Reading List

Reading List for Ms. Manning’s Pre-AP  World Geography, in no particular order

Must read AT LEAST one non-fiction; second book can be either fiction or non-fiction.  No more than 1 from the US.  Fall project directions follow the list.  These should be available either through the school library or the public library.


Goodbye to a River John Graves (canoe trip down the 1950s Brazos River before the dams, a “powerful tribute to a vanishing way of life and its ever-changing natural environment.”)

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail  Bill Bryson (attempts the AT, with humor and stories)

Storyville, USA  Dale Peterson (journey across America’s small towns)

Child Of The Dark: The Diary Of Carolina Maria De Jesus  Carolina Maria de Jesus (life for the poor in Brazil’s favelas)

The Fifth Chinese Daughter  Jade Snow Wong (Chinese migrate to America)

Chain of Fire Beverley Naidoo (resisting apartheid in South Africa)

A Journey Through Texas: Or A Saddle-Trip On The Southwestern Frontier  Frederick Law Olmsted (Texas in 1856, by the man who designed Central Park)

The California and Oregon Trail: Being Sketches of Prairie and Rocky Mountain Life  Francis Parkman (1846 journey through the Western US)

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books  Azar Nafisi (1980s Iran)

A Long Way Gone Ishmael Beah (This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s.  True story)

Cadillac Desert : the American West and Its Disappearing WaterMarc Reisner (water and the west)

Zarafa A Giraffe’s True Story from Deep in Africa to the Heart of Paris Michael Allin (a gift for King Charles in 1826)

Diamond A Journey to the Heart of an Obsession Matthew Hart (diamonds and history)

Measuring America How an Untamed Wilderness Shaped the United States and Fulfilled the Promise of Democracy Andro Linklater (how we got our inches and feet to measure the land)

The Shaman’s Coat A Native History of Siberia  Anna Reid (Siberian history and travelogue)

The World of Gerard Mercator The Mapmaker Who Revolutionized Geography  Andrew Taylor

A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush Eric Newby (Englishman in the mountains)

When China Ruled the Seas  Louise Levathes (treasure fleet of the 1400s)

The Travels of Marco Polo  Marco Polo (the original European travelogue)

The Travels of Ibn Battuta: in the Near East, Asia and Africa, 1325-1354  Ibn Battuta (an early Moslem travelogue)

How to Lie with Maps  Mark Monmonier (how people manipulate maps to sell their version of the truth)

An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793  Jim Murphy (Newbery Honor Book)

Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America Stephen Bloom (Orthodox Jews move to rural Postville and open a Kosher slaughterhouse)

Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific by Raft  Thor Heyerdahl (classic: modern voyage traces South Americans to Polynesia)

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage  Alfred Lansing (to the South Pole, almost, in 1914)

Killer Angels  Michael Scharra (Pulitzer Prize-winning book about Battle of Gettysburg in the US Civil War)

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal  Eric Schlosser

Annapurna  Maurice Herzog (mountain climbing in the Himalayas, 1950)

Confucius Lives Next Door Tom Reid

The Places in Between Rory Stewart (Afghanistan after the Taliban)

Revenge of the Whale: The True Story of the Whaleship Essex Nathaniel Philbrick (whale attacks ship, survivors almost perish)

The Race to Save the Lord God Bird  Phillip Hoose (Ivory-billed woodpecker on the verge of extinction)

The Power of One: Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine Dennis Brindell Fradin, Judith Bloom Fradin (integration in Arkansas, 1957)

Getting Away with Murder  Chris Crowe (Emmet Till case galvanizes the Civil Rights movement)

The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia  Esther Hautzig (Soviets send family to Siberia) great story

So Far from the Bamboo Grove  Yoko Kawashawa Watkins (Japanese girl flees North Korea after WWII)

The Autobiography of Malcolm X : As Told to Alex Haley by Attallah Shabazz

Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System by Raj Patel (a few powerful distributors control the health of the entire world – why some are fat and some are starving)

The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck (Steinbeck and friend explore the Gulf of California)

The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World by David W. Anthony (Origins of modern man)

Citrus: A History by Pierre Laszlo (6.000 years of lemons, limes, and oranges)

Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World by Dan Koeppel  (from wild, inedible fruit, to banana republics, to genetic engineering)

Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod by Gary Paulsen  ( 17 days in Alaska, with dogsleds)

A Revolution In Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America by James E. McWilliams (American food and agriculture for the last 300 years, from a Texas State history professor)

Escape From Slavery by Francis Bok (10 years of modern-day slavery in Africa, then freedom in the US)

Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory ~ Peter Hessler (changes in China)

How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill (from the Fall of Rome to the rise of Medieval Europe)

Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson (1900 Hurricane in Galveston – much better than the Weems book)

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba – my new favorite book (boy in Malawi builds a wind generator from junk)

1491 by Charles C. Mann (the Americas before Columbus)

The Routes of Man by Ted Conover (absorbing book about how roads change places and people)

Life Along the Silk Road  Susan Whitfield (pre-Islamic central Asia)


Shogun  James Clavell (medieval Japan)

Things Fall Apart  Chinua Achebe (effects of the white man on African life)

Chu Ju’s House Gloria Whelan (one girl too many for a Chinese family))

The Truth About Sparrows  Marian Hale (Great Depression and a girl)

anything by James A. Michener

The City of Joy  Dominique LaPierre (struggle for survival in the slums of Calcutta)

The Blood Stone Jamila Gavin (Italian boy travels to Hindu Kush in 1600s)

Pagan’s Crusade Catherine Jinks (orphan in Jerusalem during the Crusades)

The Mark of the Horse Lord Rosemary Sutcliff  (slave boy in 1st century Britain becomes gladiator)

In the Time of Butterflies by Julie Alvarez (three sisters  involved in the revolution in the Dominican Republic.  Wonderful, but sad.)

Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (family of Christian missionaries caught up in the Congo Uprising)

Anhil’s Ghost by Michael Ondaatje ( revolution in Sri Lanka)

The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh (North Vietnamese soldier’s story)

Fall book report, to include the following in a clear plastic report binder:

  • Title page, with your name, period, date, book title, and author, with date of first publication.  [10 points]
  • A vocabulary list with at least 10 new words (and their definitions) you learned while reading the book. [20 points]
  • Annotated timeline of the book showing important events, with at least 5 pictures, etc. (15 events minimum) [20 points]. The pictures may be hand-drawn.
  • Annotated map of places in the book. (10 places minimum) [20 points]
  • A brief paper (2 – 3 pages typed, double-spaced, MLA style) discussing the ESPN of Geography within the book.  Be sure to follow the guidelines for essays we discussed in class – use third person, etc. [30 points]. The paper should follow MLA guidelines for quotations and be in 12 point New Times Roman font, double-spaced with 1 inch margins. A bibliography should not be necessary.


45 Responses

  1. I have a map in my book that shows all his stops in the journey. Can I use that for the annotated map?

  2. I have most everything done on my report and just now realized I read the wrong book…same title but a different author that is on your website, can I finish the report on this book?

    • Whoops. Why are you just now realizing this? Turn in your project and we’ll see – it’s too late to do anything about it now.

  3. I am almost done, but I don’t remember what APA style is….

  4. Does everything need to be typed (obviously not the map) but everything else? Or can the vocab and the timeline be hand written?

  5. what if i read a fiction before and i accidentlly read another fiction.

  6. I read Life of Pi and I’m starting to think i need 2 maps. is that okay? and we can do it on a word document right?

  7. Do the pictures have to be hand drawn? If the book is about a real event, can you use pictures taken at the event off of the internet?

  8. by annotations what does that include?

  9. For the maps, does there have to be 10 events at different places or 10 places? What if there are not 10 places in the book?

  10. I need help typing the place for my book Fast food nation

  11. I need help with the paper… what do we need to cover I am extremely confused.

  12. What if your book doesn’t have some of the 5 themes?

    • then you won’t be writing about them. obviously most authors don’t use absolute location, and maybe there’s not much about physical characteristics, but there should be at least some of all of them. Look at the 5 themes paper linked above and the questions it asks, then answer them using the book, and you should have enough for the paper.

  13. The paper you gave us in class differs from the instructions on your website. On your site it says to use MLA format just for quotations while on the paper you gave us in class it states the paper should be created using MLA guidelines. Which should I do??

    • same thing. 1″ margins, double-spaced, and MLA style for in text quotations. Unless you look something up, or read something for more info, you shouldn’t need a separate citation page.

  14. Do you want each theme to be about 2 paragraphs (4-6 sentences each)?

    • it just depends on how much of a particular theme is in your book. you might have 4 paragraphs on human characteristics of place, and a really short one on location….

  15. For the timeline, do you use dates for it or significant chapters in the book?

  16. What order should the papers be arranged in in the binder?

  17. i have maps from the book (at least more than 5) and it has annotations on it already. I will add if I can, but on the ones I can’t should I just explain what is on the map/ what it means? and can the annotations be neatly hand-written if we don’t know how to add them on typed?

  18. i just noticed that my book only stays in Gettysburg and never moves anywhere else. how do i do the 10 places then?

    • the book talks about people from a lot of different places – mark those. and the battle covers a lot of ground – the town, big and little round top, cemetery ridge, etc.

  19. The Truth About Sparrows

  20. For the essay, do we just describe the E, S, P, and N factors in the book? Like what the different ones are?

    • Write an essay. Discuss the economic geography you see in the book. Discuss the cultural geography, the physical geography, etc.
      Example: The Kite Runner is set in an arid land. Much of the action takes place in dusty villages, dusty because there is very little rain. etcetera, etcetera.
      Have an introduction and a conclusion. Remember to use 3rd person, like an encyclopedia article. and use only what you see in the book.

      • Also, my book is Stuffed and Starved, how would I do a map for that? Theres like 2 places and those are just broad countries.

      • Then you didn’t read the book very closely. California supermarkets, Kerala India, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Nicaragua, are just a few mentioned that I can think of. Plus Mexico, Cuba, Monsanto headquarters. Oakland’s People’s Grocery store, where did the Slow Food Movement start? Those are a few more.

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