In the Classroom: Book Reviews

One of the most important homework I give is nightly reading.  Most of the time the kids read whatever they wish, but occasionally I do give a more directed assignment.  Recently, for example, I pulled together a bunch of old favorites, forthcoming galleys, and recent publications; book talked them; then asked the kids to each chose one to read. When they were finished, I told them, they would write reviews of the books on their blogs.  And if, I also told them, the reviews were well-done, I’d write a blog post here with links to their reviews.  Of course, the possibility that outsiders (you all) might read their reviews was very exciting!

Happily, they LOVED the books they chose.  They couldn’t stop talking to me about them as they read them and were primed to write those reviews. But before they did I did a lesson on review writing.  First I showed them several reviews of Frank Cotrell Boyce’s Cosmic, a book I’d just finished reading aloud, and then asked them to come up with a list of attributes for good reviews. Here’s the blog post for that lesson. After that they were off to write their own reviews and, in no particular order, here they are:


Filed under In the Classroom

13 responses to “In the Classroom: Book Reviews

  1. I enjoyed reading the reviews! Please pass along compliments to the writers; I found several books my son might like.


  2. Pingback: In the Classroom: Book Reviews « educating alice | ReviewTica

  3. Briar

    Hi Monica,
    Is it OK if I show these to my Fourth Graders as examples? They may be interested in commenting, too, if that is OK.
    Briar Sauro


  4. Susan, thanks so much!

    Briar, please do. The kids are hoping for comments!


  5. What a great project … and selection of books. I wasn’t able to comment on every one, but I tried to comment on a bunch. I would also love to link to their reviews in our “bookshelf” post that will list all the books mentioned this week.


  6. Terry, thanks! And do link to their reviews. They’d be thrilled.


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  8. Kristin McIlhagga

    Fantastic reviews everyone! I commented on a few and will try to make some more comments tomorrow. I’m going to have to rearrange my “to read” list now!

    I love that you have your students writing reveiws, it is an assignment that we often have our college students do in a children’s literature course. Both the post about how to write them as well as these are thoughtful and well-crafted. Good job all!


  9. Great idea for motivating your students!


  10. Thanks for those of you who commented on the kids’ reviews. They are thrilled.


  11. What a great way to get a bunch of new books out into the kids’ hands! After the reviews (or maybe even before that) was there a lot of trading and sharing of favorite new reads?


  12. There was, Mary Lee! Many of the books are now being read by other kids. And, indeed, some of them had already been read by a couple of kids before the reviews. A sneaky plan on my part, as you can guess:)


  13. Pingback: The Writing Process: Walter Dean Myers and Ross Workman : the pageturn

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