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Pretty Good Books – Extra Credit Option

In an effort to encourage students to engage in the reading of meaningful books – and to throw some help to students who have struggled recently with the concept of deadlines 🙂 – I am starting the Pretty Good Books Extra Credit Option for 8th grade Social Studies.

Students will be eligible, if they so choose, to read up to two (2) books and produce reports ( they will have several options as to format) for 30 points of extra credit per book.

`Here it is (More books and categories will be added in the future):

Pretty Good Books – Extra Credit Option

Objective: To earn rare extra credit by reading a pretty good book and doing a report that demonstrates that you

a) Read the book

b) Understood the book, or at least some of it

c) Have evaluated the book and formed a reasoned opinion

The Book List: Is drawn from a range of sources including Dr.Roger Taylor’s “Reading list for the college bound student”, ED Hirsh’s Core Knowledge and bibliographic material relevant to Illinois Learning Standards, Common Core standards and Social Studies curriculum at LJHS and District # 99.

The Extra Credit Option: Is voluntary. No specific book is recommended for all students and students should choose a book in line with their reading level and interests and with parental guidance if needed. While the books are all “serious” in that they have important ideas, they are of varying lengths and levels of difficulty. The list includes fiction and non-fiction, history, biography, literature, social science and science.

Books are organized loosely by general topic with author (*) denotes “Non-fiction”

ANCIENT WORLD:

The Iliad – Homer        Rubicon – Tom Holland *              The Virtues of War – Steven Pressfield

The Odyssey – Homer       Persian Fire – Tom Holland *        Tales of Ancient Egypt – Roger Green

The Aeneid – Virgil          Cicero – Anthony Everitt*                Alexander the Great – Paul Cartledge*

The Histories – Herodotus *         Augustus – Athony Everitt *            Tales of the Greek Heroes – Roger Green

The Persian Expedition – Xenophon *          Gates of Fire – Steven Pressfield

The Epic of Gilgamesh                 A War Like No Other – Victor Davis Hanson*

AMERICA (General):

Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin*                      Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass*

Founding Brothers-Joseph Ellis*                                   Autobiography of Theodore Roosevelt*

Autobiography of Malcom X*                                            Patriarch – Richard Norton*

Battle Cry of Freedom – James McPherson*           The Red Badge of Courage- Stephen Crane

Last of the Mohicans – James Fennimore Cooper       Johnny Tremain – Esther Forbes

Abraham Lincoln – James McPherson*        Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain

Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain      The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Little Women – Louisa May Alcott         Crazy Horse and Custer – Stephen Ambrose*

Babbitt – Lewis Sinclair          The Jungle – Upton Sinclair

White Fang – Jack London        Call of the Wild – Jack London

The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck     Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

SCI-FI and other FICTION:

Enders Game – Orson Scott Card     Farenheit 451 –Ray Bradbury    Foundation – Isaac Asimov

The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand    Frankenstein – Mary Shelley    Dracula – Bram Stoker

Animal Farm – George Orwell    1984- George Orwell     Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

Darkness at Noon- Arthur Koestler     The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson

Kim – Rudyard Kipling    Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift    The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien     The Lord of the Flies – William Golding     The Trial –Franz Kafka

The Three Musketeers – Dumas    Brave New World –Aldous Huxley     Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn     Starship Troopers –Robert Heinlein

WAR:

Art of War – Sun Tzu      Carnage and Culture – Victor Davis Hanson *    Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut

All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque     Band of Brothers –Stephen Ambrose*

Homage to Catalonia – George Orwell*     Catch-22 – Joseph Heller    About Face – David Hackworth*

The Greatest Generation – Tom Brokaw*     Rough Riders – Theodore Roosevelt*     Fiasco –Thomas Ricks*

The Peloponnesian War –Thucydides*    Hiroshima- John Hersey      The Profession –Steven Pressfield

The Quiet American – Graham Greene     Flags of Our Fathers –James Bradley*     Senator’s Son – Luke Larsen

SOCIAL SCIENCE and SCIENCE (all non-fiction)

Nonzero – Robert Wright    Guns, Germs and Steel -Jared Diamond    Freakonomics – Levitt & Dubner

Faster – James Gleich     Emergence – Stephen Johnson    The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell

The Lexus and the Olive Tree – Thomas Friedman     A History of Knowledge – Charles van Doren

Growing Up Digital: Rise of the Net Generation – Don Tapscott     Here Comes Everybody –Clay Shirky

Einstein –Walter Isaacson      Surely You Must be Joking, Mr. Feynman – Richard Feynman

The Making of the Atomic Bomb – Richard Rhodes     Reality is Broken –Jane McGonigal

Options for your report will be given after a book is read.

Total value : 30 points

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