According to James Hartley (2006) in his study “Reading and Writing Book Reviews Across the Disciplines,” published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, book reviews play an important part in academic communication. Most academic journals publish book reviews in addition to their articles. Key features of successful reviews are those where the reviewer evaluated the contribution of the text, set the work in a larger or broader context, and identified the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments
According to Hartley (2006), a book review contains:
A summary of the book’s content within the context it is being reviewed
Information about the intended audiences, and how well the book meets their needs
A critique of the argument/content of the book
Any supporting academic references
Remarks on the strengths and limitations of the book (p.1205)
Your write up should be no more than 8 pages (excluding cover page and reference page).
Address the following questions. Each question should be considered a level one heading and should be answered in paragraph form. Answer the questions as they are related to the different chapters within the book. Be careful to use appropriate in-text documentation!
Structure and Content—How is the book organized? What questions does the author try to answer?
Sources—From where does the author get his/her information?
Thesis—What is the main point the author is trying to make? What is the author’s purpose for writing this piece?
Audience–For whom is the book written? What value will they gain from reading the book? What value might the unintended audience find in reading the book?
Literary Style—Why did the author choose to write in this manner?
Assessment—What are the strengths and weaknesses of the text? What are your thoughts, feelings, reactions to what the author says and how the author presents his/her thoughts?
More Questions—What questions does the author leave in your mind? How can you find the answers to these unanswered questions?
Annotated Bibliography—What specific books or resources might you seek to help you answer these questions? Present the reference in proper APA format and include a paragraph that summarizes the content of the work.
Make It Stick by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.
A Learning-Centered Framework for Education Reform by Elizabeth Demarest
The Call of Stories by Robert Coles
Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative by Ken Robinson
Education Nation: Six Leading Edges of Innovation in our Schools by Milton Chen
The Death and Life of the Great American School System by Diane Ravitch
Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right from Wrong by William Kilpatrick
Building Community in Schools by Thomas J. Sergiovanni
Waiting for Superman edited by Karl Weber
The Quality School by William Glasser, MD
Cultural Diversity and Education by James A. Banks
Making Choices for Multicultural Education by Christine E. Sleeter and Carl A. Grant
Second-rate Nation : from the American Dream to the American Myth , by Sam D. Sieber
City schools : lessons from New York edited by Diane Ravitch and Joseph P. Viteritti
Fire in the Ashes, by Jonathan Kozol
Amazing Grace, by Jonathan Kozol
Ordinary Resurrections, by Jonathan Kozol
Savage Inequalities, by Jonathan Kozol
It is strongly recommended that you read the study by Hartley before you write your review so that you have a more comprehensive understanding of how to read the text and present the information.
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