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The Quill Pen

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  80 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
If you owned a pen that wrote the future, would you use it? What if the consequences spread like ripples in a pond? What if they raged out of control? What if the pen demanded blood? Micah Randall has found such a pen. One that's ensnared him in a curse dating back generations. One that's devastated two families and now threatens his whole New England village. ...more
Kindle Edition, 158 pages
Published October 18th 2011 (first published October 2011)
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Dixie Goode
This little novel packs a lot of interesting characters and a few unexpected twists into a book that middle school kids could easily read.

The story feels like a ghost story when you first begin reading but soon reveals itself to be something a little different. There are shipwrecks and curses and magic. There are prejudices and the possibility of budding romance. There are moments of history and moments of pure fantasy. I love the town outcasts and hate the town bully and was shocked by who the

First of all, I must say I love this new cover a lot better. The original cover was just a beach and a sunset, but I think that this beautiful cover captures the essence that is this adventure story.

The Quill Pen takes place in a remote town in the early 1800s during a time of American expansion and on the brink of the industrial revolution. Micah is a 13 year old boy who comes from a well-to-do family: his father runs the local grocery store and is driven
Coreena McBurnie
Jan 08, 2012 Coreena McBurnie rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book!!!!! The most standout thing for me is the language that Isenhoff uses. Her writing and descriptions are sumptuous and juicy and her use of words is masterful and poetic. I found myself stopping to reread passages just so that I could savour them. This is the kind of descriptive writing that inspires me to try to be a better writer. I marked so many stand out sections, but I'll share a couple here:

The voice was cold as granite. On the far side of the table with the
Jun 10, 2014 Donita rated it it was amazing
A sign of a good book: When you finish, you look for anything else written by the author. This is exactly what I did in the middle of the night, last night. This story is very well written. I'm going to pass it on to my grandsons.
Beth M. Honeycutt
Apr 18, 2015 Beth M. Honeycutt rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: middle grade readers, tweens, boys
What would you do if given the chance to write the future? That's the premise of The Quill Pen, and it's a really interesting one. Thirteen-year-old Micah finds a quill pen that contains magic. Whatever he writes with it comes true, though maybe not always in the way he'd intended.

I found this adventure story to be quiet and thoughtful, deep and complex. It unfolds steadily over the first half of the book, picking up steam until I couldn't stop turning the pages during the second half. The story
Michelle Isenhoff
Oct 23, 2011 Michelle Isenhoff rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
If you found a pen that wrote the future, would you use it? What if consequences spread like ripples in a pond? What if they raged out of control? What if the pen demanded blood?

Thirteen-year-old Micah has found such a pen. One that’s ensnared him in a curse dating back generations. One that’s devastated two families and now threatens his whole New England village. But how can Micah destroy the pen when it offers him his only chance at the future he dreams of?
Dec 02, 2014 Gail rated it liked it
I liked the book, but it is not one I would say, you need to read this book, so I gave it 3 stars. The story follows a young boy who is unhappy with his dad's choices for him. He wants something different than working in his dad's store. The boy befriends people the rest of the town look down on. He discovers a magic pen, but the pen carries heavy consequences for its use. The story has some of the tried and true story ideas that are used often- a boy befriends a girl,who parents don't approve o ...more
Aug 14, 2015 Patsy rated it it was amazing
This book is about a thirteen year old boy, Micah who lives with a very forceful father and loving mother. With the help of a friend Micah learns to find courage to face his father and to stand up for himself. Courage is something you already have like hope, compassion and love, no one can give it to you or take it away. Micah is hired to help an elderly woman, Widow Parson to clean out her attic and in an old trunk he finds a quill pen. He takes it home and discovers that whatever he writes wit ...more
L.R.W. Lee
Nov 18, 2014 L.R.W. Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.75/5.0 - This was a fun read filled with imagination

Against a backdrop of colonial times, Isenhoff plunges readers into the mystery of a feather profoundly influencing more than one person's life. But it's not just any feather, it's from a phoenix. I'd never seen mythical creatures mixed with colonial times before reading this story, but the author pulls it off believably.

My only issue was with the beginning where much description, albeit nearly poetry, makes the action drag a bit.

