Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

CM Magazine calls Swallow's Dance "an epic tale for all ages"

Posted on September 17th, 2018 by pajamapress

Swallow’s Dance is a sweeping tale of courage, fortitude, hardship and perseverance against all odds. It is also a coming of age story, an intimate glimpse into the life of a young girl adjusting to puberty at a time when her family, friendships and her understanding of her place in the world are brutally torn apart. Wendy Orr has crafted a sympathetic, memorable heroine whose struggles and challenges transcend time from the Bronze Age to modern day. Youth will relate to and sympathize with Leira, and readers of all ages will find hope in Leira’s resilience and ability to adapt and move forward despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Orr delves into the universal themes of family, love, loss, friendship, status and endurance within an engrossing and moving tale. As in Dragonfly Song, Orr includes some of Leira’s thoughts in segments of beautiful lyrical prose that could easily function as stand-alone poetry. While suitable for middle grade students and a wonderful introduction to mythology and discussions surrounding puberty, spirituality, class, mental health, death and disaster, Swallow’s Dance is one of those rare books that is also just a great story, an epic tale for all ages.

Highly Recommended.”
—Cate Carlyle is an author and former elementary teacher currently residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she is a librarian at Mount Saint Vincent University.

Click here to read the full review

Kirkus Reviews gives Swallow’s Dance a Starred Review

Posted on August 1st, 2018 by pajamapress

“Spiritual and cultural beliefs blossom into a celebration of life—at least until the darkness of fear and ruthlessness of the earthmother rip apart a homeland and a cherished way of life. This mesmerizing, aching tale explores ancient beliefs in gods and nature and their impact on an Aegean island society in the Bronze Age….Orr nimbly shows Leira’s imperiousness and her humanity alike as the girl witnesses the jarring shift in order when once-exalted priests and priestesses find themselves cast adrift. Her mixture of prose and free verse to tell Leira’s story is lyrical and magnetic—and devastating. Not for readers searching for a simple or happy journey, this is a beautiful song of a book that shows that life isn’t always fair, but change is always constant.”

Click here to read the full review

“Wendy Orr…uses her formidable writing skills, poetic prose and narrative poetry to bring [Dragonfly Song] to life” says Oregon Coast Youth Preview Center

Posted on April 3rd, 2018 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_WebsiteVerdict: Australian author Wendy Orr, author of Nim’s Island, uses her formidable writing skills, poetic prose and narrative poetry to bring this historical fiction to life, juxtaposing the old ways of Crete with the changes brought by the invading Minoans. Highly recommended for middle, high school, and public library collections.”
—Jane Cothron

Click here to read the full review

Reading by the Pond says Dragonfly Song “was beautifully [written]”

Posted on February 8th, 2018 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_Website“This is one of those books that I can’t believe we almost missed. Fortunately a former MSBA member reviewed this and I decided to request it and read it. Wow – this is really something….The book was part prose and part poetic narrative and was beautifully done.”

Click here to read the full review

YA Books Central reviewer Kristie Lowry “cannot recommend Dragonfly Song enough”

Posted on January 24th, 2018 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_Website“Part fantasy, part fairy tale, and part myth, DRAGONFLY SONG is completely gorgeous….Aissa is a heroine to be admired….

Aissa is wonderfully resilient, and although my heart broke for her constantly as I read, I never doubted that this fierce, smart, loving girl would triumph despite the many forces working against her.

I cannot recommend DRAGONFLY SONG enough. I was sad to turn the final page and leave Aissa behind, but I suspect she’ll stay with me for a long while.”
—Kristie Lowry

Click here to read the full review

Dragonfly Song is “an unusually thoughtful offering in the middle-school mythology genre” says Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Posted on January 20th, 2018 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_Website“The narrative style shifts between straightforward, lyrical prose and imagistic free-verse poetry, a technique that infuses the story with a dreamlike atmosphere. Both forms advance the action, but the poetry enhances the sense of intimacy by focusing attention on Aissa’s impressionistic views of the world and her sense of isolation among the people who fear, bully, and reject her. Her ultimate triumph is credibly compromised, making this an unusually thoughtful offering in the middle-school mythology genre.”

Click here to read the full review

Dragonfly Song gets 5 stars from Youth Services Book Review

Posted on January 15th, 2018 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_WebsiteRating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

What did you like about the book? …This is a fascinating story, well-told. The kingdom is so realistically drawn that it feels more like history than fantasy.

Anything you did not like about this book? Not a thing.

To whom would you recommend this book? Give this to kids who like to root for the underdog, who like fantasy kingdoms and you could also give them The Moor Child by Eloise McGraw….

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Very, very near”
Katrina Yurenka, Moderator, Youth Services Book Review

Click here to read the full review

Kiss the Book says Dragonfly Song “would be a rich classroom experience”

Posted on January 10th, 2018 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_Website“At first I was thinking, well, let’s get Aissa to the Bull King’s land and get her into training already, but by the end, I was glad that I was able to connect with Aissa through knowing about her and her struggles – that made the triumph all that sweeter. Aissa’s story will not be the kind of book where students pick it up and share it with each other. Only a few students at this level are emotionally mature enough as readers to appreciate her story. What should happen is teachers need to read this and adopt it to read together as a class. With the poetry of Aissa’s thoughts combined with all of the other elements of story, this would be a rich classroom experience.
—Cindy, Library Teacher

Click here to read the full review

Dragonfly Song “is simply a beautiful book” says Resource Links

Posted on December 27th, 2017 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_Website“Rating: E…Dragonfly Song takes readers on a magical journey back to the Bronze Age when a magnificent civilization called the Minoans prospered on the island of Crete. Legends claim that a half-man, half-bull Minotaur lived in the palace and demanded that surrounding cities send youths each year as tribute for the bull to catch and devour….

This novel is a lyrical account of an ancient civilization. Aissa is a strong and courageous heroine who grows up to become the leader of her small island. Her determination to survive is severely tested throughout the narrative when she is rejected by her family and her community. The novel’s narrative structure is exceptional with sections in poetry revealing Aissa’s thoughts and feelings. The cover graphic is vibrant and innovative showing images which represent the major themes of the novel. Overall, this is simply a beautiful book which will definitely appeal to readers who appreciate a good adventure in a mystical setting!”
—Myra Junyk

Read the full review on page 35 of the December 2017 issue of Resource Links Magazine

Dragonfly Song gets a 4.5/5 rating from Kids’ BookBuzz

Posted on December 21st, 2017 by pajamapress

DragonflySong_Website“We rated this book: [4.5/5]…

Dragonfly Song was definitely a good book….I really like this story, as it was very original and creative. I like the creative story line, as it was intriguing. I also like that the book was partially written in poetry and partially written in prose. Books are usually one or the other, so I like how the author wove them together. I love how this story was very detailed, as I could picture almost everything. Overall, Dragonfly Song was an amazing book.”
—Farrah – Age 11

Click here to read the full review