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How to Write a Book Review: Step-by-Step Guide

Grade 10
Jul 26, 2023

What is a book review?

A good book review includes an outline of the story or novel, background information about the author and topic, and an evaluation of the content. A book review is a totally different task.

Purpose of Book Review

  • A book review’s purpose is to help people decide whether 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.

Writing a good book review involves the following steps:

a. Introduction: Introduction

A book I read recently and enjoyed was … (book title) by … (author),…………….

b. Paragraph 1: The outline or the storyline

Do not tell the story. Take one sentence to compare how the situation at the end of the book is different from how it was at the beginning of the book.


c. The setting is the time and place the story occurs. For the setting of the story start with any of these phrases from A or B

i) Geographically

  • in rural France
  • in suburban New York
  • in the suburbs of Cairo
  • on a remote/desert island
  • on a distant planet/star
  • in the foothills of the Himalayas

ii) Historically

  • at the turn of the last century
  • before/after the First World War
  • in the twenty-third century
  • before/after the revolution
  • in pre-historic times
  • in the early 1800s
  • in the late 50s ……..
  • Paragraph 2: About the characters

d. Begin with a general statement about the characters:

There are many well-drawn/strong/convincing characters, such as ..


(character’s name), a (define using the character’s occupation/age etc.

Using the following clues/questions introduce the main character and other characters…..

Who are the main characters? Include the protagonist and antagonist.

  • What makes them interesting?
  • Do they act like real people act or are they too good or too evil to be believable?
  • Are they human?
  • What conflicts do they face?
  • Are they likable or understandable?
  • Could you relate to any of the characters in the story?
  • What problems did the main characters face?
  • Who was your favorite character, and why?

e. Paragraph 3: Describe 1 memorable incident of the book from the plot of the story……

What happened…………………………………….

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.

f. Paragraph 4: Recommendation

Who exactly do you think the book is suitable for? Teenagers? All age groups? Romantics?

Those with a sense of adventure?

 Why do you think the book is suitable for that particular group of people?

g. The message of the story.

What is the message?

Triumph good over evil. …………………………

The power of love. ………………….

The importance of friendship……………………………..

Happiness cannot be found through wealth alone…………

The mystery of life……………………………………….

Writing a Book Review


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