Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘time-travel’

Two Times a Traitor is featured on ILA Today’s, “War and Conflicts” children’s book list

Posted on October 7th, 2017 by pajamapress

TwoTimesATraitor_Website“Violent conflicts occur around the globe every day. History shows how small disagreements often erupt into larger conflicts that can morph into wars. Wars have long-lasting effects on the environment as well as civilians and the troops who fight in them. This week’s column features books that explore some of those wars and conflicts….

[Karen Bass] provides enough details to allow [readers] to draw their own conclusions about the battles between the French and the English and Laz’s own personal dilemma.

Ages 15+

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“Readers will adore the action adventure story of Two Times a Traitor but its story of historical events is extraordinary and not to be relegated to second place” says CanLit for LittleCanadians

Posted on September 18th, 2017 by pajamapress

“…Karen Bass knows how to seamlessly weave a bit of the unexpected into her fiction, as she did in her suspenseful The Hill (Pajama Press, 2016), and as she does in Two Times a Traitor which blends a contemporary setting with Canada’s past in Louisbourg 1745 through the use of time slip….

While taking the reader into both sides of the 1745 siege of Louisbourg, Karen Bass makes sure that Two Times a Traitor is about Laz recognizing what home is to him….Readers will adore the action adventure story of Two Times a Traitor but its story of historical events is extraordinary and not to be relegated to second place. Karen Bass does comprehensive research, providing astounding detail to setting and characters, plunging readers into the fray that was war. By allowing Laz to be part of both sides and emphasizing his confusion about which side to favour, Karen Bass allows readers to see the conflict from different perspectives and takes history away from the one-sidedness of most textbooks. Moreover, she allows us to see that conflict, whether personal or historical, always has two sides that need to be seen. Resolution may be amicable or there may be victors and those defeated, but how it plays out is all about point of view.”

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Two Times a Traitor is recommended to fans of Forbes’ Johnny Tremain by Youth Services Book Review

Posted on August 17th, 2017 by pajamapress

TwoTimesATraitor_WebsiteRating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4…

What did you like about the book? Laz’s growth in the book is evident. Hard times often force maturity and Laz dealt with his situation well considering. The connections Laz made to those around him were especially poignant….

To whom would you recommend this book? Any child looking for regional historic fiction like Forbes’ Johnny Tremain.”
—Sadina Shawver, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

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Canadian Bookworm calls Two Times a Traitor “[a] wonderful read”

Posted on July 6th, 2017 by pajamapress

TwoTimesATraitor_Website“This story is of a boy, moving from a rebellious pre-teen to an assured young man as he is forced to deal with his situation on his own. A wonderful read incorporating Canadian history and a great character.”

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Two Times a Traitor “demonstrates how Canada’s history goes far beyond 150 years” says Jill Jemmett

Posted on June 12th, 2017 by pajamapress

TwoTimesATraitor_Website“This is a great story. The historical aspects are really good for middle-grade students. Canadian history isn’t taught as much as it should be in school, so this story would be a great supplement for kids.

Though Canada’s 150th anniversary is being celebrated this year, this story demonstrates how Canada’s history goes far beyond 150 years….

This is a great story for middle grade readers!”

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Two Times a Traitor “has enough action to suit the most demanding reader” says Winnipeg Free Press

Posted on June 7th, 2017 by pajamapress

TwoTimesATraitor_Website“Combining time travel with swash-buckling adventure, Alberta author Karen Bass has written a sure-to-be favourite with middle readers, Two Times a Traitor….

This novel has enough action to suit the most demanding reader….

Highly recommended for ages 9-12.”

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Namesake is “captivating” —Ramblings of a Daydreamer

Posted on August 13th, 2013 by pajamapress

“…I thought MacLeod did a really good job of weaving the past together with the present. I always worry that books like this will get confusing with the back and forth, but I had no trouble keeping up with Namesake. I enjoyed watching Jane’s life in the present, and I eagerly anticipated each of her visits to the past, since I’ve always been fascinated with Tudor era England…Namesake is a captivating story that is sure to please fans of contemporary young adult and historic fiction alike.”

—Marie Landry

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Namesake is “Suspenseful, emotional and powerful.” —Kirkus Reviews

Posted on July 17th, 2013 by pajamapress

“A modern-day Canadian girl named Jane Grey travels back in time to meet the Lady Jane Grey, imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1553.

Bookish Jane is doing research for a paper about her namesake Lady Jane Grey, the 15-year-old who was queen of England for nine days and later executed by Queen Mary. Finding an old prayer book, she reads a prayer out loud and is transported to the Tower of London, where only Lady Jane, who calls her “Namesake,” can see her. Using the prayer book to time travel at will, she becomes friends with Lady Jane and tries to think of a way to save the brilliant and innocent teenager. Meanwhile in the present, Jane tries to escape her alcoholic mother’s increasingly aggressive and bizarre behavior. When the two stories collide just before Lady Jane’s scheduled execution, Jane struggles to save herself and her friend. MacLeod writes the modern sections in a heightened style that almost feels more like poetry than prose. She writes Lady Jane’s dialogue in Tudor English, modifying it only slightly for modern readers. Her vivid descriptions of the filthy turmoil of 1553 London, when even the nobility often had lice, should open some eyes. Most importantly, she strives to get the history right.

Suspenseful, emotional and powerful.”
Kirkus Reviews

Debut novel Namesake earns starred Quill & Quire review

Posted on April 20th, 2013 by pajamapress

“In her debut novel, Sue MacLeod successfully accomplishes a feat many more experienced writers struggle with: weaving an historical narrative smoothly into a contemporary storyline. The Toronto author uses the tried-and-true device of time travel to bring together two very different girls who share the same name: Jane Grey.

Modern Jane is a 15-year-old Halifax girl trying to navigate the first few months of high school and a host of typical teen problems, which pale in comparison when she comes face-to-face with a girl whose life is about to come to an abrupt end.

A mysterious prayer book mixed in with a pile borrowed from the library for a school history project throws Jane through a wormhole into the world of her namesake, the doomed 16-year-old who ruled England for nine days in 1553 before her cousin Mary had her imprisoned in the Tower of London and eventually beheaded for treason.

As Jane learns about Lady Jane, both through writing her history project and her friendship with the tragic figure, the reader becomes informed as well, but the knowledge is imparted in a subtle, natural manner. Likewise, MacLeod drops tidbits of Halifax history into conversations and Jane’s descriptions of her hometown. Many books for young readers attempt similar tactics, but rarely are they executed this well.

With surprising clarity, MacLeod also captures the heightened sensitivity of teen interactions. The shifting allegiances and subsequent jealousies that define female friendships and the fickle, temporary nature of teen romance are presented realistically, without the taint of adult judgment.

The real accomplishment, however, is MacLeod’s treatment of Jane’s unpredictable relationship with her (mostly) functional alcoholic mother, Analise. Will it be a good day (“Single Mother as Hero”) or bad (“A Day When Hell Broke Loose”)? Analise is needy, yet takes little interest in her daughter’s life unless it suits her. And she is mean, with a vindictive streak that plays a major role in the book’s climax. Yet she can be loving, and despite Jane’s anger and resentment, ultimately the girl just wants her mother to get help.

It sounds like a lot of ground to cover in one slim volume, and it is, but with sensitivity and some well-placed humour, MacLeod pulls it off.”
Dory Cerny, Q&Q’s Books for Young People editor.