Writing About Books: Book Reports and Beyond {with Printables}


Encourage students to respond to literature as they learn to talk and write about books. Take them beyond boring book reports with 37 creative alternatives that stretch imagination and higher-level thinking skills.

35 pages, including 17 colorful printables such as reading logs, writing prompts, and places to record favorite book quotes.

PDF download
Grades K-10


“Do I have to write a book report?”

The very thought of writing a book report can send the bravest of writers into a tailspin. Words like “boring” and “hard” threaten to suck the breath out of a child who is asked to write one. And if your child isn’t much of a reader to begin with, the anxiety can mount even further.

Responding to literature should be fun. There’s certainly a time and place for book reports, but there are plenty of other ways children can demonstrate comprehension.

This PDF e-book offers loads of ideas that get kids talking and writing about the books they’re reading, from the earliest picture books to high-school level novels. The various activities will invite them to do one or more of the following:

  • Show how well they understand what they have read
  • Describe parts of the book
  • Summarize the story by giving an overview of the book’s theme, plot, and/or main characters
  • Give an opinion

In addition, you’ll find printable reading logs for all ages, book-themed journal prompts, and other creative ideas to encourage children and teens to respond to literature. Sprinkle them into your weekly reading and writing lessons and watch students make more meaningful connections with the books they read.

What Is Included in Writing About Books?

Discussion Activities and Tips for Writing About Books

  • How to choose picture books---plus links to top book lists for children
  • How to use picture books with middle-grade students
  • How to teach young children to talk about books they have read
  • How to teach middle-graders to respond to literature 

37 Ideas for Creative Book Report Alternatives

Go beyond book reports by encouraging your kids to try alternatives to writing about books. Some activities incorporate crafts, drama, or games. Others stretch higher-level thinking skills as students imagine a new setting, keep a journal, map out a character’s journey, or think about plot twists. And many of these ideas can be adapted for different ages and interests, from prewriters to teens.

There’s something for everyone, including:

  • The crafty kid
  • The list maker
  • The letter-writer
  • The imaginative student
  • The map-maker
  • The deep thinker
  • The student who loves technology

17 Printables for Writing About Books

  • Reading logs for K-high school, suitable for both fiction and nonfiction selections (can serve as book report alternatives)
  • Printable writing prompts about books and literature
  • Book discussion bookmarks
  • Elementary and teen pages for recording favorite book quotes and passages

Product Details


Kim Kautzer

Grade Level

Grades K-6, Junior high and high school


PDF (available for immediate download)



Our boys have been anxious enough about reading, so when writing a report is added in, it makes it tough. That’s one reason I am SO excited about this!
Jolanthe, Homeschool Creations