20 questions to ask about a book you’ve read

A starting point for discussion in reading groups or for students doing reading assignments (fiction).

  1. Explain the title.
  2. What category or genre do you think it fits into?
  3. What do you think the author’s purpose was?
  4. Something you liked about it.
  5. Something you disliked about it.
  6. Describe the setting.
  7. Which character did you like most?
  8. Which character did you like least?
  9. Describe one of the main characters.
  10. What changes does a main character go through?
  11. Describe one significant episode.
  12. What techniques does the author use to tell the story?
  13. How did reading it change you, or your views?
  14. What would you say to persuade a friend to read it or not to read it?
  15. Summarise it in one written sentence or a one minute speech.
  16. What feedback would you give the author?
  17. How might you have written it differently?
  18. What do you think of the ending?
  19. What happens, or should happen, after the ending?
  20. What would you want to read about in a sequel or prequel?

Students can be asked to select which 5 questions to prepare answers for, to ask each other in turn or to be ready to answer any of these in a class discussion.

The idea is to encourage students to engage with a text from different perspectives and to share their responses to it without simply re-telling the story.


About Eddie Playfair

I am a Senior Policy Manager at the Association of Colleges (AoC) having previously been a college principal for 16 years and a teacher before that. I live in East London and I blog in a personal capacity about education and culture. I also tweet at @eddieplayfair
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17 Responses to 20 questions to ask about a book you’ve read

  1. Priscilla Choi says:

    very helpful.
    Thank you very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kyminspiration says:

    I love these questions, I have to ask questions about the Secret Garden for school and needed ideas. I’m very glad I read this blog post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Zerahiah says:

    Thx so much needed help for my book talk.🤓🤓🤓🤓

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Laurinda cangombe says:

    It will really help me alot. I’m grateful


  5. chris says:



  6. Emily says:

    It help’s me with my book report thanks!!!!


  7. Charles DiSilva says:

    These questions are really great. Thank you very much.


  8. lillyhoke@hotmail.com says:

    these question are great but some of the questions i dont understand but ill try my best and thank you!


  9. gage gates says:

    very helpfull!!!


  10. Thank you so much for the entire set of questions. It will definitely be of great help to the students how to write a more comprehensive review.


  11. Pingback: Book Review Questions – Book Time

  12. Zanae Dewar says:

    I love the questions you help me with my school


  13. prue says:

    thank you …very thoughtful questions and will be useful to use with twins I am tutoring


  14. Dave Campbell says:

    It might be interesting to bring a little personal creativity to the book reading after answering most of the questions, by asking each reader to write a four line poem about the main character–nothing to be graded, of course–simply another way to look at the reader’s attitude toward the main character of a book.


  15. Naik says:

    Helpful questions and ideas thanks


  16. Carole says:

    I used to teach at University level and would have used this format for my students who were reading plays in my survey course. Great questions, too bad I’m retired.


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