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Definitions of genres and search strategies for finding them in the Curriculum Resource Center
Subject or genre search (not keyword)
- Set in contemporary times
- Reflects issues and problems faced by humans
- Recognizable setting
- Set during an historical time period or era
- Historical time period is inextricable from plot
- Takes place in future
- Often deals with outer space and/or advanced technologies
- May be speculative or dystopic (takes place in an unsavory future)
- Deals with the realm of the impossible
- Often features magic, imaginary lands, and mythological creatures
- Protagonist must solve a crime or puzzle
Detective and mystery stories
- Plot-driven novel, marked by suspense, intrigue, and/or excitement
Adventure stories or adventure fiction
- Marked by terror created by a paranormal or supernatural force
- Like fantasy, horror deals with the realm of the impossible
Horror tales or horror fiction or ghost stories or paranormal fiction
- Romantic love, explored through two (or more) characters
- Can involve sexual awakening or awareness
- Personal growth through team or individual sports
- Conflict often involves elements of the sport
Sports stories or sports fiction
- The true story of a real person
- Two subgenres: memoir and autobiography
- Memoirs are written by the person they are about, and cover a moment of the life
- Autobiographies are written by the person they are about, and cover the entire life up to the moment of writing
Biographies (genre search only)
- Informational in nature, with verifiable, sourced facts.
- Creative (or narrative) nonfiction employs the elements of plot to tell the story
Nonfiction (genre search only)
After Tupac and D Foster by
Call Number: JUV W894a
Publication Date: 2008-01-10
In the New York City borough of Queens in 1996, three girls bond over their shared love of Tupac Shakur's music, as together they try to make sense of the unpredictable world in which they live.
Front Desk by
Call Number: JUV Y224fr 2018
Publication Date: 2018-05-29
Recent immigrants from China and desperate for work and money, ten-year-old Mia Tang's parents take a job managing a rundown motel in Southern California, even though the owner, Mr. Yao is a nasty skinflint who exploits them.
Ghost Boys by
Call Number: JUV R4761gh 2018
Publication Date: 2018-04-17
After seventh-grader Jerome is shot by a white police officer, he observes the aftermath of his death and meets the ghosts of other fallen black boys including historical figure Emmett Till.
Merci Suárez Changes Gears by
Call Number: JUV M4911me 2018
Publication Date: 2018-09-11
Merci Suarez relies on her close, extended family as she goes through many changes during her sixth-grade year at Florida's Seaward Pines Academy.
Rain Reign by
Call Number: JUV M3792ra
Publication Date: 2014-10-07
Struggling with Asperger's, Rose shares a bond with her beloved dog, but when the dog goes missing during a storm, Rose is forced to confront the limits of her comfort levels, even if it means leaving her routines in order to search for her pet.
The Season of Styx Malone by
Call Number: JUV M2112se 2018
Publication Date: 2018-10-16
Caleb Franklin and his younger brother, Bobby Gene, spend an extraordinary summer their new, older neighbor, Styx Malone, a foster boy from the city.
Snow Lane by
Call Number: JUV A582sn 2018
Publication Date: 2018-01-02
In 1985 Massachusetts, fifth-grader Annie wants to shape herown future but as the youngest of nine, she is held back by her hand-me-down clothing, a crippling case of dyslexia, and a dark family secret.
Fighting Words by
Publication Date: 2020-08-11
Ten-tear-old Della has always had her older sister, Suki: When their mom went to prison, Della had Suki. When their mom's boyfriend took them in, Della had Suki. When that same boyfriend did something so awful they had to run fast, Della had Suki. Suki is Della's own wolf -- her protector. But who has been protecting Suki?
New Kid by
Publication Date: 2019-02-05
Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.
The Journey of Little Charlie by
Call Number: JUV C9784jo 2018
Publication Date: 2018-01-30
When his poor sharecropper father is killed in an accident and leaves the family in debt, twelve-year-old Little Charlie agrees to accompany fearsome plantation overseer Cap'n Buck north in pursuit of people who have stolen from him.
The War That Saved My Life by
Call Number: JUV B8113wa
Publication Date: 2015-01-08
A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.
West of the Moon by
Call Number: JUV P9431we
Publication Date: 2014-04-01
In nineteenth-century Norway, fourteen-year-old Astri, whose aunt has sold her to a mean goatherder, dreams of joining her father in America.
Wolf Hollow by
Call Number: JUV W8623wo
Publication Date: 2016-05-03
Twelve-year-old Annabelle must learn to stand up for what's right in the face of a manipulative and violent new bully who targets people Annabelle cares about, including a homeless World War I veteran.
The Fourteenth Goldfish by
Call Number: JUV H719fo
Publication Date: 2014-08-26
Ellie's scientist grandfather has discovered a way to reverse aging, and consequently has turned into a teenager--which makes for complicated relationships when he moves in with Ellie and her mother, his daughter.
The True Meaning of Smekday by
Call Number: JUV R4548tr
Publication Date: 2007-10-02
When her mother is abducted by aliens on Christmas Eve (or "Smekday" Eve since the Boov invasion), 11 year-old Tip hops in the family car and heads south to find her and meets an alien Boov mechanic who agrees to help her and save the planet from disaster.
Under Their Skin by
Call Number: JUV H126un 2016
Publication Date: 2016-01-05
Twelve-year-old twins Nick and Eryn investigate why their mother and new stepfather are keeping secrets, why they are forbidden to meet their stepsiblings, and, most important, why their lives are in danger
Call Number: JUV T237d
Publication Date: 2012-09-01
Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school production of Moon over Mississippi as various relationships start and end, and others never quite get going.
