Corey Green, Children's Book Author, Producer of Math Learning Products
Book Report Wizard
Book Report WizardHow to write a book report: plot, setting, genre, characters, themes and more.  The Book Report Wizard tells all!

Book reports range from written accounts of the plot and characters to assignments involving puppets or dioramas.  The Book Report Wizard can help you with your assignment.

Learn how to ace your next book report!

Keys to success

First bit of advice: Read the book!  Teachers can always tell when you base your book report on the back-of-the-book blurb.

Second bit of advice: Follow the directions!

Your teacher probably will give you a sheet detailing specific requirements for creating your report.  Follow the directions exactly, and you can't go wrong.  Be sure to check the directions before you start, during the project to keep you on track and after you have written the report to check that you did the assignment properly.  Following the directions precisely makes things easier and guarantees that you will get a good grade.

After you do the report, check that all the words are spelled correctly and that you wrote complete sentences.  This makes any project better!

Break the report into small steps to make the job seem manageable.

Remember to have fun with your book report!  Do not think of it as just a school assignment.  Here is your chance to share an awesome book with your classmates.

Follow these suggestions and Abracadabra, Moopy Sue, Presto!  You will have a great book report!

Index of book report terms and questions

Here are some common terms and questions used in book reports.  Let the Book Report Wizard explain what the term means and offer basic examples using Zapped!  My examples get you started, but if you want a good grade, you will need to be more specific and give details to support your main points.

Plot: This refers to the basic story.  Stories do not just happen -- they occur because actions cause other actions.  When you explain the plot, try to use cause-effect relationships.  Start with a sentence that explains the basics of the plot, then write about specific events in the story.  Remember that you do not have to include everything. Just include the big cause-effect moments in the story.

Example: Kyle and friends INVENTED a phantom student, CAUSING them seemingly endless troubles.

Index of Terms and Questions

Characters: Your teacher does not want to hear about every character in the book.  (That would be a lot in the Buckley School Books!)  Instead, focus on a few main characters that are involved in the plot.  An easy way to identify the main characters is to think about the people that caused the plot to happen.  Try to explain the character's relationship to the main character.

Example: Kyle is a new kid that encounters great adventures at Buckley Elementary School when he becomes the leader of his classmates' phantom student caper.  Brian is Kyle's new best friend.  Kyle showed the class how to appreciate Brian, and Brian proved to be very useful in the Zapped! adventure.  Brian even invented a cool prank for Stan to play.

Are there other main characters?

Index of Terms and Questions

Setting: This refers to where the story takes place, and in what time.  Some stories have very specific settings; other books feel like they could happen anywhere.  Some stories are set in certain time periods, like World War II; other books are set in the modern world. Your teacher will be impressed if you give details about the setting.

Example: Zapped! takes place in the town of Buckley.  Most of the action happens at Kyle's new school, Buckley Elementary School.  The book takes place in the present day (as opposed to another time in history or in the future).

Index of Terms and Questions

Genre: This refers to the category of the book.  Books can be fiction, mysteries, adventures, nonfiction, biographies, suspense, horror, etc.

Example: Zapped! is realistic fiction.

Index of Terms and Questions

Theme: This refers to the main idea of the story and lessons it teaches.  The theme is usually not stated outright in the book.  You have to think about it.  There are many themes in Zapped!, but I will give you just one.  If you have to write about themes for your book report, your teacher will want you to think of a theme that is not listed on the Corey Green website.  Also, you may see a theme that I do not see.  We all have a unique way of looking at the world.

Example: One theme in Zapped! is the importance of being yourself and reaching out to make new friends.

Index of Terms and Questions

Did you like the book?  Many teachers ask for your opinion of the book.  If you loved the book, talk about what make it so good.  Was it the story, the characters or something else?  If you did not enjoy the book, explain why and suggest ways that the book could be improved.  Your teacher will be impressed to see that you have given thought to what makes a good book.

Example: Zapped! is the best book I have ever read.  I really liked Kyle and felt like he could be my friend.  In fact, I felt that way about many of the characters.  I really liked the fun adventures the kids had with their phantom student.

Index of Terms and Questions

What was your favorite scene?  You might have to write about your favorite scene, or you might have to make a diorama or draw a picture about your favorite scene.  Think of a part in the book that you liked, and think about why you liked it.  Then, try to think of ways to show it in a paper, diorama or drawing.

Example: Perhaps you liked the shocker tube scene.  Why?  Was it because it was funny?  Was it because you think Kyle would never have guessed that this was the first thing that would happen to him at Buckley Elementary School?  Try to show this in your paper, drawing, or diorama.

Index of Terms and Questions

I hope these book report tips help you to get started!  Remember that these are just tips, and if you do not expand on them, your teacher will realize you have not done your best.  Just think about what someone who has never read the book would want to know, and include those details in your report.

Have fun writing your excellent book report!

Abracadabra, Moopy Sue!
The Book Report Wizard

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