Summer Book Reports-Formal and Informal Requirements

ECMCS Upper Elementary Summer Reading Format

Assignment:  All rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders must complete a Summer Reading assignment of a pair of books.  Students are responsible for choosing one book from the table below and the second book from the grade level list. Parents, you may want to guide them through the selection process as content varies widely with Upper Elementary book options. All books were reviewed and approved by teachers and parent volunteers at ECMCS. The Mt. Pleasant library has a copy of the reading list and will collect as many books as possible and Barnes and Noble has ordered several copies of all of the books.

Here are some helpful websites to go to and look up further information on each book.


** The books in this table all contribute to an overall theme of social justice. The content of these will be used to spark discussion and on-going dialogue in the upper el classrooms this year. If the lexile range is too difficult for your student, we recommend using a book on tape or reading the books aloud as a family.

Rising 4th year

(you must choose 1 of these books)

Operation Redwood by S. Terrell French

Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper

350 pages

300 pages


740 Lexile

Rising 5th year

(you must choose 1 of these books)

The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis

Operation Redwood by S. Terrell French

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

176 Pages

350 pages

218 pages

630 Lexile

700 Lexile

750 Lexile

Rising 6th year

(you must choose 1 of these books)

The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Return To Sender by Julia Alvarez (**parent permission suggested due to some content**)

176 pages

218 pages

318 pages

630 Lexile

750 Lexile

890 Lexile


Please choose your second book choice from your grade level list below.

Rising 4th Graders:

Title of Book Author

The City of Ember Jeanne DuPrau

Out of My Mind Sharon M. Draper

The Candymakers Wendy Mass

KaKapo Rescue Sy Montgomery

The Thing About Georgie Lisa Graff

Dream of Night Heather Henson

Eleven Patricia Reilly Giff

Pie Sarah Weeks

Project Mulberry Linda Sue Park

Wildfire Run Dee Garretson

The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman Meg Wolitzer

Dancing Home Alma Flor Ada

One and Only Ivan Katherine Applegate

Vanished Sheela Chari

The Name of This Book is Secret Pseudonymous Bosch

A book from In the Forest series Art Collins

Rising 5th Graders:

Title of Book Author

Turtle in Paradise Jennifer L. Holm

Mango-Shaped Space Wendy Mass

Weedflower Cynthia Kadohata

Anything But Typical Nora Raleigh Baskin

The Game of Silence Louise Erdrich

The Potato Chip Puzzles Winston Breen

Umbrella Summer Lisa Graff

Star in the Forest Laura Resau

Sources of Light Margaret McMullan

Slob Ellen Potter

Ravenmaster’s Secret Elvira Woodruff

Faith, Hope, and Ivy June Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Four Perfect Pebbles Lila Perl and Marion Blumenthal Lazan

Ninth Ward Jewell Parker Rhodes

Gingersnap Patricia Reilly Giff

Orphan of Ellis Island Elvira Woodruff

90 Miles to Havanna Enrique Flores Galbis

Green Glass Sea Ellen Klages

The Whole Story of the Half Girl Veera Hiranandani

The Other Half of My Heart Sundee Tucker Frazier

Matilda Bone Karen Cushman

A book from In the Forest series Art Collins

Rising 6th Graders:

