Posted on September 23rd, 2013 by pajamapress
Yesterday was the 24th annual Word on the Street festival, a day on which industry professionals and bibliophiles congregate to celebrate authors, illustrators and loads of books.
Pajama Press was well represented by Stephanie McLellan and Sue MacLeod, both of whom braved the chilly weather to read, discuss and sign their books.
A snapshot of the exciting lineup at the TD Children's Literature Tent
Stephanie McLellan reading Tweezle into Everything
Tweezle is a big boy!
The audience couldn't get enough of the monster siblings, Hoogie and Tweezle
Sue MacLeod reading an excerpt of Namesake
The audience came up with some insightful questions for the panel
Sue MacLeod explains how she got into writing YA - because Lady Jane Grey was a teen herself
Sue signs a book for a grateful fan
After a chilly but beautiful day, we’re looking forward to next year’s 25th anniversary edition!
Posted on September 17th, 2013 by pajamapress
“…Namesake by Sue MacLeod (Pajama Press) is one of those rare time-travel books that doesn’t fall into the common pit-falls associated the time-travel genre. MacLeod manages to weave together these two very different stories, one from the present and one from the 16th century, without the story being bogged down by questionable logistics. The “portal”, a prayer book that once belonged to the ill-fated queen, is a simple and effective tool that binds the two girls together and allows the focus to be on how the girls stories affect one another…”
Click here to read the full review.
Posted on August 19th, 2013 by pajamapress
“…There is simply nothing I love more than offering some real, well-researched, history to kids, through a vehicle that engages them…I loved it, and I will be recommending this book anywhere I can, to any kids, teachers and libraries I encounter.”
Click here to read the full review.
Posted on August 13th, 2013 by pajamapress
“…I thought MacLeod did a really good job of weaving the past together with the present. I always worry that books like this will get confusing with the back and forth, but I had no trouble keeping up with Namesake. I enjoyed watching Jane’s life in the present, and I eagerly anticipated each of her visits to the past, since I’ve always been fascinated with Tudor era England…Namesake is a captivating story that is sure to please fans of contemporary young adult and historic fiction alike.”
Click here to read the full review
Posted on July 22nd, 2013 by pajamapress
“When Jane Grey is given the assignment to research an historic figure, she chooses her namesake, Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen who ruled England between Edward and Mary. But she doesn’t choose to be transported back in time by means of a tiny prayer book which she finds, or rather, which finds her at the public library. Lady Jane Grey is already in the Tower of London, awaiting trial. Although her namesake Jane knows how this will end, she offers her support, and travels back as often as she can. After all, Lady Jane’s faith and loyalty is a beacon of strength in comparison with Jane’s alcoholic mother and inconstant friends…
The historical details of the Tudor monarchy and everyday life in the 1500s are impressive. Kudos to MacLeod for bringing this fascinating slice of British history to Canadian teens…”
Posted on July 17th, 2013 by pajamapress
“A modern-day Canadian girl named Jane Grey travels back in time to meet the Lady Jane Grey, imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1553.
Bookish Jane is doing research for a paper about her namesake Lady Jane Grey, the 15-year-old who was queen of England for nine days and later executed by Queen Mary. Finding an old prayer book, she reads a prayer out loud and is transported to the Tower of London, where only Lady Jane, who calls her “Namesake,” can see her. Using the prayer book to time travel at will, she becomes friends with Lady Jane and tries to think of a way to save the brilliant and innocent teenager. Meanwhile in the present, Jane tries to escape her alcoholic mother’s increasingly aggressive and bizarre behavior. When the two stories collide just before Lady Jane’s scheduled execution, Jane struggles to save herself and her friend. MacLeod writes the modern sections in a heightened style that almost feels more like poetry than prose. She writes Lady Jane’s dialogue in Tudor English, modifying it only slightly for modern readers. Her vivid descriptions of the filthy turmoil of 1553 London, when even the nobility often had lice, should open some eyes. Most importantly, she strives to get the history right.
Suspenseful, emotional and powerful.”
Posted on June 28th, 2013 by pajamapress
Pajama Press has been given the wonderful opportunity of hosting a series of reviews written by the very people we work so hard for: kids and teens! Today our reviewer is Michaela from Trillium Woods E.S., and the book is Namesake by Sue MacLeod.
Hey, I am Michaela, I am a grade 8 student from Trillium Woods E.S. I have been given the opportunity to read the book Namesake by Sue Macleod for this blog. This book is about a young teenager Jane Grey, who is living in Halifax with her dysfunctional mother. Ever since Jane’s dad passed away in a motorcycling accident, Jane’s mom has been acting more and more moody every day. Jane’s life starts to change when her history teacher introduces a new project to her. She has to research any interesting person from history, She decides to research Lady Jane Grey, who ruled Tudor England for 9 days. Jane is writing her history paper when she finds the Book Of Prayre, Lady Jane’s prayer book, mixed in with her library books. She reads a passage out loud and is suddenly in 16th Century England. She meets Lady Jane Grey, and the two of them form a true friendship. Jane finds herself returning into the past continuosly, she is trying to forget her own problems. As Jane gets more enveloped in the past, can she fix both her own problems as well as Lady Jane Grey’s? I thought this was a well written book, and the author successfully made us understand the language that they spoke back in the 16th century. In the beginning, there were a few slow parts, but the end is amazing! Overall it was a very enjoyable book, and you will have to read this book to find out yourself!
Thank you, Michaela, for your review!
Posted on June 21st, 2013 by pajamapress
“…In every way, this novel is a triumph. MacLeod deftly weaves the modern Jane’s contemporary story with the true-life tale of Lady Jane Grey. Both storylines are fully developed and vividly rendered, with the time-travel element simply and elegantly incorporated into the fabric of Jane’s present-day life. In so doing, the author expertly brings the history to life for her readers while concurrently crafting a poignant tale of a modern teen’s efforts to navigate the hardships of both high school and a troubled home life…Highly Recommended.”
Click here to read the full review
Posted on June 6th, 2013 by pajamapress
In their current issue, School Libraries in Canada is exploring bringing the past into the future. How fitting, then, to interview Sue MacLeod, author of the time slip novel Namesake in which a library book does just that.
MacLeod explains how she came to write Namesake:
“It was actually Lady Jane Grey herself who compelled me. I read a book about her when I was ten or so, and she stayed with me. It occurred to me a long time ago – twenty years or more – that I wanted to write about her in a way that would link her story with that of a contemporary girl. So, a young adult time-slip novel emerged as a natural way to approach that.”
Click here to read the full interview.