Book Reviews for Students
Book reviews are a common assignment in academic writing. Typically, they are written about books students have read for class. They can range in length, depending on the students’ grade level and ability.
Our Jungle Themed book review writing template will guide students through the process of rating a work and expressing their opinion. It also provides a space to write if they would recommend the book!
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
The first novel Steinbeck wrote that he considered his magnum opus, East of Eden explores themes as deep and rich as they are profound. It reveals a new world that is both idyllic and harsh, in which the fates of two families intertwine. It retells the seminal story of Genesis and brings to life an array of mesmerizing characters.
Steinbeck uses the Trask and Hamilton families to help us see that people aren’t good or evil — that they’re not black and white. He rewrites the biblical narrative, using the phrase “Thou mayest” (as opposed to “Thou must”) to illustrate that God has given humans choice and free will.
It also deals with many issues that are still relevant today, such as questions of inheritance and family loyalty, the conflict between progress and tradition, and the question of good versus evil. It’s a complex book, and at nearly 600 pages it is not a page-turner, but it is one of the most encapsulating novels you’ll ever read.
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
Franzen is a writer who has never been short of controversy, from his 1996 Harper’s essay that renounced the art of the novel of cultural critique to his public disinvitation by Oprah Winfrey over alleged elitism in 2001 (which also landed him on Granta’s list of 20 best young American novelists). In Freedom, he takes up the challenge of making us skeptical post-modernists believe again that the good old realist novel can still hold up a mirror to our lives.
As in The Corrections, the book revolves around the Berglund family – Walter, Patty, Richard and Joey – with themes of depression, addiction, marriage and more. But the real star of this latest novel is Franzen’s skill in immersing himself in the perspectives and lives of his characters, so that they begin to resemble his own. This is a novel that knows its subjects inside out and, in turn, owns what it has to say about them.
The Book Thief by Mark Twain
Writing book reviews is a great way for students to strengthen their reading comprehension and writing skills in an engaging and interesting manner. Book reviews also provide an opportunity for students to practice their critical thinking and analytical skills.
Typically, book review authors start their reviews by providing an introductory statement or overview of the work they are reviewing. This can include important information such as the author, characters, and broader themes of the novel.
Some book reviews also include a summary of the novel’s plot and an assessment of its overall quality. For example, a book reviewer may provide a rating of 1 to 5 stars for the book, which can be helpful for readers who are considering reading the book. Some book reviews may also include a recommendation for the book, such as whether or not they would recommend it to their friends.
The Book Thief by Salman Rushdie
Stories have the power to transcend boundaries and foster empathy. Whether told through the eyes of a young girl in Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress or shared human experiences in Refugee, these narratives are gateways to passion-driven learning that will help students become critical thinkers and global citizens.
Salman Rushdie’s work is a mastery of allegory, evoking complex political and philosophical ideas through simple motifs. His use of rhythm and diction also makes the book captivating.
The Book Thief is a powerful novel about the importance of books and storytelling. It is also a story of courage and faith. Despite being the subject of a fatwa by Iran, and having a bounty placed on his head, Rushdie continues to publish his work. He has even made public appearances, such as at a U2 concert where he told Bono, dressed as the stage character Devil, that “real devils don’t wear horns”. The book is a must-read for any student of literature.