Title of Book Author

Touching Spirit Bear Ben Mikaelsen

The Same Stuff as Stars Katherine Patterson

Brett McCarthy: Work in Progress Maria Padian

Beneath My Mother’s Feet Amjed Qamar

All the Broken Pieces Ann E. Burg

Every Soul A Star Wendy Mass

Freedom’s Children Ellen Levine

42 Miles Tracie Vaughn Zimmer

The Year of Goodbyes Debbie Levy

A Friendship for Today Patricia C. McKissack

Countdown Deborah Wiles

Starry River of the SkyGrace Lin

A Tangle of Knots Lisa Graff

Streams to River, River to the Sea Scott O’Dell

Project Sweet Life Brent Hartinger

Titanic: Unsinkable Gordan Korman

Moon Over Manifest Clare Vanderpool

The Pharaoh’s Secret Marissa Moss

The Lions of Little Rock Kristen Levine

Woodsrunner Gary Paulsen

Shooting Kabul N.H. Senzai

Saving Sky Diane Stanley

Katherine Called Birdy Karen Cushman

Farewell to Manzanar Jeanne and James D. Houston

A book from In the Forest series Art Collins

UE Summer Reading Assignment

Formal Book Report Format

Rising 4th, 5th, and 6th years: Students are assigned two books to read over the summer. The first book is required because further discussions and activities will take place at the beginning of the school year. The required book goes along with the formal book report assignment. The second book is chosen from the student’s grade level list. The chosen book goes along with the informal book report assignment.

Format: Typed, 12 point font, double spaced, Times Roman or Arial, written in

   cursive, or printed very neatly in pencil.

Due Date: The two assignments should be turned in to your teachers on the 3rd day of school,

                  August , 2017. Both assignments will be assessed with a rubric (located below)

       as Language test grades during the first marking period.

Title Page

*Include as a separate sheet, on top of book report

Always underline book titles (or italicize, if you have a computer). Book titles never, never, never go in quotation marks. Other things that are underlined are the names of newspapers, magazines, movies, operas, record albums, etc.

*Refer to example of title page below

Citation Page

4ths do not have to include one while 5th and 6ths should use .

Writing the formal book report:

The following format helps the writer to create the composition of his/her paragraphs. Remember to write each section in paragraph format.

Introduction: Paragraph 1:

The first sentence should state the title of the book, the author's name, and the genre.

The next sentence should state the reason(s) you decided to read this book. Why did you choose this particular book? Typical reasons might be:

  • You like the author.

  • You like this type of book (i.e. mystery, western, adventure or romance, etc.).

  • Someone recommended the book to you.

  • It was on a required reading list.

  • You liked the cover.

These reasons do not have to be complex. Most people choose the books they read because they like the author or somebody recommended it to them. If you chose the book because you like the author, then state why you like that author.

An optional sentence can be used if the cover (back cover) of the book gives you any additional information then add a sentence with that information.

  • Was the book a best seller?

  • Are there X million copies in print?

  • Did it win any major awards?

Setting/Conflict/Mood: Paragraph 2

Setting-Tell the setting by giving examples of the time (approximate year), place, and situation in which the story is presented

Year/time: _________________(example)  ______________________________

Place_____________________ (example)  ______________________________

What is the main conflict in this book? Tell the main conflict and give examples.

Conflict:____________________________ examples____________________________


Mood—What do you feel after reading the story? Is the story scary, happy, sad, etc? Why do you think this is the mood of the story?  Mood can be created in descriptions of the surroundings, feelings of the characters and actions that take place.

Characters: Paragraph 3

Choose the two most important characters and tell about their role in the story. Tell about a character trait, and their strengths and weaknesses as characters by giving one example of each.

Character One: Name_________________________ Role in story_________________

Character Trait: ____________________







Character Two: Name_________________________ Role in story_________________

Character Trait: ____________________


Examples from the book:__________________________________________________________



Examples from the book:__________________________________________________________


Plot: Paragraph 4

Write out a simple plot.

The following is an example of a plot skeleton:You start out with a character—let's call him/her Character X. This character finds him/herself in some kind of trouble and does his/her best to get out of it. However, everything Character X does only seems to make the trouble worse. Just when it seems Character X has come to the very lowest point imaginable, he/she manages to work out the issues through some kind of insight or ingenuity, and all is right in the world. Every story needs this plot resolution in order for your readers to feel like their time was well spent on reading the novel.

What was the RISING ACTION (where you knew the main character must resolve a problem)?

Tell the book’s CLIMAX (the turning point of the story; after this event, the plot will begin to resolve).

Tell the RESOLUTION of the book (how the conflict was solved or the characters changed because of their experiences).

Conclusion: Paragraph 5

Use one of the following prompts to a write 3-5 sentence summary about your book:

I’m wondering

I can’t believe

My final thoughts

The book was confusing because

This book reminded me of

This book was captivating because

Don't be afraid to give your own honest impressions of the book. After all, if you've read the book thoroughly, you are entitled to your own interpretation of it.