That said, i
Teen-aged Micah Randall is, so far, unhappy with his lot in life. His father is domineering, unfeeling and quite insensitive to Micah’s feelings. Mr. Randall owns several businesses in their small New England coastal town and Micah spends all of his time, when not at school, working in the general store. Micah sees this boring life spread out before him and he wishes only to escape his father’s plans and head west for adventure.

Merle Parsons, an elderly widow, hires Micah to help her clean out t
Lois Brown
Jan 11, 2012 Lois Brown rated it it was amazing
Set in a quaint port town, The Quill Pen by Michelle Isenhoff describes a time when life seemed slower, more simple. But was it really?


Thirteen-year-old Micah is an adventurer at heart. He longs for the freedom of the open air and sky found in the uncharted Western states. Micah’s father, however, is a born business man interested in one thing: making money. The two get along with each other as well as . . . well, as well as peanut butter and mayonnaise go together. Which, as most middl
Lori Henrich
Dec 04, 2012 Lori Henrich rated it liked it
Micah is struggling with his anger at his father, who treats him more like a slave than a son. Micah can't make any decisions for himself. His father has his entire future planned out for him, a future that will cause Micah's spirit to wilt and die.

Micah is hired out by his father to help the widow Parsons clean out her attic. The Parsons home is considered to be haunted or cursed depending on who you talk to. Naturally Micah isn't thrilled but he does what he is supposed to and arrives at the
Christina Daley
Mar 20, 2012 Christina Daley rated it it was ok
Isenhoff proves again her command of the language in The Quill Pen, a historical novel with a fantasy element. The town she creates has history and the characters are colorful, but I did feel that the fantasy element was a bit lacking. The Quill Pen didn't carry the story as much as I liked, neither did it get the main character Micah in as much trouble as I was hoping. In fact, the pen stays hidden in his desk for a vast majority of the novel, which seems odd given young boys' natural affinity ...more
Erik This Kid Reviews Books
Feb 01, 2012 Erik This Kid Reviews Books rated it it was amazing
Micah had a boring life. His father owned a store that he made Micah work in. Micah did not like working in the store. Micah’s father told him he would run the store someday and that in a few weeks, he was sending Micah to a boarding school far away. Micah dreamed of going out west and exploring new lands, but he could not stand up to his father. When Micah’s father told him he had to go to work for the grouchy old Widow Parsons, cleaning out her attic, Micah sadly gave in. While working in the ...more
Underground Book Reviews
Jun 04, 2013 Underground Book Reviews rated it it was amazing
The young protagonist and supporting characters clearly put this novel in the MG/YA category. However, The Quill Pen is one of those rare books that defy being pigeon-holed because it is so well written. Isenhoff’s quality prose, well-crafted dialogue, and richness of the historical setting make The Quill Pen entertaining for adults as well. She paints the characters with masterful strokes. These strengths give The Quill Pen a classic, almost Twain-like feel. This book is so well edited it could ...more
Vera Godley
Sep 17, 2012 Vera Godley rated it it was amazing
The author's historical fiction has always flowed flawlessly with beautiful wordsmithing bringing wonderful word pictures to the young readers who have chosen to read her books. The young reader will inevitably learn new vocabulary as well as true historical fact and descriptions of settings when they read a Michelle Isenhoff novel.

However, The Quill Pen, while set in a long-ago seaside village is not historical fiction per se it is a venture into fantasy. You see, the quill is a feather pen of
Elise Stokes
Nov 21, 2011 Elise Stokes rated it it was amazing
Thirteen-year-old Micah suspects that a quill pen he discovers while cleaning Widow Parsons' attic can write the future- literally. Soon, he learns the future cannot be tampered with without consequences. A talented writer, Michelle Isenhoff paints a wonderful picture of an era gone by. The innocence of her story and the nobleness of Micah are refreshing. Though it's easy to relate to Micah and understand his temptation to use the pen to free himself from his domineering father-a truly horrid in ...more
Nov 19, 2011 Tracy rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks, nov-2011
I really enjoyed this one. It was a cute, sweet story. The characters were very likeable and believeable. I guess, my only real complaint would be, that the character and story development took a little too long and the adventure/magic did not happen until the end of the story. I felt the story could have been longer or perhaps another book is needed. I would say that being a YA book, it would not be something that I could see passing to a reluctant reader. I don't think there would be enough to ...more
Jun 29, 2015 Justin rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. One of those books that when I finish reading it, I try to find other books the author has written because I'm pretty sure I'll like them, too. I feel some things/possibilities could have been explored that weren't, so only 4 stars. Overall, definitely recommended.
Cynthia Gonzalez
Aug 07, 2016 Cynthia Gonzalez rated it it was amazing
Wonderful reading highly recommend, love the mystery of the quilt pen and its supposed history and it's involvement with the characters

