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A Kid-Friendly Guide to New Reading Genres

Explore 10 different genres of books with your child, along with recommended reads for each category.
on January 22, 2018

Helping kids discover reading genres that interest them makes the search for new books much easier. If your child understands that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory falls into the fantasy genre, then he can ask a librarian to recommend other fantasy books.

It also helps your child identify and convey what kind of reader he is. When someone asks what type of books he likes, he might respond with, “I enjoy reading historical fiction,” or “I prefer poetry.”

Exposure to different genres opens your child's eyes up to the enormous range of books that are available. Here are 10 popular reading genres to share, along with book suggestions.

Realistic Fiction - Stories that are made up but could happen in real life.

Recommended Reads:

1. The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes (ages 8 and up)

2. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (ages 9 and up)

3. Wonder by R.J. Palacio (ages 10 and up)

Historical Fiction - Stories that didn’t really happen, but they are based on events in history. 

Recommended Reads:

1. I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis (ages 7 and up)

2. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (ages 7 and up)

3. Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (ages 9 and up)

Traditional Literature - Stories that are passed down from one generation to the next, including tall tales and folk tales.

Recommended Reads:

1. Lon Po Po by Ed Young (ages 6 and up)

2. The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen (ages 6 and up)

3. American Tall Tales by Mary Pope Osborne (ages 6 and up)

Science Fiction - Stories that are not very likely happen in real life, but are generally set in the future and tie in with science and technology.

Recommended Reads:

1. Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot by Dav Pilkey (ages 6 and up)

2. Star Wars Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown (ages 7 and up)

3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (ages 9 and up)

Fantasy - Stories that are made up and include ideas that could not happen in real life such as talking animals.

Recommended Reads:

1. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne (ages 6 and up)

2. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (ages 7 and up)

3. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (ages 8 and up)

Mystery - Stories that involve a secret or a crime that needs to be solved, usually by the end of the story.

Recommended Reads:

1. Nate the Great series by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat (ages 6 and up)

2. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner (ages 7 and up)

3. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (ages 9 and up)

Informational - Texts that provide factual information about a particular topic such as sports, animals, or a historical events.

Recommended Reads:

1. An Egg Is Quiet by Dianna Aston (ages 6 and up)

2. Living Sunlight by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm (ages 7 and up)

3. Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum by Meghan McCarthy (ages 7 and up) 

Biography - An account of someone’s life written by another person.

Recommended Reads:

1. Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport (ages 6 and up)

2. Swimming With Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark by Heather Lang (ages 6 and up)

3. Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman (ages 10 and up)

Autobiography - An account of someone’s life written by that person.

Recommended Reads:

1. 26 Fairmount Avenue by Tomie dePaola (ages 7 and up)

2. Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges (ages 9 and up)

3. My Life with the Chimpanzees by Jane Goodall (ages 9 and up)

Poetry - Verses that can rhyme or not, written to evoke a feeling from a reader.

Recommended Reads:

1. The Random House Book of Poetry for Children by Jack Prelutsky (ages 6 and up)

2. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein (Ages 6 and up)

3. When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano (ages 6 and up)

With the help of this guide, soon your child will be able to answer the question, “What types of books do you enjoy reading?” An answer undoubtedly both you and your book fan will like.

Connect with Jodie at Growing Book by Book.

Featured Photo Credit: © vadimguzhva/Thinkstock

About this blog

In the Raise a Reader blog, get advice, tips, and resources from our expert contributors on helping your child read at every age and stage. Each week, find book recommendations, literacy activities, and more to spark your reader's interests.

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