Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘middle-grade-fiction’

Meet author Michelle Kadarusman at ALA Annual in Washington DC

Posted on May 30th, 2019 by pajamapress

Meet author Michelle Kadarusman at ALA Annual in Washington D.C.!

Book Cover: Girl of the Southern Sea Author: Michelle Kadarusman Publisher: Pajama Press

Limited quantities of her latest novel, Girl of the Southern Sea, will be autographed and given away at ALA Annual! Find Michelle at the following times in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center:

Saturday, June 22 at 2:00pm — Publisher’s Spotlight Booth #1256
Sunday, June 23 at 11:00am — Ingram Publisher Services Booth #2213

Some reviews for Girl of the Southern Sea:

“A gripping, emotional realistic novel describing the grim realities of growing up in Indonesian poverty….VERDICT A riveting read featuring a determined and talented teenager.”—School Library Journal

“In spare and elegant prose, Kadarusman weaves a quiet tale of survival, grit, and integrity….Peppered throughout are stories that Nia crafts, based on Indonesian legends about the princess of the Southern Sea. With nuanced characters, this is a lovely gem for fans of irrepressible girls and contemporary stories set outside of the U.S.”—Booklist

“Punctuating Nia’s thoughtful, present-tense narration with her stories about Dewi, Kadarusman effectively weaves a gentle tale of love and loss and illuminates the power of storytelling. A thought-provoking peek into a culture deserving of more attention in North America.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A stark setting combines with striking characters…The novel does not offer simple solutions but instead wraps up Nia’s story in a way that demonstrates her willingness and ability to stand up for herself. Girl of the Southern Sea is an uplifting novel about hope and the power of storytelling.”—Foreword Reviews

Pajama Press Proudly Announces Two 2019 Green Earth Book Award Winners

Posted on April 23rd, 2019 by pajamapress

Pajama Press is thrilled to announce that we have two winning books on the 15th Annual 2019 Green Earth Book Awards list.

Title: The Flooded Earth Author: Mardi McConnochie Publisher: Pajama PressThe Flooded Earth by Mardi McConnochie is the winner of the award in the Children’s Fiction category.

Cover: Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night Author: Rob LaidlawAnd Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night by Rob Laidlaw is the Honor Book for the Children’s Nonfiction category.

The Green Earth Book Award was founded in 2005 by the environmental non-profit group The Nature Generation. The mission of the award is “to draw attention to the authors and illustrators whose books best inspire youth to grow a deeper appreciation, respect, and responsibility for their natural environment.” Learn more at www.natgen.org/green-earth-book-awards/.

Pajama Press extends our congratulations to Mardi McConnochie and Rob Laidlaw. Our sincerest thanks go to The Nature Generation for their dedication to inspiring environmental stewardship in young people and for their support of the authors and illustrators who strive to do the same.

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

Click here to read the full review

 

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.”

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

Missing Mike is "tragic and uplifting" says Sal's Fiction Addiction

Posted on October 16th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“Having spent a good part of the summer here listening to reports of the destruction caused by wildfires on the west coast of Canada and the United States, this book is an excellent way to get kids thinking about the dire consequences of such events in peoples’ lives. It is a moving account of the terror and anguish felt by those who live where those fires rage….

The tense telling will keep readers intent on reading (or hearing) more. While there are bright spots along the way, Cara and her family are faced with uncertainty, fear, and a hope for a return to their community. When they finally get the okay to go back, they are faced with the tragic and uplifting results of the catastrophe. To say much has changed is an understatement. Cara, who has been reflecting on the meaning of ‘house’ and ‘home’, discovers they are distinctly different things.”

Click here to read the full review

Missing Mike review from middle-grade author Yolanda Ridge

Posted on October 13th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press

“Having just spent the summer breathing in the smoke blanketing the entire province of BC, with fires burning close enough to my home that I packed up photos and essentials in preparation for evacuation, this story really resonated. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down and I’m pretty sure I didn’t take a full, deep breath until I finished. Luckily as a novel in verse, it’s a pretty quick read….

Missing Mike is filled with the kindness of strangers which gives the book hope. The conclusion is a satisfying mix of reality and happy ending….I loved this book because it placed my fears into a story of survival and resilience where the main character discovers what home really means.”

Click here to read the full review

"Middle school readers will enjoy the accessible, lyrical text of this poignant story" says ASLC Lit Picks of Missing Mike

Posted on October 12th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“Canadian author Shari Green has penned a timely novel in verse with a dramatic and emotional account of a wildfire and the impact on a family and their community….Middle school readers will enjoy the accessible, lyrical text of this poignant story about human-animal bonds, family dynamics, and strength in the face of adversity, and will appreciate being left with an optimistic ending and a new definition of ‘home.’”

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

Three Starred Reviews for Swallow's Dance by Wendy Orr!

Posted on October 3rd, 2018 by pajamapress

Booklist ★ Starred Review

“As she faces the demands of sheer survival, Leira gradually realizes that the privileges afforded to her, thanks to her social status, are meaningless, and she starts taking on whatever unpleasant job she must to protect herself and

her family. There are no miracles and no clear answers for Leira, but she learns to love what she has and that she can cope with anything. Leira’s lyrical first-person narrative advances the story along beautifully with a fitting sense of urgency, and free-verse songs clue readers in to her emotional development. Immersive historical fiction.”
—Donna Scanlon

Click here to read the full review

School Library Journal ★ Starred Review

“Gr 5-8–Leira’s sheltered life of privilege is all she has ever known. Her biggest concern is becoming a woman so she can start her priestess rites. Her people believe the earth goddess will protect them if the proper rituals and sacrifices are carried out, but an earthquake rocks their existence. Leira’s mother is crushed inside their home and suffers severe brain damage, and eventually her family chooses to take their chances by boarding a boat to Crete. As tragedy upon tragedy befalls the sweet but naive Leira in this Bronze Age–set tale, readers will cheer for her to succeed, grow, and to find her way in this new world. Some chapters written in verse make the more emotional plot lines sing. An eye-opening look at how difficult it is when one’s status changes in life, and how attitude can shape outcome. VERDICT Beautiful writing and a fast-moving plot will give young historical fiction fans much to love.”
–Mandy Laferriere, Fowler Middle School, Frisco, TX

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

Kirkus Reviews ★ Starred Review

“Spiritual and cultural beliefs blossom into a celebration of life—at least until the darkness of fear and ruthlessness of the earthmother rip apart a homeland and a cherished way of life. This mesmerizing, aching tale explores ancient beliefs in gods and nature and their impact on an Aegean island society in the Bronze Age….Orr nimbly shows Leira’s imperiousness and her humanity alike as the girl witnesses the jarring shift in order when once-exalted priests and priestesses find themselves cast adrift. Her mixture of prose and free verse to tell Leira’s story is lyrical and magnetic—and devastating. Not for readers searching for a simple or happy journey, this is a beautiful song of a book that shows that life isn’t always fair, but change is always constant.”

Click here to read the full review