A guide to reviewing a book

Guest post from the National Literacy Trust.

Whether you've particularly enjoyed a book or not, you often want to tell someone about it. As children begin to explore the world of literature they can become very excited about something they have just read. Why not encourage them to write a book review to share with you or with their friends?

Here are some tips for how to write a book review.

1. Summary
This will 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 the main characters in a sentence or two for each of them.

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), including your reasons why.

Perhaps you'd even like to give the book a rating e.g. how many stars out of five would you give for the book?

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 140 characters (three sentences or so), so that it could be used on Twitter.

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

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