World Book Day 2013Tomorrow, Thursday March 7th, is World Book Day so I thought I’d share some ideas about doing book reviews with your class. My pupils recently did book reviews on their blogs. The following are some guidelines I gave them for completing the exercise. You may find some tips that may be helpful for your pupils, whether they are doing the book review in a copy, on a sheet or online.

When writing a Book Review, here are some things to keep in mind. Write an interesting starting sentence for your review. Some people like to start with a question. Other reviewers like to start with the book facts: author, illustrator, and publisher to make it easy for others to find the book. Essentially, the book review should contain two main elements:

(A) Tell a little bit about the book

(B) Give your opinions about the book

Things that you might like to consider when writing the book review:

  • What was the book about? Describe the plot of the story in a few sentences without giving away the ending.
  • What was your favourite part of the story? Why did you like it?
  • Who is/are the main characters? Tell us something about them. What happens to them in the story?
  • From whose point of view was the story told? Was this the best way to present the story?
  • What sort of book was it? Was it a picture book, a chapter book, a fantasy book, a non-fiction book for sport fans?
  • If there are illustrations, how did they help tell the story? Did they add to your enjoyment of the story?
  • Did you like the book? Why or why not? What was good about it? Did any parts make you laugh? Which ones? Did you feel as if you were looking through the main character’s eyes?
  • What sort of people would like this book?
  • What mark would you give this book out of ten?
  • Would you read other books in this series? Why/why not?
  • Would you read other books by this author? Why/why not?

Things you might also like to consider when doing the book review are some of the strategies from our comprehension programme:

  • Prediction – What do you think will happen in the next book? What will happen to the main character?
  • Visualisation – What images did the book create in your mind?
  • Making connections – Did you make any connections with other books you have read or things that have happened to you?
  • Questioning – Did the book leave you with unanswered questions?

When you have done the review, here are some things that you could do to make it even better:

  • Put the sentences you’ve written into the order that seems best to you. Add any words or sentences you think might make it clearer.
  • Don’t forget to include as much description as possible.
  • Read your book review aloud to yourself and check for spelling and punctuation.
  • Ask someone else to read your review and get their opinion of it. Make any changes you think you need.

Lastly, to make the book report a little more special, try to include:

  • An image of the book cover
  • A link to the author’s official website
  • A link to the illustrator’s website
  • A video of something to do with the book eg. a clip from a movie made from the book

This video may give you some more ideas on what to include in a book review: