Posted on July 22nd, 2014 by pajamapress
Click here to read the full review.
Click here to read the full review.
Pajama Press is pleased to announce that all three of the books we published in our first season have been selected for Bank Street College of Education’s “Best Children’s Books of the Year 2013” list.
No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs by Rob Laidlaw and Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch appear in the Information Books section for ages nine to twelve, while True Blue by Deborah Ellis was selected for Fiction ages fourteen and up.
Congratulations to Rob, Marsha and Deborah.
Click here to view the full list.
Pajama Press is proud to announce that three of our titles have been nominated for 2013 Ontario Library Association Forest of Reading Awards.
Don’t Laugh at Giraffe by Rebecca Bender is nominated for the Blue Spruce Award. Last year, Rebecca won the Blue Spruce Award for her debut picture book, Giraffe and Bird.
No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs by animal activist Rob Laidlaw is nominated for the Silver Birch Nonfiction Award.
Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch is nominated for the Red Maple Nonfiction Award.
For more information about the Forest of Reading Awards, visit the Ontario Library Association website at www.accessola.com.
Our books have also been nominated for three other awards this year:
True Blue, a murder mystery by bestselling author Deborah Ellis, was nominated for the Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre John Spray Mystery Award.
Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch was nominated for the British Columbia Red Cedar Nonfiction Award.
Congratulations to all of our nominated authors!
This is an amazing book that pulls you slowly into Jess’s mind. It wasn’t until fairly far into the book that I was struck by Jess’s character. It’s difficult to describe without giving away too much because the joy for me was when I realized what the author was doing and began to squirm a bit in reading Jess’s words. Read it!
This is a beautiful book. I don’t mean the story, but the package. Congrats to the design department at Pajama Press: I was so busy admiring the fonts and running my fingers over the jacket that I almost forgot to read the book. But I’m glad I did.
True Blue is not beautiful. It’s gritty and bitter and sensitive and unflinching – both ripped from the headlines and totally unique. The mystery kept me guessing, and the characters kept me up late…
…Casey, full of faith and confidence. Stephanie, who annoyed me so much I caught myself thinking that Casey would have been totally justified in killing her. The teacher, Miss Burke, whose courage had me in tears. Jess’s mother, paralyzed by her own helplessness. And complex, conflicted Jess, who wants something she can’t even identify, and resents Casey almost as much as she loves her. Jess isn’t admirable, but she’s totally compelling. These people are worth your time.
This intelligent mystery is a complete 180 from the author’s leprosy-in-India tale, No Ordinary Day (2011), but is similar in how its impact sneaks up on you…The unreliability of Jess’ first-person account becomes increasingly obvious as we learn the depths of Jess’ jealousy and the dubiousness of her morals. The mystery here is not just a whodunit but how loyalty and betrayal can rest along such a razor’s edge. —Daniel Kraus
Ellis explores the courage it takes to stand up for a friend in a town shattered by a murder. Jess’s best friend, Casey White, has ambition and passion. A budding entomologist, she seeks an adventurous life outside their small town. So when Casey is inexplicably arrested for the murder of a girl at a camp where the teens are counselors, Jess feels incredibly alone. The townspeople are quick to assume Casey’s guilt. While Jess’s mother (a woman with a mental illness) demands a call to action to release Casey from jail, Jess says nothing to defend her best friend to her cruel and small-minded classmates. Jess wants Casey to be exonerated and goes so far as to dream up an escape plan but, in the end, she fails to come to Casey’s aid and actually helps the prosecution build the against her. Ellis’s masterful novel makes every word count, thus highlighting Jess as a deeply conflicted, not totally reliable, narrator who is so afraid of losing the only part of her life that she values–Casey–that she doesn’t realize how much her actions have cost her. A compelling and moving read, True Blue is about the courage to believe in oneself and fight for what’s right, even when it is the hardest thing to do. A book worthy of any school curriculum.
–Kimberly Garnick Giarratano, Northampton Community College, Hawley, PA
“TRUE BLUE is gripping and suspenseful, and its surprise ending will leave readers demanding that Deborah Ellis write another mystery.”
“Jess’s relationship with her mentally unstable mother is beautifully nuanced, revealing the faults and reasonableness of both parties without violating Jess’s perspective. Ellis creates complex adult characters as seen through the narrator’s critical perspective, a difficult challenge that many YA novelists fail, or do not attempt, to achieve. Finally, Ellis’s bold ending causes the message to resonate with the reader long afterwards.”
“Known for powerful tales of social injustice in the developing world, Ellis here offers readers a flawed but gripping character study of teens in small-town Canada…. Jess—sharply insightful, but selfish and entirely lacking in empathy—may be a piece of work, but she grabs readers’ attention and never lets it go”