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A reading corner for English learners


Posted by Mª José


We’d like you to send reviews of the books you read. If you include the information below your reviews might be useful for other readers.



Genre (adventure, psychological drama, romance, science fiction, thriller)


Level (elementary, intermediate, advanced)

Brief summary of the plot

Personal opinion (give the book a mark from 1 to 5). Avoid using adjectives such as ‘interesting’, ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Below you have a list of adjectives/expressions you can use:

ELEMENTARY: amusing, boring, brilliant, enjoyable, exciting, funny, great, romantic, simple.

INTERMEDIATE: dull, entertaining, hilarious, moving, predictable, remarkable, shocking, surprising, tragic, unpredictable, violent.

ADVANCED: a cliffhanger, blackly funny, bland, breathtaking, deeply moving, dull, gripping, hard-hitting, heart warming, noteworthy, outstanding, overwhelming, tear jerker, violence packed

Alison tells us another way in which to give a written or oral review.

A Book Review

Reviews are brief accounts of books. Their purpose is to inform readers about the overall plot, characters and themes, while also giving opinions and recommendations about whether it is worth reading the book and to whom it may appeal.

Reviews should include:

Introduction, which gives facts and background information concerning the book and its author.

Main body, usually made up of three parts. The first giving a concise outline of the plot, the second mentioning the main characters and their role in the story and thirdly any relevant themes the book touches upon while it unravels.

Conclusion, which should include any general comments and opinion as well as a positive or negative recommendation supported by reasons. 

The style of the presentation very much depends on your audience, therefore it can either be formal or semi-formal. Present tenses are normally used as well as a variety of adjectives to make the speech more interesting.

Useful language: Recommendations

·         It’s well worth reading

·         It will change the way you think of….

·         I wouldn’t recommend it because….

·         It’s bound to be on the best sellers list

·         I highly/strongly recommend it

·         It’s a highly entertaining read

·         It’s a bore to read

·         It’s certainly at the top of my list of favourites

·         Fans of this author will no doubt be thrilled with this latest edition

·         It’s a must!

·         Don’t bother with this one

·         I definitely recommend that you add this to your collection!

And María Jesús also wants to help you.

Book reports are a good way to check out if you’ve understood the book you’ve just read. If you need some hints on how to write one, here you are a useful website: browse it around and let us know if you’ve found it useful.

  1. Enrique García 1ºE adv Said,

    Title: Going Solo
    Author: Roald Dahl
    Genre: Adventure, biography
    Publisher: Penguin Books
    Level: Advanced
    Brief summary of the plot : Second book of Roald Dahl dedicated to telling his life , after his ” Boy ,” talks about his youth, in which 21 he moved to Dar es Salaam to work for the oil company Shell. His life is very curious , with combative native servant. Later , World War II broke out , he enlisted in the Royal Air Force , fighting in front of the Mediterranean. He had an accident on the plane , having to make a forced landing in Libya. Subsequently forced to quit flying .
    Personal review : 5 stars
    It’s a highly entertaining read. The book makes the reader think . While it seems literature aimed at adolescents ( continuation of ” Boy” ) , a book that no reader of children’s literature can stop reading . Indeed , beyond the story that is the vision of a world that no longer exists, the British Empire in Africa . Native peoples , to which the author respects and doesn´t feel as inferior people, although it seems to treat them with a certain paternal spirit, like father examining a little children. Reading the book seems to be a young man who wants to live a revolt in Africa and then in the Royal Air Force during World War II. Breathtaking , compared with most of the stories of youthful rebellion today.
    It is amazing how the author makes an epic reading of his war stories , but rather , is like an actor who has been called upon to act in a role that doesn´t like. Enjoy flying ( the aircraft and the fuel is free says), but does not like air-fights . Is very interesting the way he knows the Jewish problem in Palestine talking to Jewish refugees. Worth reading carefully , as we open the doors to realities that are now impossible to find and that , however , there were a few decades ago. Is a heart warming situation when we reflect about how his superiors in the RAF did not want to have much personal contact with young pilots , because they thought he would die soon.
    A “must” for the modern adventure novels , you have to read minded teenager while adult eyes , pondering as high politics (Second World War), goes far beyond the history books and disrupts the life of real people like Roald Dahl or anyone of us. It will change the way you think of Second world War and other wars, nothing but death and pain.

  2. ju Said,

    Enrique García Prado. 1º e avanzado
    Title: Going Solo
    Author: Roald Dahl
    Genre: adventure, auto biography
    Level: advanced
    Brief summary of the plot : Roald Dahl started working at 21 in the oil company Shell in Dar es Salaam. Live there his English colonial experiences in relationship with the natives of the country, especially interesting the way his servant was thinking about the Second World War, will curious adventures with animals such as snakes and lions. After the outbreak of World War II, and living a series of experiences, including the Germans living in the area, he enlisted in the Royal Air Force . After participating in several combat actions , is shot down in Libya, after which he is rescued and then must leave the flying duties , tasks dealing with noncombatants.
    Personal review : An outstanding adventure book . A reader can tell that is the second part of the book called ” Boy” Beyond the specific adventures recounts , it is more interesting to enter a world that no longer exists , the English colonies , and in which Roald Dahl presents its experiences. He respects the African people , but in a way, they are treated as a group that has not reached the same level of development as the colonial metropolis. There is a significant degree of paternalism toward African English .
    Take part in the war, but not a hero who likes to fight . It feels like an adventurer, in fact, at one point in the novel explains how good it is to be able to fly as pilot training ” but if flying is free and they give you the fuel.” In fact he did not like having to kill enemies .
    I really like the book because the author manages to convey the feelings that he lived. It feels that the author has lived very extreme experiences from a very personal vision. There isn´t the story of an invincible hero , but it is the story of a young man who decides to live life to the fullest taking advantage of it . There are some experiences that may not be exactly true, but that does not seem to me the key, but Dahl proves to be an outstanding writer in creating environments and describe them to the reader. It is a book that can´t be described as breathtaking , however , is really gripping .The author has made a noteworthy effort to bring the colonial society and world war to the modern reader . It’s a highly entertaining read . Finally , I highly recommend it , the reader can feel like an adventurer in Africa while reading .

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