Reading throughout childhood can be a powerful tool for healthy development.
This lesson will explore the different genres in children’s literature, including contemporary, historical and science fiction.
What types of books do you like to read? Are you a mystery buff? Do you enjoy reading reflections about the world around you. Or are romance novels your thing? These different types of books are examples of specific genres.The genre of a book is determined by the content of the book. Some broad literary genres include fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Whereas the content in fiction books is make-believe, nonfiction books depict things that really happened, and poems express feelings or thoughts.Let’s go back to your favorite type of book.
Do you think these types of books would be interesting to or appropriate for children? While adults and children may enjoy the same type of books, often times, children respond better to books written especially for them.The scope of this lesson could not possibly include each and every genre in children’s literature. The ones we’ll discuss next are the most common.
Contemporary ; Traditional Fiction
Contemporary fiction refers to books that take place in the present day. Typically, they’re not based on actual events. These types of books are very popular selections in children’s literature because young readers can usually connect and identify with the characters.
Readers also identify with the events of the story because they may be representative of things that are happening in their own lives.By comparison, traditional literature includes fables, folklore, and religious readings commonly passed down from generation to generation within cultures or families. These types of works may not have a specific author and usually teach a lesson or moral principle, as opposed to dealing with relatable characters or events.
On the opposite end of the spectrum from contemporary fiction lies historical fiction. In these stories we find relatable characters of contemporary fiction, but the time period is of days gone by. Historical fiction can be helpful when teaching young readers about what life was like during specific periods throughout history. This is because they’re often based on or inspired by noteworthy events.
Spaceships, time travel, and countless other fascinating scientific possibilities can be found in science fiction. While not based on fact, science fiction books may include actual or imagined scientific principles. As in our previous examples, identifiable characters are central to science fiction works as young readers quickly engage with and attach to them. That’s why this type of children’s literature is among the most popular genres.
Nonfiction ; Poetry
Nonfiction books are very different from the previously mentioned genres in that they present factual information to young readers. They may explain some event or phenomenon or provide instruction.
The nonfiction genre includes autobiographies and biographies, as they relay the real-life experiences of real-life people. Athletes, war heroes, and other powerful leaders are frequently the focus of children’s nonfiction literature.Most young readers really enjoy music. The lyrics present in music are just one example of poetry.
Poetry is a popular genre of children’s literature that expresses feelings, ideas, and thoughts. It’s often rhythmic in nature and the words are carefully selected to convey meaning. Poetry can include contemporary, historical, fictional, or nonfiction works. No matter the type, poetry creates a strong connection with young readers.
Most readers have a favorite genre, or type of literary content. Children’s literature is designed to appeal to young readers and has several popular genres.
Contemporary fiction typically takes place in the present day. Traditional literature, like fables, folklore, and religious readings, may not have specific authors and usually teach a lesson or moral principle. Works of historical fiction also include relatable characters, but the plot takes place in days gone by.
Science fiction are fictitious works that may include actual or imagined scientific principles. Nonfiction books are factual works used to explain an event or phenomenon or provide instruction. They include autobiographies and biographies. Lastly, poetry is a popular genre of children’s literature that expresses feelings, ideas, and thoughts using carefully selected words and sometimes rhymes.