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RE 3240, RE 3902, and RE 5140 Evaluating Literature for Children: Realistic Fiction

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Realistic Fiction: A Definition

Works of Realistic Fiction discusses issues that children confront in their everyday lives such as divorce, abuse, illness, death, grief, depression, parental job loss, moving, and poverty.   Realistic Fiction is typically set in present time and accurately portrays the attitudes, problems, and behaviors of contemporary people. You can find these books in the IMC collection by using the issue as a search term and adding the word fiction to it. For example you can locate fiction about child abuse by typing in the keyword “child abuse” and adding the term “ fiction”. Limit your search by location to the IMC.

Types of realistic fiction include:
  - Action/adventure stories 
  - Stories about families
  - Sports stories
  - Mysteries
  - Romances 


Contemporary Realistic Fiction (This link will take you to the list of IMC bibs -- scroll down the list to the Realistic Fiction genre)

Questions to Ask When Evaluating Works of Realistic Fiction

Are the characters and plot believable? Do the characters grow and change in relation to the story's events?

Does the book's plot contain enough conflict to maintain reader interest?

Is the book's setting described in enough detail to create a mental picture?

Do themes evolve naturally from the story or do they seem forced and overemphasized?

IMC Librarian

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Margaret Gregor