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How to Write a Book Report: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

Book reports are often assigned in school. In this lesson, you will learn about the main elements of a book report and read examples of some of these elements.

Book Reports

Zach has to write a book report on a book he read over the summer. He chooses the book The Cricket In Times Square. But what makes a good book report?

Cricket in Times Square book report

Elements of a Book Report

There are several elements that all good book reports share.

Title and Author

A book report must include the title and author of the book. Sometimes it also includes the publication date, which is found on the back of the title page at the beginning of the book.

Zach is reporting on The Cricket In Times Square by George Selden. It was published in 1960.

Characters

Characters are the people or animals in the story. A book report should tell something important about each main character. Don't worry about naming every single character in the book, just choose the most important ones.

Zach writes a brief description of Chester the cricket, Tucker the mouse, Harry the cat, and a boy named Mario.

Setting

The setting of a book is where and when the story takes place. While many books include more than one location, in a book report you should describe the most important one or two places. If the time period is important to the story, include it in the book report. For example, the story might take place during the Civil War or during medieval times.

Most of Zach's book happens in the Times Square subway station in New York City. The story does not mention the time period specifically, so Zach doesn't include that in his book report.

Plot

The plot is the action of the story. A book report should have a plot summary that gives enough information to interest the reader of the report, without retelling the entire story.

In his plot summary, Zach includes these events:

  • Chester is a cricket from Connecticut who gets stuck in a lunch pail and ends up in New York City.
  • Chester is found by Mario and lives in Mario's family's newsstand.
  • Chester makes friends with a mouse and a cat, and together they have adventures in the city.
  • Chester learns how to use his musical talent to help Mario and his family.

Endorsement

Your endorsement is your opinion of the book. Do you recommend it to other readers? Why or why not?

Here is Zach's endorsement of The Cricket In Times Square:

''I loved this book, and I recommend it to anyone who likes animal stories. My favorite part is the description of New York City, because I felt like I was there even though I've never been there before.''

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