday, Timo’s garden is a soggy mess and with only one day to go until the garden tour, it takes a surprise visit from all of Timo’s friends to get his garden in perfect shape and for Timo to realize the true meaning of friendship. Timo’s Garden is a fun, whimsical beginner chapter book. The beautifully detailed illustrations help to tell the story and the addition of a flower glossary helps readers locate the variety of flowers in Timo’s garden.”