Book Talk

Book Talk Assignment


For your Book Talk, you will give a three to five-minute Google Slides presentation of one of your favorite books. The purpose of a book talk is to convince the listener to read the book you are recommending.  This book talk is essentially a persuasive speech to convince the listener that they should read a specific book. Make sure your book is grade level appropriate. You may not present an informational book or a graphic novel! And you cannot use Nothing but the Truth!


A book talk is very similar to a trailer for a movie, which shows you just enough information to convince you that you should watch the movie.


For your book talk you should focus most of your time on the conflict, the plot, and the theme of the novel. NO SPOILERS!!! (Don’t give away the ending!)


This is important! Be sure to title your Google Sides presentation as follows:


            Last name.First name.booktalk   (For example: Anderson.William.booktalk)





                                            Presentation Outline


Note: Your Google Slides presentation must include at least one picture.


Attention Getter:


Find an interesting, exciting, or mysterious quote to start off your presentation.  This quote will get the reader’s attention.  Don’t just pick any old quote… choose carefully and deliberately to try to capture the attention of the audience. Also explain why you chose the quote.




Clearly introduce your book by giving the title, author, and genre of the book.




Briefly describe the setting, characters, and plot of the book without giving too much away of the story. What is the main conflict? Who are the main characters? Please use precise and descriptive language. Don’t just give a list of characters. Don’t over-summarize. (Hint—you are doing this if you find yourself saying “and” too much.)


Theme: State the theme (life message) of the book in one complete sentence.




Without giving away the ending, convince the reader that you loved this book and that this is the book they want to read next. Make some predictions about what kind of student would enjoy this book (“if you like…, you’ll love…”).




Practice your presentation a few times before you present. Time yourself. Use note-cards or an outline. This will help calm your nerves.








Attention-Getter (Quote to hook the audience)





Introduction (Title, Author, Genre)






Body (Describe the conflict, plot, characters, and theme without giving too much away!)












Conclusion (Why you loved the book, and why other students should read it—be specific!)












                                                 Rubric for Book Talk




20 - 19

Above Average

18 - 17


16 - 14

Below Average

0 - 13

Introduction attracts audience

Exceptionally creative beginning with an excellent quote

Creative beginning with a good quote

Not a very creative or interesting beginning with a quote

Not a very good beginning with no quote

Discusses the plot, setting, and characters



Thorough and interesting summary of these elements



Inconsistent summary of these elements



Average summary of the elements



Missing a component



Discusses the theme

Makes an insightful argument about the theme

Correctly discusses theme but fails to elaborate on the importance

Touches upon theme without much depth

Does not discuss theme or makes a very general statement about the theme

Conclusion makes us want to read the book (or not read the book)

Very enticing conclusion – draws the listener to read the book

Somewhat interesting conclusion- listener might want to read the book

Concluded but did not draw the listener to read the book

Very boring conclusion or no conclusion at all

Presentation skills


Enthusiasm for the book


Very enthusiastic and knowledgeable


Voice is clear, words are pronounced correctly and tempo is good


Maintains eye-contact

Somewhat enthusiastic and knowledgeable


Voice is mostly clear and audible,


Mostly maintains eye-contact

Shows average enthusiasm and understanding


Sometimes hard to understand or hear the student


Little eye-contact

Not enthusiastic at all


Spoken word is too soft, mumble, speaking much too fast or slow.


No eye-contact



Stays within time limit (3 to 5 minutes): Yes / No


Comments:                                                                                                                 Score:            







An example of a short Book Talk on Hatchet by Gary Paulsen:







 “You are your most valuable asset. Don’t forget that. You are the best thing you have.”




Hatchet is a fictional novel by Gary Paulsen, who has written numerous young adult books including Dogsong, Brian’s Winter, and Soldier’s Heart.




In this book, Gary Paulsen tells the story of Brian Robeson, a thirteen-year-old boy who survives alone in the northern Canadian wilderness after the plane in which he was riding crashes into a remote lake. With only his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and a hatchet his mother had given him as a present, he is forced to find a way to stay alive. During the fifty-four days he was lost, he learned many new things, such as building a shelter, finding food, and making a fire.




The theme woven throughout this book is to never give up no matter how difficult your situation might be.




This is a very exciting and suspenseful story.  No one knows where Brian is. He has no way of communicating with the outside world. How is Brian rescued?  Or is he rescued? Publishers Weekly states the book is “A heart-stopping story…. Poetic texture and realistic events are combined to create something beyond adventure.” If you like stories loaded with excitement and suspense, then this Newbery Honor book is for you! I give it a five-star rating! Add it to your “must read” list of books.