Michelle Isenhoff

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 […]

The Midwife's Apprentice, by Karen Cushman

I’d read this book many years ago. I happened across it in the library and picked it up for some Christmas break reading. Winner of the 1996 Newberry, it is a story of failure, courage, and finding that everybody is somebody, no matter how low their beginnings. Brat had no name. Cold and hungry, she […]

Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth E. Wein

Wow. Simply wow. I was actually disappointed when I first opened this book. The heroine, she calls herself “Queenie”, admits right away to being a Nazi collaborator. She’s spineless, cowardly, and terrified. And she swears. A lot. But this book won several awards last year (Printz Honor Book, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award Honor Book, Shortlisted […]

Sarah, Plain and Tall, by Patricia MacLachlan

I have wanted to read Sarah, Plain and Tall for years and years. Decades. It just never got onto my reading list till I stumbled across it this summer and it came to memory again. This one is well-decorated. It took the Newbery, Scott O’Dell Award, and Kite Award in 1986—all prestigious honors. Did the […]

Navigating Early, by Clare Vanderpool

This is a strange book, one that has beautiful moments I’ve come to associate with Clare Vanderpool, but it doesn’t always resonate with me. At times, the book even feels over-written and abstract with images that are too great a stretch. And I struggled to get a handle on Early. Early Auden is a young […]

Crispin: At the Edge of the World (Crispin, 2), by AVI

Yup, I read two AVI books over spring break. This is a sequel to his Newbery-winning book, Crispin: Cross of Lead (my review). It picks up immediately after Crispin and Bear make their way out of Great Wexley. (If you haven’t read book one, get thee to a library and read it. In the meantime, I won’t give any […]

Weight of the Crown (Princess Kandake series, book 2), by Stephanie Jefferson

I have just two more Emblazon titles lined up to share with you. I’ve been trying to read one from every author, but I keep finding myself drawn into entire series. Such is the case here. I read Stephanie’s Princess Kandake last spring, when I was screening authors to join me in the Emblazon group. […]

Esperanza Rising, by Pam Munoz Ryan

I’ve reached the end of my Friday posts. Esperanza Rising marks the last of the content I wanted to save from my self-hosted site. I’ll now be posting only once a week again, as I’m almost finished writing Song 2 and I’d like to finish Song 3 before school ends.  Sometimes a book comes out that […]

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