English 101h ms. Redecker Quarterly Book Reports

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English 101H

Ms. Redecker

Quarterly Book Reports

Each quarter, you will have to read one book outside of class and complete a three-part assignment on the book: essay, test, and creative project. All essays and creative projects are due on the last instructional day of each quarter (i.e., last school day before finals). The day of the book test will be announced ahead of time, but will be within a week of the due date of the written assignments. DO NOT wait to do these projects until the night before they are due! (I will accept them early if you get them done early =D)

In addition to these projects, you must also fill out a summary sheet. The summary should be TYPED, DOUBLE-SPACED, and in 12-POINT TIMES NEW ROMAN font, to keep in your portfolio. The purpose of these summary sheets is to help you remember what each book was about, so when you are a senior and preparing for the AP, you will be able to reread the summaries to refresh your memory on the books you have read.
ESSAYS: Each quarter, you will have a choice of 8 different essay questions. You must choose ONE and write a 750-1000 word essay on that question. This essay will be worth 100 points and graded on the AP scale. Make sure to write out the COMPLETE essay question that you answer.
Use this checklist to keep track of the book reports you have completed.
Quarter One:

Quarter Two:

  • Creative project

  • Book summary sheet

  • Essay choices (pick one):

Quarter Three:

  • Creative project

  • Book summary sheet

  • Essay choices (pick one):

Quarter Four:

  • Creative project

  • Book summary sheet

  • Essay choices (pick one):

ESSAY CHOICES – pick the essay that best fits your novel (or play)

  1. Although literary critics have tended to praise the unique in literary characterizations, many authors have employed the stereotyped character successfully. Select one work of acknowledged literary merit and in a well-written essay, show how the conventional or stereotyped character or characters function to achieve the author's purpose.

  1. Choose a complex and important character in a novel or a play of recognized literary merit who might, on the basis of the character's actions alone, be considered evil or immoral. In a well-organized essay, explain both how and why the full presentation of the character in the work makes us react more sympathetically than we otherwise might. Avoid plot summary.

  1. The meaning of some literary works is often enhanced by sustained allusion to myths, the Bible, or other works of literature. Select a literary work that makes use of such a sustained reference. Then write a well-organized essay in which you explain the allusion that predominates in the work and analyze how it enhances the work's meaning.

  1. In a novel or play, a confidant (male) or a confidante (female) is a character, often a friend or relative of the hero or heroine, whose role is to be present when the hero or heroine needs a sympathetic listener to confide in. Frequently the result is, as Henry James remarked, that the confidant or confidante can be as much "the reader's friend as the protagonist's." However, the author sometimes uses this character for other purposes as well. Choose a confidant or confidante from a novel or play of recognized literary merit and write an essay in which you discuss the various ways this character functions in the work. You may write your essay on one of the following novels or plays or on another of comparable quality. Do not write on a poem or short story.

  1. "The true test of comedy is that it shall awaken thoughtful laughter." Choose a novel, play, or long poem in which a scene or character awakens "thoughtful laughter" in the reader. Write an essay in which you show why this laughter is "thoughtful" and how it contributes to the meaning of the work.

  1. Often in literature, a character's success in achieving goals depends on keeping a secret and divulging it only at the right moment, if at all. Choose a novel or play of literary merit that requires a character to keep a secret. In a well-organized essay, briefly explain the necessity for secrecy and how the character's choice to reveal or keep the secret affects the plot and contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole. You may select a work from the list below, or you may choose another work of recognized literary merit suitable to the topic. Do NOT write about a short story, poem, or film.

  1. In great literature, no scene of violence exists for its own sake. Find a passage that confronts the reader or audience with a scene or scenes of violence. In a well-organized essay, explain how the scene or scenes contribute to the meaning of the complete work. Avoid plot summary.

  1. The conflict created when the will of an individual opposes the will of the majority is the recurring theme of many novels, plays, and essays. Select a character in your novel who is in opposition to his or her society. In a critical essay, analyze the conflict and discuss the moral and ethical implications for both the individual and the society. Do not summarize the plot or action of the book.

Creative Projects

  1. Imagine that you are the author of the book you have just read. Suddenly the book becomes a best-seller. Write a 1000-1500 word letter to a movie producer trying to get that person interested in making your book into a movie. Explain why the story, characters, conflicts, etc, would make a good film. Suggest a filming location and the actors to play the various roles.

  2. Write a 1000-1500 word diary that one of the story’s main characters might have kept before, during, or after the book’s events. Remember that the character’s thoughts and feelings are very important in a diary.

  3. Write a 1000-1500 word book review as it would be done for a newspaper. (Be sure to read a few before writing your own.)

  4. Choose a quote from a character. Write the quote, then write 1000-1500 words on why it would or wouldn’t be a good motto by which to live your life.

  5. Stories are made up of conflicts and solutions. Choose three conflicts that take place in the story, and in 1000-1500 words, explain the solutions. Is there one conflict in particular that you wish had been handled differently? How do you wish it had been handled?

  6. Write a 1000-1500 word plot for a sequel to this book.

  7. Find a song or a poem that relates to the theme of your book. Write a 1000-1500 word essay explaining the similarities in theme.

  8. Write a 1000-1500 word defense of the book you read explaining why you think it should be a part of a high school curriculum.

  9. Write a 1000-1500 word cause and effect essay about your book. Focus in on an event in the story (for example, a choice someone makes or an accident that happens) and explain what the causes OR the effects of that event were.

  10. Choose one of the major themes in the book, and write a 1000-1500 word essay showing how the book carried out that main idea or insight to life throughout.

  11. Create a portfolio of six pieces of creative writing centered on the main conflict in your book. Each piece should be an example of a DIFFERENT genre. Examples of genres: diary entry, comic strip, personal letter, vignette, narrative poem, lyric poem, short story, news article, short essay, scene for a play, etc. Your creative writing should total between 1000-1500 words (or more.)

  12. Write a FULL (physical, emotional, relational) description of three of the characters in the book. Draw a portrait to accompany each description. Each description should be at least 300 words in length and include quotes from the book. Drawings MUST include color. You WILL be graded on your artistic ability!

  13. Complete each of these eight ideas with material growing out of the book you read: This book made me wish that..., realize that.., decide that...., wonder about, see that..., believe that...., feel that..., hope that... This must be at least 1000 words in length.

Book Summary Sheet

The book summary sheet should be TYPED and contain the following items:

  • Title of book

  • Author of book

  • Main characters (a clear, concise description of each)

  • Minor characters (a clear, concise description of each)

  • Main setting(s) (a clear, concise description of each)

  • One-paragraph (200+ word) plot outline

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