Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘mg-lit’

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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Kirkus Reviews calls Too Young to Escape: A Vietnamese Girl Waits to be Reunited with Her Family "a truthful yet age-appropriate introduction to big issues"

Posted on September 17th, 2018 by pajamapress

“With simple but engaging language, Skrypuch recounts Van Ho’s true story of her lonely and hard life in Vietnam during the years she was separated from her family. Skrypuch offers readers myriad opportunities to identify with Van, who navigates school, friendship, bullying, and poverty, while also giving them insight into less-common American experiences such as political oppression and asylum. The story covers four years of Van’s life, including her reunion with parents and siblings in Canada and the immediate culture shock of arriving….This illuminating chapter book respects an often overlooked demographic, providing transitioning readers a truthful yet age-appropriate introduction to big issues that still affect people to this day. (Historical fiction. 7-11)”

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The Flooded Earth “is a strong series opener with a unique and timely concept” says School Library Journal

Posted on August 31st, 2018 by pajamapress

Title: The Flooded Earth Author: Mardi McConnochie Publisher: Pajama Press“Originally published in Australia, this adventure novel is a strong series opener with a unique and timely concept. The fast-paced story will keep readers engaged, and solid world building will draw readers into this fascinating cli-fi (climate fiction) tale. VERDICT A timely addition to most middle grade collections.”
—Marissa Lieberman, East Orange Public Library, NJ

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

2 Pajama Press books featured on CBC Books “13 Canadian middle-grade books to watch for this fall” recommended reading list

Posted on August 23rd, 2018 by pajamapress

Swallow’s Dance by award-winning author Wendy Orr and Too Young to Escape: A Vietnamese Girl Waits to be Reunited with Her Family by debut author Van Ho with Marsha Skrypuch have both been featured in the 2018 CBC Books “13 Canadian middle-grade books to watch for this fall” reading list.

The Theory of Hummingbirds gets an “Excellent” rating from Children's Books & Media Reviews from Brigham Young University

Posted on August 22nd, 2018 by pajamapress

“Michelle Kadarusman uses her own personal experience to weave a beautiful story about change, friendship, acceptance, and finding your place in the world. The characters develop naturally throughout the story and the emotions are described in a way that helps the reader relate to the book and stay engaged and absorbed in the story. The Theory of Hummingbirds would be great for any student in upper elementary, middle school and high school. The book doesn’t contain any language or sensitive material, making it a great book for anyone young or old. The way that Alba deals with her differences and life struggles is inspiring and will change the life of anyone who reads her story.”

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Canadian Bookworm is “dying to find out the next adventures” after reading The Flooded Earth

Posted on August 21st, 2018 by pajamapress

Title: The Flooded Earth Author: Mardi McConnochie Publisher: Pajama Press“This is obviously the first in a series of books following the children, and I am dying to find out the next adventures for them. The author is well-known for both children’s and adult fiction in Australia, and I am pleased to discover her.”

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The Flooded Earth is “an exciting and old-fashioned sailboat quest with pirates, secret codes, storms, and cannibals” says Kirkus Reviews

Posted on August 15th, 2018 by pajamapress

Title: The Flooded Earth Author: Mardi McConnochie Publisher: Pajama Press“A high-seas adventure stars 12-year-old twins Will and Annalie, who seek their missing father in a flooded, post-ecological-collapse world….As is typical of the cli-fi genre, McConnochie explores current-world issues within her adventure. Climate refugees and strict immigration laws have created a permanent underclass and a human trafficking problem, which privileged Essie begins to understand when the adventurers are joined by a starving former slave boy….Despite the post-disaster setting, an exciting and old-fashioned sailboat quest with pirates, secret codes, storms, and cannibals. (Science fiction. 10-12)”

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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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School Library Journal says Missing Mike “poignantly captures the harrowing impact of wildfires”

Posted on August 9th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“GR 4–6—When wildfires threaten her small Canadian town of Pine Grove, almost 11-year-old Cara Donovan and her family must abruptly evacuate, leaving behind her beloved dog, Mike, who has run off in the turmoil….This novel-in-verse poignantly captures the harrowing impact of wildfires and the cascade of emotions that engulf Cara. She agonizes over Mike’s fate, vacillates between hope and despair, and learns from the anxiety, grief, and resilience of others. Cara is an appealing, believable narrator whose story unfolds through succinct and vivid descriptions, interactions and vignettes with family and friends, and self-reflection. Her mix of fears, insecurities, optimism, and penchant for crossword puzzles will resonate….An appropriately realistic—but still happy and hopeful—ending brings a satisfying resolution. VERDICT Cara provides a dramatic and youthful eyewitness perspective on wildfires, evacuation operations, the kindness and generosity of strangers, and the traumatic uncertainty of loss. A timely addition to middle grade collections.”

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

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

Click here to read the full review