Michelle Isenhoff

chapter books

Sir Nathan and the Quest for Queen Gobbledeegook, by Mark Simon Smith, 2012, Book Review

MMGM is a weekly meme hosted by middle grade author, Shannon Messenger.  My sons both enjoyed this book. The humor is droll, the plot straightforward, and the details random enough to engage young readers. Consider Jubb Jubb Trees that fall into piles of lumber with a precise kick, Hootentoot leaves that scream with fright when they […]

Socks, by Beverly Cleary, 1973, Book Review

Socks is written in true Beverly Cleary style. The cat for whom the book is named was the Bricker’s only pet, pampered, loved and a little spoiled. But his mistress’ comfortable lap began to shrink, and then one day Mr. and Mrs. Bricker brought home a new pet. One that wailed and smelled funny and stole […]

Henry and the Clubhouse, by Beverly Cleary, 1962, Book Review

Henry and the Clubhouse is my favorite Henry Huggins book yet. Of course, Henry overlaps with the Ramona series. She’s his pesky little neighbor. And in this book, the two of them certainly clash! Henry obtained a paper route in the last book. In this installment, his after-school job is funding his building project–a clubhouse that he […]

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 […]

Mr. Popper’s Penguins, by Richard and Florence Atwater, 1938, Book Review

I really liked this book! I was hesitant at first, not knowing what to expect. The sentences  seemed a little simplistic, the details redundant, and the humor a bit corny. But I quickly realized this is not a middle grade novel but one aimed at a slightly younger audience, unusual for a Newbery winner. It’s […]

In Honor of Beverly Cleary

Today I’d like to pay tribute to one of the most accomplished, most celebrated, most beloved children’s authors in history.  Growing up, the name Beverly Cleary rolled off my tongue as easily as “Ronald Reagan” or “Michael Jackson”.  Everyone knew who she was.  And her characters – Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, Ribsy, Beezus and Ralph […]

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