Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘teen’

Moon at Nine “more than simply an LGTBQ novel or historical fiction.”—Ottawa Review of Books

Posted on December 10th, 2014 by pajamapress

MoonAtNine_C_Oct5.indd“As with her many other acclaimed novels such as The Bread Winner, Deborah Ellis manages to avoid stepping on cultural taboos through rigorous research and editing, and her story hits on universal themes such as family secrets, friendships, relationships and coming-of-age. Ellis transports her readers to a foreign land with a very different set of rules, where they can smell the streets and see their colours but also feel the fear and the anger of their people.

Moon at Nine is more than simply an LGTBQ novel or historical fiction. Like so many wonderful young adult titles today, it is a multi-faceted hybrid that can be enjoyed by both teens and adults. Driving the heart of the story home is the revelation that this book is based on a true story, inspired by an Iranian woman that Ellis met. Farrin and Sadira’s story gives a voice to those who have been silenced and forgotten. It is powerfully grounded in the setting of Tehran, and depicts the beauty of falling in love and the cruelty and coldness of power in the hands of outside forces.”

Click here to read the full review.

Dance of the Banished “Highly Recommended” by CM Magazine

Posted on October 24th, 2014 by pajamapress

DanceOfTheBanished_HR_RGB“…The inside covers contain maps detailing the geography of both Zeynep and Ali’s stories, and the ‘Author’s Note’ provides considerable background on the Alevi Kurds; both offer a better sense of the journeys undertaken by both main characters and of their cultural context…

Dance of the Banished is definitely a worthwhile acquisition for middle and high school library collections; it will complement other works focusing on the story of young people affected by war-time, including The Diary of Anne Frank, provide a very accessible perspective on life in one of Canada’s First World War Internment Camps, as well as introducing readers to the story of the Armenian genocide, an event with which many young Canadians might not be familiar.

Highly Recommended.

Click here to read the full review.

Amy’s Marathon of Books posts long-awaited Graffiti Knight review

Posted on October 20th, 2014 by pajamapress

GraffitiKnight_Med“…Wilm himself is a teen with a profound sense of responsibility. So many things that occur during the story aren’t really his fault, but he is his harshest critic and holds himself accountable even when he doesn’t need to. He also has a well-developed reflective nature which leads to powerful insights into his true nature and the situation of his friends and family. As a result, he’s an excellent choice for a narrator.

There’s a lot to love here and I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of what I could have written. But when it comes to the story of Wilm what I loved the most was how Bass was able to make each character complicated, hard to completely admire or condemn. They all seem to have complex motivations for their actions which made for an intense and thought-provoking read.

Both an eye-opening piece of historical fiction and a page-turning, suspense-filled story, Graffiti Knight is an enlightening read that’s hard to put down.”

Click here to read the full review.

The National Reading Campaign recommends Dance of the Banished for adults as well as teens

Posted on October 14th, 2014 by pajamapress

DanceOfTheBanished_HR_RGB“…Zeynep, fierce and bold, and Ali, caring and principled, live in the same village in Anatolia and plan to marry. Unexpectedly, Ali is sent to Canada and Zeynep is left behind. Each writes in a journal for the other, but as war comes to both countries it is unlikely their words will ever be shared. Still, they keep on. Zeynep writes an eyewitness account of the genocide from the point of view of the Alevi Kurds, telling a little known side of this tragic story. Ali, in turn, gives an accounting of life in an internment camp in, surprisingly, Kapuskasing. For each, the journal entries are a coping mechanism, a way to bear witness to the atrocities of war and ultimately, to bring justice.

Skrypuch’s compelling characters give an authentic voice to this well researched story. It is definitely a book for adults as well as teens. And although it is a story of war it includes moments of great joy, making it much more than a tragedy…”—Penny Draper

Click here to read the full review.

Nix Minus One given international honour with White Ravens list

Posted on October 3rd, 2014 by pajamapress

Nix_C_PRINT_Nov13.inddNix 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:

  • WhiteRavensLogo_2014CLA 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..

