Posted on July 22nd, 2013 by pajamapress
“When Jane Grey is given the assignment to research an historic figure, she chooses her namesake, Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen who ruled England between Edward and Mary. But she doesn’t choose to be transported back in time by means of a tiny prayer book which she finds, or rather, which finds her at the public library. Lady Jane Grey is already in the Tower of London, awaiting trial. Although her namesake Jane knows how this will end, she offers her support, and travels back as often as she can. After all, Lady Jane’s faith and loyalty is a beacon of strength in comparison with Jane’s alcoholic mother and inconstant friends…
The historical details of the Tudor monarchy and everyday life in the 1500s are impressive. Kudos to MacLeod for bringing this fascinating slice of British history to Canadian teens…”
Posted on July 15th, 2013 by pajamapress
“A dog, beaten and ignored.
A girl, risking and reckless.
A boy who must step out of his safe-place to save them…
I lived in Newfoundland in early grade school (on a now-closed Air Force base), so I have a strong mental picture of the isolated small coastal town that Roxy longs to escape, where Nix’s solitary ways are known to everyone, where a story can never be untold.
Request this novel-in-verse from your local library or independent bookstore; they might have to order it (Pajama Press is a small Canadian firm, not one of the “Big 5″), but it’s so worth waiting for!
Have you ever felt like the only person who could fix a situation?”
Click here to read the full review – but beware of spoilers!
Posted on November 13th, 2012 by pajamapress
When Emily’s Grandad dies, she’s more concerned with her break up. When a mysterious guest shows up at her Grandad’s funeral, claiming to be an old friend of her Grandad’s Emily’s life gets suddenly more complicated. Her grandfather had a secret life and as it tears Emily’s family apart, Emily finds herself questioning everything she ever knew about her family.
Although Emily’s family situation—secret affairs, hidden adoptions, illegitimate children—could have come across as an over the top soap opera plot, Emily’s genuine characterization keeps the situation grounded in real emotion that readers will be able to relate to. The book is refreshingly romance-free—save for an odd, nearly out of place romantic development in the last twenty pages—giving Emily room to focus on her family and friend relationships, includg her relationship with Leo.
Leo has a rough home situation, with an alcoholic mother. He doesn’t ask Emily too many questions about her home life for which she’s grateful and in turn she tries to be a supportive friend for everything Leo’s going through. Their relationship is unusual in teen fiction—an opposite sex friendship—and it lends realism to Emily For Real.
Teens more interested in friendship and family than romance will find themselves relating to Emily and rooting for her through her struggles.
Rating: G – Good, even great at times, generally useful!
Posted on July 18th, 2012 by pajamapress
…Gunnery nicely captures the way families really are, the sweet, mundane and strained interactions of everyday life.
A longtime N.S. junior and senior high school teacher, Gunnery deftly handles the interactions among Emily, her schoolmates and teachers and her best friend Jenn, as well as giving credibility to Emily as the narrator.
Emily for Real is a satisfying read for teens who will root for Emily as she faces the challenges of friendship and families and growing up.
–Pam Sword, The Chronicle Herald
Click here to read the full review