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How to write a book review

How to write a book review template

This differentiated KS3 book review worksheet includes a comprehensive list of questions on plot, character and style for higher attaining English students to use as paragraph or sentence prompts when writing a book review.

There is also a book review template and writing frame, with scaffolded sentence starters for KS3 students who need more structured writing support when analysing a text and help expressing personal opinions. These students will find it helpful to use the book review example sentences, headings and the structured template to guide them.

Suitable for key stage 3 learners, this printable English teaching resource is designed for fiction book reviews, but could be adapted to support students with non-fiction books reviews too.

Example sentence starters from the template:

I think the writer wanted to tell this story because...

The book made me feel...

I think it is important to say that the book is...

All reviews

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Book Review Template Differentiated English KS3 GCSE Workbook

Book Review Template Differentiated English KS3 GCSE Workbook

Subject: English

Age range: 11-14

Resource type: Worksheet/Activity

Walklett Education

English Key Stage 3 and GCSE Resources

Last updated

28 April 2021

book report ks3

Free printable Book Review Template KS3 / GCSE English Differentiated 7 page workbook to help students keep a log of their reading.

This writing a book review template can be used as a stand alone class project, homework assignment (and as an on-going homework idea), extension task, opinion article writing revision aid, planning tool for speaking and listening presentation, discussion aid or as a complete 1-3 lesson unit. The writing reviews tool can help students 1-to-1, in small groups or as a full class.

The free workbook covers National Curriculum English targets for varying abilities of students including assessment objectives such as :

• Recording and writing factual information • Clearly explaining personal opinions and responses to a text • Recording new and challenging vocabulary • Writing extended answers to questions • Writing and analysing the structure of prose • Giving advice to others • Planning • Writing a book review • Proofing and checking for quality of content

Aimed at students studying Key Stage 3 or GCSE English Language and Literature but relevant for all subjects where supplementary reading is required.

Relevant for all exam boards as relates to GCSE National Curriculum English Language assessment objectives.

This workbook can be repeated with each new book a student reads and supports students to recognise the role of reflecting on their own reading, sharing opinions and analysing others’ writing.

Ideas for use in classroom

• 1-3 lesson project • Ongoing homework project • Exam practice towards writing opinion articles. • Speaking and Listening presentation aid to support students giving a presentation on a book/movie of their choice. • Discussion aid • Revision support • Extension task for early finishers and gifted and talented students. • Starter activity

Download includes one, 7 page colour PDF printable file.

Creative Commons "Sharealike"

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Thank you very much, really helpful! Could we have access to edit or could you change 'My Book is called' to 'title' and 'It is by' to 'author'. This is what children are taught in KS1 upwards so that should be consistent right through their education! thank you :)

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Great, thank you.

Haven't used this yet but looks very thorough and colorful, can see how it could be used multiple times.

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Book Review Writing


If you love to read, at some point you will want to share a book you love with others. You may already do this by talking about books with friends. If you want to share your ideas with more people than your circle of friends, the way you do that is by writing a review. By publishing the reviews you write, you can share your ideas about books with other readers around the world.

It's natural for young readers to confuse book reviews with book reports, yet writing a book review is a very different process from writing a book report. Book reports focus on the plot of the book. Frequently, the purpose of book reports is to demonstrate that the books were read, and they are often done for an assignment.

A book review is a totally different task. A book review's purpose is to help people decide whether or not the book would interest them enough to read it. Reviews are a sneak peek at a book, not a summary. Like wonderful smells wafting from a kitchen, book reviews lure readers to want to taste the book themselves.

This guide is designed to help you become a strong book reviewer, a reader who can read a book and then cook up a review designed to whet the reading appetites of other book lovers.

Form: What should the review look like?

How long should it be.

The first question we usually ask when writing something is "How long should it be?" The best answer is "As long as it takes," but that's a frustrating answer. A general guideline is that the longer the book, the longer the review, and a review shouldn't be fewer than 100 words or so. For a long book, the review may be 500 words or even more.

If a review is too short, the review may not be able to fulfill its purpose. Too long, and the review may stray into too much plot summary or lose the reader's interest.

The best guide is to focus less on how long to write and more on fulfilling the purpose of the review.

How Do You Create A Title?

The title of the review should convey your overall impression and not be overly general. Strong titles include these examples:

Weak titles may look like this:

The Storm Whale cover

How Should It Begin?