Moon at Nine “an extraordinary and original novel”—Small Press Bookwatch

Posted on September 10th, 2014 by pajamapress

MoonAtNine“Although a deftly crafted work of fiction, “Moon At Nine” is based upon true events in Islamic countries where homosexuality is punishable by death. An extraordinary and original novel, “Moon At Nine” is recommended for young readers ages 13 and up and is appropriate for highschool and community library collections.”

Click here to read the full issue.

Dance of the Banished “meticulously researched and sensitively written”—Urve Tamberg

Posted on September 3rd, 2014 by pajamapress

DanceOfTheBanished_HR_RGB“…Meticulously researched and sensitively written…In her nineteenth book, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch again gives a revealing and compassionate voice to an under-represented group of people, and shines a light on little-known events in history. Writing about historical injustices for young adults requires a solid grip of the events, sensitivity, and the ability to juggle multiple perspectives in order to create a compelling story that not only keeps us turning the pages, but also brings forward truths that may have been forgotten or buried. Dance of the Banished enlightens us about the plight of the Alevi Kurds during World War 1, saddens us as we find out about the massacre of the Armenians, and maybe even embarrasses us as we discover how “foreigners” were treated in Ontario. Her characters are human, and multifaceted, and make us think about how we would react in times of great stress if our homeland, families, or loved ones were in danger. The answers are never easy, and Marsha does not shy away from difficult and heart-wrenching choices.”

Click here to read the full review.

Dance of the Banished Book Launch

Posted on August 25th, 2014 by pajamapress

On Friday, August 22nd at 11 am, one hundred plaques were unveiled across Canada. They commemorated Canada’s enemy alien internment operations in the First World War, a little-known part of our history that saw Canadian citizens imprisoned in camps across the country because they had immigrated here from nations with which the British Empire was now at war.

Plaque

The vast majority of internees were Ukrainian, targeted because their passports read “Austrian.” Canadian immigration officials did not make a distinction between ethnic Austrians and others who then belonged to—and were even persecuted by—the Austrian empire. Similarly, all immigrants from the Ottoman Empire were labelled “Turks.”

In 1914, one hundred of these “Turks”—really Alevi Kurds—were rounded up in Brantford, Ontario, on the charge of having plotted to destroy the post office. Although the charge was proven to be false, they were sent to the wilderness of Kapuskasing to build and then occupy a prison camp there.

At Friday’s ceremony, hosted by the Ukrainian Catholic Church of St. John, Ukrainians came together with Armenians, Kurds, dignitaries, and supporters of Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, who put together many pieces of this history while researching her newest novel, Dance of the Banished. This young adult historical novel tells the stories of two Alevi teenagers in the First World War: Ali, who comes to Brantford to work and is interned in Kapuskasing, and his fiancée Zeynep, who is left behind in their homeland of Anatolia where she helps other Alevi Kurds rescue 40,000 of their Armenian neighbours from the Armenian Genocide.

A launch was held for Dance of the Banished following the plaque unveiling. Below, reviewer Helen Kubiw of CanLit for LittleCanadians (left) poses with the author and a signed copy of the book.

MarshaAndHelen

For more information about Dance of the Banished, visit the following links.

For more information about the recognition of Canada’s internment operations, visit the links below.

International Reading Association “Go Global” recommends Graffiti Knight

Posted on August 21st, 2014 by pajamapress

“Just as multicultural literature for children and young adults allows readers to understand and appreciate the world around them, international and global books can help them understand the history, languages, and culture of nations around the world…For this week’s book reviews, members of the International Reading Association’s Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group (CL/R SIG) examine some recent international and global favorites that caught their attention.”

Graffiti Knight by Karen Bass

GraffitiKnight_Med“…The book makes it clear how war and its aftermath touch everyone, even [the protagonist’s] sister. Incidents such as the Soviets’ allowing much-needed butter to spoil in the sun due to incompetence or a lack of concern help readers understand Wilm’s anger. The book offers a fresh perspective on life for the Germans after WWII.”

Barbara A. Ward, Washington State University Pullman

 

Click here to read the full review and see this week’s full list of multicultural books from the International Reading Association website, Reading Today Online.

Plaque Unveiling and Book Launch for Dance of the Banished by Marsha Skrypuch

Posted on August 13th, 2014 by pajamapress

DanceLaunchPoster