© 2023 by Name of Site. Proudly created with Wix.com

Independent Reading Assignment for AP Human Geography       

Ms. Valenteen        DUE ON FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2019

 Please email me with any questions: patricia.valenteen@oxnardunion.org

I will be traveling throughout the summer, so it may take up to a week for me to reply



A. Look over the list of books below and select one to read. You may want to read the descriptions of each book on Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.

Since I am a fan of bookstores and libraries, I encourage you to either borrow the book from the public library OR from our amazing school library OR purchase it from a local bookstore.


Mrs. Figs Bookworm (93 E. Daily Drive) offers a 10% discount to students for required reading and she will be setting aside a section for this reading list in the store.


Please note: some of the books have mature themes and/or language, so PLEASE consult with your parent/guardian when making your choice.


We will have Silent Sustained Reading twice a week for 15 minutes, but you’ll also want to set aside some time for reading at home.


  1. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

  2. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

  3. Amazon Extreme by Colin Angus and Ian Mulgrew,

  4. An Unexpected Light by Jason Elliot

  5. Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez

  6. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

  7. Beyond the Sky and the Earth by Jamie Zeppa

  8. Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon,

  9. Bones of the Master by George Crane

  10. Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

  11. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown

  12. City of Joy by Dominique Lapierre

  13. Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky

  14. Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches by Marvin Harris

  15. Dear Zari: The Secret Lives of the Women of Afghanistan by Zarghuna Kargar

  16. Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

  17. Facing the Congo by Jeffrey Taylor

  18. Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling

  19. Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China by Leslie T. Chang

  20. Germania: In Wayward Pursuit of the Germans and Their History by Simon Winder

  21. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond

  22. Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn

  23. How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization by Franklin Foer

  24. How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe by Thomas Cahill

  25. How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein

  26. I Dreamed of Africa by Kuki Gallmann

  27. Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson

  28. Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States by Bill Bryson

  29. On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks by Simon Garfield

  30. Opium Nation by Fariba Nawa

  31. River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler

  32. Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky

  33. Songs to an African Sunset by Sekai Nzenza-Shand

  34. States of Mind by Brad Herzog

  35. The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell by Mark Kurlansky

  36. The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World by Joel K. Bourne Jr

  37. The Far Away Brothers by Lauren Markham

  38. The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape by James Howard Kunstler

  39. The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson

  40. The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann

  41. The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way by Bill Bryson

  42. The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan

  43. The Road to El Cielo: Mexico's Forest in the Clouds by Fred Webster and Marie S. Webster

  44. The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan

  45. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

  46. They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan by Benjamin Ajak

  47. This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland by Gretel Ehrlich

  48. Where am I Eating?: An Adventure Through the Global Food Economy with Discussion Questions and a Guide to Going "Glocal" by Kelsey Timmerman

  49. Where am I Wearing?: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes by Kelsey Timmerman

  50. Why Geography Matters More Than Ever by H.J. de Blij



B. When you’re done reading the book, do a book analysis, using the following format: 


1.        Bibliographic Details

Title, Author, Publication Date   


2.      Background:

What do you know about this book/topic before getting started on this book? Why did you choose this book?

3.       Content Summary and Writer’s Purpose

Summarize in about 100 words what the book is about and explain what you think the author’s purpose was in writing this book.

4.      Vocabulary

List and define at least ten words OR terms from your book that were interesting or previously unknown to you.

5.      Supporting Research Material:

List three outside sources (books, websites, magazines, etc.) that you could consult to get more information about topics in your book. For each source, provide the title, author, type of source, publication date, and topic you would research.

6.      People

a.       Who is/are the most important person/people in the book? Why is/are this/these person/people of interest?

b.      Describe what one of them is like in about 100 words and explain why the person is of interest to you.

c.       If this book does not focus on other people, answer these questions about the author. If necessary, do some research from another resource to answer b.

7.       Quotations

                  Find three quotes from the book that you found to be significant or particularly interesting.  

a. Write the quote (word-for-word) and the page number.

b. Explain the context (the events that have occurred in that section of the novel)

c. Commentary - Why does this quote interest you or why do you think it’s important? What predictions can you make or what insight can the reader gain from this quote?

8.      Evaluation

Was this or was this not an interesting book to read? Why?

Use MLA format (12-font, Times Roman, double-space, etc.) Your answers must be in complete sentences, with correct spelling and grammar.

Adapted from Mrs. Portmore-Davies at Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School

This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now