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Reading Classifications and Genres


Alphabet Book A book that utilizes letters of the alphabet in different ways and may or may not tell a story. Alphabet books can include simple object recognition or can be thematic and are often told in rhyme or alliteration.

Classic A book that has withstood the test of time and has been a favorite of readers for many years.

Concept Book A type of informational book that introduces a single concept, such as shape, color, size, or numbers. It includes alphabet books and counting books.

Counting Book A type of picture book that focuses on numbers and counting.

Early Chapter Book Transitional fiction that is longer than the standard picture book, is formatted in short chapters, and is usually written for readers in grades one to three.

Easy Reader A book that is written at a first or second grade level in which phrases or sentences are repeated in the text in easily recognized patterns. These books are designed to help new readers make meaning of the text.

Graphic Novel A format in which image and print are interdependent. Graphic novels may be of any genre, including nonfiction.

Picture Book A book in which the message depends upon pictures as much or more than text. The pictures extend the text in a way that would not be possible from the words alone.

Photo Essay A book that presents information on a concept or illustrates a story using photographs and text.

Read Aloud A title that reviewers feel will engage a group of children and works well when presented orally.

Struggling Reader A title that is engaging to students reading below grade level. The title's interest level is age appropriate for students who are reluctant to read and/or are challenged by the complexity of text at their grade level.

Wordless Book A picture book that tells a story or presents information through the pictures with very little or no text.

Visit this site to view a customized recommended reading list for both your child's Current Grade Level and Summer reading:


Stories composed in verse or prose, usually for theatrical performance, where conflicts and emotion are expressed through dialogue and action.

Narration demonstrating a useful truth, especially in which animals speak as humans; legendary, supernatural tale.

Fairy Tale
Story about fairies or other magical creatures, usually for children.

Fiction with strange or other worldly settings or characters; fiction which invites suspension of reality.

Narrative literary works whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact.

Fiction in Verse
Full-length novels with plot, subplot(s), theme(s), major and minor characters, in which the narrative is presented in (usually blank) verse form.

The songs, stories, myths, and proverbs of a people or "folk" as handed down by word of mouth.

Historical Fiction
Story with fictional characters and events in a historical setting.

Fiction in which events evoke a feeling of dread in both the characters and the reader.

Fiction full of fun, fancy, and excitement, meant to entertain; but can be contained in all genres

Story, sometimes of a national or folk hero, which has a basis in fact but also includes imaginative material.

Fiction dealing with the solution of a crime or the unraveling of secrets.

Legend or traditional narrative, often based in part on historical events, that reveals human behavior and natural phenomena by its symbolism; often pertaining to the actions of the gods.

Verse and rhythmic writing with imagery that creates emotional responses.

Realistic Fiction
Story that can actually happen and is true to life.

Science Fiction
Story based on impact of actual, imagined, or potential science, usually set in the future or on other planets.

Short Story
Fiction of such brevity that it supports no subplots.

Tall Tale
Humorous story with blatant exaggerations, swaggering heroes who do the impossible with nonchalance.

All Nonfiction
Narrative of a person's life, a true story about a real person.

A short literary composition that reflects the author's outlook or point.

Narrative Nonfiction
Factual information presented in a format which tells a story.

Informational text dealing with an actual, real-life subject.

Public address or discourse.