A book review is a critical summary of one particular book.

Book reviews alert people to new research in their field of interest.  They place the book in its broad context within the discipline, and in some cases they may respond to the author by way of scholarly debate.  They also can help the reader to discover how a book was received at the time of its publication.

Book reviews are included in most scholarly journals.  In fact, some journals are comprised entirely of book reviews.  Although book reviews are edited prior to publication they are not subjected to peer review.  If the assignment requires you to use "scholarly", "peer-reviewed" or "academic" resources, do NOT use book reviews.

In order to search for a review you will need the following as a minimum:

  • the surname of at least one of the authors
  • the title of the book
  • the year of publication

It can be up to two years after a book has been published before a review of that book may appear.