Posted on June 3rd, 2013 by pajamapress
The 200th anniversary of Laura Secord’s famous walk is June 22nd, 2013. With this date fast approaching, SmartGIRL WORKs interviewed author Connie Brummel Crook (Acts of Courage: Laura Secord and the War of 1812) to talk about this Canadian heroine and what it was like to writer her story.
Here is a sneak preview:
“When I was teaching, I noticed that there were many fine, contemporary books about a number of teenagers’ present-day problems in our classrooms, but very little about our own Canadian heroes. Americans celebrate their heroes. Why shouldn’t we? So I have been writing historical fiction novels since I took early retirement from teaching. ”
Click here to read the full interview.
Posted on May 26th, 2013 by pajamapress
On Thursday, May 23 a group of book lovers gathered at Another Story Bookshop to celebrate Namesake by Sue MacLeod. There was a lot of positive energy, plenty of insightful questions, and even some bakery-fresh cookies. Thank you to everyone who came out to the launch!
Posted on May 14th, 2013 by pajamapress
“While Namesake may be initially seen as a standard time-slip novel, with a contemporary character going back in time to learn something which she could apply to her own life, the book goes beyond this…
I am especially pleased by the direction the author takes Jane’s time slip, allowing for the two young women, just sixteen, to share their lives and their stories, and Jane anticipating bringing Lady Jane back with her…
The history is true, the twists unique and the touches of humour and romance are heart-warming. And Namesake still delivers an open ending that takes the reader to a more hopeful situation than Lady Jane’s true horrific ending”
Click here to read the full post.
Posted on January 21st, 2013 by pajamapress
“In this continuation of Last Airlift (Pajama Press, 2012), eight-year-old Tuyet is now adjusting to life with her Canadian adoptive family, the Morrises. She is uneasy about sleeping alone after years in a crowded orphanage and is troubled by recurring nightmares of the war. In addition to the trauma she has endured, Tuyet suffers from the painful effects of having had polio. One of the book’s many touching scenes occurs when Mrs. Morris buys the child her first new footwear. She delights at the prospect of getting shiny red shoes, even though the left one could not be worn, due to her shrunken leg and twisted foot. Her mother does not give up until she finds a soft, red slipper that fits over Tuyet’s left foot, making the pair complete. Skrypuch only describes Tuyet’s first operation and subsequent therapy, and her first steps using a leg brace, an orthopedic shoe, and crutches. In her notes, she details five additional surgeries, ending with the operation that made the child’s legs the same length. To capture accurate details more than three decades after these events happened, the author interviewed Tuyet’s two adoptive sisters, her surgeon, and the hospital archivist as well as Tuyet herself. A historical note about the eradication of polio in North America and suggestions for ways to help make universal vaccination a reality are appended. The black-and-white cover photo of Tuyet’s face looking apprehensive and earnest is of a better quality than the handful of rather grainy ones in the text. An inspiring story that will appeal to a wide audience.”
—Deborah Vose, Highlands Elementary School, Braintree, MA
Posted on May 30th, 2012 by pajamapress
“Thought-provoking, heartrending and inspirational, author Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch’s first non-fiction book chronicles one woman’s account of a little-known piece of Canadian history: the Ontario government-sponsored Operation “Babylift.”
In April 1975, South Vietnamese orphans were airlifted from Saigon and flown to Ontario where they were adopted by Canadian families. This military maneuver saved interracial babies (with American blood) and disabled children from being killed… Written from the perspective of eight-year-old Tuyet, who is crippled from polio, the book gives the reader vivid insight into life in a Saigon orphanage where children never see the sky and subsist amidst a soundtrack of warfare. Tuyet’s story reveals not only the privations and misplacement caused by war but the assumptions made by well-meaning people about the desirability of Western customs and middle-class values. Plentiful food, her own room and her first family initially cause Tuyet mistrust, discomfort and even terror.
This simply written but masterfully perceptive story of human resilience and courage belongs on every school and public library shelf. Although it could be read aloud to Grade 3 students and independently by Grades 4 to 8 students (e.g., for social studies or language units), the narrative easily captures an adult. Forchuk Skrypuch, who has received numerous awards for her historical novels, enriches this slender book with photos and official documents. Historical and author’s notes, detailing relevant background to Tuyet’s plight and the author’s research methods, make engaging additions alongside a list of further resources and an index.”
Posted on April 16th, 2012 by pajamapress
Written from a Canadian perspective, this well-researched and -documented historical novel offers young readers a fascinating perspective on the events following the American Revolution and leading up to the War of 1812… The author tells a good story and presents some fascinating and little-known history (including such issues as slavery, economics, and social justice) in an interesting way. A historical note, sources and maps supplement the account. An opportunity for American children to see a little-known war through a rarely considered lens.
Posted on April 10th, 2012 by pajamapress
…Tuyet becomes a heroine of her own story, using her fortitude, observations, and humanity to navigate the new territories outside of the orphanage and to make herself fit in.
Read the Full Review Here
Posted on March 22nd, 2012 by pajamapress
Posted on March 16th, 2012 by pajamapress
“The author tells Tuyet’s story with respect and dignity, introducing readers to a brave girl caught up in the turbulent times of her country, her fears of leaving what she knew, and the joy of finding a new life. Her story will appeal to a broad range of readers”
– School Library Journal
Posted on February 23rd, 2012 by pajamapress
“Marsha Skrypuch’s gift is her ability to tell stories of under-privileged children in faraway lands. Tuyet’s biography demonstrates her talent…Tuyet’s story is an excellent example of the biography genre for younger students ; a multi-cultural perspective on being an immigrant child in Canada, and also a snapshot of a child’s life during war…Highly recommended.”