Michelle Isenhoff

children’s literature

Prince Caspian (The Chronicles of Narnia, book two), by C.S. Lewis, 1951, Book Review

In this second Narnian installment, the four Pevensie children return to the magical land they once ruled, called back by Queen Susan’s horn. They land at the ruins of Cair Paravel just in time to free the Old Narnians from the evil, usurping King Miraz and put the rightful heir on the throne. For though […]

The Secret War (Jack Blank Adventures trilogy, book two), Matt Myklusch, 2011

  MMGM is a weekly meme hosted by middle grade author, Shannon Messenger. Matt Myklush did it again. The Secret War, book two of the Jack Blank series, is 525 pages of awesomeness. It’s fun, it’s dynamic, it’s unpredictable, and it’s clean. My son and I read it together for homeschool. We never seemed able to […]

Horton Halfpott or the Feindish Mystery of Smugwick Manor or The Loosening of M’Lady Luggertuck’s Corset, by Tom Angleberger, 2011, Book Review

If I might add yet another subheading to the title of this most unusual book, it would be “or Whimsical Wit and Lyrical Nonsense,” because those happen to be the two most notable assets of this particular scrap of literature. The story is sort of a whodunit with very stylized characters and a not entirely […]

A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness, 2011, Book Review

This was a tough read, though I made it through the entire book in one sitting. You could say it was timely. Connor has been having the same nightmare over and over for months. The one where—oh, he can’t stand to think about it. He’s been having trouble at school with three bullies. He’s distanced […]

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E. L. Konigsburg, 1967

Can you believe I’ve never read this book before? This Newbery winner is a heavy hitter, well-known and well-loved by the generation that grew up with it. Except me. But now I see why it has such a reputation. Claudia Kincade is a sixth grader who is so unhappy with the routine of her life […]

The Riotous Rocket Ship Robbery (St. Viper’s School for Super Villains, book one), by Kim Donovan, 2011, Book Review

MMGM is a weekly meme hosted by middle grade author, Shannon Messenger. (Finally! A meme that fits perfectly with my content!) This book is funny, perfect for young readers, and truly unique. It’s all about raising up villains, not heroes. But don’t worry, it’s written with a full measure of humor that keeps the tone lighthearted and […]

Open Minds (Mindjack Trilogy, book one), Susan Kaye Quinn, 2011, Book Review

I am so excited to share this book! I have read over two hundred MG/YA books since reading The Hunger Games, a series that totally floored me. Out of those hundreds, Open Minds is the only one that glued my butt to my couch as The Hunger Games did. In fact, this review will be a […]

The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, book one), by Philip Pullman, 1995

I’ve heard a great deal of controversy over this book in recent years, particularly when the movie came out five years ago. It was time to tackle it and make my own judgments. What I found was a complex, evocative, skillfully crafted tale with breathtaking scenes, highly developed characters, and a plot that is out […]

The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate, 2012

Ivan has lived at the Exit 8 Big Top Circus Mall since he was a juvenile gorilla, just off I-95 and under the billboard lauding “The One and Only Ivan.”  His best friends include Stella, the aging elephant, Bob the stray dog, and Julia, the daughter of the janitor.  But the Big Top isn’t faring […]

A Look Forward and a Look Back

What a year! There are things about 2012 I’d like to repeat and things I never want to go through again. I suppose that’s like any other year. As far as my writing is concerned, it’s also been a mixed bag. Now it’s time once again to pick out the highlights, celebrate the goals met, […]

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