Posted on October 3rd, 2014 by pajamapress
Nix Minus One, a powerful novel by Jill MacLean about a teen boy in rural Newfoundland, has been selected for the 2014 “White Ravens” list by the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany. This important honour is given to books from around the globe “that deserve worldwide attention because of their universal themes and/or their exceptional and innovative artistic and literary style and design” (www.childrenslibrary.org/servlet/WhiteRavens).
This international acknowledgment for Nix Minus One comes on the heels of wide critical acclaim in the United States and Canada, where it won the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature earlier this year. Other accolades include:
- CLA Young Adult Book Award finalist
- OLA Forest of Reading White Pine Award nominee
- SYRCA Snow Willow Award nominee
- Bank Street Best Book
- Publishers Weekly “Best New Books” selection
- Resource Links “The Year’s Best” selection
- Ontario Library Association Best Bet
- Best Books for Kids & Teens Starred Selection
Pajama Press is honoured by this attention paid to such a worthy and significant novel. Click here for more information about Nix Minus One, and for teaching materials, reviews, book trailers, and interviews with author Jill MacLean..
Posted on May 22nd, 2014 by pajamapress
Pajama Press is proud to congratulate Jill MacLean, whose young adult novel Nix Minus One has won the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature. The award was presented yesterday at the Atlantic Book Awards gala in Charlottetown, PEI, following a week-long festival with events across the Atlantic provinces.
A powerful story about a teenaged boy growing up in small-town Newfoundland, Nix Minus One has also been nominated for the CLA Young Adult Book of the Year, the White Pine Award, and the Snow Willow Award, among other honours.
A second Pajama Press title, The Stowaways by Meghan Marentette, was also shortlisted for this award. Both authors are residents of Nova Scotia.
The Ann Conner Brimer Award is given annually “to the author of a children’s book which has made an outstanding contribution to children’s
literature in Atlantic Canada” (www.atlanticbookawards.ca). This is the third time a book by Jill MacLean has been selected.
Pajama Press is honoured to have Nix Minus One chosen for this prestigious award.
Authors Meghan Marentette, Janet Cameron, Jan Coates, and Jill MacLean at the gala
Posted on January 15th, 2014 by pajamapress
Amy Mathers is reading her way across Canada to raise money to fund a YA book award—something our country currently lacks. Inspired by the journeys of Terry Fox and Rick Hansen, Amy has begun her “journey” with books set in Newfoundland and will work her way across the country reading a book a day.
Today’s Amy’s tour of Newfoundland brought her to the fictional small town of Bullbirds Cove with Nix Minus One by Jill MacLean:
“There are so many things I love about this book. The characters of Blue, Twig, and Nix. Reading the descriptions about Nix’s intricate woodworking. The complex relationship between Nix and his sister Roxy. Nix Minus One is an authentic portrayal of hardship and grief while still maintaining a sense of hope that will leave the reader feeling uplifted.”
Click here to see Amy’s full review and discover her favourite excerpts from Nix Minus One.
Posted on July 26th, 2013 by pajamapress
Pajama Press is pleased to announce that Nix Minus One by Jill MacLean is a Publishers Weekly Pick for the “Best New Books for the week of July 29, 2013.” One of eight selections in a variety of genres, MacLean’s book was chosen by PW‘s editors from among their many previously-reviewed, recently-released titles.
You can view the full list of PW Picks here.
You can read PW‘s review of Nix Minus One here.
Posted on July 15th, 2013 by pajamapress
“A dog, beaten and ignored.
A girl, risking and reckless.
A boy who must step out of his safe-place to save them…
I lived in Newfoundland in early grade school (on a now-closed Air Force base), so I have a strong mental picture of the isolated small coastal town that Roxy longs to escape, where Nix’s solitary ways are known to everyone, where a story can never be untold.
Request this novel-in-verse from your local library or independent bookstore; they might have to order it (Pajama Press is a small Canadian firm, not one of the “Big 5″), but it’s so worth waiting for!
Have you ever felt like the only person who could fix a situation?”
Click here to read the full review – but beware of spoilers!
