Michelle Isenhoff

kids on kindle

Cycles, by Lois D. Brown, Book Review

I always tread cautiously when my blog attracts requests for book reviews. I see a wide range of talent and professionalism, but Cycles, by Lois D. Brown, I am pleased to say, rates among the best stories I’ve received. Within, an accident leaves13-year-old Renee Beaumont’s life completely shaken. Not only does she narrowly escape death, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Patterson, 1977, Book Review

Katherine Patterson is one of only five authors to twice win the Newbery medal. She delivers powerful, thought-provoking stories, beautifully written with a depth of emotion and meaning. The kind of stories I love, yet I wouldn’t count either of her Newbery winners among my favorites. Personal preference, I suppose. Yet there is much I […]

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 Farewell Season, by Ann Herrick, 2011, eBook Review

Eric has always loved football. It’s his senior year, scouts are making phone calls, a college scholarship seems secure. So why can’t he work up any enthusiasm? Because his dad has always been so closely entwined with his game, and three months ago a drunk driver unraveled everything. His dad is gone. Ann Herrick does […]

Heart of a Samurai, by Margi Preus, 2010, Book Review

A storm, a shipwreck, and five stranded Japanese fishermen picked up by an American whaler. The problem?  They can never go home. Because of Japan’s strict isolationist policy and fear of outsiders, those who leave Japan can never return. The year is 1841. Young Manjiro, like the other fishermen, is suspicious of his blue-eyed rescuers. […]

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