And then I read a book

And then I read a book.

Book Review


You will be reading one novel per month. You will be responsible for obtaining the book by using the Queens Public Library, finding an online version, or buying it. Your choice on how you obtain the required book you must read upon which you write a book review. One a month, so pace yourself.

An Example: Elizabeth Gold's Brief Intervals of Horrible Sanity

[Sep - Oct - Nov - Dec - Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May]

For FUN: Which BOOK are you?

A book review is a reader's summation, reflection, opinion of a certain reading. For this exercise, you will read certain American novels selected from certain periods of time. This is a way of providing you with an overview of the American literary landscape from the point of view of novels. Novels are not easy to teach in a class, because readers are always at different parts of the novel and classroom discussion breaks down quickly. I'd prefer for each of you to pace yourselves through a novel a month and then review each one. As you look for topics to review, consider how the novel is a literary account of the times in which it was written. Some moral or ethical statement might be made; the characters may represent a certain human condition which is universal in time and place; or it just may reflect on life is some quirky way. Your review of each novel should direct itself to how the novel reveals a truth to you. In your review you want to be sure to highlight at least two incidents from the novel which support your statements. And in your conclusion I want you to reflect on how this novel is still relevant today or how it applies to your own life or observations about life. Is the novel still a reflection of our society today? Is it still relevant, beyond its language and setting? Have you learned more about yourself and your society by reading it? These are just some of the questions you may ask yourself as you read each novel.

Now on a more practical note, you may be asking yourself just why do we need to read these novels. Well, on that practical note, these novels will serve you very well on the SAT, Regents, AP exams, college, and light cocktail party conversation, or you wanted really practical? When you see someone you may want to meet reading a book you know something about. Is that practical or what??

I will be discussing certain matters in class and each of you and I will be speaking constantly about your progress on these novels and on the work as it begins to be posted. Classroom discussion wil be general and then those students reading the same novels will get togther to discuss them. References to other book reviews would be adopting some good hypertext writing habits.

What kinds of sentence starters might you use:

    I noticed..
    I was surprised..
    I wonder...
    I found..
    I wish...
    I didn't understand...
    I learned...
    Is there anything about this book that you don't like?

  • More Ideas to get started.

    Some Resources to help you better understand the Book Review:

  • 20th Century's 100 best novels
  • Author Interviews A number of publishing houses and well-regarded independent booksellers have placed author interviews on their respective Web sites, but this particular one from the massive Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon may be one of the most intriguing online collections available. Containing over 50 interviews.
  • Bookbrowse carefully selects from the most interesting current books and provides you with multiple reviews and a substantial excerpt of each."
  • New York Times Book Review Online.
  • Overbooked for ravenous readers
  • An Annotated List for high school.
  • Book Choices for 2003 Children, young adults, teachers, and librarians vote for their favorite newly published books for the Choice booklists. Published annually by the International Reading Association, students can use these lists to find a book to read.
  • 25 Ideas to Motivate Young Readers Get your students excited about reading. Here are 25 activities contributed from Book It! program teachers.
  • ReadWriteThink The International Reading Association, National Council of Teachers of English, and MarcoPolo Education Foundation have teamed up to provide educators with quality reading and language arts resources.
  • Kids Who Read! The largest book club in the world is a virtual book club that allows kids to discuss literature, ask questions, share ideas, and reflect. Children may pose their questions and share ideas with the author of the book they are reading.
  • Children's Book Council Encourage your students to read! Celebrate this year's Children's Book Week: Free to Read, November 17-23. The Children's Book Council offers a wealth of resources to kick off the event.
  • Richie's Picks: Great Books for Children and Young Adults

  • Scholars, write book reviews on Amazon, B&N, Borders would be good places to start.

    What is a Book?

  • The CENTRE for the HISTORY of the BOOK
  • Book History
  • Book History course at Kansas
  • History of the Book and Printing at Penn State
  • Manuscripts, Books, and Maps: The Printing Press and a Changing World
  • A Brief History of the Book

    How to mark a Book Adler.

