Michelle Isenhoff

middle grade literature

Heirloom (Seed Savers, book 3), by S. Smith, 2013

I was thrilled to be invited as a participant in the Heirloom book tour. In fact, I was thrilled to find the series for my tween son, who loves nothing better than to help me in our large garden on a warm summer morning. It’s sufficiently scary for tweens without being overwhelmingly so. It’s definitely middle grade, […]

Gangsterland, by Ansha Kotyk, 2013

What if you got sucked into a story? I mean sucked out of your chair and into the pages? Jonathan’s life stinks. He has to move in with his dad, from sunny Phoenix to snow covered New England. His dad is never around. The school bully has it in for him. And he’s already managed […]

Son (The Giver, book four), by Lois Lowry, 2012, Book Review

This year I read (in some cases, reread) through The Giver trilogy.  Patricia Tilton, of Children’s Books Heal, read one of my reviews and decided to take on the trilogy herself.  She discovered that Ms. Lowry had just published a fourth book this year.  I located it right away.  Thanks for the heads up, Pat! Son […]

The Secret School, by Avi, 2001, Book Review

Avi is one of my favorite children’s authors. This isn’t one of his more celebrated works, but it’s still a cute read, well-written, and it illustrates the difficult life of farmers in Colorado in the 1920’s. Most especially, it highlights the one room schoolhouse. Ida Bidson is in eighth grade. Next year she’s looking forward […]

Peter and the Secret of Rundoon (Starcatchers Series), Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, 2007, Book Review

Peter’s back. So is George, Molly, the Lost Boys, and the Evil Lord Ombra. Thought he was destroyed at the conclusion of book two? I thought so too. But he regathers his strength and returns to Rundoon where the forces of darkness have come up with the most farfetched plan yet: capture Peter, use his […]

Mockingbird, by Kathryn Erskine, 2010, Book Review

Caitlin doesn’t see the world as others see it. She prefers black and white to color. She’s matter-of-fact and unemotional. She takes meanings very literally. She dislikes loud noises. And she hates when anyone invades her Personal Space. Caitlin has Asperger’s Syndrome. Kathryn Erskine has created a beautiful character and surrounded her with difficulty. Not […]

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