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How to Write a Book Summary for Kids

Updated April 17, 2017

A summary condenses the main points of a book into a few paragraphs to a page, depending on the length of the book. Kids often read summaries before picking up a book to decide if the work is something they wish to read. If you're writing a book summary for kids, you can influence their decision with an exciting and accurate description. Before you begin writing a description, think about how to summarise a book without talking down to a child.

Read the book. If you have already read the work but it has been a long time, read it again. Select a book that is age appropriate and would appeal to your target audience. For example, pick a book about sharing for six-year-old kids or a chapter book about transitioning to middle school for fifth graders. Avoid skimming over the book, and read each page thoroughly so the work is fresh in your mind.

If the book features chapters, include a short summary of each chapter. Focus on making each chapter description no more than a sentence or two. Don't include information such as that the character going to school or brushing his teeth unless it is essential to moving the plot.

Find the primary themes. Does the book stress that children should treat their peers fairly? Is the work geared toward helping kids cope with the loss of a loved one or pet? Add any lesson that is taught in the book to your summary. Locate the conflict of the book, and ensure that it is clearly defined in your description. Avoid giving away the ending so you don't spoil the child's reading experience.

Write or type your opinion of the book. Do you think a child should read the book? Did you personally enjoy the work? Write a paragraph at the end of the summary that explains why you recommend or don't advise the book.

Remove excess words. Children prefer a short summary as opposed to a wordy one. In addition, ensure that the summary isn't offensive and doesn't seem as if it is belittling kids or the book. Check the book summary for passive voice and spelling errors. Add the title of the book, the name of the author, and the genre to the book summary.

Things You'll Need

  • Book
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Computer
  • Printer
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About the Author

Living in Texas, Stephanie Jenkins has been a writer since 2009. She specializes in health, fitness and beauty topics. She attended Patrick Henry Community College and Longwood University in Virginia.