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Literary Genres

A list of the types of books included in the list and may be used as search criteria to find books of interest in the list.

All Fiction

Drama

Stories composed in verse or prose, usually for theatrical performance, where conflicts and emotion are expressed through dialogue and action.

Fable

Narration demonstrating a useful truth, especially in which animals speak as humans; legendary, supernatural tale.

Fairy Tale

Story about fairies or other magical creatures, usually for children.

Fantasy

Fiction with strange or other worldly settings or characters; fiction which invites suspension of reality.

Fiction

Narrative literary works whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact.

Fiction in Verse

Full-length novels with plot, subplot(s), theme(s), major and minor characters, in which the narrative is presented in (usually blank) verse form.

Folklore

The songs, stories, myths, and proverbs of a people or "folk" as handed down by word of mouth.

Historical Fiction

Story with fictional characters and events in a historical setting.

Horror

Fiction in which events evoke a feeling of dread in both the characters and the reader.

Humor

Fiction full of fun, fancy, and excitement, meant to entertain; but can be contained in all genres

Legend

Story, sometimes of a national or folk hero, which has a basis in fact but also includes imaginative material.

Mystery

Fiction dealing with the solution of a crime or the unraveling of secrets.

Mythology

Legend or traditional narrative, often based in part on historical events, that reveals human behavior and natural phenomena by its symbolism; often pertaining to the actions of the gods.

Poetry

Verse and rhythmic writing with imagery that creates emotional responses.

Realistic Fiction

Story that can actually happen and is true to life.

Science Fiction

Story based on impact of actual, imagined, or potential science, usually set in the future or on other planets.

Short Story

Fiction of such brevity that it supports no subplots.

Tall Tale

Humorous story with blatant exaggerations, swaggering heroes who do the impossible with nonchalance.

All Nonfiction

Biography/Autobiography

Narrative of a person's life, a true story about a real person.

Essay

A short literary composition that reflects the author's outlook or point.

Narrative Nonfiction

Factual information presented in a format which tells a story.

Nonfiction

Informational text dealing with an actual, real-life subject.

Speech

Public address or discourse.

Questions: Literature List Staff | LiteratureList@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-6269 
Last Reviewed: Thursday, April 09, 2020
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