My daughter reads tons of books. She has to read alot for school where the Accelerated Reader tests are part of the curriculum, but she reads alot for herself too. She doesn't read books just once either, she reads them over and over. This year I decided it was time for her to keep a reading journal.
I gave her a beautiful little notebook to get her excited. She devised her own rating system. Hers is a four flower system consisting of four different flowers she drew, one each for poor, okay, good, and awesome. The awesome flower has lines of brightness coming off of it to pronounce it's awesomeness. She's also added MNIS and DA to her contents as she is reading the entire MY NAME IS AMERICA and DEAR AMERICA series. Books get a checkmark every time she rereads them.
In the journal she numbers each entry then puts the title, author, and rating flower. She also writes a little about the story. Sometimes its her favorite thing about the book; favorite part or favorite character. Other times she writes her opinion of the book, from, "sad and touching" to "one of my favorite books!"
She has some criticisms. One book was, "kind of boring because there's not enough detail." A very good observation I'd say. One of her favorites is THE WESTING GAME. She is actually waiting for it to be made into a movie. Lots of checkmarks by that one. By far, the best entry is for DEAR AMERICA: COLOR ME DARK. "I love this book!!!! You melt into the story and can't stop reading until you reach the end." I love the way she describes reading this one. What writer doesn't want a reader to feel like that. No other book has gotten four exclamation marks either. Guess the awesome flower wasn't enough.
It will be interesting to see, as time goes on, if her analysis will get more in depth or if she'll just keep it to snippets of opinion and sparse observations. I want her to keep her journal up so I'm not making many requirements on it. She seems to be enjoying it. We can talk about the books she's read and she can see a concrete result. It is something she will be able to look back on later, too. It's something any parent can do with their child. It doesn't take alot of time. Wish I had done it when I was a kid.