More acim exist today than any one person can possibly read. Amazon lists tons of books. Libraries have many shelves on many floors of books. ISBN numbers have three more digits than they did before. Because there are so many books, and because we have limited time in our lives, people write book reviews. A good book review can help a person decide whether he or she should invest the time into reading a book.

Book reports are the first step toward book reviews. Book reports for children are usually forms that the child fills out. Unlike the book report form, an actual book review is an essay.

Some elements of a book review are common. Use this checklist to make sure your book report is valuable to its readers.


Write an outline for your review. An outline helps you keep on track while writing the actual review. Identify the book’s name and author. If the book you read is good and you recommend it to someone, that person needs to be able to find the book at the library or bookstore. This information helps people find books at libraries and bookstores. It is okay to include the genre of the book, the publisher, and the publishing date, but this information is less critical.

State your thesis. What is your take on the book? What is your thesis? Make this clear in the first paragraph of your review. “This book is a must read for ferret lovers.” “This book is a waste of time unless you like ferrets.” “This book had an interesting take on ferrets that went against current mainstream opinions.”

Support your thesis while describing characters in the book, the setting, and the basic elements of the plot-but do not give away too much information. Children do book reports to prove to their teacher that they read and understood a book. You are doing a book review to provide a service. Giving away too much information takes away that service. If a person does decide to read the book, enough of the book needs to be a surprise that it is as enjoyable for them as it was for you.

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