Book reviews are intended to reflect the opinions of the reviewer so you are encouraged to write freely on how the book affected you. You should take notes as you are reading your book; this will help you to remember specific details needed later on to aid you in writing your paper.
You will be given a list of books from which you will choose ONE (1) to use for your book review. Your review of a book must come from one on the preapproved list. If you do a review on a book that is not included on the book review list, you will receive 0 points for the assignment.
The following must be included in your review:
1) Place the essential information about the book at the beginning of your paper; include: title, author, first copyright date, publisher and price.
2) Theme: what is the book about? What is the main topic or subject of the book? What historical event(s) are being used as a backdrop for this book? Give a brief background discussion on the historical aspects that surround the book’s theme.
3) Background on the Author: include a short biography of the author. What is their connection to this subject matter? Is it personal? Professional?
4) Point of View and Style of Writing: from what point of view is the book written? Is it first person, as in a memoir? Is it third person, either as a fictional or non-fictional narrator? Is the author’s style formal or 2 informal? Is the writing original, clear, fluid? Does it help with a reader’s understanding of the subject or does it detract from it?
5) Format: Are there illustrations, maps, tables, graphs, etc.? Do they hinder or aid in understanding the material?
6) Examples: Use quotations and specific references to passages when illustrating a point about the book. Examples should be interspersed throughout the review as you discuss all the required sections.
7) Your personal response: how did the book affect you? Did it change or reinforce any previous ideas you had on the subject matter? Does it relate to you in a personal way due to your personal or professional experiences?
8) Respond to the author’s opinions: what do you agree or disagree with and why? Are the author’s arguments convincing? Did the author omit information or leave a matter unresolved? Did the author have a bias that was apparent?
9) Evaluate the book for the following concepts: its accuracy regarding the subject matter, its importance to the genre of historical fiction/nonfiction, its interest level to a general audience of readers. What is the significance of this historical subject matter? What are the connections to be drawn between the subject matter and current historical/political experiences? What is its relevance to, and how can it be applied to our knowledge of current times?
10) Research and Respond to other reviews of the book. (Use a variety of sources for this: Amazon; Barnes and Noble; online publications of professional reviews.) What similarities/differences did other readers (both professional and recreational reader) note, which shared/differed from your experience with the book? Does there appear to be a consensus on readers’ critiques and evaluations, or do they vary?