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About the Book Categories

These designations will help you find the types of books you like. Many books fall into several categories, and therefore will show up on several lists.


Stories with lots of action, drama, and danger, often set in exotic locations, possibly including ocean voyages or wars


The story of someone's life, probably embellished and "fictionalized"

Childhood fantasy

Highly imaginative books often including animals in unrealistic situations


Stories of Greek, Roman, or other mythology


Realistic stories with dogs as the subject


Stories whose action centers around home and family life


Tales often including magic, imaginary creatures, and lots of adventure; often medieval-type settings


A story, usually with animals, that serves to explain something or teach a lesson

Fairy tale

The classic fairy stories (Grimm, Andersen) plus more modern compositions in the same style (George MacDonald)


Books about a historical event, a historical person, or set in a particular historical period and containing lots of colorful background about that time and place; usually embellished or "fictionalized"


Realistic stories with horses as the subject


Literary classic



Other Animals

Realistic stories with the action centering on animals other than (or in addition to) dogs or horses

Picture Books

Generally highly illustrated books designed to be read aloud to younger children, though there can be a wide range of sophistication in the language and story. Some may also serve as first books for beginning readers.

Science fiction

Stories of space or the future; often overlaps with fantasy though superficially more realistic