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Children's Books Genres

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Science fiction and fantasy are two popular children's books genres.

Writers of science fiction can manipulate settings to fit narratives or make up out-of-this-world settings altogether. Sci-fi writers rely on the utter suspension of disbelief, which is a fancy way of saying that you have to believe what you read no matter how implausible it may seem.

If the writer of science fiction does his job, he sets up the story and characters in such a way that he seems to be describing something that can occur in the not-so-distant future because it’s based on things that already exist today. Science fiction takes existing scientific principles and theories and uses them in the plot.

It’s meant to be understood literally, not metaphorically, and its characters ought to be believable even if the setting isn’t.

Fantasy relies on the notion that real people in real settings can encounter magical things and can often perform magic. In other words, some people have special powers, whereas others don’t.

Fantasy and science fiction can also be combined. This approach is especially popular for middle-grade and young adult readers. One example would be Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series (Laurel Leaf). It has technological aspects to the plot as well as fantasy-type characters.

Fantasy can also involve mythical creatures such as fairies and unicorns, as well as talking animals that may or may not interact with humans. Subgenres of fantasy include urban fantasy, paranormal romance, fairy tale retellings, magical realism, high fantasy, and sword-and-sorcery tales.

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