Not that long ago, it seems, we would look to magazine writers and newspaper columnists for book reviews. Today, every online customer is a potential book reviewer. No matter what you’re reading, someone wants to know your opinion.
Ask your high schooler to choose one writing prompt for a one-paragraph book review. Or, combine several prompts for a longer critique. Don’t forget to post the polished review on Amazon, Facebook, or a personal blog!
1. As Clear as Crystal
Explain your opinion of the author’s writing style. Are his arguments clear? Are his directions confusing? In his fiction, does he balance internal character development and external action to keep the story moving? Overall, do the author’s word choice and sentence structure make you want to read more?
2. Like Flowers in Spring
Evaluate the fictional characters. Are their actions consistent with their strengths and weaknesses? Are their speaking habits believable? Provide some examples. Analyze the story’s ending: does it flow naturally from what you’ve learned about these characters?
3. As Old as Time
With hard work and imagination, an author can reveal her distinctive creativity within the limits of classic plot structure. Describe the originality–or the copycat features–of her fictional storyline.
4. As Good as Gold
A work of nonfiction, whether a biography or a cookbook, claims a certain amount of special knowledge. Considering how this book advertised itself in the title and table of contents, did the actual product meet your expectations? Was it accurate and well-researched? Did the facts outweigh the propaganda? Did you find extensive, organized information or only repetitious jargon?
5. Like Water in a Desert
We characterize an author as a harsh critic or a compassionate mentor depending on their tone. Did you find this author to be condemning or inspiring? Give examples. Since you have familiarized yourself with the author’s viewpoint, add a recommendation about which readers will find this book most appealing.
If you enjoyed these book review writing prompts, be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays! Once a month, we feature topics especially suited for high schoolers.