Michelle Isenhoff

book review

A Measure of Disorder (Mother Earth Series, book 1), by Alan Tucker

Who knew a simple science field trip could turn into such a whale of an adventure? Jenni Kershaw and her classmates can’t seem to find the bus for the return trip to school. Then they notice the landscape has changed, the vegetation is unfamiliar, not to mention the peculiar talking wildlife. They’ve been brought to […]

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, 2005, Book Review

The Book Thief is quite an accomplishment. Five hundred and fifty pages of thought-provoking text in a very unique, slightly jarring style, all narrated by Death. The originality of this book made waves a few years ago, and that’s pretty hard to do. It’s a story of words. Words that prompted a Fascist regime, and […]

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Book Review

Probably ten million folks have written opinions on Harper Lee’s classic during the last fifty years, but I’m going to add my ten cents to the pot anyway. Because To Kill a Mockingbird is worth every coin we toss in. This is the story of a black man standing trial in Alabama for a crime he didn’t […]

Anna of Byzantium, by Tracy Barrett, Book Review

If you enjoy historical fiction, pick up a copy of Tracy Barrett’s Anna of Byzantium. Ms. Barrett is primarily a writer of non-fiction, but she delivers a solid, fictionalized account of Anna Comnena, daughter of the Byzantine Emperor. Her writing is smooth, logical, and easy to follow. Set in the time of the Crusades, young […]

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, […]

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 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. […]

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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