Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘middle-grade-books’

A Starred Review from Kirkus Reviews for The Girl Who Rode a Shark

Posted on August 12th, 2019 by pajamapress

Cover: The Girl Who Rode A Shark: And Other True Stories of Daring Women Author: Ailsa Ross Illustrator: Amy Blackwell Publisher: Pajama Press“Brief biographies of 52 intrepid women, spanning the globe and all centuries, are flanked by large, full-color illustrations and by maps that show the women’s adventuring sites….The artwork, reminiscent of art deco travel posters, is a gorgeous complement to the eclectic curation. The biographies are written in a conversational style, often including a short quote from the subject….An exciting labor of love—for kids of all gender identities. (Collective biography. 8-12)” ★

Click here to read the full review

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

Click here to read the full review

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.”

Click here to read the full review

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

Click here to read the full review

Youth Services Book Review calls Swallow's Dance "Top notch historical fiction"

Posted on October 11th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Swallow's Dance Author: Wendy Orr Publisher: Pajama PressWhat 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

Click here to read the full review

CanLit for LittleCanadians says "[this] is a story of survival, even if Van Ho was Too Young to Escape"

Posted on October 10th, 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 Press“When Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch co-wrote Adrift at Sea: A Vietnamese Boy’s Story of Survival with Tuan Ho, she began a family’s story of escape from Vietnam in the aftermath of the Vietnam War and taking of power by the communists. In that picture book, illustrated by Brian Deines, a mother and her two daughters, Loan and Lan, and six-year-old son Tuan escape Vietnam by boat, hopeful of joining father and the eldest daughter Linh in Canada. But there was another story. Because four-year-old Van is left behind. Too Young to Escape is her story….

Van Ho, who lived this story, tells it through Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch’s pen of extraordinary writing which reflects both Van’s youthful point of view and her trauma. Her story is disquieting but it’s also uplifting, focusing on Van’s resilience. Told from her perspective, from Van explaining away her family’s absence before she learns the reason to her obligation to completing chores many of our culture might deem inappropriate for one so young to finding a friend in a girl less fortunate than herself, Van’s story of being left behind is heartbreaking.

Enhancing Van Ho’s story with photographs and interviews with her father, Nam Ho, and mother, Phuoc Ho, Too Young to Escape gives a snapshot of a different time and place, one of upheaval and loss, perseverance and endurance, that ends with a reunion and a good life in Canada. It is a story of survival, even if Van Ho was Too Young to Escape.”

Click here to read the full review

 

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 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)”

Click here to read the full review

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.”

Click here to read the full review