This is a simple, easy to use tool to help students think about and evaluate books. Students can use it review books they have read independently, with partners, or heard as part of a classroom read aloud.
Students first design a new, original cover for the book, highlighting an exciting moment or their favorite part. On the back, students write several short paragraphs summarizing the main points in the book, their own review of the book, and a book recommendation. I always encourage my students to carefully evaluate why they liked or disliked a book. Was it the characters? The plot? Did they connect with the book? For the book recommendation, students must be specific with who in particular they would recommend the book for and for what reasons.
This short book review is a perfect class activity or homework assignment. Not only does it encourage students to think critically about books they have read or heard, but it develops reading comprehension strategies such as summarizing, making connections, and main idea.
In our class, the students review a couple books a week throughout the year. They then compile all their reviews into a book at the end of the year. This is a unique compilation for the students, enabling them to look back through the school year and see all the books they have read and enjoyed.