Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘war’

SLJ reviews “heartwarming” Bear on the Homefront

Posted on October 1st, 2014 by pajamapress

BearOnHomefront_cover_rgb_hi-res“In this companion piece to Bear in War (2012), Teddy the stuffed bear provides comfort to two young children who have been evacuated from England to Canada during World War II. In the first book, Teddy is the real-life connection between Aileen Rogers and her father who was fighting on the front lines in World War I. When her father was killed, Teddy was returned to Aileen who kept it as a memento of her late father. Teddy turns up again in this story when Aileen is grown and working as a nurse with English evacuees in Canada. Sensing the uncertainty and loneliness in the two children she is escorting to their temporary home, Aileen gives Teddy to Grace and William for their time away from England. This story offers children a glimpse into what life had to have been like during that time period when youngsters were forced to leave their families so that they might survive the war. The host family has a working farm that the children help with over the five years of the war. When it is time to go back home, the children decide that Teddy needs to return to Aileen as well. The story is touching without any hint of sentimentality. The soft, warm palette of the art is beautifully rendered in oils and adds the perfect touch to this heartwarming story.”

—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

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.

A Year of Books believes Dance of the Banished is “important to read”

Posted on August 28th, 2014 by pajamapress

DanceOfTheBanished_HR_RGB“Similar to this author’s previous novels, this story wove together history and a compelling story of injustice, hope and tenacity to survive in terrible conditions…Both Ali and Zeynep show incredible bravery and compassion as they help others avoid persecution. The author shared that while the book is fiction, “every single thing in my book happened”. This book is important to read and as Zeynep says, “what I have witnessed is evidence of a terrible crime and the world must know about it, because, he says, that what we forget, we are bound to repeat”.

Click here to read the full review.

CanLit for LittleCanadians reviews Dance of the Banished

Posted on August 22nd, 2014 by pajamapress

DanceOfTheBanished_HR_RGBDance of the Banished is an old tale.  It’s the familiar love story in which two young people are separated, here by family, distance and war.  But, sadly, it’s also the story of prejudice, fear, and injustice, and the subsequent torment that intensifies that separation.  Dance of the Banished may be an old story in its foundations, but its context is wholly unique, expertly researched and penned by award-winning author Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch…By creating legitimate characters in her fiction who bring varied and personal perspectives to the situations experienced and who speak through their questions and confusions and convictions, Marsha Skrypuch can tell the whole story, not just the public one….And we are grateful for that opportunity and bold honesty.”

Click here to read the full review.

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.

Publishers Weekly reviews Bear on the Homefront

Posted on August 19th, 2014 by pajamapress

BearOnHomefront_cover_rgb_hi-res“…Rendered in a muted palette, Deines’s lush oil paintings showcase the Canadian landscape as the children make their way by train to Winnipeg to live on a family’s farm until the war ends. Once again, Teddy narrates the story, and his separation from Aileen tenderly mirrors the children’s distance from their parents…”

Click here to read the full review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

VOYA Reviews Graffiti Knight

Posted on August 15th, 2014 by pajamapress

GraffitiKnight_Med“In post-World War II Germany, Wilm is frustrated and bored, but he is better off than some who go hungry from too few Soviet rations. At first, Wilm’s only real worries are avoiding his drunken father and enduring boring mathematics lessons, until he finds out what really happened to his sister. They took his father’s leg in the war, and his dignity after, now they have taken his sister’s peace…

Graffiti Knight shines a light on an experience about which there is little information. Most World War II historical fiction focuses on the plight of those in concentration camps, but there is not much information on what it was like to live in Germany after the war or what it was like for the Germans themselves, Nazi or not. From the perspective of the occupied, readers will see through the eyes of the oppressed…it is a good addition to any library.”—Shanna Miles.

 

Books to Remember World War I

Posted on July 28th, 2014 by pajamapress

One hundred years ago today, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, launching the Great War that we know today as World War I. Pajama Press is honoured to work with authors and illustrators who create books about this war for new generations, passing on memories of the past so that it need never be repeated.

