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Book Review

Part I – All of the following questions must be answered in your presentation:

  1. When was your book written? Is it considered a primary source or secondary source? How do you know it is a primary or secondary source? Is it significant to the time period in which it represents? Is it significant to the time period we are studying today? (Review from Discussion Board Check-in)
  2. What is the main idea/topic discussed in the book? What subtopic is the main idea related to, are they personal, sociological, global, political, economic, spiritual, medical, or scientific? Provide examples from the book to support your answer. (Review from Discussion Board Check-in)
  3. Explain the author’s ability to present the information. How does the author support the main idea of the book? Does the author use personal opinion, observation, proof from research and use of primary sources? Does the author speculate? Is the author convincing? Is the information in the book rooted in facts, science, quotes? Provide examples from the book to support your answer.
  4. Provide 3 specific passages that struck you as significant—or interesting, profound, amusing, illuminating, disturbing, sad…? What was memorable? Why was it memorable? How can it directly be connected to history and the time period in which we are studying?
  5. Non-fiction books can sometimes be difficult to read, the language may be difficult, concepts and vocabulary may be new, and sometimes readers feel the way the book was written makes the book seems boring, non-enjoyable, and difficult to understand. Was the book written in a way that was easily accessible? Did the language make you lose interest in something that would have otherwise been an exciting subject? Were unfamiliar terms and concepts explained? Were there plenty of visuals to reinforce the subject matter and were they helpful?

Part II – Choose 4 questions that best suit your book project

  1. Was the book designed to teach the reader or bring awareness to something during the time period in which it was written? Did it succeed? How? If not, why?Provide examples from the book to support your answer.
  2. Was the purpose of the book to bring to light an issue? How controversial are the issues raised in the book? Who are the major players in the book and what role do they play in the issues discussed? Is the government involved or do the issues in the book lead to legislation (during the time period or later in history)? What are your beliefs in regards to the issues? How do the issues discussed in the book personally affect your life? Provide examples from the book to support your answer.
  3. What are the implications for the future (think in terms of after the time period the book was written and the future compared to today)? Are there long- or short-term consequences to the issues raised in the book? Are they positive or negative…affirming or frightening?Provide examples from the book to support your answer.

4.Does the author propose any solutions in the book? If so, what are the solutions and why or Who would implement those solutions? How probable is success?Provide examples from the book to support your answer.

  1. If you chose a memoir or biography, was there something especially surprising about this person’s story? What was it and why? Was there a lesson could be taken away from this person’s life? What was it and why is it important?Did preconceived opinions of this person change after reading their story? If so, did it change for the better or the worse? Explain.
  2. If you chose a memoir: Memoirs can be written for a variety of different purposes, such as clearing up a misconceived notion, gaining fame and notoriety or promoting something. What category does this book fall into?
  3. If you chose a biography: How did this person impact history? What might have been different without his or her presence?

Part III – All questions in this section must be answered.

  1. Conclusion and final thoughts: How has the book affected you as a historian? Has it broadened your perspective about a difficult issue during the time period in which we are studying? Do you have a personal or societal connection to the book? Has it changed your opinion regarding the time period and issues presented in the book?
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Category: Sample Questions