Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘namesake’

Early Modern Words for Modern Readers

Posted on April 22nd, 2016 by pajamapress

Namesake - a Lady Jane Grey novel by Sue MacLeodSince UN English Language day lines up with the anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, we’re going to take a page out of his illustrious notebook and talk about some old-school English words that aren’t used so much anymore.

Often mislabelled “Old English“, Shakespeare’s English is properly called Early Modern English, the direct forerunner of the Modern English we use today. Early Modern English rose with the Tudor dynasty, the British monarchs who ruled during the era featured by Sue MacLeod’s  YA novel, Namesake. In this novel each chapter opens with an Early Modern English word that has fallen out of general use. For English Language Day, we’re going to share a handful of our favourites here.

Aroint

Let’s start with a strange one that has well and truly disappeared. The only reason we have any record at all of the word “aroint” is because Shakespeare used it in Macbeth and King Lear. This unusual verb means “begone!” or “get thee gone!” and only exists in its imperative form as a command. Its origins are unknown, though there is some speculation that it is local slang that emerged from farming communities in and around Cheshire, England, where milkmaids were recorded saying “rynt thee” to their cows after milking. In another context, “aroint thee” is used as a defense against witches—“Aroint thee, witch,”—having been popularized in Macbeth. This usage may have its roots in ‘rauntree‘, an alternate name for the rowan. Rowan wood, it was popularly believed, had properties that could deter witches and protect cattle.

640px-Gartenschlaefer-drawing

“Garden Dormouse (Eliomys quercinus)” (llustrierter Leitfaden der Naturgeschichte des Thierreiches) by T.F. Zimmermann, 1876.

Dormouse

The root of this Anglo-French word is from the French dormir (to sleep). The second syllable may have been mistaken for “mouse” by early English speakers, or it may be a compound of the English “mouse” and the French dormir. In Tudor times, Dormouse could also refer to someone who was sleeping or dozing, in the same way we might call a messy person a pig today.

Ruth

Our last featured word for UN English Language Day is “ruth”, which has virtually fallen out of use in English except as its opposite, “ruthless.” In the Tudor era it was a noun meaning “pity, compassion, or sympathy”. This form of “ruth” predates the Early Modern period by about 350 years and may originate from the Old Norse word hryggð meaning “sorrowful” or “grieved”. A second possibility is that ruth developed directly from the Old English verb “rue”, whose meaning reflects a state of feeling sorry or regretful, and is linked to emotions like grief and distress.

There are plenty of other obscure English words to explore in Sue MacLeod’s Namesake, where a history project and a mysterious prayer book connect two teenage girls across time, sparking an unlikely friendship.


Be word nerds with us:

Online Etymology Dictionary

Out of Shakespeare: ‘Aroint Thee’

Amy’s Marathon of Books is in Halifax with Namesake

Posted on January 17th, 2014 by pajamapress

Namesake_C_Dec13v2.indd“…Where reading non-fiction books can at times be dry and daunting, fiction opens up the same topics in a new way, providing characters a reader can personally connect with interspersed with historical facts.

Sue MacLeod’s Namesake is a spectacular example of this. I loved the way she took some liberties with Lady Jane’s story, while still staying true to the historical aspects. MacLeod also manages to make Jane and Lady Jane’s characters equally fleshed out and relatable.

…I would recommend this book more for early teen readers, but it’s a must read for lovers of historical fiction.”

Click here to read the full review.

 

Finding Wonderland reviews Namesake

Posted on December 17th, 2013 by pajamapress

Namesake_LR“…I didn’t actually think I was reading a time travel novel when I opened Sue MacLeod’s Namesake – and then I was like, “Hmm.” I was impressed with the characterization and drawn in by some home truths about the character’s life, and I didn’t realize I was enjoying a time travel novel until it was too late. It was a good thing I didn’t give it a pass on general principles, either…”

Click here to read the full review.

Full Pajama Press list recognized in Best Books for Kids & Teens

Posted on December 1st, 2013 by pajamapress

Pajama Press is thrilled to announce that every book in our Spring 2013 list has been recognized in the Canadian Children’s Book Centre‘s Fall 2013 edition of Best Books for Kids & Teens. Those books are:

NixMinusOneNix Minus One by Jill MacLeanStarred Selection

Namesake_LRNamesake by Sue MacLeod

HoogieInTheMiddle_LRHoogie in the Middle by Stephanie McLeallan, illustrated by Dean Griffiths

CommunitySoup_LRCommunity Soup by Alma FullertonStarred Selection

Congratulations to Jill, Sue, Stephanie, Dean, and Alma!

Indies First

Posted on November 29th, 2013 by pajamapress

Saturday November 30th is the annual celebration of Indies First, a movement started by Sherman Alexie to have authors and illustrators support independent bookstores by hand-selling books for the day. Hundreds of bookstores and authors have participated in this event since its inception.