Great reading a keeper, highly recommend this for all ages a must read an author I will look for to read more
Melissa Rheinlander
Feb 20, 2012 Melissa Rheinlander rated it really liked it
This book is quite the adventure! I forgot that I was reading a children's book... I think that says a lot about Michelle's writing ability. This story is unique and full of adventure that most children would enjoy! It is not your "normal" paranormal read... there are no vampires or weres in this book, but it is full of magic and imagination! The story is great and keeps the pages turning! I would definitely recommend this book to others and age appropriate children (middle school grade) who lov ...more
Dan Rogers
Aug 02, 2015 Dan Rogers rated it liked it
Another enjoyable offering from Michelle Isenhoff. I found the story a little hard to engage with at times but that may be due to the fact that I had a lot of other things going on at the time and the text, although enjoyable, isn't one that really reached out and grabbed me by the collar, refusing to let go until I had gotten to the end.
Peggy Holloway
Jun 22, 2014 Peggy Holloway rated it it was amazing
What an imagination this author has. The plot was so interesting and I enjoyed it very much. The plot moved along at a good clip, the book was well written with good character development.
Nov 20, 2014 Ashley rated it really liked it
The Quill Pen, I noticed more as I was reading it, is a young adult novel. The way it was written, though, pulled me in like not many young adult novels can. Generally, the way YA novels are written can be...adolescent, in their quality. This one very much had an adult's tone to it, and it showed in the content.

The ages-long story of feuds between two families is a stressor that is all too real in some places. But, Micah shows how much stronger he is than the tides of history. I am proud to say
Jan 26, 2016 Trina rated it liked it
This was a story of adventure for middle school students. I liked the story but I'm unsure if it would hold the attention of my middle schooler.
Sharon Jones
Jun 30, 2015 Sharon Jones rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Couldn't put it down!
R. Ferguson
Mar 18, 2012 R. Ferguson rated it really liked it
I found this book easy to read and enjoyed it immensely. Young Micah's struggle to build up the courage to stand up for himself takes you back to your own childhood. And helps you remember what it's like to be young and trying to figure out what you want to do with your life.
As Micah finds the golden feather you just know it will change his life; will it be for better or worse. The story of the quill pen is a story you can take pleasure in and share with others. If you like YA books I say pick i
Michelle Isenhoff
Oct 21, 2011 Michelle Isenhoff rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
If you found a pen that wrote the future, would you use it? What if the consequences spread like ripples in a pond? What if they raged out of control? What if the pen demanded blood?

Thirteen-year-old Micah has found such a pen. One that’s ensnared him in a curse dating back generations. One that’s devastated two families and now threatens his whole New England village. But how can Micah destroy the pen when it offers him his only chance at the future he dreams of?
Suzy Turner
Dec 19, 2011 Suzy Turner rated it it was amazing
My goodness, Michelle Isenhoff is clearly SO VERY TALENTED. She sets the scene so incredibly perfectly that I felt like I was right there with the characters amid all the action.
This is such a fantastic read. After I'd read it, I said to my husband that I could imagine this book being studied by children at school... it's that amazing!
This has got to be one of the VERY BEST books I've had the pleasure of reading this year... actually, make that EVER. Simply superb!
Jun 11, 2012 Vicki rated it really liked it
Shelves: tween
Micah comes across a feather pen while helping widow Parsons clean out her attic. He discovers it has the power to write the future when using it. Micah shares the secret with his best friend Gabby, who belongs to a family that most of the town doesn't know or trust. Micah's father certainly doesn't approve of this friendship or anything else that Micah thinks or does. A fun suspenseful, mystery, fantasy.
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MICHELLE ISENHOFF writes for teens, tweens, and kids as old as 91. Her work has been reader-nominated for a Cybils Award, the Great Michigan Read, and the Maine Student Book Award. She also placed as a finalist in the young adult category of the Kindle Book Review Book Awards. A former teacher and current homeschooler, Michelle has been lauded by the education community for the literary quality of ...more
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