Whether you enjoyed a book or not, you often want to tell someone your opinion. As your child explores a world of book variety, they can become very enthusiastic about something they have read. Why not encourage them to write a book review?

Why Write a Book Review?

  • Practise and develop their writing, vocabulary and comprehension skills.
  • Encourages your child to talk about what they read and share and exchange views.
  • Gives your child the skills to recommend a book to their friends and family for a shared experience
  • It’s a fun home learning activity that can be creative and engaging – see ‘sneaky book reviews’ below for some alternative ways of reviewing books

Writing a review is a valuable exercise which helps to increase comprehension and develop critical thinking skills. Also, it gives your child the opportunity to express an opinion through creative writing, further developing essential writing skills.

The Juniper Reading Challenge

Part of our Juniper Reading Challenge includes motivating children to review the books they have read and think about how to express their thoughts and feelings on paper. Our fun templates have been created for older and younger readers, so why not take a look and inspire your child to take the challenge! If you’re not sure on where to start, here’s some ideas to get you started on writing a book review.

What Should It Include?

Where To Start

Use one of our book review templates as a guide or create your own. Find our templates here, we created some fun examples to help your child write their thoughts and feelings down.

  • Start with an attention-grabbing title to hook the reader – ‘best book in the world’, ‘fast paced action thriller’.
  • Add details of the book – title, author and illustrator if there is one.
  • What’s the book about? Tell the reader enough about the plot to make them curious without giving away too many details or revealing the plot twists! (SPOILER ALERT) Try to avoid writing details about any plot points that happen from the middle of the book onwards. Also, mention if the book is part of a series, and if the other books have to be read to enjoy this particular book.

Add Some Detail

  • What type (genre) of book is it? Adventure, science fiction, historical or humour?
Discuss What They Liked and Disliked

Focus on their thoughts and feelings about the story and the way it was told. Think about what didn’t work for them. Try answering a couple of the following questions:

  • What did they like about the book? Who were their favourite characters? Was the setting interesting?
  • How did the book make them feel? Did they laugh, cry or tremble with fear?
  • Is there anything they didn’t like about the book? Was the ending disappointing? Did they get bored halfway through the story?
  • Did your child find it difficult to care about a main character, and could they work out why?

Rate The Book!

  • Rate the book by giving marks out of 10, an emoji face (sad or happy), or by adding a star rating.
  • Add a drawing of the book cover, character or setting.

Sneaky Book Reviews

If they want to try something different here are a few ideas:

  • Create a word cloud using free websites like Wordle and Tagxedo.
  • Take a ‘get caught reading’ photograph of them reading in an unusual place to share with school (Make sure you can see the title of the book!)
  • Make a reading mobile – cut out and colour circles/shapes leaving a space in the middle to write their review and the author/title of the book
  • Start a reading tree on their wall and add post-it notes with their reviews. Try rating books by using green post-its for good and red for bad.
book review

Word Cloud.

book review templates

One of our book review templates.

book review tree

Reading tree with post-it notes.

Whatever you do – HAPPY READING!

Take Part In The Juniper Reading Challenge!

This six-book challenge is designed to keep children KS1 – KS2 reading at home, to engage parents with their child’s reading and to make choosing a book a little bit easier.

Find Out More
Allison King

Allison King

Allison King is a Chartered Librarian for the Education Resources Service at Juniper Education. Allison has many years of experience working in research libraries in the finance sector, children’s libraries in primary schools and the Public Library. She runs the well established Juniper Book Award and enjoys reading stories on the Storytelling Bookbus.

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