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Genre Spotlight: Mystery

The Name of This Book Is Secret.tifThe Mysterious Benedict Society.tif

Required: You will read one of the mystery books shown. You will write a book report about this book.

Also, Required: You will read TWO more books from the Sunshine State Reader List. During the school year you will be reading 2 more books from this list. (first and third quarter).

1. Atkinson, E.J.          I, Emma Freke

2. Black, Holly            Doll Bones

3. Bodeen, S.A.            The Raft

4. Jacobson, Jennifer Small as an Elephant

5. Klise, Kate               Homesick

6. Korman, Gordan     Ungifted

7. Levine, Kristin       The Lions of Little Rock

8. McNeal, Tom           Far Far Away

9. Meloy, Maile           Apothecary

10. Poblocki, Dan       The Ghosts of Graylock

11. Ponti, James         Dead City

12. Riley, James         Half Upon a Time

13. Schrefer, Eliot      Endangered

14. Van Eekhout, Greg The Boy at the End of the World

15. Wells, Robison    Variant

*If there is an alternate book you are interested in reading, please e-mail Ms. Susan for approval. shansen@millhopper.com

Book Report Outline: 

Paragraph One: This paragraph begins with an opening sentence that works as an “attention getter” for the reader. This attention getter needs to be related to the book in some way. For example, if I read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, I might begin with something like:

One of the most beloved characters of all literature is a young boy whom many adults might think needs some lessons in proper behavior.

In addition to your “attention getter,” you will need to state the title and author of the book you read, the setting and a few sentences that states what the book is about. For example:

The novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, is about the many mischievous events of a young boy and his friends as they learn some very important life lessons. These events occur in the late nineteen hundreds in the southern part of the United States.

Finally, you will need a sentence that works to transition to the paragraph that follows this one. Do not get too caught up in summary. A book summary should not be more than one paragraph!

Paragraph Two: This paragraph introduces and explains the relationships of the main characters in the book you read. Try to describe each main character completely, as if they were someone I might meet. A good way to organize this paragraph is to introduce the characters in order of importance. Please write about at least three characters.

Paragraph Three: This paragraph explains the conflict(s) of the story. This is the problem and how the problem is solved or dealt with. The events or plot of the book are also referred to in this paragraph since that is where the conflict(s) occurs. Often you can find the conflict by asking the following questions:

What is the goal of the main character?
What gets in the way of the character’s goal?
How does the character overcome this obstacle?

Do not merely state the conflict. Prove, through referring to events in the book, that this conflict really exists. It is not enough to say, the conflict is man versus society. Your claim must be proven through examples.

Paragraph Four: This paragraph explains the theme of the book. The theme is different from what the book is about. To find it, you need to ask yourself, what did the main character(s) learn? What universal idea is the author trying to get across? This is the key to figuring out the theme. Theme is not stated directly, but must be inferred by the reader. For example, a possible theme for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer might be: The laws of society don’t often seem fair or even logical. If this is a valid theme, then the events of the story will reinforce it, as will the lesson(s) the main character learns.

Paragraph Five: It is this final paragraph that you will also give your opinion the book itself. Make connections between this book and other books or media or even events in your life. Would you recommend it? Why or why not?

Dont Forget:
MLA
*Returning 7th & 8th graders only!

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