Literary Genres
Biography
A biography is a book of true stories about the life of a real person.  The author is a different person than the book is written about.  The person in the biography can be dead or alive.  The author describes how the person affected others. In an autobiography the author tells the story of his or her own life.
Classic
A book that has proven over time to be one-of-a-kind and stands out because it is so well written
Drama
A work intended for performance by actors, written through dialogue and include stage actions, settings, and required props.
Easy Reader
Book written at a level for beginning readers (both fiction or nonfiction). They are usually marked with the age or ability level of the intended reader, are illustrated and printed in a larger font for ease of reading.
Fable
Short stories with animal characters that act like humans and can usually talk. There is a lesson or moral to be learned from each story.
Fairy Tale
Type of folktale for children about fairies or other magical creatures in which the good characters usually triumph over the evil ones. These stories often begin with "Once upon a time" and end with "they lived happily ever after."  
Fantasy
A fiction story that take place in strange imaginary worlds and often include magical creatures. There is usually a struggle between the  good and evil characters and many times includes some kind of adventure or quest.
Fiction
Any work based on the imagination and not on fact. 
Folktale
A story that is part of the oral tradition of a people or a place handed down by word of mouth; there are many types, including fables, tall tales, myths, and fairy tales
Historical Fiction
Story that takes place during a real period in history.  Real events from history are mixed with fictional events. The characters are mostly fictional characters but some historical characters may be included.  
Legend Story, centered on a national or folk hero, which has a basis in fact and once accepted as true, but is actually a mix of fact and fiction. These heroes  were either so lifelike or so admirable that people wished they were real.
Mystery
Stories in which there is a problem, puzzle or crime that needs to be solved. The characters are usually fictional but behave in realistic ways.  A mystery may have a detective or a spy as a main character.  Clues are used by characters to find a solution to the mystery.
Myths
Stories that serve to explain some mystery of nature often incorporating gods and goddesses.  They generally take place long ago,  even before people were on earth.  
NonFiction
Any informational book with an actual, real-life subject.These books provide true facts and information about different subjects.  They may include charts and graphs and illustrations.
Periodical
Non-book publications that comes out on a regular basis, such as weekly, monthly. The pictures and stories and articles usually are about one theme but differ in each volume or edition. Examples include magazines, journals and newspapers. Periodicals may contain advertisements. 
Picture Book
Books (both fiction or nonfiction) usually around 30 pages or less with illustrations on most all pages. These pictures are needed to help tell the story or explain a concept(such as alphabet or counting books).
Poetry
Verse, often rhyming, that creates images and emotions for the reader. Poems are generally limited in length and number of words, written in stanzas and often read aloud.
Realistic Fiction
Fictional story set in present-day that could actually happen and is true to life.  The characters behave in realistic ways.  There is usually a problem or conflict to be solved.  
Reference
These books provide true facts and information.  Some examples include: dictionary, almanac, atlas, thesaurus, and encyclopedia. Reference books are usually not allowed to be check out of the library.
Science Fiction
Story based on actual or imagined science and technology, usually set in the future or on other planets. These stories are written with future ideas such as time travel and new technology.  
Tall Tale
A humorous, highly exaggerated folktale common on the American frontier. Tall tales can be loosely based on people who may have really existed such as Paul Bunyon or Johnny Appleseed. These stories are presented to the readers as if they are true.