My thoughts: Michelle Isenhoff brings us book 2 in the Divided Decade Trilogy. Book 1 was The Candle Star. Click here to read my review. In "Broken Ladders" Ms. Isenhoff introduces us to the Wallace family in Wayland, Michigan - not quite the wilderness it once was but still a fast-filling frontier. The Civil War has not actually come to their back yard, but it is impacting their family, their farm, and their town drastically. Hannah Wallace, the 12-year-old daughter of the house, moans the fact that her Pa and older brother have left to fight. This leaves Hannah's mother, her older brother Joel, and her younger brother Justin, and herself to fight the daily battles of running the farm alone.
There is a loan that Pa has taken out on the farm in order to have seed and other items needed. It must be paid. But Hannah doesn't want to stay and farm. She wants to be a boy and be able to fight. But there aren't many dangers around which leaves Hannah's fertile imagination to run rampant along with that of Justin and her friend, Wes. Every free opportunity they, as children are wont to do, run off and fight their pretend war against the South.
The battle is not always on the battleground or field. It is very often fought in the homes and on the farms. That is the case here. No shots are fired. No lives lost. But they are fighting a mighty battle. To save the farm. The determination of Hannah, Joel, and Justin to do just this is inspiring and telling of the character of the pioneers of this great country that is the United States of America.
One of my daughters is a special education teacher and has taught middle and high school students. Here are some comments regarding this author's writing and this book which she shared with me:
- The author has beautiful use of figurative language.
- Children can relate to the dialogue of these lively characters.
- Parents will love the liberal sprinkling of historical facts throughout the books.
Another book by Michelle Isenhoff that I have reviewed is The Color of Freedom. Click here to read this review of an exceptional book!
The author's books are written for the 9 to 15 year old market and she promises adventure. She also promises to protect the innocence of children in her writing.