Although many reviews begin with a short summary of the book (This book is about…), there are other options as well, so feel free to vary the way you begin your reviews.

In an introductory summary, be careful not to tell too much. If you retell the entire story, the reader won't feel the need to read it him/herself, and no one appreciates a spoiler (telling the end). Here are some examples of summaries reviewers from The New York Times have written:

"A new picture book tells a magically simple tale of a lonely boy, a stranded whale and a dad who rises to the occasion."

"In this middle-grade novel, a girl finds a way forward after the loss of her mother."

"Reared by ghosts, werewolves and other residents of the hillside cemetery he calls home, an orphan named Nobody Owens wonders how he will manage to survive among the living having learned all his lessons from the dead. And the man Jack — who killed the rest of Nobody's family — is itching to finish the job."

"In vivid poems that reflect the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, an award-winning author shares what it was like to grow up in the 1960s and 1970s in both the North and the South." Other ways to begin a review include:

Process: What should I write about?

Deciding what to say about the book can be challenging. Use the following ideas as a guide, but remember that you should not put all of this into a single review — that would make for a very long review! Choose the things that fit this particular book best.

General Information What the reader ought to know

Plot What happens?

Writing about the plot is the trickiest part of a review because you want to give the reader a feel for what the book is about without spoiling the book for future readers. The most important thing to remember is that you must never give away the ending. No one likes a spoiler.

One possibility for doing this is to set up the premise (A brother and a sister find themselves lost in the woods at the mercy of an evil witch. Will they be able to outsmart her and escape?). Another possibility is to set up the major conflict in the book and leave it unresolved (Sometimes the waiting is the hardest part or He didn't know what he stood to lose or Finding your purpose in life can be as easy as finding a true friend.)

Try to avoid using the tired phrase "This book is about…" Instead, just jump right in (The stuffed rabbit wanted more than anything to live in the big old house with the wild oak trees.)

The Storm Whale cover

Characters Who lives in the book?

Reviews should answer questions about the characters in fiction books or non-fiction books about people. Some possible questions to answer include:

Theme What is the book about at its heart?

What is the book really about? This isn't the plot, but rather the ideas behind the story. Is it about the triumph of good over evil or friendship or love or hope? Some common themes include: change, desire to escape, facing a challenge, heroism, the quest for power, and human weaknesses.

Sometimes a book will have a moral — a lesson to learn. If so, the theme is usually connected to that moral. As you write about the theme, try to identify what makes the book worth reading. What will the reader think about long after the book is finished? Ask yourself if there any particular lines in the book that strike you as meaningful.

Setting Where are we?

The setting is the time and place the story occurs. When you write about the setting in a review, include more than just the location. Some things to consider:

The Storm Whale cover

Opinion & Analysis What do you really think?

This is where the reviewer shares his/her reactions to the book that go beyond the essential points described above. You may spend half of the review on this section. Some possible questions to address include:

Are there parts that are simply not believable, even allowing for the reader's understanding that it is fiction or even fantasy?

Special situations: Nonfiction and young reviewers

Some of the tips and ideas above work best for fiction, and some of it is a little too complicated for very young reviewers.

Nonfiction What to do if it's real

When reviewing a book of nonfiction, you will want to consider these questions:

Young Reviewers Keeping it simple

Reviewing a book can be fun, and it's not hard at all. Just ask yourself these questions:

Remember! Don't give away the ending. Let's keep that a surprise.

General Tips & Ideas

Use a few quotes or phrases (keep them short) from the book to illustrate the points you make about the book. If there are illustrations, be sure to comment on those. Are they well done? Has the illustrator done other well-known books?

Make sure you include a conclusion to the review — don't leave it hanging. The conclusion can be just one sentence (Overall, this book is a terrific choice for those who…).

You can use the transition word handout at the end of the Writer's Toolbox to find ideas for words to connect the ideas in your review. If you would like to read some well-written reviews, look for reviews of books for young people at The New York Times or National Public Radio .

Rating Books How to award stars?

Most places you post reviews ask you to rate the book using a star system, typically in a range of from one to five stars. In your rating, you should consider how the book compares to other books like it. Don't compare a long novel to a short poetry book — that's not a valid comparison.

It's important to remember that it's not asking you to only give five stars to the very best books ever written.

