Michelle Isenhoff

Year: 2010

Messenger, by Lois Lowry, Book Review

I did not like this book. It felt dark, unfamiliar and unkind. For such is the world Ms. Lowry created within it. Yet, I could not put it down. It was magnificently crafted, with the beauty and imagery and suspense she is well-known for. And among the dark, tangled evil dwells honor, and compassion, and sacrifice, […]

Grumpy Badger's Christmas, by Paul Bright, illus. by Jane Chapman, Book Review

My literary interests don’t usually extend to picture books, but every now and again one tickles my fancy. Such is the case with Grumpy Badger’s Christmas. Deep in the forest, all the animals are decorating for the holidays, but Grumpy Badger just wants to be left alone. He checks and rechecks his spring provisions and settles into […]

Sounder, by William Armstrong, Book Review

Has anyone out there not yet read this incredible book? Written by William H. Armstrong in 1969, it won the Newberry Medal, the most distinguished award for children’s literature, and not by any stroke of luck. Sounder is a masterful coming of age story, but it’s also far, far more. Set in the deep South in […]

True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, by AVI, Book Review

In any list of children’s writers, AVI should undoubtedly rank near the top. He has an amazing talent for weaving together intricate plots and creating such page-turning intrigue that I can hardly bear to put his work down. He also writes with a clean simplicity that I greatly admire. His prose is beautifully precise, and […]

Books by Janie Lynn Panagopoulos, Review

I made a useful discovery when I picked up my first Janie Lynn Panagopoulos book. She is a Michigan native, and her novels bring our state’s past to life for children. I have now read three of her books: Traders in Time, Journey Back to Lumberjack Camp, and Mark of the Bear Claw, and I […]

Jahanara, Princess of Princesses, India 1627, by Kathryn Lasky, Book Review

The main character of this book, Jahanara, was a factual person, the favorite daughter of Emperor Shah Jahan (who built the Taj Mahal). This is a fictionalized account of her life presented in journal entry format, to the utter detriment of the story. While author Kathryn Lasky has scores of books to her credit, the […]

The Golden Goblet, by Eloise Jarvis McGraw, Book Review

Published in 1961 and receiving Newberry honors the next year, The Golden Goblet is still a worthy read decades later. Within, young Ranofer wants nothing more than to become a goldsmith in ancient Egypt, but after his father’s death, he goes to live with his horrible half-brother, Gebu, who apprentices him as a stonecutter. After finding an […]

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving, Book Review

This week, in the spirit of Halloween, I reread The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving. I confess, I am not familiar with most of the works of this celebrated American writer, but the first time I heard this story as a fourth grader, it captured my imagination like few other stories ever have. […]

The Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkein, Book Review

Right now, among all my many other projects, I am making my sixth pilgrimage through Middle Earth. Some of you, I’m sure, are wondering why I would read through the nearly 1,500 pages of the Lord of the Rings trilogy when there are three very good movies that cover the same material. And others are […]

Deltora Quest Series, by Emily Rodda, Book Review

My daughter and I have been fighting all week, and I’m thrilled! You see, I picked up the first of an eight-volume series called Deltora Quest from the library to fill her reading quota for this last week of school. Not only did she read the first one through in a day, she requested the […]

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