Book Review

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Genre #1:Histoical Fiction

Critique #1: Fever 173

Critique #2: To Kill A Mockingbird

Critique #3: Number the Stars

Critique #4: Little Women

Genre #2: Adventure

Critique #5: A Series of Unfortunate Events

Critique #6: Dragon Rider

Critique #7: The Hunger Games

Critique #8: Curious George

Genre #3: Picture Books

Critique #9: The Polar Express

Critique #10: The Giving Tree

Critique #11: Olivia

Critique #12: Where the Wild Things Are

Genre #4: Science Fiction

Critique #13: A Wrinkle in Time

Critique #14: The City of Ember

Critique #15: 1984

Critique #16: Ender’s Game

Genre #5: Realistic Fiction

Critique #17: Hoot

Critique #18: Because of Winn-Dixie

Critique #19: Holes

Critique #20: Maniac Magee

Fever: 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson is a good historical fiction piece because it is based on the actual events of the 1793 yellow fever outbreak in Philadelphia and follows the details of the epidemic in a faithful and believable manner. For example, at the time of the outbreak Philadelphia had thousands of free slaves. This is directly referenced by the book at several points; one of the main characters in the story is free black woman named Eliza who works as a cook at a coffeehouse. Another aspect of the epidemic was controversial treatments that were attempted to cure yellow fever. One of these treatments was bloodletting and was used by characters in the book. When Mattie, the main character, is diagnosed with yellow fever she is taken to Bush Hill hospital, which used successful methods of treatment that resemble the modern treatment of illnesses. The real life hospital was run by Dr. Jean Deveze, whose treatments became so successful that he became a significant figure in eradicating yellow fever. Readers will enjoy this story because of its historical aspects and compelling storyline.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a prime example of historical fiction. It is based on racism in the south that took place during the first half of the 20th century. While it is not inspired by a particular event, the attitudes and behaviors towards African Americans at the time is accurately represented and explored. This is especially evident in a case described by the book involving the alleged rape of a white woman, Mayella Ewell by an African American named Tom Robinson. Despite the facts overwhelmingly proving Robinson’s innocence (for example: it was shown that it was Ewell, not Robinson, who made any sexual advances), he loses the case through the decision of an all white jury. This extreme bias in Robinson’s conviction, along with the community’s hostility towards Robinson’s lawyer for defending a black man, and Robinson’s brutal murder upon conviction are powerfully reflective of southern ideals during the better half of the 20th century.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry is another good example of historical fiction. It is set during the historical Nazi occupation of Copenhagen during World War II. The story begins at a point when the Nazis have been occupying Denmark for 3 years; the story accurately represents aspects of the Nazi occupation. For example, the German Nazis were known for their invasive methods when seeking out Jews, something that occurs throughout the story. For instance, the primary characters, the Johansen family, are not Jewish but are protecting Jews from the Nazis. At some point in the story, a Nazi soldier singles out a Jewish girl that is living with the Johansens; Mr. Johansen shows the soldier baby pictures of the Jewish girl in which she has blonde hair in order to deceive the soldier. The book describes several more instances where Nazis invade and nearly intervene on the Johansens’ secret attempts at protecting Jews. Another tragic aspect of the book is the murders of several Jewish characters by the end of the war. The killing of Jews during World War II is a historical fact that is also...
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