Here is a list of definitions for the genres I will be covering on this blog.


Chick Lit: Chick Lit explores the personal, professional, and romantic lives of young, single, working women.Quirky protagonists and humor distinguish the genre as these women look for love and deal with often less than desirable jobs. Written by women for women.


Coming of Age: A type of novel where the protagonist is initiated into adulthood through knowledge, experience, or both, often by a process of disillusionment. Understanding comes after the dropping of preconceptions, a destruction of a false sense of security, or in some way the loss of innocence. Some of the shifts that take place are these: ignorance to knowledge, innocence to experience, false view of world to correct view, idealism to realism,immature responses to mature responses.

Dystopia: The roots of the word dystopia--dys- and -topia--are from the Ancient Greek for "bad" and "place," and so we use the term to describe an unfavorable society in which to live. "Dystopia" is not a synonym for "post-apocalyptic"; it is also not a synonym for a bleak, or darkly imagined future. In a dystopian story, society itself is typically the antagonist; it is society that is actively working against the protagonist's aims and desires. This oppression frequently is enacted by a totalitarian or authoritarian government, resulting in the loss of civil liberties and untenable living conditions, caused by any number of circumstances, such as world overpopulation, laws controlling a person's sexual or reproductive freedom, and living under constant surveillance.

Fantasy: Within the context of children's literature, “fantasy” is frequently used to denote anything that is not straight realistic prose. It is one of the most ambiguous concepts in literary criticism, as it has been treated as a genre, style, mode, or narrative technique, and it is sometimes regarded as purely formulaic fiction. In some sources, fairy tales and fantasy are discussed together without precision, while in others fantasy is treated alongside science fiction and occasionally horror.


Graphic Novels: Book-length, high-quality comic books that introduce children and adults to a wide range of literary fiction and nonfiction subjects. Graphic novels stand alone as complete works, as opposed to comic books, which are usually short serials. The term “graphic novel” is also used by many in the comic book industry to differentiate between darker works and the lighter comics aimed at children; they may contain material
some consider not suitable for younger audiences.

Historical Fiction: As a category of literature, “historical fiction” generally consists of realistic stories set specifically in a time period that predates their creation. At their best, these works offer insights about long-ago events and people in a manner and style accessible to contemporary readers, making them useful as classroom resources as well as sources of entertainment. At their worst, they perpetuate ill-founded stereotypes, myths, and inaccuracies in the guise of believable narratives.

Horror: While traditional horror leaves readers feeling uneasy and fearful in the face of uncertainty—Did the events really happen? Could they recur? Has the threat been vanquished?—much juvenile fiction now sold as horror is notable for the sense of security it provides. Instead of ambiguous endings, the end of these novels is typically a disclosure in which what was thought to be inexplicable is explained, and what seemed dangerous and menacing is made safe.

Multicultural: The inclusion of, appreciation of, and respect for all cultures; but a more complex formulation includes a challenge to social inequality, and to the power structure that subordinates people on the basis of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, age, and religion. Although multicultural literature is often perceived as literature by people of color or by others with a history of subjugation, the term as applied to children's books has been broadened. Children's book critics often connect multiculturalism with the educational and aesthetic impact of the literature, irrespective of long-standing oppression or discrimination.

Science Fiction: The subset of fantasy stories whose fantastic elements can be seen as resulting from unusual scientific phenomena, whether real or imagined. Stories that include such phenomena may also be seen as “science fictional” despite also containing elements of the supernatural, as in, for example, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time (1962). Also related to science fiction is dystopian fiction, which may be defined as stories set in worlds distinctly worse than our own, usually with the intent of suggesting that our world is moving in the direction depicted.

Street Lit: Street fiction, also known as urban fiction, street lit, or gangsta fiction. Sometimes crime fiction, romance, erotica or a mix of all three, urban fiction books expose the reader to drugs, violence, sex and and the gritty realities of street life in urban America.

Young Adult Literature: The category of young adult literature generally refers to texts addressing an audience from about thirteen upwards, including books whose themes and writing strategies suggest that their audience is at the upper end of the teenage years. In general, such texts are informed by the values and assumptions about adolescence that are dominant in the culture at the time of the texts’ production, but the genre can also be loosely defined by its central concerns and interests, characteristic subject matter, narrative strategies, and genres.

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