Children's Literature / ENG221 Guide

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Biography bridges the gap between historical fiction and nonfiction. A life story may read like fiction, but center on facts and events that can be documented. Authentic biography is a well-documented, carefully researched account of a person’s life. Only statements known to have been made by the subject are included as dialog. Fictionalized biography is grounded through research by the author dramatizes certain events and personalizes the subject. The author may invent dialog and ascribe unspoken thoughts to the subject.

Contemporary realistic fiction

Imaginative writing that accurately reflects life as it was lived in the past or could be lived today. Set and/or written after 1950.


Historical fiction

Historical fiction is drawn from an author’s information about the past and their own speculations about how it was to live in that time. The past is personalized so readers can understand historical events as well as the universal human struggles that remain the same over time. Set before 1950.


Modern fantasy

Literary fairy tales with an identifiable author, animal fantasy, toys/dolls with human characteristics, eccentric characters and preposterous situations, extraordinary worlds, magical powers, suspense and supernatural, time-shift fantasy, imaginary realms, high fantasy, & science fiction.


Multicultural literature

Shows people from diverse groups playing and working together, solving problems, and overcoming obstacles. Helps people understand that despite our many differences, people share common as well as unique perspectives. This category includes books about more than just ethnic and racial diversity, such as LGBT, people with disabilities, etc.

Traditional literature

Folktales, fables, myths, epic and legendary heroes, bible as literature -  without an identifiable author.