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Genres of Literature: Current Children's & YA

Classics and Notable Titles


Distinguishing Characteristics

  • Roots are in oral tradition, based on stories or teachings passed orally from one generation to another. 
  • Oral tradition is a significant component of many cultures, including First Nations, Metis and Inuit. 
  • Original author usually unknown.  
  • Will often say “retold by…” or “adapted by”. 
  • Always look for source notes at the back of the book to determine the authenticity and origins of the story. 
  • Evidence of appropriate consultation and research is important. 
  • This category is broad, including: fairy tales, folk tales, legends, Mother Goose rhymes, fables, epics, proverbs. 
  • Look in the library call # range of 398 for traditional literature. Greek myths are in 292.