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Children's Fiction: Home

This guide provides an overview of Memorial Library's children's fiction collection, with suggestions for read-alikes for our most popular titles.

What Is Children's Fiction?

People often wonder how to define "children's fiction." At what age does it begin, and at what age does the fiction become "young adult"?  There is no one agreed-upon answer to this question, but a working definition is a mixture of the definition of "children's literature" and "fiction."

Children's Literature - "...the materials written to be read by children and young people, and stocked and shelved in the children's and/or young adult (YA) sections of libraries and bookshops" (Reynolds, 2011, p.1)

Fiction - "the type of book or story that is written about imagined characters and events and does not describe real people or deal with facts..." ("Fiction", n.d.)


Children's Fiction is stories written about imagined characters and/or events targeted at children.

ADDITIONALLY, the age range for "Children's Fiction" is usually for ages 0-12, whereas "Young Adult Fiction," while still falling under the category of "Children's Literature," is considered its own subgenre with an age range of 12 years into the early twenties, depending on which source you consult (Find Me An Author, n.d.), This LibGuide will focus on books which have a target audience of children from 0-12 years of age.

Types of Children's Fiction Books

Children's Fiction as we have defined it can be divided into four broad categories of books: Picture Books, Early Readers, Chapter Books, and Middle Grade Novels. Any of these books can be written in any mode, such as historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, or comedy. Below you will find the definition of each with a recommended book in each format, each of which can be found in Memorial Library's collection.

Picture Books 

Shorter stories which have big illustrations which also contain plot details.


Early Readers

Slightly longer than picture books and introduce children to longer words


Chapter Books

Structured like novels but have many more illustrations than novels and are usually shorter in length.


Middle Grade Novels

For children ages 10-12 (and up!), these are longer books which deal with preteen issues such as problems with classmates, budding talents, family issues, and body image, to name a few.  


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Casey Duevel
Memorial Library

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