Michelle Isenhoff

YA historical fiction

Time Enough for Drums, by Ann Rinaldi, 1986, Book Review

Ann Rinaldi has become a household name in YA historical fiction, and this is one of her most acclaimed books. It’s been on my reading list for some time. The year is 1775, and fifteen-year-old Jemima Emerson is a headstrong young lady. She’s not a bad child; she simply doesn’t think before she acts, and […]

The Impossible Journey, by Gloria Whelan, 2003

“Comrade Sergei Kirov was killed on the first day of December. That same night my parents disappeared.” It is 1934 and Kirov was the man competing with Joseph Stalin for control of Russia’s Communist Party. Stalin wanted no competition. So Kirov was conveniently assassinated, and in the name of justice hundreds, perhaps thousands of arrests […]

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, by John Boyne, 2006, Book Review

This is a startling look at the holocaust through the eyes of a nine-year-old German boy. Bruno is the son of a Nazi Commandant. As a result of a promotion, Bruno and his whole family leave their lovely home in Berlin and follow Father to his new assignment—head of Auschwitz concentration camp. Bruno can see […]

The Girl Who Came Home, by Hazel Gaynor, 2012, Book Review

Today I would like to discuss some things self-published authors should NOT do. Unfortunately, this book will be my shining example. I happened to stumble upon this novel on a blog I admire. It was a guest post by the author promoting her work. I’ve always had a morbid fascination for the Titanic disaster, especially […]

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, 2005, Book Review

The Book Thief is quite an accomplishment. Five hundred and fifty pages of thought-provoking text in a very unique, slightly jarring style, all narrated by Death. The originality of this book made waves a few years ago, and that’s pretty hard to do. It’s a story of words. Words that prompted a Fascist regime, and […]

The Prize: Tales from a Revolution: Vermont, by Lars D. H. Hedbor, 2009, Book Review

On the border between New York and Vermont lies Lake Champlain, like a 125-mile-long wedge cleaving the two states apart. Its northern end has access to the all-important St. Lawrence River; its southern end nearly reaches the Hudson River. During the centuries in which water travel was far superior to overland, this waterway was invaluable. […]

Moon over Manifest, by Clare Vanderpool, 2010, Book Review

I loved, loved, LOVED this book! Recommended to me by a sixth grade literature teacher, I gobbled it up in a two sittings. A few days later, I learned it won this year’s Newbery. Well-earned, I say! Following an illness, twelve-year-old Abilene’s father, Gideon, sends her away to friends in Manifest, Kansas, a town that […]

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