NOTE: This is a series of stand alone Civil War novels. Settings and heroines change in each book, but the story of the Watson/Jones family’s escape from slavery to freedom winds through all three.
The Candle Star
After a moment of high spirits–a tantrum, her mother called it–Emily is sent to stay with her iron-willed, inn-keeping uncle in Detroit. There she meets Malachi, the son of freed slaves, who challenges everything she’s grown up believing. Slowly, with plenty of bumps and humor, their abrasive relationship develops into respect, then friendship. But when Emily stumbles upon two runaways hidden in her uncle’s barn, she finds that old ways die hard. And Mr. Burrows, the charming Southern slave catcher, is only yards away, lodged in the hotel.
“I would read anything from this author. She has a beautiful gift for bringing stories to life. Its like magic. This would be a great conversation starter between you and your children, students, and friends on the history of slavery in America.”
“Love the time period and seeing the main character change. Not a difficult read by any means, and one I can encourage my teenagers to read to get a taste of the times.”
“A wonderful story about the underground railroad.”
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Hannah Wallace would like nothing better than to escape the tedium and never-ending work of the family farm. She feels lost among so many siblings and haunted by the memory of a brother that Pa wanted more than he wanted her. She needs a chance to set herself apart, but nothing exciting ever happens in Wayland. When war breaks out between the states, her father and brother leave to fight, but the army isn’t open to twelve-year-old girls. All the local adventures dried up years ago–soon after her parents unloaded their wagon on Michigan’s fast-filling frontier. Then the farm is threatened, and the one place she longs to leave becomes the one place she’ll risk everything to save.
“I like how the story is told from a girl’s point of view. I liked Hannah’s character and how she is someone who just won’t give up.”
“The characters are easy to relate to and their trials, although set years ago, can be understood by so many today.”
“I was looking for an interesting read with realistic background for the era…This book fit the bill.”
After four uncertain years of war, Grace Nickerson is desperate to return to a sense of normalcy. But soon after her father returns, he sells the farm and drags the family to a lumber camp in Michigan’s northern wilderness. Living among the rough loggers is frightening enough, but then a series of accidents prove intentional. Who is sabotaging the camp, and why? Will the winter in the woods bring the healing Grace’s family needs? Or will it drive a wedge between Grace and her father?
“This is what historical fiction should be, realistic and compelling. Not only did I find the setting fascinating, but the descriptions were so vivid I could almost feel the cold.”
“Ms. Isenhoff writes skillfully using beautiful word pictures that capture the attention of the young reader (and any adults who happen to pick up her books as well). The interaction of the children in the story with each other and with those around them will be that which a middle school student will not find stilted and out of age character. They will totally relate to the action.”
“Beneath the Slashings is not just historical fiction, it also contains a compelling mystery and themes of loss, friendship and change. They are all woven together flawlessly to create a fast-paced, action filled story that never disappoints.”
You can learn more about Michelle Isenhoff and her books at www.michelleisenhoff.com.
Lia London, host of this site, read and loved this series. Very exciting! See review here.