Below are four book reviews, the first published in the Oral History Review (2016) and the others published in the American Historical Review (2002).
As every scholarly journal has special requirements for book reviews, these samples are not perfect matches for the book review which students do in HIST 297. However, they are useful examples of how to provide a thesis, evaluation (both positive and negative), and content. Notice how authors provide evaluation (e.g., with adjectives) and recommendations (without ever saying “this book is recommended for”).
Notice also the “heading” of each review. It is the bibliographic entry for each book (plus–because the target reader of a scholarly journal is likely a scholar interested in buying or assigning the book– length, form [paperback or hardcover], and price).