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Children's and Youth Literature

This guide provides literature resources for all ages of TWU Library patrons.

Youth Book Categories / Terms

  • Board: Board books are constructed of sturdy cardboard, called paperboard, to withstand the physical demands of young readers.
  • Oversized: Oversized or big books are specially compiled large-format books printed on coated, durable paper. These books generally range from 11 inches (28cm) to 18 inches (45 cm) on the longest edge.
  • Pop-Up: A Pop-up book has pages that rise when opened to simulate a three-dimensional form. 
  • Hardcover:  Hardcover books are constructed from cardboard that is wrapped in paper, leather, or similarly durable material to protect them for long-term use. The pages are bound together by a process known as thread sewing.
  • Paperback: Paperback books are made from paper or thin cardboard with pages glued into a binding. These books are usually mass-produced. 
  • eBook: This term refers to a book composed in or converted to digital format for display on a computer screen or handheld device.
  • Audiobook: This term refers to recording a book or other work read aloud. 
  • Board books:  These books are primarily used by age the age groups of infancy through Preschool. These books represent an introduction to books and reading. These titles are printed on durable material to protect the book from active use and prevent a possible choking hazard. 
  • Picture books: These titles are usually 24-36 pages in length and significant in physical size; these combine words and pictures for nonreaders or early and beginning readers. Some have no words at all, and the child must "read" the images to understand the story.
  • Early Readers: This type of book is often used in grade 1-3 classrooms, these are often approximately 6" x 9" in size, have more words and have fewer pictures than an actual picture book. Sometimes referred to as leveled readers, they may have brief chapters.
  • Chapter Books: This is the common term for fiction aimed at grade 4-6 range, they have chapters, and the number of illustrations decreases as the reading level increases.
  • Young Adult: This is a book targeted to audiences 12 years and older. 
  • New Adult: This is a genre that is considered to fall somewhere between young adult and adult fiction, a literary genre that features protagonists in the 18–30 age bracket. The primary indicator of whether or not a novel is a new adult is the protagonist's age; if the main character is in their early 20s, it's likely a new adult novel.
  • Graphic Novel: This is a story told in a comic book format, for any age, and not limited to fiction anymore. 

Note: the ages/audiences listed here are only general recommendations. Many older children still like reading board books from when they were smaller.

Fiction: Something invented by the imagination; an invented story.
Non-fiction: Writing that is about facts and real events.

Examples of Literary Genres

  • Action and Adventure
  • Biographies and Autobiographies
  • Classic
  • Comic Book or Graphic Novel
  • Cookbooks
  • Dystopian
  • Essays
  • Fantasy
  • Historical Fiction
  • Horror
  • Humor
  • Literary Fiction
  • Memoir
  • Multicultural
  • Mystery 
  • Poetry
  • Romance
  • Science Fiction (Sci-Fi)
  • Self-Help
  • Short Stories
  • Suspense and Thrillers
  • True Crime
  • Western
  • Women's Fiction

Note: It's not always easy. In recent years authors have been blurring the boundaries between some of these genres. For example, Harry Potter, by J. K. Rowling, combines action and adventure, mystery, crime, sci-fi, and fantasy genres.