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  • Genres in Children's Literature

We mentioned mystery, romance, and personal essay as three examples of literary genres above. Now, let's take a look at some of the most popular genres in children's literature. This scope of this lesson could not possibly list each and every genre in children's literature, but these are the most prevalent.

Contemporary Fiction

Books that take place in the present day yet are not based on actual events are referred to as contemporary fiction. These types of books are very popular selections in children's literature because young readers can usually connect with the characters who may be very similar to them or someone they know. Readers also identify with the events of the story because they may be representative of things that are happening in their own lives.

Historical Fiction

On the opposite end of the spectrum from contemporary fiction lies historical fiction. These stories share the relatable characters of contemporary fiction, but the time period is of days gone by. These are very helpful in teaching young readers about what life was like in specific periods throughout history because they are often based on or inspired by events throughout history.

Science Fiction

Spaceships, time travel, and countless other fascinating scientific possibilities are presented in science fiction. This type of children's literature is among the most popular yet is not based on fact. These works may include actual or imagined scientific principles, though. Just as with the previous examples, identifiable characters are central to science fiction works as young readers quickly engage with and attach to them.

Nonfiction

Nonfiction books are very different from the previously mentioned genres. They present factual information to young readers. These may be instructional books or they may explain some event or phenomenon. Biographies and autobiographies are also included in the nonfiction genre as they tell the true-life events of another person. Athletes, war heroes, and other powerful leaders are frequently the focus of children's nonfiction literature.

Picture books are books that focus more on the illustrations than the words. The book can be understood without the words because the text is just a complementary feature. Rhythmic books rhyme or have a musical component.

Folklore tales are stories that are orally passed down from generation to generation. The purpose of these tales is to educate listeners about different aspects of life. Myths are often bundled under the folklore genre.

Fairy tales are stories where Prince Charming comes in to save the troubled princess so that the two can live happily ever after. These tales put a magical spin on the world while trying to explain it. Fantasies are magical stories where a struggle of good and evil occurs. This genre also has themes related to common life.

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