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Book Report: Different Formats, Types, and Book Review

Grade 5
Aug 4, 2023

Introduction to Book Report

A book report is of different types and formats.

A most common form of book reports are

  • Plot summaries
  • Theme and character analysis.    

How to write a book report?

  • Specify the kind of book report
  • Include the title of the book
  • Put the name of the author
  • Indicate the time when the story takes place.
  • Mention the location of events taking place in the book.
  • List the names of the characters briefly describing each one of them.
  • Add quotations in order to back up your opinions.

Book Report Format:

1. Introduction (2-3 sentences, including a “topic” sentence) Include:

The title (underlined) and author of the book

Why did you choose the book (if this applies) or how it fits into our history program this year (if this applies)?


What kind of story is it?

Fiction (made up): Fantasy, Science fiction, Realistic fiction, Historical fiction, Mystery, or Traditional Literature (folktale, myth, fable, fairytale)?

Non-Fiction (true) Narrative nonfiction, Biography, Expository nonfiction, or Informational?

2. Body (1-2 paragraphs supporting the topic and including the following):

In this section you want to describe the main parts of a story: theme, setting, characters, and plot (not necessarily in that order – paragraph 1). Then you give your opinions about the book (paragraph 2).


The Theme is the main idea of the story. Some examples might be the importance of friendship/hope/honesty/integrity/etc. or how to be courageous in a difficult situation. Tell what you think the theme is and how you know (example from the book).

The Setting is the time and place of the story. Is it set a long time ago or now?  Does it take place in another country or in an imaginary place?  How much time passes in the story – a day? a year? A lifetime?

The Characters are who the story is about. The main character is called the protagonist. Who are the other important characters? Do they help or hinder the protagonist?

The Plot is what happens. You want to briefly tell what the story is about. What is the main event or conflict? What things led up to it? What happens as a result? How does the story end?

Conclusion (2 sentences)

This is just a sentence or two, to sum up your report. Give your overall opinion of the book and the most important thing you want other people to know about it.

Difference between Book Report and Book Review:

Book Review

A book review is more about analysis and evaluation where students are required to identify the author’s main message and ideas as well as to understand the meaning of symbolic elements present in the text.

Book Report

Book reports are all about explaining topical details and the storyline of the book. Those writing this type of assignment are to present biographical information about the author of the book (year of birth, marital status, his/her education and worldview, etc.). After the biographical information, there should be a brief summary of the book content – the main characters and the development of the plot.



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