Literary Genres

Literary Genres in the Media Center

A genre is a group or collection of books with a similar theme or style. The following are descriptions of various popular genres that can be found in St. Cecelia’s Media Center.

Biographies are histories of a person’s life or parts of his/her life. A biography that is written by a person about his/her own life is called an autobiography. These are located in the nonfiction area and have a call number of 92 on the spine and the first three letters of the person’s last name the book is about.  These are found underneath the windows separating the Media Center and the Computer Lab.

Dramas are stories that are composed in verse or prose, usually for theatrical performance, where conflicts and emotion are expressed through dialogue and action.  They have a call number of

Easy To Read books are fiction stories that are written at a level for beginning readers. Easy.  They are marked with an E and located alphabetically by author’s name within the red book cases.

Fantasy books are a type of fiction that contains elements such as characters or settings that could not exist in life as we know it today. Examples include characters such as dragons or animals with human characteristics. The settings might be magical or other-world. Fantasy books are given a call number of “F” (for fiction) and located within the Fiction section.

Folktales are stories that have been passed down to us over the years by real people. There are many types of folktales, including fables, tall tales, myths, and fairy tales. This type of book usually has a call number of 398.2 and can be found in the nonfiction area of our library.

v Fables are brief stories that teach a lesson or moral. The characters are usually animals, but they are given human characteristics. An example of a fable is “The Fox and the Grapes.”
v Tall Tales are folktales that have a key element of exaggeration, such as Paul Bunyan.
v Fairy Tales usually have magical elements with characters that could be fairies, giants, or elves. Many times magical deeds are performed. Cinderella is an example of a fairy tale.
v Myths are stories that serve to explain some phenomenon of nature. Many incorporate gods and goddesses within the story. The story of King Midas is a myth.
Historical fiction books are those that give a historically accurate portrayal of life during a particular time in history. They have a strong sense of place and time. This type of book has a call number of “F” and is located alphabetically by author’s name within the fiction section.Horror  books are those in which events evoke a feeling of dread in both the characters and the reader. This type of book has a call number of “F” and is located alphabetically by author’s name within the fiction section.

Mystery books are stories that involve a suspenseful event (often a crime of some type). The reader uses clues from the story and gradually discovers who has committed the crime to solve the mystery by the end of the story.  They have a call number of “F” and are located alphabetically by author’s name within the fiction section.

Nonfiction books are informational books written by credible authors. Nonfiction books explain how things work, tell facts about many different topics, and show us how to do various things. Nonfiction books are located in a separate area of our library and use call numbers from the Dewey Decimal System.

Picture Books are stories written around one or two themes with the illustrations being an integral part of the book. You will find these under “E” for Easy Fiction located alphabetically by the author’s name in the red bookcases.

Poetry books are those that include verses or poems. Poems may be humorous, serious, lyrical, or narrative (tells a story). Many poems have a rhythm and meter. Poems create imagery. Poetry books use a call number of “811” (those by American authors) or “821” (those of English authors) and are located within the nonfiction area of the library.

Realistic fiction books are those set in present-day. Characters encounter modern day difficulties and dilemmas. Realistic fiction includes mysteries, adventure stories, humorous stories, and much more. This type of book has a call number of “F” and is located alphabetically by author’s name within the fiction section.

Science Fiction are stories based on impact on actual, imagined, or potential science, usually set in the future or on other planets. The series Star Wars is a good example of this.  This type of book has a call number of “F” and is located alphabetically by author’s name within the fiction section.