Michelle Isenhoff

tween reads

The Swift, by Alex Banks

I mentioned this release a few weeks ago and told you I was putting it to the top of my reading list. That’s because I read Alex Banks’ first MG book, Jump Boys, and was so impressed with the quality of the writing, editing, and formatting that I jumped at the chance to read this […]

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 […]

Rules, by Cynthia Lord, 2006, Book Review

This was part of my goal to read every Newbery book (this one took honors), and I finished it in one sitting. I started it the last evening of 2012 and enjoyed it enough to forego watching the ball drop. I turned the last page in the earliest hours of 2013. I knew this book […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage, 2012, Book Review

Meet Mo LoBeau, eleven-year-old spitfire from the town of Tupelo Landing, NC and her best friend, Dale Earnhart Johnson III. (The three is for the immortal legend’s race car number, of course.) Yup, you’ve just landed in a small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business–which is a good thing, according to Miss Lana, because […]

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 […]

Out of the Dust, by Karen Hesse, 1997, Book Review

I’ve been slowly picking away at the list of Newbery winners. The medal is a sign of skill and quality, the best book of the year, and usually I enjoy them. But not always. I didn’t care for Out of the Dust simply because it doesn’t follow a traditional story format; it’s a collection of […]

A Single Shard, by Linda Sue Park, 2001, Book Review

I had the vague feeling that I read this book before. I remembered bits and pieces, and some settings I recalled quite strongly. The characters were sort of like those familiar faces you run into now and then and know you should place them but they elude you till you stop and ask. I guess […]

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