Just like there are many different kinds of cars, there are many kinds of books.
You will have favorites.


    • "Bio" means life.
    • "Graph" means writing.
    • Biography means writing about a person's life. (It could mean writing about an animal's life, a plant's life, or some other kind of life, but it doesn't.)
    • In our library, biographies about one person are in the 92's (by the flag).Biographies about two or more people (in one book)are in the 920's. The people will have something in common. Maybe they were all presidents, famous pitchers, inventors, or something else.
    • Go to Biography Makerto write a biography.If you write a biography about yourself, it is called an autobiography.



    • They are very short stories.
    • The setting is not important.
    • The characters are anthropomorphized*.
    • There is a problem.
    • Character(s) learn a lesson.
    • The moral of the story is stated.

  • *Anthropomorphism is giving animals the ability to have human thoughts and feelings.



  • Includes magical characters and beings that could not exist.
  • Includes an imaginary world.
  • Includes events that could not happen.
  • The story is unrealistic, obvious fiction.
  • Setting is usually in the past.
Science Fiction

  • Setting is often in the future.
  • Setting can be on another planet. Includes events that could not currently happen.
  • The story is based upon science or technology. Stories often explore "What if". (Examples: What if there is life on other planets? What if we could travel through time?)
  • Themes include: alternate worlds, time travel, cloning, *utopias/dystopias, and the end of the world as we know it.

*Utopias are perfect, ideal worlds.

*Dystopias are the opposite of utopias. "Dys" means "bad."


A folktale is a story that was not originally written down. Instead it was told out loud to people. Those people told it to others who told it to others. That's how the story spread and was not lost. Finally, people started writing the folktales down. Epics, ballads, legends, myths, fairy tales, and fables are all considered to be folktales.

Characteristics of Folktales:
  • Story reflects the country.
  • It is a success story.
  • There is repetition.
  • There is often three of something.
  • Time is in the past and goes by fast.
  • Characters are static. (They don't change much.)
  • Characters are usually completely good or completely bad.
  • The theme is a moral.
  • There are magic, tricks, and wishes.

Types of Folktales:
  • Cumulative Tales
  • Pourquoi Tales
  • Beast Tales
  • Noodlehead Tales
  • Wonder or Fairy Tales
  • Realistic Tales

Motifs in Folktales:
  • A long sleep or enchantment
  • Magic Powers
  • Magic Transformations
  • Magic Objects
  • Wishes
  • Tricks
  • Things in 3's
Historical Fiction

Historical fiction combines fact and fiction in a realistic story that takes you back in time. You may forget that the story really didn't happen exactly as written. The dialogue is often fiction that is based upon facts that we know from history. Most of the dialogue has to be fiction because no one recorded everything someone said. Sometimes real and fiction characters are used. It is sometimes hard to sort out what is fiction and what is fact, but it's fun to examine.
      • Historical Setting
      • Real Historical Characters
      • Fiction Historical Characters
      • Real Historical Events
      • Fiction Historical Events
      • Realistic and believable
      • Problem

See also:
Mystery & Suspense

  • A crime or something unusual has happened.
  • The main character tries to solve the resulting puzzle.
  • The setting may be scary.
  • There may be a suspicious .
  • There are clues to solve the problem.
  • Some of the clues can be "red herrings*."
  • There is suspense. (You really want to know what happens next.)

*A red herring is a clue that misleads the detective. The clue is going to be true, but it may not be relevant.
mythle.gifMYTHS mythri.gif
Long ago people made up stories to explain things they didn't understand. Many believed that there were gods and goddesses who were the cause of things. These people also made up stories of heroes that faced great challenges and interacted with these gods. Today when people say something is a myth, they usually mean that it isn't true even though people might think it is.

  • The setting is long ago.
  • The story explains how or why something happened.
  • There are gods or goddesses in the story.
  • A hero has a great task.
  • Gods or goddesses affect what happens to people.
  • There is a moral to the story.
  • A specific culture is represented.
Herakles - The Greek myth of Herakles and his twelve labors.
Works Cited
  • Henry, Laurie. The Fiction Dictionary. 1st ed. Cincinnati: Story Press,1995.
  • Herald, Diana , ed. Teen Genreflecting: A Guide to Reading Interests. 2nd ed. Westport: Libraries Unlimited, 2003.
  • Kuiper, Kathleen, ed. Merriam Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature.1st ed.Springfield: Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, 1995.