Extra Credit English IV * Book Critique

William Offill / Sam Callis
Byron Nelson High School
Woffill@nisdtx.org / Scallis@nisdtx.org
Book Review
(Modified from Tracey Hanshew’s Book Review Assignment)
One of the best ways to gain insight into History is to read. It informs us of not only facts, but perspectives through various
points of view depending on what you read. Reading about History often prompts us to reflect on how and why things happened but
more importantly on why things occur today. What led up to events that shape our lives and define who we are? Furthermore, when
reading History, how do you select books to read? What makes a book a good History book? Does is provide insight into a
particularly era or culture that interests you? Is it well written and well documented? Does if offer a perspective you might not have
previously considered?
Your assignment is to complete a book review or critique. You will select a book that you would like to read and review. A list
with suggestions for each 6 weeks can be found in netSchool or you may submit another title for approval. If you chose an alternate
title please complete the attached proposal for approval. Once it is approved, you will then use the guide below for instructions,
grading and deadline information. Your instructions are:
Choose a book on a U.S. History topic or person who influenced U.S. History;
it may be a Biography, Autobiography or other non-fiction.
Complete the attached pre-approval/proposal form, and come talk to me about
the book you have selected if it is not on the list. Then, have your parents sign
the pre-approval form and return it to me for final approval. Make sure your
parents are ok with the content and topic you selected.
Read the book.
Write your assignment; remember this is NOT a summary, but a critique.
Your discussion should include:
An Abstract. An abstract is a brief paragraph describing what the book is about and the
position of your review. Please refer to the sample to get a better idea about abstracts.
A brief introduction to the author including his/her credentials.
The critique itself. This is similar to a very long OER. You are writing about the good
points, and/or bad points about the book, and supporting that view with evidence from the
book. Your evidence should consist of brief and cited quotations (see #5 below).
Remember, you must ALWAYS support your view with textual evidence. Questions you
may want to consider are:
i. What makes this book a good History book?
ii. Is the book still relevant today? Why or why not?
iii. Is the book historically accurate? Remember if you disagree with a point made
by the author, or you more knowledgeable than he/she? If you feel it is factually
inaccurate, you should support that with scholarly evidence.
iv. Is it biased?
v. Does the author use a bibliography or footnotes to cite sources?
Finally, would you recommend this book? If so, to whom would you recommend this
and why?
You must support your opinion with a minimum of four examples from the
book. Your example should be in quotation marks, and the page number
should be in parenthesis. Example, “Thomas Jefferson observed George
Washington punishing patriots running away from battle” (52) is a statement
the author included, but did not cite sources for; therefore it may not be
Type the final copy of your book critique. It must be a minimum 2 pages
typed, double-spaced.
Be sure to check for spelling and punctuation as spelling will count of 2 points
for each misspelled word and 1 point for grammatical and punctuation errors.
Turn in the following – stapled together in this order:
a. Proposal
b. Rubric
William Offill / Sam Callis
Byron Nelson High School
Woffill@nisdtx.org / Scallis@nisdtx.org
c. Typed book critique
Pre-Approval Date DUE: The 5th Friday of each 6 weeks
Book Review Pre-approval Form and Rubric
Name: _______________________________________________________
Title of proposed book: ____________________________________________________
Author: _______________________ Publishing Company: ________________________
Copyright date: ___________________________________________________________
Brief statement explaining why you chose to critique this book: ____________________
Parent Signature
Teacher Signature
William Offill / Sam Callis
Byron Nelson High School
Woffill@nisdtx.org / Scallis@nisdtx.org
Book Review Assignment Rubric
DUE: The 5th Friday of the 6 Weeks
Turned in: ___________________________
Author Introduction/credentials
Written review (rather than summary)
Supported opinion with at least 4 examples
Final copy typed
Minimum 2 pages (typed double spaced)
Spelling, punctuation and grammar*
(*See instructions)