Use these notes to help students complete the template:
Published: Skim the first few pages to find the date the book was published.
Pages: You don't have to count them! Just look at the number on the final page.
The plot: This is what happens. To help you think about the main events, first draw a time line with the beginning scene of the book at the top of a piece of paper and the final scene at the bottom.
E.g. Write "Harry starts at Hogwarts" at the top and "Harry defeats Voldemort" at the bottom.
Now add a few events in the middle of the time line - ones which link the beginning and final scenes.
Setting: This is where and when the story takes place. E.g. At Hogwarts school of wizardry in the present day.
The characters: This is who is in the book. To help you describe the characters, first jot down these details:
- Name of character
- Adjective to describe them
- Harry Potter
- Schoolboy wizard
Highlights: This is where you describe your favourite part of the book. Was there a particular piece of action, description or characters' speech you really enjoyed?
Any weak bits?: Were there any chapters where you found yourself wishing for some action to liven up the plot? Any unrealistic characters? Any descriptions or chapters that you felt were ?
Unputdownable?: Did you grab the book whenever you had a spare moment? Did you read it rather than playing computer games or watching TV? Or did you read the first chapter before letting it gather dust on your bookshelf?
4. To turn this into a drama lesson
Using the reviews they have compiled, students act out a book awards ceremony.
Some students play the parts of authors.
Others play a series of judges, ranging from the nice Nicki Chapman types (from TV's Pop Idol) to the mean Simon Cowell types.
One or two students play the hosts.
The remaining students play audience members.
Each author presents a summary of their shortlisted book to an audience. They read out the plot, character and setting sections of the review.
The panel of judges respond, reading out the highlights, weak bits and unputdownable sections of the review.
The host asks members of the audience for their opinion on the books. Would they read them? Why? Why not?
The audience vote on which author should win the award.
The host, complete with golden envelopes, presents the winner with their award.
5. Extension activity
Students add their own comments about books reviewed by the Newsround team by clicking here: