Michelle Isenhoff

books for kids

Knee-Knock Rise, by Natalie Babbitt, 1970, Book Review

In a land of flat plains there sits a ridge of hill, and on the very top one, the one always embraced by a cloak of mist, there dwells a beast. The people of Instep, the town closest to Kneeknock Rise, hold a fair each autumn, when the weather turns surly and the Megrimum atop […]

Savvy, by Ingrid Law, 2009, Book Review

Savvy is a uniquely styled book that won Newbery honors last year. Its most outstanding feature is the rhythmic nonsense words that flood the prose, creating a style all its own  “Fibertygibbity,” “a fizz and a zing,” “jump and jive,” “razzmatazz,” “bumping, jumping,” “stumbled and tumbled,” “gewgaws,” and “…loosening his lip-lock.” Ms. Law has a very […]

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

I dearly love Ramona, but my all-time favorite Beverly Cleary character has to be Ralph S. Mouse. There’s just something about that precocious little fella that gets me every time. Maybe I see a little of myself in him. Maybe I remember being just a little irresponsible and wanting so much to grow up. Maybe […]

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians), by Rick Riordan, 2005, Book Review

“Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood. If you’re reading this because you think you might be one, my advice is: close this book right now. Believe whatever lie your mom or dad told you about your birth, and try to lead a normal life.  Being a half-blood is dangerous. It’s scary. Most of […]

The Beyonders Series, A World Without Heroes, by Brandon Mull, 2011, Book Review

I’ve developed a love-hate relationship with this book. It took me a week to really give it a chance. I thought the writing style rather rough, with awkward word choices and excessive adjectives and adverbs. But as I moved into the heart of the adventure, I became hooked. Once I really started, I finished it […]

Tango: The Tale of an Island Dog, by Eileen Beha, 2009, Book Review

Tango: The Tale of an Island Dog is a cute story that will appeal to dog lovers. Tango is a Yorkshire terrier accustomed to the good life. But when he’s swept off his yacht and washed ashore on Prince Edward Island, he finds himself in need of a friend. Fortunately, he finds lots of them. Miss […]

The Door in the Wall, by Marguerite deAngeli, 1949, Book Review

I love a story with a wealth of meaning behind its words. This one is exemplary. Within, young Robyn’s father has left for the Scottish wars, his mother has gone to wait on the ailing queen, and Robyn awaits John-the-Fletcher who will escort him to the manor of Sir Peter where Robyn will serve as squire. […]

Newbery Honor Books, 2000-2010

Here’s where to find Newbery Honor books and my reviews. Asterics indicate the books I’ve read for my ongoing Newbery challenge but not reviewed. 2010 Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, by Phillip Hoose. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, by Jacqueline Kelly. The Mostly True Adventures Of Homer P. Figg, by Rodman Philbrick. Where the Mountain […]

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