Book Review Guidelines
1st paragraph - Introduce the book.
- Write about the setting, (where the story takes place, usually time and place).
- Introduce the main character or characters in the story. o What are the character’s names, qualities, etc.
- Tell about the book, but don’t give away the ending!
Summarize what happens up until the high point of the story, (where the character resolves the problem). Discuss what conflict/problem the main character faces in the story. If you’re still having trouble starting, you can answer the questions who, what, when, where, and how.
Use some of these transition words to help you write your review. first also because another second between next as a result third finally then later last after that for example during
2nd paragraph - My Thoughts Tell about your favorite part of the book or make a connection.
Write about why you liked or disliked the book. Be honest and narrate your thoughts. Give details, for example: o Was the book confusing?
o Was it too easy to read or too hard?
o Was it predictable/ believable? o Did you like the ending? o What was your favorite part? o What connections did you make with your life or other books? o Advanced: Talk about the author’s style of writing and give examples from the book.
Now, for some examples to help get you started!
Two professional examples from School Library Journal:
The Raft by S.A. Bodeen Robie lives in the Midway Atoll with her family, but often goes to stay with her aunt in Honolulu. One summer, her aunt is called away unexpectedly and Robie decides to take the shuttle plane home to her parents. The phones are out so she cannot call her parents and tell them she is coming and in the commotion, she forgets to get weighed before her and her bags climb aboard the plane. A major storm knocks out one of the engines and the plane goes down. Robie ends up struggling to survive in the middle of the ocean with only a raft and a few supplies. Can she survive out there by herself? Will anyone come to look for her? This survival story realistically portrays exactly what it would be like to be drifting on a raft for days including symptoms of dehydration, starvation, and environmental dangers. The details of the region including geography, animal life, and weather are all perfectly accurate which helps this story to feel even more realistic. The story itself is very exciting and moves quickly so it is recommended for reluctant readers.
An example of a student-written review from
Holes by Louis Sachar Because of the just-released movie with the same title, many are rushing to read Holes by Louis Sachar. I recommend doing this - Holes is a wonderful book whether you are 18 or 85. Holes is a combination of three stories. The main one is about Stanley Yelnats, who is found guilty of stealing even though he didn't. He is shipped off to Camp Green Lake, a boot camp with a twist. There, Stanley bonds with the boys in his tent, who all have wacky nicknames and personalities to match. Every day, the boys must dig a large hole in the "lake," which is now more of a desert. The counselors tell the boys they must dig holes to build character, but is there something more? The stories of Stanley's no-good, dirty-rotten, pig-stealing great-great-grandfather who cursed Stanley's family, and the story of Kissing Kate Barlow and how she turned from a sweet woman to the feared bandit who robbed Stanley's great-grandfather, will help them figure out the truth. This book is wonderfully bizarre. The plot and setting are strange, but then the author throws a barrel of peculiar characters into the mix. If you are looking for a great read that is out of the ordinary, dig into Holes. Just beware of the poisonous lizards.