Section One: Authors Credentials
What are their credentials as pertains to the subject matter of the book in question? Remember, this is about authenticity of your author and their academic credentials must have some connection to the historic event covered by their book.
You will want some information about the authors personal history, the influences that perhaps led them to write this book and the authors intent with the novel. Can be a parent, some other relative, a friend or perhaps an influencing teacher or mentor.
Also consider the authors intent in writing the book in question, every writer makes choices when writing a document and one of them is whether to stick to the historic chronology or to deviate from it in favor of some emotional rendering. This is a choice and does not affect the worth of the writer, but you must know what the author had in mind while writing the book. This will directly influence what you say about the historic accuracy of the book. Look for interviews with the authors.
You will want several qualified critiques of the book, and by hat I want you to ignore Goodreads completely. These contributors are people who might like the author or the book but have little or no knowledge of the subject matter. Look for publishers, editors, other historic writers or even, if you are lucky, a survivor or the incident you are evaluating. You want names of each person, their own qualifications for critiquing the material and a direct quote about either the writing style, the historic accuracy or preferably both. I want solid reasons why this critic liked or disliked the material and some solid statements about the authors writing ability and/or historic accuracy.
I want quotes that support the authenticity and talent of this writer. Remember this is a historic rendering so you need to consider whether your author does a good job conveying the subject matter and staying true to the historic relevance of the incident.
Section Two: Authors Writing Style-
Discuss the ploys used by the author such as 1st person narrative or 3rd person. Does this work for the book? If it does, discuss why and how it works, if it does not, discuss the reasons it fails.
Look to see if a special font is used in certain areas and discuss the effect of this and whether it works.
Discuss the use of dialect, if it is used, in your story. Does it detract or does it work? How or how not? Look over the authors work to see how they succeeded or not in hooking you into the story.
How did they introduce the characters; how did they make them sympathetic or hateful? The author is manipulating your emotions and you want to learn how to do that in your writing. Evaluate the mood of the writing and see how that works for you.
Look at the authors use of humor, pity, sadness, rage. Was it effective in moving you emotionally? How did they do that? Be specific.
Was the narrative smooth or did the author leave gaps in time. Did they do they purposefully or not and how effective was it? Look to see if the story lagged or was this a real page-turner.
How did they handle action sequences? Were they real? Were they authentic? How so.
In the end, you will want to do a full appraisal of the authors work discussing what worked and what did not. If something did not work, you must advance your own ideas about how you would do it differently and why you believe your path is the better one.
Section Three: Messages Your Author Places-
There are many themes in every story and each reader will find those themes that speak to them. You will pick FOUR themes and you will provide THREE specific references within your book to support use of that theme. You will provide page numbers along with the discussion of the event in question.
With each theme, I want you to discuss why that theme was especially important to the story. Then I want you to discuss why that theme was important to you. Why did it jump out at you when you read the story? Do this with each of your themes and truly engage in discussion about the importance of themes.
Section Four: Bringing the Themes to Your Personal Life-
In this section, I want you to bring those four themes you found in your book and bring the into your own personal life. Here you will use 1st person narrative.
You are reliving that situation as it happened. That child within you remembers it all and will tell you once you engage with it.
Discuss what you were feeling, what thoughts crossed your mind, what decisions you had to make. As you progress through the event in question you want to remember whether you had immediate reactions, or did you think about it then react? Perhaps you didnt react at all. Evaluate whether that was the right decision. Evaluate how you handled the situation and drawing from the book, how did the book show you another avenue to pursue. Do this with each four themes.
The purpose of this portion is to engage your emotions when writing. When you write someone elses story, you will not have gone through all they did but you must learn to draw from your own private reserve of life experiences to convincingly convey the emotions.
Section Five: Conclusion-
You will evaluate the entire book and discuss how this book made you a better person. I do not want you to simply tell me you learned something about the event in question. I want an analysis of how events in the book triggered memories in your past.
Discuss how an event in the story made you remember something from your life history. Discuss the event a bit and talk about what you learned from the book in dealing with that situation. Perhaps the book supported your actions and if so, talk about that fully. If the book suggested another path you could have taken, discuss how relevant and important that knowledge will be in your future encounters.
I want at least FOUR events for discussion here. I want some real soul searching here. Consider your heart and evaluate the person you see. Remember that yesterday is history and all we can do with that is learn from our successes or our failures. It is not as important what you have done as what you have yet to achieve.
This section is where you invest yourself in the inspirational portion of your story. A good writer will use their own achievements and failures to engage with their reader and inspire them to greater glory. Remember always that it is not just the achievement that is important in any life story. That is the endgame, the goal. I am looking for real inspiration here, if I do not see it there will be points deducted.