Writing Composition: How to Do a Book Report

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Writing a book report may not seem fun at first, but it gives you a great chance to really understand a work and its author. Unlike a book review, a book report requires that you give a straightforward summary of the text.
1. 5th Grade Book Report Format
Introduction (2-3 sentences, including a “topic” sentence)
* The title (underlined) and author of the book
* Why you chose the book (if this applies) or how it fits into our history
program this year (if this applies).
* What kind of story is it?
o Fiction (made up): Fantasy, Science fiction, Realistic fiction,
Historical fiction, Mystery, or Traditional Literature (folktale, myth,
fable, fairytale)?
o Non-Fiction (true) Narrative nonfiction, Biography, Expository
nonfiction, or Informational?

Body (1-2 paragraphs supporting 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 - aday? 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 lead up to it? What
happens as a result? How does the story end?
Be caretul not to re-tell the whole story in detail — you want room in your
report to write about other things; instead, just say enough about it to
demonstrate you read/understand the book, and so the rest of your report
will make sense. One paragraph should be about right!
Once you have summarized the book, you can tell what you think about
it! Select 2-3 questions from below to answer with examples/supporting
reasons from the book:
2. * Do you like the story? Why or why not?
* What was the best part of the book? Why?
* How did the story make you feel? Did you feel different things at
different points in the story?
* Would you recommend it to friends?
* Would you read other books by this author?
* What new things did you learn from this book?
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.
**You will need a VISUAL AIDE to add to your report - see additional
handout for details!