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Realistic Fiction

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Realistic fiction is kind of a newcomer to the long list of literary genres. Primarily aimed at children and adolescents (the corresponding genre in adult literature is usually just called "literary fiction"), realistic fiction is recognizable by its relatable characters and situations. What sets it apart from historical fiction is that the stories do not center around an actual historical event or person, though they may be set in a very real time period.

Characters deal with the things everyone else deals with—death, friendship, loneliness, embarrassment, first love—and they don't get transported to a make-believe island as a solution to their problems. They have to work it out, which is one of the main appeals of this genre; kids like to read about other kids (real or imaginary) going through the typical young person's trials and how they deal with it.

Not that all realistic fiction is sad and gloomy. It's just what it sounds like—stories about real-life from a fresh perspective. Also, we aren't suggesting there are no realistic elements to a fantasy like The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: there are, which is precisely what makes reading that book so rewarding. It's just that real kids don't fight literal dragons, they fight bullies, or their own insecurities, or ferocious acne.

A lot of the best and most-loved stories fall squarely within the limits of realistic fiction. Huckleberry Finn wasn't a real pirate, but he really rafted the Mississippi; Anne Shirley wasn't a Medieval princess, but she really became Matthew and Marilla's daugher; Anna and Caleb Witting aren't big on imagination, but they are big on really accepting Sarah into their family (at least, eventually).

The full range of human experience is explored in these stories, its darkness, its light, its sorrow, its joy. This is the purpose of literature, after all: to show us true life, and in showing us, to better prepare us for it. These books are some of the best at doing just that.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

 

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1,006 Items found Print
18 Penny Goose
An I Can Read Book Level 3
by Sally M. Walker
from HarperCollins
Realistic fiction for 2nd-4th grade
in I Can Read Books (Location: CPB-04B)
77 Zebra
Adventures of an Arctic Missionary Book 3
by Gloria Repp
from Bob Jones University Press
for 4th-6th grade
in BJU Journey Books & Booklinks (Location: B10-02D)
About Average
by Andrew Clements
Reprint from Atheneum
for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A06-01A)
Accidental Voyage
Mr. Pipes Series #4
by Doug Bond
from P&R Publishing
for 5th-8th grade
in History of Hymns (Location: C06-03F)
Adèle & Simon
by Barbara McClintock
from Farrar, Straus and Giroux
for Preschool-1st grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A06-01A)
Adoption Is for Always
by Linda Walvoord Girard
from Albert Whitman & Company
for Preschool-4th grade
in Clearance: Picture Books (Location: ACL-PIC)
Adventures of an Arctic Missionary Trilogy
by Gloria Repp
from Bob Jones University Press
Missionary Stories for 4th-6th grade
in BJU Journey Books & Booklinks (Location: B10-02D)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
from Dover Publications
Realistic Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: CLT-19C)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Puffin Classics
by Mark Twain
from Puffin Books
for 6th-10th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Sterling Classics
by Mark Twain & Scott McKowen
from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 6th-10th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: A04-04A)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
from Bantam Books
Realistic Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: CLT-19C)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Puffin Classics
by Mark Twain
from Puffin Books
Realistic Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Puffin Classics
by Mark Twain
from Puffin Books
Realistic Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Sterling Classics
by Mark Twain & Scott McKowen
Unabridged from Sterling Publishing Co.
Realistic Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: A04-04A)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Puffin Classics
by Mark Twain
from Penguin Classics
Realistic Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: CLT-19C)
Adventures with Waffles
from Candlewick Press
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A06-01A)
After the Dancing Days
by Margaret I. Rostkowski
from HarperTrophy
for 7th-9th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
Alas, Babylon
by Pat Frank
from HarperCollins
Apocalyptic novel for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
Alfie and the Big Boys
by Shirley Hughes
Reprint from Red Fox
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
Alfie and the Birthday Surprise
by Shirley Hughes
Reissue from Red Fox
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
Alfie Gets in First
by Shirley Hughes
Reprint from Red Fox
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
Alfie Weather
by Shirley Hughes
New from Red Fox
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
Alfie Wins a Prize
by Shirley Hughes
Reissue from Red Fox
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
Alfie's Alphabet
by Shirley Hughes
from Red Fox
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
Alfie's Feet
by Shirley Hughes
Reprint from Red Fox
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
Alfie's Numbers
by Shirley Hughes
from Red Fox
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
All Alone
by Claire Huchet Bishop
from Scholastic Inc.
for 2nd-4th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A06-01A)
All Those Secrets of the World
by Jane Yolen
1st edition from Little, Brown & Company
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
All-of-a-Kind Family
by Sydney Taylor
from Yearling
Family Stories for 2nd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A06-01A)
All-of-a-Kind Family Downtown
All-of-a-Kind Family Series #2
by Sydney Taylor
from Lizzie Skurnick Books
Family Stories for 2nd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A06-01A)
All-of-a-Kind Family Sequels Bundle
by Sydney Taylor
for 3rd-8th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A06-01A)
All-of-a-Kind Family Uptown
All-of-a-Kind Family Series #4
by Sydney Taylor
from Lizzie Skurnick Books
Family Stories for 2nd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A06-01A)
Along Came a Dog
by Meindert DeJong & Maurice Sendak
from HarperCollins
Realistic Animal Fiction for 4th-8th grade
1959 Newbery Honor Book
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
Amelia's War
by Ann Rinaldi
from Scholastic Inc.
for 3rd-6th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
American Haven
Mountain Adventures #3
by Elizabeth Yates
from Bob Jones University Press
for 5th-8th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A06-01A)
Amos Fortune, Free Man
by Elizabeth Yates
from Puffin Books
Realistic Fiction for 4th-8th grade
1951 Newbery Medal winner
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A06-01A)
Anak, the Eskimo Boy
by Piet Prins
from Inheritance Publications
Realistic Fiction for 2nd-4th grade
in Wholesome Reading (Location: A11-01B)
And Now Miguel
by Joseph Krumgold
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction for 5th-8th grade
1954 Newbery Medal winner
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A06-01A)
Andrew Henry's Meadow
by Doris Burn
from Philomel Books
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
Exodus Books 5-Star Rating
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
Angel in the Waters
by Regina Doman
from Sophia Institute Press
Realistic Fiction for Preschool-Kindergarten
in Pregnancy & Infant Care (Location: C08-08E)
Anna and the King (adapted)
by Margaret Landon
from HarperCollins
Historical Fiction for 4th-7th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
Anna and the King of Siam
by Margaret Landon
from HarperCollins
Historical fiction for 9th-12th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: CLT-19C)
Anna Hibiscus
by Atinuke
Reprint from Kane/Miller
for 1st-5th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A06-01A)
Anna of Byzantium
by Tracy Barrett
from Random House
Historical Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
Anne of Avonlea
Anne #2
by L. M. Montgomery
from Bantam Books
for 4th-8th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A06-01A)
Anne of Avonlea
Sterling Classics
by L. M. Montgomery & Scott McKowen
from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 5th-8th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: A04-04A)
Anne of Green Gables
Anne #1
by L. M. Montgomery
from Bantam Books
Orphan Stories for 5th-9th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A06-01A)
Anne of Green Gables
Anne #1
by L. M. Montgomery
from Bantam Books
Orphan Stories for 5th-9th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A06-01A)
Anne of Green Gables
Sterling Classics
by L. M. Montgomery & Scott McKowen
Unabridged from Sterling Publishing Co.
Orphan Stories for 5th-9th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: A04-04A)
Anne of Green Gables - Boxed Set
by L. M. Montgomery
from Bantam Books
Orphan Stories for 5th-9th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A06-01A)
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