Reading books from many different fiction genres and talking about them with other people is one of my favorite activities. I'm starting this page to share some suggestions for interesting reads from different genres. I'm beginning with realistic fiction, but hope to add a new genre every month. If you're looking for your next fabulous read, keep checking back and see what's new.
Realistic fiction is made-up stories that include events and people that could really happen. They take place in our own time and the characters are dealing with situations and problems of everyday life, such as school and family issues. I have too many favorite authors to even mention all of them. However, some noted authors who have written realistic fiction include Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, Andrew Clements, Joan Bauer, Walter Dean Myers, Cynthia Lord, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Jacqueline Woodson, and Jerry Spinelli. One of my favorite books in this genre is Wonder by R. J. Palacio. I also love Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine, The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, and Any Small Goodness by Tony Johnston. I was fortunate enough to meet Tony Johnston and have her sign my copy of her book. I told her I re-read it several times and every time I read it, I am so touched by her book, I cry. She answered, "I cried when I wrote it." In 2017, one of my favorite realistic fiction reads was See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng. See my Realistic Fiction Elementary Book List for other book suggestions.
Historical Fiction novels are made-up stories that take place in a time period in the past. The book blends with history and a good historical fiction book can give the reader a "feel" for what life was like during that time period. Some noted authors of historical fiction include Avi, Laurie Halse Anderson, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Lois Lowry, Mildred Taylor, Christopher Paul Curtis, Karen Cushman, Scott O'Dell, Richard Peck, and Elizabeth George Speare. Some of my personal favorites are Moon Over Manifest by Clara Vanderpool, The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, and The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly. Refugee by Alan Gratz, a historical fiction novel and one of my favorite 2017 reads, follows the story of three refugee families seeking to escape war, intolerance, and death in their own countries and hoping to find safety and freedom in a new country. See my Historical Fiction Elementary Book List to find more suggestions of historical fiction.
Fantasy novels are make-believe stories that include elements that are not real and cannot be real. The stories may include magical beasts, such as dragons or talking animals. Sometimes there are people or beings with magical powers. Sometimes the stories take place in imaginary worlds. Many of these books include series and are loved by numerous fans, such as the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and other series. Classic fantasy authors include Lloyd Alexander, Susan Cooper, Eva Ibbotson, Ursula Le Guin, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Diana Wynne Jones. Beloved classics such as Charlotte's Web by E.B. White and Brian Jacques's Redwall series fall in the fantasy genre. In 2017, a fantasy novel, The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill, was awarded the Newbery medal. My favorite recent fantasy read is The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz, a tale of tolerance and friendship set in the Middle Ages. I also love the book Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan, which is more historical fiction with a little magic thrown into the novel. Science Fiction and Fantasy books occasionally blur genre lines and are often displayed together in book stores. See my Fantasy/Magical Realism Elementary Book List for more reading suggestions in this genre.
Science Fiction books are made up stories that contain science and technology, like robots, computers, etc. In these novels, even when things seem magical, the implication is those magical things result from science. This genre includes dystopias (societies where everything is bad or unpleasant), aliens, life in space and on other worlds, books about experimental science such as cloning, and life on our world after some huge disaster, natural or political, has occurred. Some time travel books are also considered science fiction, depending on whether the time travel results from science or magic. The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, a science fiction book about cloning and other issues, is a favorite of mine. Dark Life by Kat Falls is a science fiction book recommended to me by elementary students and I couldn't put it down. Some noted authors in this genre are Lois Lowry, Madeleine L'Engle, Jeanne DuPrau, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Philip Reeve, Bruce Coville, and Suzanne Collins. The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm is a humorous science fiction book. Be sure to click on Science Fiction Elementary Reading List for more book suggestions in this genre.