Genre Definitions

A GENRE is just a fancy name for books that share a certain style, form or content. There are two main types of reading material: fiction and non-fiction. Under those two main types there are smaller sub-categories, called “genres”. Here is a list of most of the genres and descriptions:

- Fictional stories may be based on actual events or people, or they may be based entirely on the author’s imagination. An easy way to remember fiction is that it is fake (F for Fake).

    Adventure - These are stories about facing odds against survival in a variety of times and places. Danger is everywhere and the character’s courage is challenged.

    Fantasy - These are stories that contain elements that are NOT realistic, such as talking animals, magical powers, etc.  Make-believe is what this genre is all about.

    Historical Fiction - These stories take place in a particular time period in the past.  Often the basic setting is real, but the characters are fictional.

    Horror - May contain elements of the supernatural good vs. evil, with the promise that evil may have an opportunity to win. Horror manipulates reality and is usually violent and haunting.

    Mystery and Suspense - These are made up stories about a mysterious event which is not explained or a crime that is not solved until the end of the story to keep the reader in suspense.

    Realistic Fiction - These stories take place in modern time, right here and now. The characters are involved in events that could really happen. The Romance category is about relationships.

    Science Fiction - Futuristic technology—a blend of scientific fact and fictional elements.


Non-fiction - All of the information in a non-fiction book is true and based on facts.  It is not fake (NF for Nor-Fiction and NF for Not Fake).  Non-fiction books can be about any subject.

   Folk Tales, Tall Tales and Fairy Tales - These stories have been handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. The authors of folk tale books today are retelling these stories.  Folk tales may be based on real historical people, but there are fictional elements to the story.  In tall tales, the main character is bigger than life.  Fairy tales were often created to teach children good behavior.

    Myths and Legends- These are stories that usually explain something about the world and involve gods and other supernatural beings. Legends are stories about famous characters.

    Poetry - is verse written to create a response of thought and feeling from the reader. Poetry is usually found in the non-fiction section of the library under the Dewey Decimal Classification numbers of 808-811.  A picture book of a poem may be found in the easy section of the library.