8th Grade Book Report Information

8th Grade students need to read 40 points of book report points per semester. You may read two books worth 20 points each, or you may read books that are more challenging but worth more points. Any total book report points above 40 will count as extra credit points (up to a maximum of 10 points).

WORTH 20 POINTS

1. April Morning, Howard Fast [Lexington and Concord; April 19, 1775--The day America was born] FICTION

2. Across Five Aprils, Irene Hunt [How the Civil War affects a family] FICTION

3. ****The Red Badge of Courage, [study guide recommended] Stephen Crane [The mental anguish of a soldier who questions his courage. One of the great books of literature and of the American Civil War] FICTION

4. Rifles for Watie, Harold Keith [The moving story of a boy who fights for both sides during the Civil War]  FICTION

5. The Ox-Bow Incident, Walther Van Tilburg Clark [A tough, classic western story]  FICTION

6. The Education of Little Tree, Forrest Carter [A controversial but beautifully-written novel]  FICTION

7. Time and Again Jack Finney [Time travel at its best. Travel back to the New York City of 1882. A lot of fun]  FICTION

8. Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain [A timeless classic of boyhood in America] FICTION

9. Black Like Me, John Griffin [One of the most popular books for 8th graders; fascinating and disturbing, but true]  NONFICTION

10. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Frederick Douglass [A classic autobiography]] BIOGRAPHY

11. White Fang, Jack London [If you like London, you'll love this book] FICTION

12. A Painted House, John Grisham [A best selling author and an engaging plot. Very enjoyable]  FICTION

13. ****Nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson (or other essays ) [study guide strongly recommended] [One of the most important books in all of American Literature, but it's not an easy read]  NONFICTION

WORTH 25 POINTS

1. ****O Pioneers! or My Antonia, Willa Cather [study guide recommended for both novels] [Cather beautifully captures the joys and sorrows of the American heartland of the late 19th century] FICTION

2. The Travels of Jamie McPheeters, Robert Taylor (available from the Tehiyah Library] [Fast-paced; great story]] FICTION

3. April 1865: The Month That Saved America, Jay Winik [A clear, excellent review of the closing days of the Civil War]  NONFICTION

4. ****The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm X [study guide recommended] Powerful, disturbing, and enlightening story of one of America’s most controversial African-American leaders, who predicted his assassination]  FICTION

5. ****The Jungle, Upton Sinclair [study guide recommended] [A classic; a slow starter, but keep reading] FICTION

6. The Big Sky, A. B. Guthrie, Jr [A wonderful and sweeping western epic] FICTION

7. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, B. Traven [A strange tale of gold and violence, beautifully written] FICTION

8. ****The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald [study guide recommended] [The roaring 20s come alive; very popular] FICTION

9. Seabiscuit, Laura Hillenbrand [The best nonfiction horseracing book of all time; great atmosphere and often exciting] NONFICTION

10. The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin, Gordon Wood [Old Ben had a lot to learn, and learn he did]] BIOGRAPHY

11. Paul Revere’s Ride, David Hackett Fischer [A detailed hour to hour account of America's most famous night] NONFICTION

12. Kabloona, Gontran De Poncins [North to the Alaska with Eskimos ; hard to find; like no other book you'll ever read] NONFICTION

WORTH 30 POINTS

1. ****Winesburg, Ohio, Sherwood Anderson [study guide recommended] Haunting tales of a small Ohio town] FICTION

2. Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond [Perhaps a definitive key to understanding world history]] NONFICTION

3. ****The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Franklin [study guide recommended] [One of America's most interesting and successful citizens tells you how he did it. Never out of print for over 200 years]  AUTOBIOGRAPHY

4. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier [A haunting but brutal tale of the Civil War and love. A modern classic] FICTION

5. In the Heart of the Sea: Tragedy/Whaleship Essex, Nathaniel Philbrick [The true story on which Moby Dick is based] FICTION

WORTH 40 POINTS

1. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe [The book that Lincoln said started the Civil War] FICTION

2. The Confessions of Nat Turner,William Styron [The most famous slave rebellion in American history] FICTION

3. Centennial, James Michener [The sweeping epic of Colorado; a big fascinating story for a big Rocky Mountain state] FICTION

4. Sister Carrie, Theodore Dreiser [One of the most powerful novels ever written by an American] FICTION

5. ****Walden, Henry D. Thoreau [study guide strongly recommended] [Henry moves into the woods to find himself in nature] NONFICTION

6. ****Main Street, Sinclair Lewis [study guide recommended] [Doctor's wife struggles to bring culture to a small town] FICTION

7. Roots, Alex Haley [Fascinating true story of the many generations of an African-American slave family] NONFICTION

WORTH 45 POINTS

1. Gone With The Wind, Margaret Mitchell [Sweeping and powerful Civil War epic. A wonderful read for 8th graders] FICTION

2. ****The Grapes of Wrath , John Steinbeck [study guide recommended] [Dirt poor farmers from Oklahoma leave the dustbowl and head for California. A long, dusty journey into the American soul during the Depression of the 1930s] FICTION

3. ****The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne [study guide strongly recommended] [A slow starter, but ultimately a gripping journey like no other into the tortured morality of early America's Puritan past] FICTION

WORTH 50 POINTS

****Moby Dick, Herman Melville [study guide strongly recommended] [The most difficult book on the list, though Mr. T finds it a rather light read and full of laughs. One whale of a novel. Not for the meek. Good luck, landlubbers!] FICTION

**** [study guide recommended] Using a Study Guide is acceptable and recommended for this book, but you must use it carefully and judiciously. Do not lean on it too much, or let it tell you how to think! Interpret, analyze, and enjoy the book for yourself as much as possible. Also, you must purchase this item separately. Mr. T requires a lunch conference, along with the normal written report, with any student who uses a study guide. Remember, you need a minimum of 40 book report points per semester.

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