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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


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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

Narrative Nonfiction

Factual information presented in a format which tells a story.


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


Public address or discourse.

Questions: Literature List Staff | | 916-323-6269 
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, September 06, 2023
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