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Genre Definitions


All of the information in a non-fiction book is based on the known true facts.  Nothing can be made up.  Non-fiction books include how-to books, science books, history books, biographies, autobiographies and much more.  Non-fiction books can be about any subject.


A biography is the story of a real person's life, written or told by another person.  


An autobiography is the story of a real person's life, written or told by that person.  
Fictional stories may be based on actual events or people or may be based entirely on the author's imagination, but fictional stories all contain elements that are made-up or created by the author.

Realistic Fiction

Fictional stories are pieces that take place in modern time, right here and now.  The characters are involved in events that could really happen.

Fictional stories, usually realistic, are about mysterious events which are not explained or a crime that is not solved until the end of the story to keep the reader in suspense.



Fiction that contains elements that are NOT realistic, such as talking animals, magical powers, etc.  Make-believe is what this genre is all about.

Science Fiction

ictional stories which include futuristic technology or a blend of scientific fact and fictional elements fall into this genre.

Historical Fiction

Stories which take place in a particular time period in the past.  Often the basic setting is real, but the characters are fictional.

Folk Tales, Tall Tales,

and Fairy Tales

Folk tales are stories with no known creator.  They were originally passed down from one generation to another by word of mouth.  The authors on folk tale books today are retelling these stories.  Although, folk tales are sometimes based on real historical figures, there are fictional elements to the story.  Tall tales are generally folk tales in which the main character is bigger than life in some way -- examples would be Paul Bunyan, Mike Fink, Swamp Angel, etc. Fairy tales were often created to teach children behavior in an entertaining way.  


Myths are stories that usually explain something about the world and involve gods and other supernatural beings.  


Poetry is verse written to create a response of thought and feeling from the reader.  It often uses rhythm and rhyme to help convey its meaning.  

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