Book Review Guidelines


Put your reading to an additional good purpose--receive SERVICE HOURS for book reviews! See your reviews posted on our blog! Influence the reading choices of others!

Guidelines for Teen Book Reviews: What to Write

If you follow this template, you can't go wrong. Please include:
  • Title of book
  • Author of book
  • Number of pages
  • Genre (fiction or non, and type: fantasy, science fiction, realistic, etc.)
  • Is it part of a series? Yes/No
  • Your best guess about reading level (i.e., middle school, high school, grades 7-9, mature, etc.)
  • What grade you are in
  • How you want to be credited (First name, initials, or Anonymous)
  • Your email address and phone (this won't be published, we just might need to contact you)

Write a few sentences describing what the book is about (plot, main characters, etc.). Don't give an entire synopsis, start to finish, like you would in a book report--this is more like a movie trailer, a teaser to make people want to read it. Especially don't give away the ending or any significant spoilers!

Write a few sentences giving your opinion of the book. This part of the review is not fulfilled by saying "It was awesome" or "I liked it." What did you like? What did you dislike? Why? How was the writing? Did you identify with the characters? What thoughts or feelings did the book inspire? To whom would you recommend the book? Remember, this isn't a school assignment--it's you, talking about a book you chose to read, and recommending it to your friends (or not).

Other things you could choose to comment on:

The cover--did you like it or not and why? Was it an accurate reflection of the contents?

Indicate if this book is part of a series and, if so, whether you have read the rest of the series and would recommend it as well. (Again, no spoilers!)

How would you rate this book and why?
Hard to imagine a better book
Better than most
Readable/entertaining
Needs more work--weak plot, poor writing, whatever
How did this book ever get published?

Your book review does need to be complete, but it doesn't need to be long. Use as many or as few words as you need to achieve what you want to say. As a guideline, think 300 to 500 words. That's about one- to one-and-a-half double-spaced pages of 12-pt. type in Microsoft Word.

Email the review to burbank.teens@gmail.com, either pasted into the body of the email or as a Word attachment or Google Doc.

You can review anything you are reading for pleasure (not for school)--fiction, nonfiction, manga.

We will give you one hour of volunteer credit for every book review, as long as it follows these guidelines and you have done a creditable job. If you have not, we will bounce it back to you and give you a chance to revise it.

Reviewers please note: Libraries other than ours also give service credit for book reviews. We want to be clear that you may not submit the same reviews simultaneously to other teen pages. If you review for more than one teen page, you must choose to whom you will send each review and not duplicate. Aside from the fact that we want original material for our teen blog, submitting the same review to two libraries who both give service credit is a form of cheating, since you are receiving credit twice for work you did once.

Email us with questions: melliott@burbankca.gov, or awilliams@burbankca.gov.

Here's another resource for you, from author Rodman Philbrick, if you have questions about how to write a good book review.