    If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skull, why then do we read it? Good God, we would also be happy if we had no books, and such books as make us happy we could, if need be, write ourselves. But what we must have are those books that come upon us like ill-fortune, and distress us deeply, like the death of one we love better than ourselves, like suicide. A book must be an ice-axe to break the frozen sea inside us.
    -- Franz Kafka


    For September you will reread a book which is important to you and report on it, being sure to explain why this book is so important to you. Please do not think this is too easy, it is not. It is not easy because you have to be very good and very careful, because this book says something about you. This is important to remember as you write especially for the web. You have an audience and they are reading. Students in CyberEnglish get offers from people who see their web site. Since you will be constructing a web resume, you might want to make sure each part of your webpage properly reflects who you are and what you believe in. Let you webpage reflect the best you have to offer.

    For October you will read one of these books:

    For November you will read one of these books:

    • Big Mouth and Ugly Girl by Joyce Carol Oates
    • Feed by MT Anderson
    • Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos
    • The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
    • The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean
    • My Heartbeat by Garret Freymann-Weyr
    • 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East by Naomi Shibab Nye
    • Postcards from No Man's Land by Aidan Chambers

    For December you will read one of these books:

    For January you will be reading one of these books:

    For February you will be reading one of these books written in verse:

      Virginia Euwer, True believer
      Marilyn Nelson, Carver, A Life in Poems
      Nikki Grimes, Bronx Masquerade
      Lindsay Lee Johnson, Soul Moon Soup
      Lorie Ann Grover, Loose Threads
      Marlene Carvell, Who Will Tell My Brother?
      Ron Koertge, Shakespeare Bats Cleanup
      Ron Koertge, The Brimstone Journals
      Mel Glenn, Split Image
      Helen Frost, Keesha's House
      Ann Turner, Learning to Swim
      Eireann Corrigan, You Remind Me of You: A Poetry Memoir
      Sonya Sones, Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy
      Sonya Sones, What My Mother Doesn't know
      Karen Hesse, Out of the Dust
      Karen Hesse, Witness
      Cornelius Eady, Brutal Imagination: Poems
      Chris Lynch, Whitechurch
      Sharon Creech, Love That Dog
      Jacqueline Woodson, Locomotion

    For March you will be reading a book from this list:

    • Lewis, H.J. Hawk Medicine
    • MacGregor, Rob Hawk Moon
    • Marsden, John The Night Is For Hunting
    • McCants, William D. Anything Can Happen In High School And Usually Does
    • Myers, Walter Dean Fallen Angels
    • Myers, Walter Dean Monster
    • Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds Sang Spell
    • Nixon, Joan Lowery Don't Scream
    • Pfeffer, Susan Beth The Year Without Michael
    • Pierce, Meredith Ann Dark-Angel
    • Pullman, Philip The Ruby In The Smoke
    • Randle, Kristen D. The Only Alien On The Planet
    • Reiss, Kathryn Dreadful Sorry
    • Rubenstein, Gillian Galax-Arena
    • Staples, Suzanne Haveli
    • Taylor, Theodore The Bomb
    • Voigt, Cynthia Wings Of A Falcon
    • Wallace, Rick Wrestling Sturbridge
    • Weaver, Elizabeth Rooster
    • Wolff, Virginia Euwer Make Lemonade
    • Woodson, Jacqueline From The Notebooks Of Melanin Sun

    For April you will be reading a Mock Printz Novel:

      Holes by Louis Sachar
      Tangerine by William Bloor
      Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas
      Ironman by Chris Crutcher
      Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
      The Giver by Lois Lowry
      If Rock and Roll Were a Machine by Terry Davis
      We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
      The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause
      Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block
      Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
      The Goats by Brock Cole
      Izzy, Willy-Nilly by Cynthia Voight
      The Moves Make the Man by Bruce Brooks
      Instellar Pig by William Sleator
      Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
      Annie on My Mind y Nancy Garden
      Let the Circle Be Unbroken by Mildred Taylor
      Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Patterson
      After the First Death by Robert Cormier
      Gentlehands by M. E. Kerr

    For May you may read any book not previously read from any one of our lists used this year or these links:

  • Winners' Tales New York's New Classics
  • Reading suggestions 6-12
  • Mark Welch's magnificent book list

    Remember, Books open doors:

    Go back to CyberEnglish