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Newbery Book Review

Last Updated: May-11-2009

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Developed By

  Heather King

Lesson Title

  Newbery Book Review

Length of Lesson

  6-7 class periods throughout a 6-week marking period

Lesson Unit

  Independent Reading Project







Grade 2


Subject 2


Strand 2


Michigan Content Expectations



  Newbery Award; Book Review



Newbery book of choice

List of Newbery Winner and Honor Books (1922-present)

Information: About the Newbery Award (ALA)



Collection of Classroom and School Library Newbery Award Winning Books

Computer Lab: Powerpoint; Audacity; Moviemaker; Publisher

Flip cam

Checklist (project elements w/due dates)

Book Review Rubric

Book Review Model/Example





The Independent Reading Project will provide students with an opportunity to read and analyze Newbery Award winning literature. Students will have an opportunity to compose a book review using technology as well as engage in substantive literary discussion.


Big Idea(s)


award-winning literature

book review

using technology

appreciating children's literature

making connections

learning life's lessons

engaging literary discussions


Essential Questions


What is the Newbery Award?

What qualities merit award-winning children's literature?

What is a book review?


Learning Objectives


Students will select and read a Newbery Award winning book.

Students will compose a book review. (various formats)

Students will discuss/present their chosen literature.


Summative Assessment


After students have selected and read a Newbery Winner or Honor Book, they will compose and present a book review.

Students have the option to compose:

 a written review

a review using power point

a review in brochure format

an audio review

video review



Lesson Opening


Students will view a video clip of Neil Gaiman's reading of the first chapter (How Nobody Came to the Graveyard)  from his 2009 Newbery winning book, The Graveyard Book.


Students will view Neil Gaiman's website. www.neilgaiman.com and www.ala.org

These clips will stimulate interest in the Newbery Award and quality literature of various genres.

Students will receive information about the Newbery Award and Past Award Winners.

Ticket out the Door: Your thoughts on The Graveyard Book and the upcoming project.








Students will explore a collection of classroom and school Newbery Winner and Honor Books.

Students will recieve the Independent Reading Project Assignment w/rubric and book review guidelines.

Think/Pair/Share: Which book(s) interest you the most? Why?


Check for Understanding


Students will bring their novel of choice to class.

A project checklist w/due dates will be distributed.

Students will continue their independent reading.

To check for understanding, mini-conferences will be held.





Example book reviews will be presented and posted (via blackboard) as a model to support student learning. [powerpoint, brochure, video]

Book Review Guidelines:

9 points

1. Compose a sentence that tells the name of the book, the author, and genre.

2. Compose a sentence or two that tells about the author. What else have they written? What type of writer are they?  

3. Compose a few sentences that describe the plot of the book. Include point of view and mood.

4. Compose a sentence or two about the problem in the story.

5. Describe if you enjoyed the book in general. Explain why.

6. Be specific as to what you liked/disliked about the novel.

7. Discuss the author's craft.

8. Compare your choice with another book, movie, or show that you have read/viewed previously. How are they similar and different?

9. Conclude with a sentence that reveals where this book fits on a rating scale of your own creation.


Check for Understanding (2)


Quick Write: Discuss the progress of your independent project.

Where are you at in the process?

What have you done well?

What problems have you encountered?


Extended Practice


Provide computer lab time.

Provide Q & A and discussion time with teacher and peers.




After the discussion and presentation of book reviews, students will evaluate their reviews using the provided rubric.