This year marks the first time Canadian independent bookstores are getting involved. Pajama Press is lucky enough to have three of our own taking part:

Stephanie McLellan, author of Hoogie in the Middle and Tweezle into Everything

Tara Anderson, illustrator of Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That

Sue Macleod, author of Namesake

They will be at Ella Minnow Children’s Bookstore on Saturday between 11am and 3pm.

Drop by to ask them for a recommendation of their favourite children’s book. And while you’re at it, you can also pick up a copy of one of their books. It’s all to help support the wonderful independent bookstores.

The Canadian Booksellers Association is planning to make the event even bigger next year. And we’re really looking forward to it!

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers reviews Namesake

Posted on November 27th, 2013 by pajamapress

Namesake_C_Dec13v2.indd“…you’ll grow close to both young ladies as they explore each other’s lives in the here and there.  You’ll grow to understand both their positions and the choices they make regarding their own fates.  You’ll realize that it’s not just a history project in the making nor a chance to see life as it once was, but a story that reminds us that everyone has difficult times in life…”

Click here to read the full review.

 

The 2013 Pajama Press Annual Book Launch and Art Show

Posted on November 25th, 2013 by pajamapress

On November 7th Pajama Press celebrated nine books published in 2013 at the Annual Pajama Press Book Launch and Art Show, an event Open Book Toronto called one of “the season’s hottest literary events.” The launch included great food, Ontario wine, excellent company, book signings, and walls filled with framed original picture book art.

Thank you to everyone who came out to make the evening wonderful, including authors and illustrators Jill MacLean (Nix Minus One), Sue MacLeod (Namesake), Alma Fullerton (Community Soup), Stephanie McLellan (Hoogie in the Middle, Tweezle into Everything), Karen Bass (Graffiti Knight), Tara Anderson (Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That), Meghan Marentette (The Stowaways), and Rob Laidlaw (Cat Champions: Caring for our Feline Friends). Special thanks to the young Cat

Champions who also came out, to our photographers, and to Claude Viens, chef extraordinaire.

Alma Fullerton and her art. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Alma Fullerton and her art. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Alma Fullerton, Brian Deines and Rob Laidlaw. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Alma Fullerton, Brian Deines and Rob Laidlaw. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Alma Fullerton and Gillian O'Reilly. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Alma Fullerton and Gillian O’Reilly. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Alma Fullerton and Jill MacLean. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Alma Fullerton and Jill MacLean. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Brian Deines and Wallace Edwards. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Brian Deines and Wallace Edwards. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Camillia Kahrizi and Kate Edwards. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Camillia Kahrizi and Kate Edwards. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Charlotte Teeple, John Spray and Mary Macchiusi. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Charlotte Teeple, John Spray and Mary Macchiusi. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Christine Vyhnal, Erika Miklasevics, and Sam and Penny Klarreich.

Christina Vyhnal, Erika Miklasevics, and Sam and Penny Klarreich.

Claude Viens. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Claude Viens. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Dean Griffiths' art. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Dean Griffiths’ art. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Dean Griffiths's The Stowaways "Character Sketch". Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Dean Griffiths’s The Stowaways “Character Sketch”. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Dean Griffiths The Stowaways "Dedication Page". Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Dean Griffiths The Stowaways “Dedication Page”. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Cat Champions, Eddie Nikkifork and Jasmine Polsinelli. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Cat Champions, Eddie Nikkifork and Jasmine Polsinelli. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Emily and Brian Lindgreen. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Emily and Brian Lindgreen. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Former Fitzhenry & Whiteside crew, Max Arambo, Luana Lindorfer, Amy Hingston and Penny Taylor. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Former Fitzhenry & Whiteside crew, Max Arambo, Luana Lindorfer, Amy Hingston and Penny Taylor. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Gail Winskill and Claude Viens. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Gail Winskill and Claude Viens. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Gail Winskill giving her speech. Photo credit: Lisa Meyers.

Gail Winskill giving her speech. Photo credit: Lisa Meyers.

Harry Black and Mary Macchiusi. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Harry Black and Mary Macchiusi. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Jane Glassco and Mary Anne Cree. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Jane Glassco and Mary Anne Cree. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Karen Bass, Martin Gould, Gisela Sherman and Marsha Skrypuch. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Karen Bass, Martin Gould, Gisela Sherman and Marsha Skrypuch. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

The crowd listening to the speech. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

The crowd listening to the speech. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Luana Lindorfer, Amy Hingston and Max Arambo. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Luana Lindorfer, Amy Hingston and Max Arambo. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Meghan Marentette and Brian Lindgreen. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Meghan Marentette and Brian Lindgreen. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Meghan Marentette. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Meghan Marentette. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

"Or where sunbeams"  by Tara Anderson. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

“Or where sunbeams” by Tara Anderson. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Rachel Seigel, Susan Menchinton and Arthur Gale. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Rachel Seigel, Susan Menchinton and Arthur Gale. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Rebecca Bender. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Rebecca Bender. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Rebecca Bender, Eva and Greg Higgison. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Rebecca Bender, Eva and Greg Higgison. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Staff, authors, illustrators and cat champions. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Staff, authors, illustrators and cat champions. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Stephanie McLellan. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Stephanie McLellan. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Sue MacLeod, Jill MacLean and Alma Fullerton. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Sue MacLeod, Jill MacLean and Alma Fullerton. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Tristan, Erin, Sarah and Stephanie McLellan. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

Tristan, Erin, Sarah and Stephanie McLellan. Photo credit: Pat Thornton Jones.

"When Strange Shadows" by Tara Anderson. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

“When Strange Shadows” by Tara Anderson. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

"When the Lights" by Tara Anderson. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

“When the Lights” by Tara Anderson. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Aliya Stacey and Rebecca Bender. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Aliya Stacey and Rebecca Bender. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Brian Deines. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Brian Deines. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Erin Woods. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Erin Woods. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Gail Winskill, Terry Jones and Liz Sloan. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Gail Winskill, Terry Jones and Liz Sloan. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Karen Bass. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Karen Bass. Photo credit: Ellen Nodwell.

Kieran Zierer Clarke. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Kieran Zierer Clarke. Photo credit: Paul Wilson.

Canadian Children’s Book News calls Namesake “a gem”

Posted on November 1st, 2013 by pajamapress

Namesake_C_Dec13v2.indd“Jane Grey is a student in Nova Scotia preparing a history project on her namesake, Lady Jane Grey, who was the queen of England for nine days in 1553, a political pawn in the intrigues of the Tudor era. Jane discovers Lady Jane’s Book of Prayre mixed in with her research books from the library and it carries her back to Lady Jane during the last few months of her life. The two teenagers become friends and confidants, helping each other through everything that happens in both of their lives.

MacLeod uses words sparingly and lovingly in Namesake, revealing just enough to carry the reader through the lives of both Janes, just enough to capture the imagination and draw us into the story. Her descriptions of High School ring completely true as do the times when Lady Jane is trying out modern language. The abuse suffered by both girls is also treated gently, realistic without being harrowing.

The modern Jane is strong and inventive, carrying on an active inner life and finding a way to improve her own life — even when her attempts to change 16th century events fail.

Without a misstep, Namesake proceeds from a tantalizing prologue to the satisfying conclusion. Perfectly constructed, this book is a gem.”

Willow Moonbeam is a math professor and librarian.

Click here to learn more about Canadian Children’s Book News.

School Library Journal praises MacLeod’s “evocative prose”

Posted on October 1st, 2013 by pajamapress

“Strange things happen when Jane Grey, a high school student in Halifax, begins an assignment researching Lady Jane Grey, the “nine days queen.” Upon examining her cache of library books, she finds one she hadn’t checked out: Booke of Prayre. As Jane opens it, she is mysteriously transported to the 16th century and meets her namesake. MacLeod dexterously handles the intricacies of the time travel central to the story, and a fascinating, powerful bond develops between the two Jane Greys. It is during their encounters that this first novel is most riveting and successful. Both characters are wonderfully fleshed out. Their mutual confusion heightens the mystery about the impact they might have on each other. Both Janes have their problems with family. Historical Jane struggles to continue following her Protestantism while her Catholic cousin Mary assumes the throne of England. Modern Jane has difficulty coping with what she perceives as the three sides of her mother’s personality. The author’s skill is most pronounced when the two Janes are getting to know each other and to understand the milieu in which each lives….MacLeod’s evocative prose makes friendship across time seem possible. Though Lady Jane’s tragic life is known, readers hope for a happier outcome. This enjoyable read offers a window into an intriguing aspect of British history. It is likely to appeal to fans of Susan Cooper’s King of Shadows (S & S, 1999) and books by Margaret Peterson Haddix.”

—Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ

Learn more about School Library Journal here.

Books in the Spotlight believes Namesake goes beyond trope

Posted on September 27th, 2013 by pajamapress

“While Namesake may be initially seen as a standard time-slip novel, with a contemporary character going back in time to learn something which she could apply to her own life, the book goes beyond trope by having both Janes interact and take active roles in each other’s lives, even to the point of altering history if that could save their friendship… I really think you get a sense of who Lady Jane was as as person, a girl who died for her beliefs and who couldn’t fight to change her fate. I’m really glad that the author chose a figure in the Tudor history who isn’t necessarily scandalous and who isn’t all that removed from the main character’s age, to share their lives and their stories, and developing their new friendship which both of them needed desperately. Though the ending of Lady Jane’s story is heartbreaking, it sparks a change in present day Jane…”

– Rummanah Aasi

Click here to read the full review.