Publisher’s Letter (Spring, 2014)

March 1st, 2014


This March, Pajama Press is proud to be publishing a new young-adult novel by celebrated author and human rights activist Deborah Ellis. Moon at Nine is a riveting novel based on a true story of two young adolescent girls accused of being gay in Iran—a country where homosexuality is considered so abhorrent it is punishable by death. Issues of homosexuality and human rights have been making headlines recently as some countries are decriminalizing homosexual activity while others, such as India, are reinstating gay sex bans; and Russia has recently established their own new antigay laws. Pajama Press is a children’s publishing house that believes in the rights of children, and we stand behind Deborah Ellis and her groundbreaking novel. Children should never be condemned for sexual orientation—and for that matter, neither should adults. It is our hope that Moon at Nine will touch the hearts and sensibilities of readers, bringing a keen new awareness to this monstrous injustice. We’ll be pulling out all the stops with a full-scale marketing and publicity plan to support this important title. We encourage you to join us in standing behind Deborah and Moon at Nine, which will release just in time for Norooz, Iran’s New Year.

For our sixth season publishing wonderful children’s books, we have five new titles to fill our virtual clothesline. Our three gorgeous picture books are: Peach Girl, a spirited Japanese story by Raymond Nakamura and the popular illustrator Rebecca Bender; When Emily Carr Met Woo, a true story about the famous west-coast painter and her beloved monkey by Monica Kulling and Dean Griffiths; and Skydiver, a new information storybook from Celia Godkin about saving the fastest bird in the world—the peregrine falcon. We are also extremely pleased to welcome award-winning author Sylvia McNicoll to our list. Sylvia has written a compelling middle grade novel, Revenge on the Fly, which is sure to capture the imagination of young boys.

At our Annual Fall Launch on November 7th we had a terrific turnout to celebrate the achievements of all our authors and illustrators published in 2013. All of the illustrators had framed art from their books hung gallery style and all the proceeds from the art sales went directly to the artists. Open Book Toronto photographer Lisa Myers attended and took lots of great photographs of our launch, which Open Book called one of “Fall’s hottest events.” Thank you, Lisa, for permitting me to use the photo above. Some have interpreted it as a photo of me singing karaoke—but I wasn’t—just welcoming everyone at the party!

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