Michelle Isenhoff

Month: July 2012

When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead, 2009, Book Review

Miranda and Sal are best friends, until the day they are not. Until the day Sal takes a punch to the stomach. Until the first day of the story she must write in a letter…to someone. Suddenly, Sal no longer wants to walk to school with Miranda, and the first of four strange notes appear. […]

Paperbacks–So Last Century?

Lots of indie authors are getting in on the ebook craze, and why not? It’s affordable, doable, and just so cool to see your novel up on Amazon. But fewer authors, it seems, take the time to create a paperback version of their novel. I’m here to say, you’ve gone through all the trouble of […]

Insurgent, by Veronica Roth, 2012, Book Review

Veronica Roth has created a page-turning second novel in Insurgent, which continues the dystopian YA series set in futuristic Chicago. There, society is split into factions based on predominant character traits: Dauntless, Amity, Erudite, Candor and Abnegation. These exaggerated strengths have always helped maintain balance and morality among the whole. Until Erudite sought to overpower […]

A Front Porch, a Corkboard, and a Stationary Bike

Why do you blog? That’s a good question, one I’ve been asked many times. Sometimes the question translates, Why do you waste your time doing something that I would find more painful than shooting myself in the feet? Other times it means, Everyone blogs. What makes you think you’ve got anything to add to the […]

Leaf and the Sky of Fire, by Jo Marshall, 2010, Book Review

My son was asked by Ms. Marshall if he would read and review this book on his homeschool blog. He agreed, and he’s still plugging away at it, but it was a pretty large undertaking for a low reader. In the meantime, I picked up the book and beat him to the punch. The setting […]

Nick of Time, by Ted Bell, 2008, Book Review

Do you like fast-paced adventure? I’ve read few middle grade novels more exciting than Nick of Time. It’s 1939 and Nick McIver is twelve years old. The Nazis threaten England and the rest of Europe like a black cloud, and U-boats traverse the English Channel on which Nick has spent his whole life as the […]

Slow and Steady Writes the Novel

In my last Friday Freebie, before I vacated for the Smokies, I posted about trimming our writing schedules to avoid burnout. Today it may seem like I’m talking out of the other side of my face: quit procrastinating and write!  But I don’t think these two bits of wisdom are contradictory at all. You see, writing, […]

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J. K. Rowling, 2007, Book Review

It took me fall, winter, and spring, but I finished my third venture through the Harry Potter series. And you know what? I enjoyed it as much as the first time. I’m amazed at the imagination and intricacy of the books, and I’m doubly amazed at how much I forget in a few years’ time. In […]

Peter and the Starcatchers (Starcatchers Series, book 1), Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, 2004, Book Review

If you like Peter Pan, or if you love funny, fantastic middle grade fiction, I highly recommend you read this series. This is a reread for me, and the books are as delightful the second time through as they were the first. My daughter claims them as her all-time favorites. This series is where you […]

Eragon, by Christopher Paolini, 2003, Book Review

If ever there was a credit to homeschooling, Christopher Paolini would be it. Graduated from high school at age 15, he began working on what would become Eragon, book one of the Inheritance Cycle, a four-book fantasy series. I admit I went into this book skeptically, and it took several chapters before I warmed to […]

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