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Welcome to HoB's Children & Adolescent Literature


Genre is a category, in literature or other media, characterized by similarities in form, style, subject matter and other characteristics: such as: is the story real: nonfiction) or made-up: fiction/ false. Different combinations of characteristics make different types of stories and thus, different genre.

With the many many different ways stories can be told the number of charactersistics in those stories begin to overlap and make it impossible to categorize them into different unique genres.

Consequently, there are a lot of genres with many overlapping characteristics that make classification challenging to say the least.

Most classification schemes include: fiction -with sub categories of realistic fiction, fantasy, historical fiction and traditonal literature with its subcategories of fables, fairy tales, folk tales, myths and legends. Other categories are nonfiction, poetry, mixed genre, and non textual genre. Scroll down and explore.

Genre and literature related definitions

  • Media used to communicate a story - book, text, picture, oral words, dance, song, theatre, video, multi media,
  • Prose - written text or spoken word that is not poetic or have rhythm
  • Poetry - communicates an intensity of ideas and emotions with the use of imagery, rhyme, rhythm,
  • Written - use of text
  • Oral - told or spoken by mouth. ballads, myth, joke, folk tale, fables, comedy routines,
  • Picture books - may or may not have writing
  • Graphic novels - combination of pictures and text
  • Fiction - false
  • Non fiction - true (While it would seem fiction and non fiction might provide unique genre categories there are books as well as other pieces of literature that combine the two.)
  • Story elements - characterization, setting, point of view, style, tone, plot, theme. While stories are not classified into different genre by their story elements. How authors use story elements to tell their stories are related to the genre. Additional information on story elements or elements of fiction and information for educators about story elements. Example of a book described by story elements: Where Mountain Meets Moon.

Why bother?

With all the possibilities of different genres why even consider them as important? The short answer is that the characteristics of each genre help readers and viewers to better understand and appreciate each literary piece and literature in general.

Therefore, the more a person knows about the differences, the easier it will be for her or him to understand, learn, create, and critically appreciate literature and those that create it.

Genres tool box

Fiction as a genre

Fiction is stories created from imagination and not necessarily fact. They may include real events, settings, or other factual material. S, animal, thrillers, mysteries, romances, sports, fantasy, high fantasy, science fiction, fairy tales, fables, myths, legends, and folk epics, - Book lists &

Teacher tool boxes for fiction... includes quality characteristics

Nonfiction as a genre

Stories which are true. They include : Autobiography; Biography; Essay; History: social and culture awareness, war, medieval, ancient, prehistoric, beginnings of civilization, industrialization, peace; Informational; Puzzle; Reference; Self help; Science; Speech; Sports; & Other subject areas

Teacher tool box for nonfiction

Poetry as a genre

Poetry is literature with rhythm and verse. It includes: nursery rhymes, verse, ballad, epic, lyrics, narrative poem, poem, song, & rap

Classics as a genre

Mixed genre

Concept books as a genre

Picture books as a genre

NonTextual Genres

Visual Arts

Visual arts may have started as scratches on cave walls, tools, pottery, and other natural objects. Later it included threads and other natural objects sewed into materials used for clothing. Later yet sculptures, drawings on parchments, paper, and other surfaces.

Eventually depictions on some of these artifacts included multiple representations that could be considered a story.

Visual elements can be used to tell an entire story or be included as part of a story or to support text or other story telling devices. Ways to understand, analyze, and evaluate these is elements should be part of a literature study or curriculum.

The links in the visual art tool box include information, activities, literature list for art, picture books, comics, graphic novels, manga, and other visual art related media.


  • Music tool box- Popular, Classical, Country western, Rap, Jazz, Blues, Bluegrass, Folk songs

Drama, Theater, Film, Video, Pictures


  • Dance tool box - Elements of dance, activities, & resources Folk dance, Ballet, Modern dance (Waltz, Tango, Swing...)



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