There are kids who are good readers and writers who don't particularly mind doing book reports and who may enjoy it. If this is the case, then allow these students to write book reports.

Where book reports are a significant problem is when a student struggles to read an entire book and then is essentially punished after reading the book by the necessity of writing a paper about the book. Then the book report becomes counterproductive in many ways. Kids who struggle start to cheat. They stop making the effort to read.

The book report has been a way that teachers use to make sure kids are reading the books we assign. But we have to get honest. If kids are reading the blurb (or a summary of the book on the internet) and they are not really reading, then the book report is a useless assignment. After all, you get a paper turned in by a student. If it's well-written you might give it a good grade. But it may or may not really represent the fact of a student's reading.

There are many other post-reading activities that are more engaging for students besides writing a book report.