Michelle Isenhoff

The Golden Goblet, by Eloise Jarvis McGraw, Book Review

Greg Pattridge hosts Marvelous Middle Grade Monday (MMGM) on his Always in the Middle website each week. Check it out for more great kidlit! Published in 1961 and receiving Newbery honors the next year, The Golden Goblet still rates high on any reading list decades later. Within, young Ranofer wants nothing more than to become a goldsmith in […]

The Mouse and the Motorcycle Trilogy, by Beverly Cleary, 1965

Greg Pattridge hosts Marvelous Middle Grade Monday (MMGM) on his Always in the Middle website each week. Check it out for more great kidlit! In honor of Beverly Cleary, who passed this year at the age of 104, I’ve chosen three of her works for this week’s MMGM. As a kid, I dearly loved Ramona, but my all-time […]

Dracula, by Bram Stoker, 1897

I hear you. You’re all saying, “What? This is not Michelle’s usual fare.” And you’d be right. But this summer, I was camping with my sister, sitting around the fire talking books. Somehow, we worked our way around to Frankenstein, which she had never read. I had. (Here’s that review.) As a result, she decided […]

Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shell Silverstein

Published in 1974, this longtime favorite has fallen in popularity as it’s aged. That’s so extremely unfortunate. I’m here to put it in front of a new generation of kids as well as remind parents, teachers, and homeschoolers who may have loved it long ago and forgotten all about it. I’ve never been a fan […]

Out of the Silent Planet (The Cosmic Trilogy), by C.S. Lewis (1938)

A huge fan of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series, I recently purchased the first in his “adult” sci-fi trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet. It’s comparable to H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, who wrote a few decades earlier than Lewis. But I found I didn’t care for this one as much as the work I’ve read […]

The Cay, by Theodore Taylor, 1969

“Dis be de mos’ outrageous good story, Phill-eep!” I can almost hear the words as they would sound spoken in Timothy’s Caribbean cadence. Timothy’s an old friend of mine. So are Phillip and Stew Cat, the trio of castaways in The Cay. This is a book I’ve treasured since my childhood. I shared it recently with my […]

Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson, 1883

We tackled another classic as part of our homeschool reading curriculum, Treasure Island. I knew the antiquated language would prove plenty challenging for my tween boys, but I really wanted them to experience the original instead of an abridged version. So I read it to them. It was a good move. Treasure Island is classic adventure story. […]

The Adventures of Robin Hood, by Roger Lancelyn Green, 1956

Roger Lancelyn Green has put together a fabulous retelling of Robin Hood. Drawing on old folk tales and ballads, he’s compiled the sometimes disjointed pieces and created a single comprehensive narrative. It’s a rousing tale of chivalry, adventure, and courage. Robin lives in the days of Richard the Lionheart, Norman king of England during the […]

The Hobbit

Now that I’ve seen the final Hobbit movie and laid Peter Jackson’s trilogy to rest, it’s time to return to the book review I wrote two years ago in anticipation of the first installment, which included a few predictions. Let’s see how I did… Bilbo Baggins was a respectable hobbit. He “never had any adventures […]

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