Dance of the Banished by Marsha Forchuk Skyrpuch
Publication date: August 22, 2014

DanceOfTheBanished_RGB_72dpiAli and his fiancée Zeynep dream about leaving their home in Anatolia and building a new life together in Canada. But their homeland is controlled by the Turkish government, which is on the brink of war with Britain and Russia. And although Ali finds passage to Canada to work, he is forced to leave Zeynep behind until he can earn enough to bring her out to join him.

When the First World War breaks out and Canada joins Britain, Ali is declared an enemy alien. Unable to convince his captors that he is a refugee from an oppressive regime, he is thrown in an internment camp where he must count himself lucky to have a roof over his head and food to eat.

Meanwhile, Zeynep is a horrified witness to the suffering of her Christian Armenian neighbours under the Young Turk revolutionary forces. Caught in a country that is destroying its own people, she is determined to save a precious few. But if her plan succeeds, will Zeynep still find a way to cross the ocean to search out Ali? And if she does, will he still be waiting for her?

A Bear in War written by Stephanie Innes & Harry Endrulat, illustrated by Brian Deines

A Bear In War case mechIn 1915, 37-year-old Lawrence Browning Rogers enlisted in the Fifth Canadian Mounted Rifles, leaving behind his wife, two children, and their farm in East Farnham, Quebec. Over the next two and a half years, the family exchanged hundreds of letters, and daughter Aileen sent her beloved Teddy overseas to keep her father safe. Teddy returned home safely, but Lieutenant Rogers did not; he was killed in the battle of Passchendaele. Eighty-five years later, Lawrence’s granddaughter found Teddy, the letters, and other war memorabilia packed away in a briefcase. Now Lawrence’s great-granddaughter Stephanie Innes and children’s author Harry Endrulat have used those documents to reconstruct a moving story of one family’s love and sacrifice—a story shared by the families of so many soldiers who have lost their lives in the defense of their country.

Accompanied by family photographs and Brian Deines‘ poignant art, A Bear in War is more than one family’s testament to a brave soldier. It is a gentle introduction to war, to Remembrance Day, and to the honor of those who have served their countries.

CanLit for LittleCanadians reviews Bear on the Homefront

Posted on July 17th, 2014 by pajamapress

BearOnTheHomefront_Internet“…Inspired by events recounted in Aileen Rogers’ diary, Bear on the Homefront takes Teddy out of the war zone but still working to comfort those impacted by war. And by giving Teddy a voice, Stephanie Innes (the great niece of Aileen Rogers) and Harry Endrulat have endeared the little bear with even more heart than his simple form may suggest.  His longing for Aileen and his honest reflections are not dissimilar to the children’s own, though they all recognize the value in perseverance, even if it is difficult.

The text and atmospheric oil on canvas illustrations of Brian Deines lend an authenticity to the memories held within Bear on the Homefront.  Teddy has an important story to tell…For his heroic efforts in comforting and giving voice to others when their own words and thoughts probably failed them, Teddy is now safe and treasured at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.  So, Bear at the Homefront gives us one more happy ending from a time when there weren’t many.”

Click here to read the full review.

National Reading Campaign reviews Bear on the Homefront

Posted on June 25th, 2014 by pajamapress

BearOnTheHomefront_Internet“Innes and Endrulat cleverly tell the story from Teddy’s point of view, so the reader, like Teddy, hears Aileen’s explanations of what is going on as well as William’s and Grace’s secrets.  Like the two children, Teddy ends up spending the war far from his beloved Aileen wondering if he will ever see her again.

Brian Deines soft atmospheric illustrations and rich colours convey an old-fashioned feel to the story. An afterword gives some background on the real Aileen (great-aunt of Stephanie Innes) and the real Teddy who now resides at the Canadian War Museum.”

Click here to read the full review.