Michelle Isenhoff

Newbery Medal winner

My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George, 1959, Book Review

“I left New York in May.  I had a penknife, a ball of cord, an ax, and $40, which I had saved from selling magazine subscriptions.  I also had some flint and steel which I had bought at a Chinese store in the city.”  And with that, Sam Gribley left his city apartment filled with […]

Dear Mr. Henshaw, by Beverly Cleary, Book Review

Dear Mr. Henshaw is Beverly Cleary’s highest award-winner, capturing the Newbery and Christopher Awards in the early 80’s, yet it is one of my least favorites. Written as a series of letters and journal entries, with absolutely no narration, Mrs. Cleary somehow, miraculously, weaves together a plot, a central-California setting and a well-rounded character. This accomplishment […]

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. […]

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