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What is the difference between a book review and a book report?

From Purdue OWL 

A book review gives readers a sneak peek at what a book is like, whether or not the reviewer enjoyed it. Book reports commonly describe what happens in a work; their focus is primarily on giving an account of the major plot, characters, and/or main idea of the work.

What should a book review contain?


Book reviews should discuss an author's technique, strengths and weaknesses – don't just summarize the plot. Does the story flow? Is there a strong sense of character and place? Did you stay up until dawn to finish it? Is it good reading for teenagers? What impact did it have on you and why? If you've read other books by the same author, discuss how this book compares.

Steps to writing a book review.

  • Read book reviews on websites like and or blogs like to get an idea of the format required.
  • Read a book of your choice, published within the last 2 years. 
  • Write a 1 to 2 paragraph review of the book. Include a description of the book, stating why you liked or disliked it, and if you recommend it to others; avoid sharing any plot twists or the ending. You want people to know whether they should take the time to read the book.
  • Make sure your review is spelled correctly and uses correct punctuation and grammar. Purdue OWL and the Literacy Reference Center provide writing tools and a glossary. 

Earning volunteer hours

To earn volunteer hours for book reviews you must:

  • Be a registered youth volunteer with the City of Tyler. Click here to download a youth volunteer application.
  • Your book review must follow the parameters stated in the above sections and be your original work. 
  • Reviews must be ready for publication with little to no editing. Reviews will be sent back for correction if extensive editing is required.
  • One book review is equal to three hours of volunteer time.

The Tyler Public Library reserves the right to only publish reviews that reflect the library's mission and vision.

Book Review
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