Provide specific reasons for your recommendations of the book.Pick one or the other and  give three reasons people would enjoy or not enjoy  the book:

Reason 1:________________________________________________________________

Reason 2:________________________________________________________________ Reason 3:________________________________________________________________

Close with a sentence that states whether you would recommend the book to others.

Informal Summer Book Report

REQUIREMENTS: No matter which type of informal presentation you choose, you must explain these elements of the story.

  • Setting: Where and when does the story take place?  Give details from the book to support your claim.  How much time passes in the story?  Does the action move from place to place, if so explain.  Does its setting remind you of a real place or another book?

  • Mood: What did you feel while reading the story?  What did you feel when you finished?  What feelings does the main character exhibit?  Why do you think the author choose to write in this mood?

  • Characters: Who are the main and supporting characters?  For each main character, tell about their family, personality, age, physical appearance, what they are skilled at and what role they play in the story?  Did you enjoy that character?

  • Plot: What happens in the story?  What is the major problem or conflict in the story?  What steps lead to the problem?  How do they resolve the problem?  

  • Your opinion: Did you like the book?  What was your favorite part?  Would you change any part?  Would you recommend it to friends?

OPTIONS:  Please pick one for your informal report.  Unless it says otherwise, these are individual projects.

  • Book Club Discussion: After reading the book, meet once with at least one other student and parent who have also read the book.  Discuss the requirements.  The parent will sign a paper to confirm that you met the requirements.

  • Poster: Make a tri-board poster by yourself or with one other friend.  Be sure to address all the requirements.  Use text, color and illustrations to show your information.

  • Movie Trailer: By yourself or with others, who have read the book, make a 90 second video as if the book was being made into a movie.  Your trailer must show the requirements.

  • Diorama:  Create a 3-D model of a scene or scenes that will allow you to display the requirements.  Use labels to add information to your 3-D model.

  • Brochure:  Using Microsoft Publisher, make a pamphlet or brochure for the book.  Pretend you are trying to get people to buy the book.  Be honest in your requirements but also be a good salesperson.

  • Review on Amazon: Find the book on and write a review on their site.  Include all the requirements.  Be sure to have a parent check it before you submit it and near the beginning of your review, warn readers that there will be spoilers.

  • Songs/Poetry:  Share all the requirements using existing songs and rewriting the lyrics (like Weird Al Yankovic), making a hip-hop song or writing poetry.  If it is too hard to fit everything into one song or poem, you may use several.  If using an existing tune, be sure to name the song title and artist on your paper to give them credit.

  • PowerPoint:  Make an interesting PowerPoint presentation that is between 8-10 slides.  Cover the requirements clearly and don’t distract your viewers with too many sounds or animated objects.

                                                     [Title Page Example]

Title of Book Report

Name of student

[Include drawing or uploaded picture here]

Name of teacher

Due Date of Report







Title Page

Missing three or more elements

Missing two elements

Missing one element

Title page with all elements


7 or more errors in spelling or mechanics

5-6 errors in spelling or mechanics

3-4 errors in spelling or mechanics

0-2 errors in spelling or mechanics


Over a week late

A week late

A day or two late

Handed in on time


1st Paragraph

Did not include any of the three criteria

Included one out of the three criteria

Included two out of the three criteria

Included title and author, genre, and reason for choosing book


2nd Paragraph

Did not include any of the three criteria

Included one out of the three criteria

Included two out of the three criteria

Included setting, conflict, and mood


3rd Paragraph

Does not cover description of 2 main character

Covers some description of 2 main characters

Covers most of description of 2 main characters

2 mains characters are described well


4th Paragraph

Inadequate plot summary

Incomplete plot summary and story board

Adequate plot summary including some events on a story board

Complete summary including story board highlighting major events


No summary or recommendation of the book

Incomplete summary and justification for recommendation of book

Adequate summary and justification for recommendation of book

Summary and convincing, reasonable justification for recommendation of book

Grading Scale





Total Points:

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