Book reports and book reviews are similar. Book reports tend to be a little more descriptive: what is this book about, who are the characters, what are the plots, what is the conclusion? Book reviews are usually more persuasive: why should or shouldn't a reader read this book? Both offer a combination of summary and commentary.
For book reviews you want to provide basic information about the book, and a sense of what your experience reading the book was. You should include:
Analysis and Evaluation
Try to get the main theme of the book across in the beginning of your review so your reader knows right away if they want to read the book.
Next, analyze or critique the book. You can write about your own opinions, but be sure to explain and give examples. Don't try to summarize each chapter or every angle. Choose the main idea/ideas or characters that are most significant and interesting to you.
Some questions you might want to consider (you do not need to use all of these):
- Did the author achieve his or her purpose?
- Is the writing effective, powerful, difficult, beautiful?
- What are the strengths or weaknesses of the book?
- What is your overall response to the book? Did you find it interesting, moving, dull?
- Would you recommend this book to others? Why or why not?
- You may want to say what impression the book left you with, or emphasize what you want your reader to know about it.
- While you're writing, try thinking of your reader as a friend to whom you're telling a story.
Book reviews of children’s and young adult books by their readers are always welcomed and encouraged by library staff. Look for book review forms in many new books or ask our staff on the children’s floor for one. We do ask that the book you review is age-appropriate (would your teacher accept this book for a book report?) and that it be a new book (from our new book shelves with a pink dot on it). To thank each reviewer for their input we will present them with a Hershey’s candy bar. Only one book review per week, per reviewer please.
These book reviews help the library staff and your fellow readers as well. Happy reading!
This event has been postponed because of excessive heat - please watch for a rescheduled date!
On May 14, E.P. Foster Library will be hosting local author Jeffrey Wayne Maulhardt. Mr. Maulhardt is known for his volumes on local Ventura County history, and will be discussing some of his recent works at this free event. You can check out his website for more information on his career and other writings.
This talk has been postponed!
The Wild and Wonderful World of Herbs
Fillmore Library Wednesday May 7, 4pm
Join Janine Reese, owner of the Scented Path and The Fillmore Wellness Center, for a reading of Planting the Wild Garden by Kathryn Galbraith.
There will be herbs to touch and smell and a raffle for two books.
Attendees will learn about the history of the art of spinning and weaving. The talk will be followed by a demonstration of techniques.
It all starts at 2 p.m. in the Topping Room. If you’re looking for a fun weekend event, come on by!
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This coming Monday, May 5, Dr. Cheryl Lambing will be giving a free talk at E.P. Foster Library.
“Fit to a T” is a bone health and osteoporosis education program for men and women of all ages. Learn about your “T-score” and what it means for your overall health and wellness.
The event is open to the public, and begins at 5 p.m. in the Topping Room. We hope to see you there!
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While it may be tempting to dismiss science fiction writing as somehow less relevant than other fiction due to its often speculative nature—dealing as it does with undiscovered worlds, unknown cultures, or fantastical technologies—the fact of the matter is that some of the best social commentary can be found in your library’s sci-fi section. Going beyond the reality that we know gives us a chance to imagine how we would think and act in scenarios that would test us in ways we are unlikely to encounter normally, and the results of those tests tell us a lot about who we really are, both individually and as a society.
|In The Martian (2014), Andy Weir tells the story of Mark Watney, an astronaut who is part of a manned mission to Mars that is forced to terminate its stay early due to hazardous conditions on the red planet. In the course of their evacuation during a severe dust storm, Watney’s suit is compromised, causing him to be left behind when all available information points to his already being dead. He recovers from his ordeal to find that the rest of the crew has left the planet and that he has no way of contacting them or Earth to request a rescue—perhaps a moot point since any rescue attempt would arrive too late to save him from starvation in any case. What unfolds is a story of survival, of Watney versus the Martian elements armed with only those supplies left behind by the crew and a wry sense of humor that keeps him going in the face of certain death. Written as a series of journal entries, this fast-paced novel manages to communicate the urgency driving Watney’s predicament in a way that demonstrates his intellect and competence while maintaining a high level of suspense.|
|Our next novel is also set on Mars, but not the desolate, unexplored Mars of the near future. Instead, Moving Mars (1993) shows us a planet long ago colonized by Earth and currently struggling to determine its destiny. Casseia Majumdar is a young Martian woman whose development is central to the story, as is the larger evolution of the Martian colony as a political entity. In the years since the planet was first colonized, Mars has become home to second- and third-generation Martians who wish to advocate for autonomy from an Earth that is increasingly hostile to Martian interests. This political drama is exacerbated by certain technological breakthroughs that threaten to fundamentally change the relationship between the two planets. Author Greg Bear creates a world rich with backstory and character development, and slowly—perhaps too slowly for some readers—brings the narrative to a boil. Winner of the 1994 Nebula Award, Moving Mars is epic in scale and a good selection for fans of hard science fiction.|
|The second read-alike for this month is The Dog Stars (2012), by Peter Heller. Like The Martian, The Dog Stars is a story about isolation and survival; however, Heller’s novel takes place not on Mars but on a plague-ravaged Earth. Set after not one but two superbugs wipe out the bulk of the population, the story is told by Hig, a former contractor and pilot living in an abandoned airport with his dog and a fellow survivor named Bangley. With Hig providing airborne surveillance and Bangley bringing tactical knowledge and firepower, the two have carved out a reasonably secure niche while remaining emotionally distanced from each other. When a traumatic event causes Hig to question his commitment to their day-by-day existence, he heads off in search of something he cannot name—meaning, redemption, or perhaps just something new. Heller uses his apocalypse to empty out the world so that he can examine the ways in which we might fill it again, and the result is an uplifting, if bittersweet, tale.|
The Martian, Moving Mars, and The Dog Stars are all available to borrow at E.P. Foster Library. In addition, The Martian and The Dog Stars can be borrowed as eBooks through OverDrive. You can also access NoveList Plus from our eLibrary’s Reading Suggestions section. If the book you are interested in is not currently on the shelf at your branch, you can always request that a copy be sent to the branch of your choice in person, over the phone, or online through our catalog.
Launched by Ronald Martin.
I’m sure many readers can relate to the joys and struggles of raising a teenage daughter, but imagine how challenging that would be if you were Darth Vader and your daughter was Princess Leia. Yes, Jeffrey Brown is back, with his take on life as a dad in the Star Wars universe in Vader’s Little Princess. Readers will recognize familiar scenes, characters, and even dialogue as Vader struggles to raise his daughter from her precocious youth to her rebellious teen years.
Throughout the book, readers will sympathize with Vader (yes, you read that right) as he makes sure his little princess brushes her teeth, does her chores, and dresses properly (no slave-girl outfits allowed). He may be one of the most powerful Sith lords in the universe, but he’s also just a dad. Granted, most dads don’t have to deal with their daughters crashing their Imperial shuttle or blowing up the Death Star, but they can relate to a dad whose daughter is dating, talking on the phone (or in this case, a hologram) with her friends, and rebelling against her elders.
These one-page vignettes are funny, endearing, and very familiar to anyone who is raising, or has raised, a teenage girl, and you don’t need to be a Star Wars fan to appreciate that.
Heather, the Graphic Novel Goddess