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Posts Tagged ‘free-verse-novel’

Three Starred Reviews for Swallow's Dance by Wendy Orr!

Posted on October 3rd, 2018 by pajamapress

Booklist ★ Starred Review

“As she faces the demands of sheer survival, Leira gradually realizes that the privileges afforded to her, thanks to her social status, are meaningless, and she starts taking on whatever unpleasant job she must to protect herself and

her family. There are no miracles and no clear answers for Leira, but she learns to love what she has and that she can cope with anything. Leira’s lyrical first-person narrative advances the story along beautifully with a fitting sense of urgency, and free-verse songs clue readers in to her emotional development. Immersive historical fiction.”
—Donna Scanlon

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School Library Journal ★ Starred Review

“Gr 5-8–Leira’s sheltered life of privilege is all she has ever known. Her biggest concern is becoming a woman so she can start her priestess rites. Her people believe the earth goddess will protect them if the proper rituals and sacrifices are carried out, but an earthquake rocks their existence. Leira’s mother is crushed inside their home and suffers severe brain damage, and eventually her family chooses to take their chances by boarding a boat to Crete. As tragedy upon tragedy befalls the sweet but naive Leira in this Bronze Age–set tale, readers will cheer for her to succeed, grow, and to find her way in this new world. Some chapters written in verse make the more emotional plot lines sing. An eye-opening look at how difficult it is when one’s status changes in life, and how attitude can shape outcome. VERDICT Beautiful writing and a fast-moving plot will give young historical fiction fans much to love.”
–Mandy Laferriere, Fowler Middle School, Frisco, TX

Read the full review in the October 2018 issue of School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews ★ Starred Review

“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.”

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Log Cabin Library calls Swallow's Dance "a wonderful mix of survival and a coming of age story"

Posted on September 28th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Swallow's Dance Author: Wendy Orr Publisher: Pajama PressSwallow’s Dance is the fictionalized story inspired by the real events of a hurricane that occurred in 1625 BCE on the island of Thera (now known as Santorini) that resulted in a huge tsunami on Crete and the speculation of whether the people of Thera were able to flee to Crete before the city was buried.  Like Dragonfly SongSwallow’s Dance is told through a combination of prose and free verse. It’s a wonderful mix of survival and a coming of age story.

Leira is a resilient young girl who endures so many hardships once she arrives in Crete. One of her early concerns is that she will never be able to complete her learning to become a woman….Despite everything that she endures, she is still strong, fierce and strives to improve her living situation, to one day be free. You can’t help rooting for Leira as she vows to honor her people and claim who she is.”

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Missing Mike "is a life-affirming, soul-soaring journey of love, loss, family, hope and the true definition of home" says Canadian Children's Book News

Posted on September 21st, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“Award-winning author Shari Green has crafted an emotional and lyrically gripping tale capturing readers by the heart strings from page one with the unmistakable voice and keen observations of a young girl wise beyond her years. Indelible characters and realistic dialogue add depth, while short chapters and a free-verse format make for smooth transitions and quick comprehension, especially ideal for reluctant readers.

Missing Mike is a life-affirming, soul-soaring journey of love, loss, family, hope and the true definition of home. A standout book in the collection of any middle-grade reader, it will resonate particularly with those who love stories about the resiliency of the human spirit and the unbreakable bond between animals and their human families.”
—Jennifer D. Foster

Read the full review on page 32 of the Fall 2018 issue of Canadian Children’s Book News

Winnipeg Free Press calls Missing Mike “especially topical”

Posted on September 19th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“With the rash of wildfires that have threatened many communities this summer, B.C. author Shari Green’s middle-grade novel Missing Mike seems especially topical….

Green’s novel, written in blank verse, is full of dramatic images of the fire that engulfs the town, and helps emphasize the trauma wildfires can have not only on buildings but on the people who live in them. Good for ages eight to 12.”
—Helen Norrie

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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.

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Storytime with Stephanie recommends the novel in verse Missing Mike for "all the different types of readers"

Posted on August 13th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“My newest favourite thing is a novel in verse. Until this year, I had never read one before and now I have four under my belt. The latest being Missing Mike by Shari Green, published by Pajama Press Inc. I LOVED it!

Missing Mike is a fabulous novel in verse set against of the wildfires that devastated Western Canada last summer….

There is so much going on in this story: the fear and sadness of the unknown, the heartache of missing/losing a pet, the separation between siblings as they grow into teenagers. While reading this story you will feel the fear, anxiety, and desperation Cara feels. Shari Green’s writing is so powerful you become a player in the story….

One of the most wonderful things about a novel in verse is the ease through which the reader is guided through the story. Chapters are short, sometimes only a few words long since they are all poems. These verses combine into a beautiful story that flows from one moment to the next. Also, they are a quick read and kind of perfect for all the different types of readers you will encounter. Novels in verse a great for reluctant readers because they feel short and unintimidating. They are great for avid readers as a novel in verse offers a different perspective and a different type of reading journey from the standard prose. A novel in verse is fantastic for dormant readers (once avid readers who no longer read for pleasure) to offer a shake up and something to reinvigorate their reading.

Missing Mike is such a timely and beautiful novel and deserves a space on your library/classroom/home bookshelves.”

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Youth Services Book Review gives a Starred Review

Posted on June 22nd, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama PressRating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

What did you like about the book?…Reading a book like this makes me SO GLAD I just made a dedicated #novelsinverse section in my library! I loved this book, especially Cara and Mike’s devotion to each other and the lyrical language throughout. I love how Mike is an “ugly dog” with only one eye and part of an ear missing—it’s clear that he has a big heart and lots of love for his owner and that’s what matters. I can’t wait to purchase this one for my library and recommend it to students….

Anything you didn’t like about it? No.

Who should buy this book? All elementary schools and middle schools

Where would you shelve it? my new books in verse section!

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes!”
—Laura Gardner, Dartmouth Middle School, Dartmouth, MA

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Canadian Bookworm says Missing Mike is "a book that will get the reader thinking"

Posted on June 20th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“The book is written in free verse, which adds an interesting flow to the story. And I loved that Cara was a crossword fanatic, mulling over word definitions and able to consider how a word might mean different things to different people. A big part of Cara’s musings throughout the book are around the word “home” and how the word can mean sometime different to people given their experiences, personalities, and situations. A book that will get the reader thinking.”

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Missing Mike "showcas[es] author Shari Green's genuine flair for originality" says Midwest Book Review

Posted on June 6th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“Showcasing author Shari Green’s genuine flair for originality and narrative driven storytelling, Missing Mike will prove to be of extraordinary interest for children ages 9 to 12, making it an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to elementary school and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections for young readers.”

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CM Magazine “Highly Recommends” Missing Mike by award-winning author Shari Green

Posted on May 4th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“In Missing Mike, a free verse novel, Green takes readers into a wildfire scenario much like that experienced by the residents of Fort McMurry in 2016, an event that was viewed by Canadians across the country via various television or online news outlets….

Green ends Missing Mike…with a number of unknowns regarding the family’s future because of the fire’s larger, long term impact on the community of Pine Grove and its inhabitants.

Green’s choosing to tell this story via free verse was the correct stylistic decision. Her descriptions, particularly those dealing with the evacuation, are absolutely gripping. There’s much to like in Missing Mike. Green also authored two other verse novels, Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles and Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess.

Highly Recommended.
—Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.

Click here to read the full review