Michelle Isenhoff

tween historical fiction

The Secret School, by Avi, 2001, Book Review

Avi is one of my favorite children’s authors. This isn’t one of his more celebrated works, but it’s still a cute read, well-written, and it illustrates the difficult life of farmers in Colorado in the 1920’s. Most especially, it highlights the one room schoolhouse. Ida Bidson is in eighth grade. Next year she’s looking forward […]

The Impossible Journey, by Gloria Whelan, 2003

“Comrade Sergei Kirov was killed on the first day of December. That same night my parents disappeared.” It is 1934 and Kirov was the man competing with Joseph Stalin for control of Russia’s Communist Party. Stalin wanted no competition. So Kirov was conveniently assassinated, and in the name of justice hundreds, perhaps thousands of arrests […]

Sea Cutter in Paperback!

Today I’m celebrating! I’ve been at this self-publishing thing for less than two years, so I don’t have a long history with any of my related friends and contacts. And despite the large number of indie books that have crossed my path during this time, I’ve recommended very few of them. Timothy Davis, however, was […]

Beneath the Slashings Blog Tour

To celebrate the August 2012 release of my middle grade novel, Beneath the Slashings, I put together a pretty awesome blog tour. Now that it’s over, I reshuffled this post a bit. I’ve condensed all the links into a single, cohesive list below, just in case you missed any. If you’re unfamiliar with the book or the Divided Decade […]

Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry, 1989

Annemarie lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is 1943. Her best friend, Ellen Rosen, is Jewish. This is a beautifully told story appropriate for fourth graders. It is sweet in it’s own way, and pulse-poundingly adventurous, though not in a way I’d ever want to experience for myself. It is a deadly serious look at how […]

Keeper of the Grail (The Youngest Templar series), by Michael P. Spradlin, 2008, Book Review

In Keeper of the Grail, Michigan native (yay!) Michael P. Spradlin offers the first installment of what promises to be a fabulous trilogy. I love epic stories, and the Middle Ages is one of my favorite periods of history. Throw in a little mystery, a hint of Robin Hood, a knight and a Crusade and […]

Moon over Manifest, by Clare Vanderpool, 2010, Book Review

I loved, loved, LOVED this book! Recommended to me by a sixth grade literature teacher, I gobbled it up in a two sittings. A few days later, I learned it won this year’s Newbery. Well-earned, I say! Following an illness, twelve-year-old Abilene’s father, Gideon, sends her away to friends in Manifest, Kansas, a town that […]

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