Genre Definitions

Genre

Definition

Examples

Adventure

Books about disasters, survival, and war stories. Characters usually face great danger and must show courage to survive

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Patriot Games by Tom Clancy

I am the Weapon by Allen Zadoff

C.J. Box Books

Dystopia

A subset of science fiction--future societies gone bad

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Divergent by Veronica Roth

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Among the Hidden by Margaret Haddix

Fantasy

Includes mythology and its elements. A key factor is magic or special abilities. They often include time travel and heroic adventures. Often, they contain magical creatures, such as dragons, or talking animals.

Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan

Lord of the Rings Series by JRR Tolkien

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Historical Fiction

Books that are made up stories set in real historic times and settings. They try to help the reader understand what life was like during those time periods.

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Humor

Books that make you laugh.

Patrick McManus Books

Fat Boy vs The Cheerleaders by Geoff Herbach

The Schwa was Here by Neal Shusterman

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

Issues

Books that are about problems and situations people experience and want to know how others deal with them.

A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

This is Where it Ends by Markieke Nijkamp

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

Mystery

Books that include thrills and chills, whodunit, murders, crimes and are often full of suspense.

Pelican Brief by John Grisham

Agatha Christie Books

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynne Barnes

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

James Patterson Books

Paranormal

Books that follow inexperienced protagonist who are unexpectedly drawn into paranormal situations. Amidst these conflicts, characters often gain allies, find romance, and, in some cases, develop or discover supernatural abilities of their own. Often these storie include ghosts, vampires, zombies, werewolves, witches, etc.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Cirque de Freak by Darren Shan

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Romance

Books that involve love, relationships, and heartbreak. These books are often referred to as Chick Lit. Romance is often combined with other genres such as paranormal romance.

Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare

Emma by Jane Austen

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

Nicholas Spark books

Science Fiction

Includes utopian or dystopian societies. Things we associate with science such as space, bioengineering, and virtual reality are part of this genre. It also includes items that have been studied by scientists such as aliens and time travel. Often they contain action and adventure.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

I am Number Four by Pitticus Lore

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Social Commentary

This genre is explaining how things were or are. It is what society is like and are often tied to making changes in it. They can include rebellion.

Little House Series by Laura Ingells Wilder

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson

Songs for a Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson

Sports

These books are about sports and athletes.

Mike Lupica Books

Football Genius by Tim Green

Now is the Time for Running by Michael Williams

Rush for the Gold by John Feinstein

Steampunk

A subset of science fiction. Set in a time or place where steam power is still widely used-- usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England--but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions or real technological developments like the computer occuring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of "the path not taken" of such technology as dirigibles or analog computers; these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or a presumption of functionality.

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

Western

This genre includes living the life of a cowboy, the wild west, Native Americans, ghost towns, and often animals especially horses and cattle.

Louis L'amour books

Tex by S.E. Hinton

Lonestar Sanctuary by Colleen Coble