Michelle Isenhoff

children’s books

Rules, by Cynthia Lord, 2006, Book Review

This was part of my goal to read every Newbery book (this one took honors), and I finished it in one sitting. I started it the last evening of 2012 and enjoyed it enough to forego watching the ball drop. I turned the last page in the earliest hours of 2013. I knew this book […]

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J. K. Rowling, 2007, Book Review

It took me fall, winter, and spring, but I finished my third venture through the Harry Potter series. And you know what? I enjoyed it as much as the first time. I’m amazed at the imagination and intricacy of the books, and I’m doubly amazed at how much I forget in a few years’ time. In […]

Cassidy Jones and Vulcan's Gift, by Elise Stokes, 2011, Book Review

I’m excited to be in on the release of Elise Stokes’ second novel, Cassidy Jones and Vulcan’s Gift. This fast-paced series is reminiscent of the adventures of comic book superheroes, except Cassidy Jones happens to be a totally hip, totally stubborn, totally modern fifteen-year-old girl. A freak accident left her with enhanced senses and superhuman […]

Oscar’s Gift: Planting Words with Oscar Micheaux, by Lisa Rivero, 2011, Book Review – Bargain eBooks

I have just finished reading a delightful surprise. Oscar’s Gift: Planting Words with Oscar Micheaux showed up unexpectedly in my inbox, sent to me by brand new children’s author, Lisa Rivero. Folks, this is an author to watch! Ms. Rivero has combined a scrap of American history with imagination, sensitivity, humanity and vivid imagery. The result? A […]

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 […]

Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula, by Elise Stokes, 2010, Book Review

I met Elise Stokes recently in a forum post discussing clean content in children’s literature. I was intrigued enough by our conversation to order her book, Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula. I’m glad I did! Not only are its pages free of objectionable content, they contain all the ingredients required for a superb adventure. […]

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. […]

The Outside of a Horse, by Ginny Rorby, 2010, Book Review

“There’s nothing so good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse.” The Outside of a Horse is an emotional, eye-opening novel that has pushed me into some new areas of thinking. I’m afraid my review may grow rather controversial before I’m done. Hannah’s mother died of cancer five years ago, and […]

The Door in the Forest, by Roderick Townley, 2011, Book Review

The best words I can think of to describe The Door in the Forest, by Roderick Townley, are “unique” and “vague.” Unique because Townley takes everyday themes like death, war and rebellion and weaves around them a tale unlike anything I’ve ever read before. With a little magic, the focus suddenly leaves the commonplace and […]

Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick, 2011, Book Review

Through my intricate web of literary connections (yeah, right), I managed to get my hands on an advance copy of Brian Selznick’s brand new book, Wonderstruck. It won’t be released until September 13, 2011, so I feel very privileged to provide a sneak peek at this captivating new middle grade novel. Some of you may […]

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