Posted on July 1st, 2013 by pajamapress
“MacLean’s free verse style mirrors 15-year-old protagonist Nix Humbolt’s quiet, unassuming nature: “The first time / I came across the word / introversion / was the first time / I recognized myself. Like, / there was a category / for me.” At the heart of the novel, which is set in a tiny Newfoundland village, is Nix’s complex, push-pull relationship with his older, rebellious sister, Roxy, and the tender bond he forms with a neglected guard dog. To deal with the challenges of both, Nix takes refuge in his father’s woodworking studio, channeling ragged emotions he can’t verbally express into smooth boxes, picture frames, and tables. But when tragedy upends Nix’s life, it takes a special girl named Blue—and a special dog—to help him confront reality. Nix’s immediate first-person narration offers astute observations (“Is an adult just a teenager with a layer of veneer?”), and YAs who are drawn to contemporary fiction and verse novels won’t want to miss this poignant Canadian import.”
— Ann Kelley
Posted on June 21st, 2013 by pajamapress
“Hello I am Joshua I am a grade eight student in Barrie. The book I have read is Nix Minus One by Jill MacLean. The reason I read this book is because I think Jill Maclean is a very good author and I have read many of her books and really enjoyed them. This book is a very entertaining book that makes you want to keep reading because you get so caught up in the emotions of some of the characters. The main character Nixon, goes through a couple of the biggest changes in his life. Nixon is a 15 year old guy who isn’t very popular and his sister Roxanne, known as Roxy is falling for one of the most dangerous guys in school. Bryan Sykes is known to be a drug dealer. Nix would do anything for his sister, but when Roxy doesn’t come home from her friend’s party Nix get very worried. Nix only has a couple friends. Chase McCallum and his sister who they call Blue who seem to be everywhere in the book but Blue is mostly in the barrens bird watching. In conclusion I believe that this book is really entertaining for people who enjoy realistic fiction because I really got attached to Nix and his family. I think readers would find some similiarites of this story to their own lifestyle and overall it’s just a good read. I would rate this a 9.5/10.”
—Joshua, Student Reviewer
Posted on May 27th, 2013 by pajamapress
“… MacLean (The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy) writes in short free-verse chapters that read like prose stripped of all unnecessary words. An introvert, Nix watches in dismay as his tempestuous sister flirts with drugs, alcohol, older boys, and risky social scenes: “I thought the yellow sun/ rose over the mountains and set over the sea/ on my sister Roxanne./ Then she hit puberty./ Head-on collision.” More observer than participant at home and school, Nix comes alive in his father’s woodworking shop: “I pick up the dovetail saw,/ cut into the sockets, chisel out the waste…. and by now I’ve forgotten/ anyone’s watching.” Writing with careful, evocative language, MacLean explores love in myriad forms: Nix’s concern for a neighbor’s abused dog that he longs to rescue, his crush on one girl and budding friendship with another, Roxy’s affection for her brother, and his family’s grief over a devastating tragedy.”
Click here to read the full review.
Posted on May 8th, 2013 by pajamapress
“Writing in free verse from the perspective of 15-year-old Nixon ‘Nix’ Humboldt, acclaimed Canadian author MacLean (Home Truths, 2010, etc.) presents an intriguing coming-of-age story set in rural Newfoundland and centered on the love-hate relationship between siblings.
Quiet and a bit of a loner, Nix takes respite from the taunting of class bullies and from bearing the occasional brunt of his gregarious older sister Roxy’s wrath by helping out in his father’s woodworking shop, where the various boxes, frames and birdhouses he creates help to express the inner feelings he often has difficulty verbalizing. Sixteen-year-old Roxy, on the other hand, drives her teenage angst outward by pursuing the most popular (though shady) senior in high school, experimenting with alcohol and repeatedly defying her parents’ wishes. Where Nix admits “The first time / I came across the word / introversion / was the first time / I recognized myself,” Roxy struggles to come to terms with who she is, appearing at one point in Nix’s estimation both “overfed and ravenous / cranky and smug / hyper and exhausted” after blowing her curfew one night. And yet the siblings’ deep-seated love for each other cannot be denied when tested by their overprotective parents, immature classmates or in the wake of grave tragedy.
Well-crafted and intense, an engrossing family drama in which both young and old learn what it means to grow up. (Verse novel. 12 & up)”
Posted on April 24th, 2013 by pajamapress
“This meticulously-crafted novel-in-verse is as finely-honed as one of Nix’s own woodworking projects. MacLean tackles many serious issues, artfully weaving together the different elements of Nix’s story into a poignant portrait of one boy’s journey toward acceptance of himself and the curveballs life throws at him….While Nix struggles to find his voice, MacLean’s impeccable poetry—spare, evocative, and affecting—enables readers to enter into his mind and heart. And they will be amply rewarded by the experience.”
Find the full review here on page 20.