Posted on November 14th, 2018 by pajamapress
The International Educator
“…Moon at Nine is a tense and riveting YA novel. Fifteen-year-old Farrin has grown up with secrets: ten years after the overthrow of the Shah, her aristocratic mother is still working against Iran’s conservative revolutionary government. But when Farrin befriends Sadira, the new student at her school, her own secret is even more dangerous. Because the girls discover their relationship is more than just a friendship—and in Iran, being gay is punishable by death.”
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Posted in Deborah Ellis, Moon at Nine | Tagged book-review, canlit, chapter-book, deborah-ellis, kidlit, lgbtq, ya-books, ya-fiction, young-adult-books, young-adult-fiction
Posted on April 28th, 2017 by pajamapress
“…In Sylvia Gunnery’s novel Road Signs That Say West, Hanna persuades her younger sisters, Megan and Claire, to join her on a parent-free road trip across Canada….With a cast of interesting yet believable characters, Road Signs That Say West gives a realistic look into the lives and relationships of three very different yet inextricably linked sisters.
Road Signs That Say West is a novel that will absolutely find its way to the shelves of the junior high library I run. In a YA world full of fantasy, sci-fi, and dystopian fiction, I have a large number of readers looking for what we call people stories: complex stories about realistic characters and their lives. The sisters in this story are believable and familiar without the author’s resorting to clichés….
Road Signs That Say West reads quickly and cleanly, with simple yet engaging language. It’s broken up into sections; there are smaller passages within the chapters, and 6-8 chapters within each of the three parts. This structure makes the novel manageable for struggling readers without affecting the flow of the story or making it choppy….
On a personal note, there are few things I enjoy more than seeing my hometown mentioned in works of literature. Gunnery’s novel opens with a fitting quote from Islander Catherine McLellan’s song ‘Lines on the Road’. A few chapters in, there is a reference to the university in Charlottetown. A reader in Southern Manitoba will recognize the name Pinawa, and one in Saskatchewan might recognize Weyburn. Baddeck, Edmundston, Jasper, and Mount Robson are among the other places named as the girls travel west across Canada. The mentions of various cities and landmarks across the country is a perfect way to draw readers into the story.
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Posted in Road Signs That Say West | Tagged book-review, canadian-literature, canlit, kidlit, road-trip, sisters, summer-books, Sylvia Gunnery, ya-books, ya-fiction, young-adult-books, young-adult-fiction
Posted on March 6th, 2017 by pajamapress
“Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5…
What did you like about the book? Farrin goes to a school for gifted girls, and when Sadira begins attending her school, the two fall in love. Amid all of the political upheaval in her country, Farrin is caught kissing Sadira and the two are punished. Farrin thinks she can’t survive without seeing Sadira, but can she survive if they stay together? Heart-stirring, believable, and ultimately heartbreaking, this is a must-read.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? Middle and high school teens…
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes”
—Kasia Piasecka, Falmouth Public Library
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Posted in Moon at Nine | Tagged book-review, canlit, chapter-book, deborah-ellis, kidlit, lgbtq, ya-books, ya-fiction, young-adult-books, young-adult-fiction
Posted on October 11th, 2016 by pajamapress
Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles by Shari Green is just delightful….Green’s writing has whimsy and heart…It makes you feel that, yes, miracles can happen in this place.
Bailey is a narrator I’m sure will resonate with young readers. She’s imaginative, kind and hopeful, and she stands up for what she believes is right….
Whimsical, hopeful and at times bittersweet, I highly recommend Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles.
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Posted in Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles | Tagged book-review, free-verse-novel, middle-grade-fiction, shari-green, young-adult-fiction