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Language Arts: Mrs. Garcia
Home | LA 8H classroom guidelines | LA 8 Classroom Guidelines
Outside Reading Requirement
For LA 8H and LA 8:

1. You may read any fiction book or biography (in other words, a book with a story line) that you have not read before. Things that are not included: magazine articles, newspaper articles, poetry, comic books, etc.) If you have a question about a book, or if you want special approval for a book, please see me. If you do not, you may not get credit.


2. The book must be appropriate for your age and ability.


3. The book must be no fewer than 150 pages. (If your book has illustrations, every page of pictures will decrease the page length.)


4. You may get your book from any source—library, house, friend, bookstore, etc. I have suggestions and may be able to check out a book to you.


5. On September 24 (A day) or 25 (B day) you will sign up for your book. On that day you must bring the book and record the title, author, and amount of pages. You will not receive credit for the outside reading requirement unless you have signed up for your book.


6. If you choose to change books, you may do so by contacting me immediately to change your book title on the sign-up sheet. You must have read 20 pages of your original book before stopping. (Sometimes really great books just start to get interesting at that point!) You will not receive any extra time if you choose to change.




7. The outside reading requirement will be one major grade. Part of the grade will be for a completed note card (see back of this handout), and the other part of the grade will be for a creative project (details will follow).


 Outside Reading Book Card Report Format

To be prepared on the front and back of one 5x8 inch card ONLY



Bibliography entry: See p. _________ of The Language of Literature


Protagonist: Give the protagonist’s name along with a 1 sentence description


Characters: Give the names of central characters along with a one sentence description.


Other Characters: Give the names of lesser characters with a brief description


Setting: When and where does the story take place?


Narrator: Who is telling the story? From what point of view?


Summary: A brief summary of the plot with about 5 to 7 major points. (Mention in terms of the main conflict and its resolution)


Theme: In 1 – 2 sentences give a theme statement for the book.


Evaluation: Explain what you enjoyed or did not enjoy about this book.




Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit. New York: Ballantine Books, 1982.


Protagonist: Bilbo Baggins: A hobbit who likes to stay at home but finds himself thrust in an adventure to gain back a lost treasure and land for dwarves. Bilbo gains confidence in himself and ends up being a hero.

Central Characters: Gandalf: a wizard who beckons Bilbo on his journey and occasionally shows up to guide him. Thorin: the leader of the dwarves who is grumpy and distrustful of Bilbo until Bilbo comes through with Smaug. Smaug: an evil dragon who has terrorized the land of the dwarves and has hoarded their treasure for years.

Other Characters:Balin, Dwalin, Kili, Fili, Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, Gloin, Bifur, Bofur, and Bombur: the homeless dwarves who Bilbo leads into adventure. Elrond: a helpful character who lives in Rivendell and gives Bilbo pointers. Gollum: an evil, slimy creature who lives in caves and wants to eat Bilbo until Bilbo steals his invisible ring and escapes. Elvenking: a king of elves who imprisons Bilbo

Setting: a fantasy world with the town of Rivendell, the Misty Mountains, Mirkwood forest, the Elvenking’s palace, and Lonely Mountain with the lair of Smaug.

Narrator: a third person omniscient character who’s main focus is on Bilbo, but who still knows about other characters and even makes comments about the characters and the action.

Plot Summary: 1. Gandalf arrives and inspires (almost forcefully) Bilbo to go on an adventure 2. Bilbo leaves and encounters trolls who attack. Gandalf comes to his rescue. 3. Bilbo finds himself in Gollum’s cave trying to answer riddles to save his life. He steals Gollum’s ring that makes him invisible and escapes. 4. Bilbo and dwarves battle the Wargs and are saved by the eagles. 5. Bilbo and the dwarves are captured by the Elvenking but later escape. 6. Bilbo goes to Lonely Mountain, confronts Smaug, and finds the Arkenstone, Thorin’s most prized part of the treasure. 7. Bilbo runs away from the battle of five armies and Thorin, injured in battle and on his deathbed, forgives Bilbo for taking the Arkenstone 8. Bilbo goes home feeling confident.

*Theme: Pushing yourself to the limits can lead to an expansion of your consciousness.

Evaluation: What I liked most about this book was that Bilbo encountered many trials and learned so much about himself. He stepped outside of his comfort zone, took risks, and was ultimately rewarded.