Updated January 2017 by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com
A book review is just one person's reaction to a book they have read. Book reviewers try to give honest feedback about a book they've read, and they do it in different ways. Most book reviewers write for an audience who are looking for a book to read.
Here's one plan that might work if you're are not sure how to get started.
* Choose a book you think you can write about. It may not be your favourite book, but it needs to be one you can describe to others.
* Read the book. If you read it a while ago, read it again, just before you write your review.
* Who is going to read your review? Friends? Your teacher? Classmates? Are you going to have the review published online, in a magazine or at your library?
* Think about your chosen book. Try to answer SOME of these questions in whole sentences:
What was the book about? Try to describe it in a couple of sentences without giving away the ending.
What was your favourite part of the story? Why did you like it?
Who is/are the main character(s)? Tell us something about them. What happens to them in the story?
What sort of book was it? Was it a picture book, a chapter book, a fantasy book, a nonfiction book for sport fans?
If there are illustrations, how did they help tell 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? Would you recommend it to a certain age?
* Look at the sentences you’ve written and see if they can make the bones of your book review. You might need to add more, or leave some out.
* Write an interesting beginning sentence for your review. Some people like to start with a question. Other reviewers begin with the book facts - like author, illustrator, and publisher - to make it easy for others to find the book.
* 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.
* 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.
* Remember, this is just one plan you can follow. Read some book reviews to get ideas, then go ahead and make your own plan. When you're finished why not send your work to a magazine or website that publishes book reviews by kids? Online you might try Alphabet Soup (Australia), Building Rainbows (UK) Reader Views (US). You could also try your own school or local library, or ask a local book shop if they want reviews.
Grown-ups might also be interested in reading Alternatives to Book Reports, Using Comics for Information Reports, Easy Ways Parents Can Encourage Kids to Write and Questions to Help Kids Read,Think and Write.