Michelle Isenhoff

kids books

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Newbery Medal Winners and Where to Find Them

The Newbery Medal is the highest honor given to an American children’s novel. I’ve set myself a challenge to read them all, as well as the Newbery Honor books (yearly runners-up). The first award dates back to 1922. Here’s a list of the winners, starting with the most recent. Links include all available Amazon versions (paperback, […]

Night of the Full Moon, by Gloria Whelan, Book Review

If you haven’t become acquainted with the work of Gloria Whelan, you are missing out on a rare treat. She writes with a gentle beauty that makes reading feel effortless. Truly, every sentence is crafted so carefully, so vividly, that I float right through them. And she applies imagery as an artist applies color, adding depth and fullness to every […]

Frindle, by Andrew Clements, Book Review

Nick wasn’t a bad kid. He just got these ideas. Bright ideas. Fun ideas. Ideas that sometimes got out of hand. So when Nick decided to call a pen a frindle, he should have known that all of Westfield wouldn’t be able to contain the after effects. Frindle, by Andrew Clements, is a delightful, quick […]

Grumpy Badger's Christmas, by Paul Bright, illus. by Jane Chapman, Book Review

My literary interests don’t usually extend to picture books, but every now and again one tickles my fancy. Such is the case with Grumpy Badger’s Christmas. Deep in the forest, all the animals are decorating for the holidays, but Grumpy Badger just wants to be left alone. He checks and rechecks his spring provisions and settles into […]

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 […]

The Golden Goblet, by Eloise Jarvis McGraw, Book Review

Published in 1961 and receiving Newberry honors the next year, The Golden Goblet is still a worthy read decades later. Within, young Ranofer wants nothing more than to become a goldsmith in ancient Egypt, but after his father’s death, he goes to live with his horrible half-brother, Gebu, who apprentices him as a stonecutter. After finding an […]

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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