Articles for parents

How to review books

Dec 2023

Guest post from the National Literacy Trust.

It's normal to want to tell people about the books you've been reading - sometimes you'll want them to share the fun of the book you just finished, other times you'll want them to know to avoid it!

As we explore the world of literature, we find there are many stories to get excited about. A good way to recommend a book is by writing a reivew, so share your recommended reads with our guide to writing book reviews:

1. Summary
Give people a quick overview of the story in a few sentences – but make sure you don't give away anything important!

2. Characters
Think about the characters – what are they like? What do you like or dislike about them? Describe each main character in a sentence or two.

3. Enjoyment
What did you like and dislike about the book? Try to think of two or three examples of things you liked and two or three examples of things you didn't like.

4. Originality
Does the plot remind you strongly of something you have read before? How interesting did you find it?

5. Recommendation
Would you recommend this book to other people? Think about persuasive writing you have done before – try and persuade your reader to read this book (or not), and including your reasons why.

Try giving the book a rating as well, how many stars out of five would you give it?

Some other ideas for reviews:

If you liked this, try….bookmarks
How about making a bookmark to recommend the book you've been reading to someone else, such as a friend, or your brother or sister. This will challenge you to keep your review short and sweet – think about bullet points and the main things you want to get across.

Tweet review
Try writing a review of the book you're reading at the moment that fits into 240 characters - three sentences or so - so that it could be used on X, formerly Twitter.

"Read of the week" poster
Make a poster reviewing your book – you could even draw pictures of scenes from the book. Be sure to include a headline for your review!