Michelle Isenhoff

Historical Fiction

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, by Jean Lee Latham, 1955

One of my favorite things as a reader is to find an aging book that has worn well. That is certainly the case for this 1956 Newbery winner. It tells the life story of historical figure Nathaniel Bowditch. Bowditch spent most of his life in the seaport of Salem, Massachusetts. He was only two years old […]

Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier

I’ve wanted to read Cold Mountain for a while, but I waited until I was finished with my Ella Wood trilogy so it wouldn’t be influenced by other works of Civil War fiction. Since I’m no longer concentrating solely on middle grade or young adult literature, I thought I’d throw it out here. It is the […]

The Aviator's Wife, by Melanie Benjamin, 2013

This is primarily a children’s literature blog, but every now and then I read an adult book worthy of mention and clean enough for older teens. They’re usually historical fiction. That is the case in The Aviator’s Wife. It is the story of Anne Lindbergh. I read this one last December during my flight to Savannah. […]

Mara, Daughter of the Nile, by Eloise Jarvis McGrath

You may have heard of Ms. McGrath’s 1962 Newbery-winning title, The Golden Goblet, a wonderful middle grade story of ancient Egypt. (My review.) Well, this is another fabulous tale of that intriguing and little-known land, but this one is for a teen audience and far more involved. It was written in 1953, but don’t let […]

Kira-Kira, by Cynthia Kadohata

Before I dive into this review, I have a quick, fun note. A month ago I gushed about my favorite middle grade novel of 2016, The Girl Who Drank the Moon. A week and a half later the Newbery winner was announced. Guess what? I should have been on that panel! I finally broke my recent string […]

The Light Between Oceans, by M. L. Stedman

And finally…the review you’ve all been waiting for…ahem…my Number One Historical Fiction Pick of 2016! (Now a major motion picture, which I am going to watch tonight!) Maybe this was my favorite because it’s the most recent one I read. (Like, I just closed the back cover before I composed these four posts.) It’s also […]

All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr, 2014

Continuing my Top Four Historical Fiction Pics of 2016… This one falls squarely in the young adult category, though it is quite appealing to older readers. Obviously. Look at the litany of awards it won: Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction 2015 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction Winner of the Australian International […]

The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah, 2015

My third place historical fiction pick of 2016… This is the one that started me on a historical turn this year. I grabbed it along for spring break road trip and it ruined every other book I brought with me. The rest simply couldn’t compare. It is adult fiction, not young adult, with a bit […]

Zion Covenant Series, by Bodie Thoene

The bulk of my reading tends to be middle grade, supplemented by a hearty dose of young adult, but this year found me picking up more volumes of higher-level historical fiction. To cap off the year and carry me through the holiday season, I’m going to introduce you to my top four historical picks for […]

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