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Guide To Children's Book Genres

This guide to children's book genres will help you navigate bookshelves.

Go into any children’s library and you will find a plethora of books of all different genres. Sometimes children’s books cross-genres. However, often a book will fall directly into one of the following categories:

Contemporary Fiction

These are stories set in our modern day world. Characters have challenges and successes just like everyone else. Readers can empathize with the storylines.

Example: Just Watch Me by Erin Silver


Who did it? Solve the case. In mystery books, readers follow riddles, codes, and clues to uncover the truth alongside the characters.

Example: The Math Kids: The Triangle Secret by David Cole and Shannon O’Toole

Historical Fiction

A fictional story based on real events. Historical fiction is an increasingly popular way to blend facts with children’s fiction.

Example: Asha and Baz Meet Mary Sherman Morgan By Caroline Fernandez and Dharmali Patel


Think magic and other-worldly-characters. In fantasy books, special powers and fantastical settings are ordinary. Creatures and characters don’t have to be human.

Example: Lucy And Dee: The Silk Road by Kirsten Marion

Fairy Tale

Fairy Tales can be sub-genre of fantasy or a distinct category. Generally, a fairy tale is a story that has been passed down through generations of people through writing or storytelling.

Example: Cinderella

Science Fiction

Fiction inspired by or incorporating science. Plots can involve space, apocalypse, parallel worlds, and more.

Example: Faded Glimpses of Time by Nyah Nichol

Non-Fiction Books for Children

There are many types of books which fall into the non-fiction category: activity and how-to books, concept books (like counting), animal books and more.


Sub-genres of non-fiction, biographies, memoirs, and autobiographies tell the true story of a person's life (living or deceased). These books are based on facts and history.

Children and teens enjoy reading a variety of books. It ignites their imagination and curiosity about the world around them.

When writing for children, it’s important to consider which children’s book genre your story falls into. Hopefully, this Guide To Children's Book Genres helps you do just that.


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