Call Number: JUV V246fl 2001
Publication Date: 2003-05-13
In alternating chapters, two teenagers describe how their feelings about themselves, each other, and their families have changed over the years.
Totally Joe by
Publication Date: 2005-10-01
As a school assignment, a thirteen-year-old boy writes an alphabiography, and explores issues of friendship, family, school, and the challenges of being a gay teenager.
Belly Up by
Call Number: JUV G444b
Publication Date: 2010-05-18
Twelve-year-old Teddy investigates when Henry the hippo dies.
The Marvels by
Call Number: JUV S4698ma
Publication Date: 2015-09-15
In 1766, a boy, Billy Marvel, is shipwrecked, rescued, and goes on to found a brilliant family of actors that flourishes in London until 1900. Nearly a century later, Joseph Jervis, runs away from home, seeking refuge with his uncle in London, and is captivated by the Marvel house, with its portraits and ghostly presences.
The Parker Inheritance by
Call Number: JUV J710pa 2018
Publication Date: 2018-03-27
When Candice finds the letter, she isn't sure she should read it. It's addressed to her grandmother, after all, who left Lambert in a cloud of shame. But the letter describes a young woman named Siobhan Washington. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding the letter-writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle.
When You Reach Me by
Call Number: JUV S7992w
Publication Date: 2009-07-14
As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1970s television game show, "The $20,000 Pyramid," a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.
The Dead Boys by
Call Number: JUV B9232d
Publication Date: 2010-09-02
Timid twelve-year-old Teddy Mathews and his mother move to a small, remote desert town in eastern Washington, where the tree next door, mutated by nuclear waste, eats children and the friends Teddy makes turn out to be dead.
The Nest by
Call Number: JUV O617ne
Publication Date: 2015-10-06
When wasps come to Steve in a dream offering to fix his sick baby brother, he thinks all he has to do is say yes. But yes may not mean what Steve thinks it means.
The Night Gardener by
Call Number: JUV A9434ni
Publication Date: 2014-05-20
Irish orphans Molly, fourteen, and Kip, ten, travel to England to work as servants in a crumbling manor house where nothing is quite what it seems to be, and soon the siblings are confronted by a mysterious stranger and secrets of the cursed house.
Scary Stories for Young Foxes by
Publication Date: 2019-07-30
A collection of six connected stories that follows a group of fox kits as they fight to survive in an unforgiving wilderness
The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by
Call Number: JUV A5478as 2018
Publication Date: 2018-09-25
Uptight elfin historian Brangwain Spurge is on a mission: survive being catapulted across the mountains into goblin territory, deliver a priceless peace offering to their mysterious dark lord, and spy on the goblin kingdom - from which no elf has returned alive in more than a hundred years.
The False Prince by
Call Number: JUV N667fa
Publication Date: 2012-04-01
In the country of Carthya, a devious nobleman engages four orphans in a brutal competition to be selected to impersonate the king's long-missing son in an effort to avoid a civil war.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by
Call Number: JUV B2625gi 2016
Publication Date: 2016-08-09
An epic fantasy about a young girl raised by a witch, a swamp monster, and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, who must unlock the powerful magic buried deep inside her.
Call Number: JUV A9434sw 2018
Publication Date: 2018-09-25
In nineteenth-century England, after her father's disappearance Nan Sparrow, ten, works as a "climbing boy," aiding chimney sweeps, but when her most treasured possessions end up in a fireplace, she unwittingly creates a golem
A Tale Dark and Grimm by
Call Number: JUV G4539t
Publication Date: 2010-10-28
As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by
Call Number: JUV L735w
Publication Date: 2009-07-01
Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon who cannot fly on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River.
Call Number: JUV S448r
Publication Date: 2011-09-27
Fourteen-year-old Sig is stranded at a remote cabin in the Arctic wilderness with his father, who died just hours earlier after falling through the ice, when a terrifying man arrives, claiming Sig's father owes him a share of a horde of stolen gold and that he will kill Sig if he does not get his money.
Publication Date: 2001-05-21
After the death of the uncle who had been his guardian, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider is coerced to continue his uncle's dangerous work for Britain's intelligence agency, MI6.
The Winter Pony by
Publication Date: 2012-10-09
Presents an account--from the point of view of a pony--of what it is like to be part of Captain Robert Scott's 1910 expedition to reach the South Pole before his rival, Roald Amundsen.
Baseball Genius by
Publication Date: 2017-03-07
An average kid with an above average talent for predicting baseball pitches tries to help his favorite player out of a slump.
Football Nightmare by
Call Number: JUV H6688f
Publication Date: 2001-09-01
Having dropped a pass and made his football team miss having an undefeated season, thirteen-year-old Keith fears that he will continue to make bad mistakes and wonders if he should continue playing football.
Play Makers by
Call Number: JUV L9655pl
Publication Date: 2013-02-05
Ben McBain is considered the best point guard in the league, but his teammate Chase Braggs is the complete opposite of Ben who likes to talk on the court and show off.
Publication Date: 2016-08-30
Ghost, a naturally talented runner and troublemaker, is recruited for an elite middle school track team. He must stay on track, literally and figuratively, to reach his full potential
Publication Date: 2016-04-05
Summary Twelve-year-old Nick loves soccer and hates books, but soon learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams