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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.’”

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Missing Mike "is a life-affirming, soul-soaring journey of love, loss, family, hope and the true definition of home" says Canadian Children's Book News

Posted on September 21st, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“Award-winning author Shari Green has crafted an emotional and lyrically gripping tale capturing readers by the heart strings from page one with the unmistakable voice and keen observations of a young girl wise beyond her years. Indelible characters and realistic dialogue add depth, while short chapters and a free-verse format make for smooth transitions and quick comprehension, especially ideal for reluctant readers.

Missing Mike is a life-affirming, soul-soaring journey of love, loss, family, hope and the true definition of home. A standout book in the collection of any middle-grade reader, it will resonate particularly with those who love stories about the resiliency of the human spirit and the unbreakable bond between animals and their human families.”
—Jennifer D. Foster

Read the full review on page 32 of the Fall 2018 issue of Canadian Children’s Book News

Winnipeg Free Press calls Missing Mike “especially topical”

Posted on September 19th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“With the rash of wildfires that have threatened many communities this summer, B.C. author Shari Green’s middle-grade novel Missing Mike seems especially topical….

Green’s novel, written in blank verse, is full of dramatic images of the fire that engulfs the town, and helps emphasize the trauma wildfires can have not only on buildings but on the people who live in them. Good for ages eight to 12.”
—Helen Norrie

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School Library Journal says Missing Mike “poignantly captures the harrowing impact of wildfires”

Posted on August 9th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“GR 4–6—When wildfires threaten her small Canadian town of Pine Grove, almost 11-year-old Cara Donovan and her family must abruptly evacuate, leaving behind her beloved dog, Mike, who has run off in the turmoil….This novel-in-verse poignantly captures the harrowing impact of wildfires and the cascade of emotions that engulf Cara. She agonizes over Mike’s fate, vacillates between hope and despair, and learns from the anxiety, grief, and resilience of others. Cara is an appealing, believable narrator whose story unfolds through succinct and vivid descriptions, interactions and vignettes with family and friends, and self-reflection. Her mix of fears, insecurities, optimism, and penchant for crossword puzzles will resonate….An appropriately realistic—but still happy and hopeful—ending brings a satisfying resolution. VERDICT Cara provides a dramatic and youthful eyewitness perspective on wildfires, evacuation operations, the kindness and generosity of strangers, and the traumatic uncertainty of loss. A timely addition to middle grade collections.”

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

Sun Dog is “a beautifully illustrated, impeccably written tale” says Storytime with Stephanie

Posted on June 7th, 2018 by pajamapress

SunDog_WebsiteSun Dog by Deborah Kerbel and Suzanne Del Rizzo is a beautifully illustrated, impeccably written tale about a little sled dog pup who dreams of running with the big dogs….

Sun Dog is a lovely little story that will speak to all little children, who are just desperate to be bigger and older. One of the most common things I hear in my day job as a preschool teacher and mom is “I wish I was a grownup!” Juno is every child who is clamouring to have more responsibility and autonomy. Plus, she is just so darn cute!…Children will love and be inspired by the [polymer clay] illustrations by Suzanne Del Rizzo. All of the illustrations are so vibrant and full of incredible details and mixes of colours to capture the beautiful sky in the far north.”

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Missing Mike "showcas[es] author Shari Green's genuine flair for originality" says Midwest Book Review

Posted on June 6th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“Showcasing author Shari Green’s genuine flair for originality and narrative driven storytelling, Missing Mike will prove to be of extraordinary interest for children ages 9 to 12, making it an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to elementary school and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections for young readers.”

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CanLit for LittleCanadians says "Cara's love for Mike is so deep that her anguish at being separated from him is palpable" in Missing Mike

Posted on June 5th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“With high summer temperatures and low precipitation predicted for the western provinces this year, there could be record wildfires again like the ones that imposed extensive evacuations on Fort McMurray in 2016. The circumstances of those forced evacuations and the tragedies and stories embedded within cannot be easily told or read but Shari Green, herself an evacuee in 2016, has the voice, the words, and the heart to tell it in her newest middle grade novel Missing Mike….

Missing Mike was…a heartbreaking story to read. Cara’s love for Mike is so deep that her anguish at being separated from him is palpable. She envisions a multitude of scenarios that Mike might be enduring or anticipates where he might be, alternating that distress with reflections on the things she and he did together. But more than the story about a missing dog, Missing Mike is about home and the different configurations it might take. Cara who spends some time working on crosswords, realizes that the synonyms for home are not always structures. They can be feelings and people and more.

Shari Green, who has impressed all readers with her exceptional novels in verse (Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles, Pajama Press, 2016; Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, Pajama Press,  2017) does not disappoint with this latest middle grade novel in free verse. The genre is a tough one to write but Shari Green has perfected it. She gets the voices dead on with a limited vocabulary and still tells an honest story about a family’s response to disaster and specifically a young girl’s determination to be reunited with the dog she loves and finding home whatever and wherever it may be.”

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“[Green’s] ability to convey complex emotions is on point: uncertainty, regret, nostalgia, loyalty, love, and friendship are palpable” says Quill & Quire in their review of Missing Mike

Posted on June 5th, 2018 by pajamapress

Cover: Missing Mike Author: Shari Green Publisher: Pajama Press“In Missing Mike, Vancouver Island-based writer Shari Green, known for her award-winning middle-grade verse novels Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles and Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, mines the dynamics of loss, change, and belonging when a family is forced to flee from encroaching wildfires….

The recognition of grey areas in life – and the attempts we make to classify and resolve them – is a theme well suited to upper-middle-grade readers; many will identify with Cara’s desire to have a solution for everything. Green highlights this struggle by including crossword clues and answers in the text, some of which Cara finds easier to solve than others. Her troubles resonate as well in the definitions of her puzzle words: for example, what is ‘lost’ can be found, while what is ‘abandoned’ does not always have the same potential for a happy ending.

…[Green’s] ability to convey complex emotions is on point: uncertainty, regret, nostalgia, loyalty, love, and friendship are palpable. Missing Mike is a novel that subtly shifts from being about a missing dog to become an exploration of the emotional journey of losing home and finding it once again.”
—Jen Bailey

Read the full review on page 28 of the June 2018 issue of Quill & Quire

Canadian Bookworm calls Sun Dog “a lovely story of the connection between Juno and her boy”

Posted on May 27th, 2018 by pajamapress

SunDog_Website“This is a lovely story of the connection between Juno and her boy, but also of the high Arctic days, and the animals who call that part of the world their home.

The illustrator of this book uses polymer clay as one element of the illustrations and I loved the effect. She brings alive Juno’s playfulness (I particularly liked the picture with the sock) and the beautiful environment Juno and her boy live in. The flowers look so real, I wanted to smell them!

A great book, especially for youngsters with their own special dog.”

Click here to read the full review