Pajama Press

Archive for November, 2013

Through the Looking Glass calls A Bear in War a “remarkable book”

Posted on November 6th, 2013 by pajamapress

A Bear In War case mech“Inspired by the true story of a teddy bear “that was sent to the front lines during World War I” this remarkable book will give children a sense of what it was like living on the home front. They will also find out what it was like to witness a war from the inside of a war medic’s pocket. Aileen’s father’s great-granddaughter, Stephanie Innes, wrote this story with author Harry Endulat, and it serves as a tribute to the young men who left their homes and families to serve in WWI. It also shows to great effect that people left at home had to have courage too. It was not easy living with worry and fear.”

— Marya Jansen-Gruber

Click here to read the full review.

Stephanie McLellan at Word on the Street

Posted on November 5th, 2013 by pajamapress

Stephanie McLellan presented both Hoogie in the Middle and Tweezle into Everything at Word on the Street 2013.

Watch her in action:

 

Graffiti Knight “has more drama than The Hunger Games” – Resource Links

Posted on November 5th, 2013 by pajamapress

GraffitiKnight_MedRated E: excellent, enduring, everyone should see it!

“This notable fourth novel by Karen Bass should add an interesting dimension to the current fashion of [dystopian] novels. It is based on real evens from post-war Europe (1947 to be exact) in what is now East Germany. For my money, it has more drama than the Hunger Games.

The hero of the novel is a teenager in Leipzig, a broken city whose citizens live in fear of their new oppressors, with no hope of escape. Wilm is almost finished school and quite by accident finds himself waging a war of embarrassment against the German police he considers to be puppets of their Soviet masters. His campaign gains momentum and a shift in focus after he learns that his sister had been raped the year before by a group of Soviet soldiers when she had gone to the train station to meet her German soldier boyfriend. Wilm had idolized the boyfriend, who then joined the German police. Wilm sees the betrayal as doubly troubling.

In the midst of all this is the budding friendship between Wilm and a structural engineer who works for the Soviets, although not by choice. He mentors Wilm until Wilm strikes a compromising deal with the German police and the ex-boyfriend in an effort to save a close friend from imprisonment. Left to his own devices, Wilm commits one more account of defiance and lands all his friends and family in trouble. The only escape is complete escape – to the Americans on the other side of the border with Czechoslovakia.

Five of them set out on a life or death path to hoped-for freedom, aware that the price will be steep and the journey treacherous. They are pursued by the ex-boyfriend who uses his professional resources in what is now a personal vendetta.

Author Karen Bass and author Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch (Making Bombs for Hitler, The Hunger, Last Airlift) are cousins. Between them they have brought to life vital portraits of life before, during, and after war, regardless of locale or allegiance. By not resorting to fantasy to carry their work, they have done all of us a great service.

P.S. Graffiti Knight is a great title.

Thematic links: World War II; Adolescence; Communism; Post-war Germany; The Cold War; Rape; Civil Disobedience.”

Lesley Lute

Learn more about Resource Links.

Resource Links reviews Community Soup

Posted on November 5th, 2013 by pajamapress

CommunitySoup_Med“This is a book about school age children in Kenya who have a garden outside their school and work together to harvest the vegetables to make a communal soup for all to share. Unfortunately one child, unable to tie up her goats brings them to school where the children have a lot of laughs trying to stop them from eating their vegetables. At one point someone has the idea to milk the goats and add the milk to the communal soup which makes it more delicious.

This is a fun read that helps children understand the way of life of Kenyan school children and how different their life is from our own. It also describes the various vegetables and what goes into making soup and in the end even gives a recipe for making a pumpkin vegetable soup to make at home with an adult.

Curricular applications include learning about Kenya: discovering a world outside their own, how children work alongside parents and teachers and that children have chores to do before attending school, how community gardens work and how everyone gets to share in the work and in the cultivation, and how to make a communal soup and what goes in.

Thematic links: Children Working Together; Community Gardening and Cooking; Goats.”

Carmen Poulin

Learn more about Resource Links.

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.

CM Magazine highly recommends Cat Champions

Posted on November 1st, 2013 by pajamapress

CatChampions“Laidlaw, author of No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs, now provides a book that will empower you to help homeless cats…An index and resource guide (cat protection and information websites) can be found on the back pages. This book worked for me…

Highly recommended.”

— Tanya Boudreau

Click here to read the full review.