Still Alive Book Review – Reaction Paper

Still Alive book review/reaction paper

A book review is an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the book, Still Alive. You are asked to write a 5 page scholarly review that goes beyond summarizing the content of the book and shows your ability to read and write thoughtfully and critically. The following suggestions should be addressed in your book review. A. Introductory Paragraph: It is always the introduction that “makes or breaks” the review. Your book review should begin with a short preview of your detailed analysis. Do not announce what you are going to do, rather formulate your main argument (thesis statement). In other words, you have to explain in the first paragraph why the rest of the review is worth reading.

An introductory paragraph should include the title and author of the book under review, a short summary of the topic under discussion, the significant contribution by the author and whether he/she succeeded or failed in his/her task. B. Analysis of the content of the book: Thesis and purpose:  author states in the preface or introduction of the book. Did the author achieve the stated purpose? Where did the author fail? Perhaps the author never clarified a thesis, if so, he/she may be criticized for this failure.• Point of view: is the author biased? What is the author’s background, specialty, and how might that have shaped her interpretation? (Look into the author’s background, education, political affiliation, ethnicity…anything that might affect objectivity).

Further Description

Scope: identify and summarize the subject matter and time period covered by the book. Was the scope too narrow or too broad?• Reliability: Does the author footnote the information, are the footnotes helpful, do they add to the book’s readability and/or information?• Content summary: briefly and succinctly summarize the content of the book (about one third to one half of the total review)• General value: did the book contribute to your understanding of a particular topic? If so, elaborate and explain what was valuable and informative? If not, explain which questions and/or issues the author failed to address, or answered poorly.• What does Kluger think of Holocaust remembrance and commemoration? Compare her views to those expressed in the journal articles.

Professional review: consult a minimum of two journals for professional opinions on the book (consult Book Review Digest for a variety of reviews; and use internet search engines such as World Cat, etc.).Analysis of the mechanics of the book:• Organization: how is the book organized (topically, chronologically, etc) and evaluate the merits of organization• Readability: is the author’s writing style, smooth, clear, enjoyable, or is it awkward, confusing? Evaluate sequence of chapters, topics, logical construction of story line …• Supplementary aides: any pictures, maps, cartoons, graphs, bibliography, annotated bibliography.• Documentation: is the book based on solid primary sources such as government publications, archival records, diaries, newspapers etc?.

Additional Information

Is the book simply a synthesis of other books and articles or does it reflect original research? Or is it a memoir or autobiographic. Conclusion of the review:• Conclude your analysis with a brief summary of your personal reaction to the book. What did you learn? Did  any of your assumptions change of your previously held assumptions changed? Would you recommend this book to your friends? If so, why? If not, why not?• How did the book compare to other books you have read on the subject matter? Did the book complement information learned in class? How does Kluger’s story compare to those of other Holocaust survivors? Address these suggestions  in any specific order, but your review should follow the basic organization of introduction, body, and conclusion.

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