Writing a Great Book Report

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By Anne R. Fenske; Center Director of Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes in Englewood
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What exactly is a book report? Simply put, a book report tells people what your book is about without them having to read the book.  It can be fun, helpful, and creative.  It does not have to be boring or hard; and, it does not have to take a lot of time.

The first thing to do is to read the entire book. The information in the book can then be summarized in 3 easy parts.

  • Part One- Tell about the book itself. This includes the kind of book it is, the title, the author, the publisher, and the date/place the book was published.
  • Part Two- Tell what the book is about. This can take a few paragraphs to write. Here, it is important to include a description of the setting, a description of the characters, and a summary of the action and events. To help write this second part, the “story frame” (see below) can be useful.
  • Part Three- Tell your opinion of the book: did you like it or not, and why? This can be summed up in one final paragraph.

The “story frame” helps by starting sentences for you.

  • The story begins when...
  • Next...
  • Then...
  • After that...
  • Then...
  • The story ends when…

The following are some helpful words to know when writing a book report:

  • Setting- The setting of a story is the time and place of the action. It can create a mood, make the action seem more real, or show you a different way of life.
  • Character- A character is a person, an animal, or an imaginary creature that takes part in the action of the story.  There is usually a main character that the story focuses on.
  • Plot- The plot of the story is everything that happens in your book.  All the events together make up the story.
  • Lesson- The lesson is similar to the moral of a story. Is there a lesson to be learned from the story?

This is the mainstream way to write a book report. However, there are alternative formats. These include creating a poster that advertises your book, making a parade “float” for your book using a shoe box, interviewing a character in your book, designing the front page to a newspaper or the home page to a website, or creating a picture book version of your book. Most importantly, remember to excite potential readers!