Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘mg-lit’

The Joplin Globe says Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess is “touching…

Posted on December 2nd, 2018 by pajamapress

The Joplin Globe

“Written in sparse prose, SHARI GREEN’s MACY McMILLAN AND THE RAINBOW GODDESS is touching without being full of angst. Macy McMillan is a typical sixth grader with one exception — she’s deaf. In a refreshing twist, this story doesn’t use Macy’s hearing as a main focal point. Instead, we are introduced to a pre-teen who is anxious about making and keeping friends, her mother’s wedding, a new step family, a school project, and oh, by the way, she also happens to be deaf. Green’s ability to relate the story through Macy’s eyes sets this book apart….

As Macy’s life moves on, she is forced to face some hard truths. But with the help of Iris the Rainbow Goddess and her advice, her perspective changes. The ‘life is hard but friends can make it easier’ message of this story comes through but is relayed subtly. Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award, Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess is sure to appeal to anyone struggling with the challenges of friendships in the middle grades.”
—Tammie Benham

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Missing Mike is a “story about the meaning of home,” says ILA Literacy Daily

Posted on November 30th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama PressILA Literacy Daily, “Celebrating Poetry”

“Cara’s sadness is palpable, and her descriptions of the setting are moving….The heart of this story is whether or not Cara will be reunited with Mike, if he’s survived the wildfire. It’s is also a story about the meaning of home….These varied ways of thinking about home are key to Cara and her community’s survival.”

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CM Magazine “Highly Recommends” Penguin Days

Posted on November 29th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Penguin Days Author: Sara Leach Illustrator: Rebecca Bender Publisher: Pajama PressCM Magazine

“Lauren is an eight-year-old girl with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and she sees the world in her own unique way. Penguin Days is a stand-alone book that also continues a story begun in Slug Days, with Lauren encountering challenges this time beyond school that help her stretch and grow. Not only must she attend her first-ever family wedding, but she is going to be a flower girl!…

Sara Leach’s writing is finely crafted as well as highly readable for the intended age group—no small feat— and Lauren’s first-person voice is just as compelling as it was in Leach’s previous work. Ongoing mix-ups and dilemmas present themselves within a strong, plot-driven storyline, and, while the resolution is authentic and satisfying, readers will no doubt anticipate further books about this delightful character.

Adding to the hilarious escapades in the text are Rebecca Bender’s kid-friendly black-and-white illustrations. Penguin Days would make great independent-reading fare for classroom and school libraries as well as additions to units on identity and difference.

Highly Recommended.
Bev Brenna

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Foreword Reviews calls Penguin Days a “lighthearted story…”

Posted on November 28th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Penguin Days Author: Sara Leach Illustrator: Rebecca Bender Publisher: Pajama PressForeword Reviews

“A lighthearted story, Penguin Days follows Lauren, who is on the autism spectrum. She sometimes misreads social cues, like not understanding why others laugh; she is not always included in groups….

Pencil illustrations by Rebecca Bender appear on nearly every spread. They feature Lauren and her family and are insightful in showing the way she navigates the world, including feelings that Lauren herself might not pick up on or understand. The book’s chapter breaks sometimes interrupt the flow of the story, which might imitate how Lauren sees her own world.

In Penguin Days, Lauren’s family learns to accept one another, no matter how challenging a situation might seem.”
—Rebecca Monterusso

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Booklist calls the Too Young to Escape narrative “impressively credible.”

Posted on November 18th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Too Young to Escape: A Vietnamese Girl Waits to be Reunited with Her Family Authors: Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch and Van Ho Publisher: Pajama PressBooklist

“Skrypuch continues her collaboration with the Ho family in telling the stories of their escape from Vietnam after the war. Here the youngest daughter, Van Ho, pieces together memories of being the one who was left behind at the age of four….

As a work of fragmented and painful memories from the time Van was between the ages of four and eight, the narrative is impressively credible, capturing her feelings of confused abandonment, visceral descriptions of her life in Ho Chi Minh City, and gradual adjustment to being separated from her immediate family….”

—Amina Chaudhri

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Quill & Quire ★ Starred Review

Posted on November 17th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Too Young to Escape: A Vietnamese Girl Waits to be Reunited with Her Family Authors: Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch and Van Ho Publisher: Pajama PressQuill & Quire **Starred Review**

“Skrypuch and the now-adult Van Ho collaborate on this account of Van’s life from the morning she woke to find her mother and siblings gone to when, four years later, she was reunited with her family in Toronto….

[T]hroughout the book, the authors eschew sentimentality and sensationalism, creating a straightforward autobiography that is truthful about resilience and the often unpredictable ways children act and react.”

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Wendy Orr’s Swallow’s Dance is “top notch historical fiction,” says Youth Service Book Review

Posted on November 15th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Swallow's Dance Author: Wendy Orr Publisher: Pajama PressYouth Services Book Review

What did you like about the book? Top notch historical fiction for those who like it ancient!…Set during the Bronze Age, the story shows that migration has been a constant since time began, and that it has never been easy to lose your home and those whom you love and start over in a new place, in this case, Crete. Leira narrates, in prose and alternating poetry, the catastrophe and the emotional toll it takes on her and her family. Lots of animal sacrifice, daily ritual worship of the gods, and intense heartbreak for a young person unused to any hardship. The poetic interludes do a good job of describing the emotional journey. The scenes of devastation – earthquake in Santorini, tsunami in Crete – are riveting to experience through the lens of a survivor….

To whom would you recommend this book?  Definitely offer this to fans of Orr’s Dragonfly Song and to fans of historical fiction, ages 10-14.”
—Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

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Too Young to Escape: A Vietnamese Girl Waits to be Reunited with Her Family is included in CBC Books list of “12 Canadian books to commemorate Remembrance Day”

Posted on November 12th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Too Young to Escape: A Vietnamese Girl Waits to be Reunited with Her Family Authors: Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch and Van Ho Publisher: Pajama PressToo Young to Escape: A Vietnamese Girl Waits to be Reunited with Her Family has been recommended by CBC Books in a list of 12 Canadian books which “describe the experience of war and its impact on human life.”

Click here to see the full list of recommendations.

The Flooded Earth is a “bright adventure” says Booklist

Posted on November 5th, 2018 by pajamapress

Title: The Flooded Earth Author: Mardi McConnochie Publisher: Pajama PressBooklist

“Set 40 years after a flood that ravages most of the earth, this series starter finds two twins on an epic adventure at sea…. McConnochie covers serious topics prevalent today through the journeys of four kids who provide touches of innocence in this gritty world, each with their own tragedies and obstacles that they turn to one another for help overcoming. A bright adventure that touches upon a range of intense themes, from climate change to the refugee crisis.”

Elizabeth Konkel

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The Flooded Earth “handles grand and troubling questions in a gentle, musing way,” says Foreword Reviews

Posted on November 5th, 2018 by pajamapress

Title: The Flooded Earth Author: Mardi McConnochie Publisher: Pajama PressForeword Reviews

“The novel matches teenage wits against those of corrupt government officials, with the teens proving more formidable than anyone expects them to be. It somehow handles grand and troubling questions in a gentle, musing way. The magnificent capabilities of the book’s determined young leads emerge as The Flooded Earth’s dominant force. Readers of this first in the series will be eager to learn where the team’s sailboat takes them next—and whether Graham will be patient through the adventure.”

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