Ella Wood by Michelle Isenhoff

Ella Wood2940151472746_p0_v1_s260x420Ella Wood

Michelle Isenhoff, Author

Michelle Isenhoff, Publisher, Historical Fiction, May 10, 2015

Suitable for Ages: 12-16

Themes: Morality, Civil War, Slavery, Family relationships, Love

Opening: The sight of blood had a powerful effect on Emily Preston. It was merely a trickle of red oozing from a black woman’s finger, but it rocked the very foundation of her upbringing.

Synopsis: After spending a year living with her abolitionist uncle in Detroit, Emily Preston is no longer a spoiled Southern belle, but a thoughtful 16-year-old whose views about slavery have been dramatically altered. Her heart wants to believe that the slaves living at her beloved Ella Wood are treated well, but she sees signs that things are amiss. Emily has changed in many other ways. She’s really not interested in social parties, suitors and marriage proposals. Although she is drawn to some brief romantic encounters with suitors Thad and Jovie, she harbors a secret dream of attending university like her brother, Jack. This wish creates conflict between Emily and her traditional and controlling father. With the war looming between the North and South and her father’s involvement in politics, Emily’s independent spirit begins to take flight.

What I like about Ella Wood:

Michelle Isenhoff proves her skill as an outstanding literary author in her recent YA novel Ella Wood, a sequel to her MG novel, The Candle Star. Taking Emily’s story to a more mature level is an ambitious undertaking for Isenhoff, who is responding to her readers’ request to know more about Emily’s journey. Ella Wood is the first novel in this new trilogy.

Ella Wood is bold and profound, and heartbreaking and breathtaking all at once. Highly researched, this captivating work of historical fiction offers a penetrating look into South Carolina’s role in the civil war, the elite plantation owners, the customs and culture, and the horrific treatment of slaves.

Readers will care about her distinct and memorable characters. Emily is strong-willed and determined to fight for what she believes, unlike her mother, a proper Southern lady who bows to her husband’s demands. Brother Jack has top grades at the university, but runs with the wrong crowd. Suitor Thad is dashing, exciting, and mysterious, while Jovie is a solid Southern gentleman and supports Emily’s ambitions. Emily’s loyal slave and friend, Lizzie, carries many sorrows and deep-seated secrets.

Isenhoff’s plot is realistic, gripping and full of tension. Her deliberate pacing keeps readers fully engaged. I am completely invested in this book and enjoyed every moment I spent with Ella Wood. The ending is unexpected and feels a bit rushed for me. It left me with many questions. I look forward to the second book in the Ella Wood Trilogy, which will be published in 2016. I highly recommend Ella Wood!

Michelle Isenhoff is the author of the The Candle Star, Blood of Pioneers and Beneath the Slashings (Divided Decade Collection); Song of the Mountain and Fire on the Mountain (Mountain Trilogy); Taylor Davis and the Flame of Findul, Taylor Davis and the Clash of Kingdoms; The Color of Freedom; and The Quill Pen. Visit Michelle Isenhoff at her website.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

24 thoughts on “Ella Wood by Michelle Isenhoff

      • After reading the first book in the Ella Wood YA series, I know there are many possible directions Michelle could take with Emily’s story, but she won’t tell. And, it’s nice to know the second book will be out in January/Feburary 2016. What I do know, the series will be excellent.

        I read Michelle’s Divided Decade Collection (MG), (The Candle Star, Blood of Pioneers and Beneath the Slashings.) They focused on how Michigan dealt with the civil war, before, during and after. Such a well-written series for tweens. Fans of The Candle Star wanted to know more about what happened to Emily after she spent a year with her abolitionist uncle and the underground railroad. Now we are finding out the impact on Emily in Ella Wood, which is a stand-alone series.

        Liked by 1 person

    • You always come up with the best descriptions — I think “meaty” is a great word to describe her books. But, you would especially enjoy her literary writing style. Thank you, Pat!


  1. Pingback: The Gypsy Pearl: Tye (Gypsy Pearl, 3), by Lia London | Bookworm Blather

  2. Thank you, Pat, for featuring Ella Wood. Your help and support are so appreciated.

    Since it came up in comments above, thought I’d mention that all three books in my MG Divided Decade series are currently free everywhere (except one holdout site where one is still .99) in honor of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. Links to all books, all vendor, are listed in my sidebar at http://michelleisenhoff.com/civil-war-150th-anniversary-promo/


  3. Michelle is a talented writer and a great supporter of other children´s authors. I am so pleased you featured her latest book. This book sounds awesome and is on my TBW list.


  4. Pingback: Blood Moon by Michelle Isenhoff | Children's Books Heal

  5. Pingback: The Gypsy Pearl: Tye (Gypsy Pearl, 3), by Lia London – Michelle Isenhoff

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