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book report ks3

Book Report Template for Ks1, Ks2 and Ks3 Kids | Book Review

Are you looking for a simple book report template for ks1, ks2 and ks3 kids? You are at the right place. This one-page book review template is perfect for all primary education kids.

How to use this book report template?

When your child finishes a book, have them fill out this template. This book report template will help ks1, ks2, and ks3 kids in developing good narration skills. This book report template includes the following questions:

What was the title of the book?

Who was the author of the book?

Give a summary of the plot.

What did you learn from reading this book?

Which characters in the book did you like the most and why?

Will you recommend this book to your friends and why?

Book Report / Book Review Template Worksheet

book report template for ks1, ks2, ks3 kids | book review

Related: Book Reviews Templates

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How to write a book review

Author Luisa Plaja offers her top tips for how to write a brilliant review of the latest book you read - whether you liked it or not.

book report ks3

Other readers will always be interested in your opinion of the books you've read. Whether you've loved the book or not, if you give your honest and detailed thoughts then people will find new books that are right for them.

If you're stuck on what to say in a review, it can help to imagine you're talking to someone who's asking you whether they should read the book.

1. Start with a couple of sentences describing what the book is about

But without giving any spoilers or revealing plot twists! As a general rule, try to avoid writing in detail about anything that happens from about the middle of the book onwards. If the book is part of a series, it can be useful to mention this, and whether you think you'd need to have read other books in the series to enjoy this one.

2. Discuss what you particularly liked about the book

Focus on your thoughts and feelings about the story and the way it was told. You could try answering a couple of the following questions:

3. Mention anything you disliked about the book

Talk about why you think it didn't work for you. For example:

4. Round up your review

Summarise some of your thoughts on the book by suggesting the type of reader you'd recommend the book to. For example: younger readers, older readers, fans of relationship drama/mystery stories/comedy. Are there any books or series you would compare it to?

5. You can give the book a rating, for example a mark out of five or ten, if you like!

Luisa Plaja loves words and books, and she used to edit the book review site Chicklish. Her novels for teenagers include Split by a Kiss, Swapped by a Kiss and Kiss Date Love Hate. She lives in Devon, England, and has two young children.

More writing tips

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Book Review Template Ks3

Download this book review template ks3 design in word, google docs format. easily editable, printable, downloadable., select a file format.

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book report ks3

Book Review

What is a book report or book review?

A book report or review is your child’s written critique of a book that they have read. Book reports tend to focus slightly more on describing what the book is about, while reviews are more concerned with your child’s opinion on the book. Generally, book reports and reviews will include:  

What’s the point of book reports?

In some schools, book reports or reviews are regular homework tasks; in others, children may only write them occasionally, for example at the end of a literacy unit focusing on a particular book.

‘The main objective is for children to show their deeper understanding of a text, and also to demonstrate their reading preferences and think in more depth about the sorts of books they like reading,’ says teacher and English consultant Charlotte Reed . 

Book review

Claim A FREE Book Reviews Activity Pack!

Book reports also help teachers assess children’s comprehension of their reading books, and ensure that books are read properly, not just skimmed over. And, of course, they help improve literacy skills such as spelling, grammar and vocabulary.

What sort of standard is expected?

Book reports tend to be more commonly assigned in Key Stage 2 than in Key Stage 1, and it goes without saying that they will become longer and more in depth as your child progresses through primary school. For example:  

book report ks3

Helping your child to write a book report

Top tips for making book reports fun

Unless your child’s teacher has specified a format, there are lots of ways to make writing book reports more interesting.

‘Your child could draw and annotate a picture of their favourite scene from the book, or write an emotional response from the viewpoint of one of the characters,’ Charlotte suggests. Other formats could include a newspaper report or an imagined interview with a character. 

Another good way to make book reports fun is to write mini reviews on Post-It notes. ‘Your child can then stick these inside book covers so he remembers what he thought of them – or, in the case of library books, so other children can read them,’ says Charlotte.

To motivate your child, encourage them to send reviews to the author. ‘Lots of authors blog and tweet, so they could send reviews online, or by traditional letter,’ Charlotte says. ‘Most will write back, and this could be the start of a fantastic collection of correspondence from authors.’ And encourage your child to share their book reviews online, too: ‘It’s good for them to see their own work on the internet, and helpful to other children, as well,’ Charlotte adds.

Download free book report and book review templates

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