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*Stories that are highly imaginative—yet believable*

1) Events, settings, or characters are outside the realm of possibility
2) A story that cannot happen in the real world
3) Modern fantasies written by known authors/distinguish from magical tales that
have been handed down by oral tradition/no known authors
4) Contain truths that help the reader to understand today’s world
5) Cycle Format –one book is linked to another through characters, settings, or both.
a) Redwall series/animal fantasies/Brian Jacques

Evaluation and Selection

1) Usual standards for quality children’s fiction
2) Plot, characters, and setting must be so well developed that the child reader is able
to suspend disbelief and to accept the impossible as real.
a) Begin story in ordinary setting/typical human beings as characters then transition
to the fantasy world.
i) Indian in the Cupboard
3) Begin in imagined world but manage –through well-described settings and well-
rounded characters—to make this new reality believable.
a) The Giver
4) Setting is unique:
a) May move beyond the realistic in both time
i) The Doll in the Garden & place


1) Modern Folktales or Literary Folktales:
a) Little character description/strong conflict/fast-moving plot/sudden
resolution/vague setting -- known author.
i) Ella Enchanted
2) Animal Fantasy
a) Animals behave as human beings/personified yet retaining many of their animal
i) Catwings and Charlotte’s Web
3) Personified Characters and Objects
a) Toys brought to life and believed in/often responsibility of parenthood assumed
by the child protagonist.
i) Winnie the Pooh
4) Unusual Characters and Strange Situations
a) Strange or ridiculous
i) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
5) Worlds of Little People:
a) Miniature people with a culture or world of their own. Children identify with
indignities foisted upon little & powerless people/big people usually outdone by
clever little people.
i) Gulliver in Lilliput; The Borrowers
6) Supernatural Events and Mystery Fantasy
a) Ghost stories. Ghosts can be fearful threats or helpful protectors.
7) Historical Fantasy:
a) Time warp fantasy. Time period must be fully & accurately developed.
8) Quest Stories:
a) Adventure stories with a search motif. High fantasy/often set in medieval
times/imaginary worlds/conflict between good and evil/characters drawn from
myth and legend. Quest usually represents a journey of self-discovery and
personal growth for protagonist.
i) The Hobbit (Tolkien)
9) Science Fiction (imaginative lit about something that could happen based on real
scientific facts and principles/ Must have appearance of scientific or technical
plausibility about future worlds. Called futuristic fiction)
a) Z for Zachariah and
10) Science Fantasy (a scientific explanation/not necessarily plausible/offered for
imaginative leaps into the unknown. Presents a world that is a mix of mythology
and traditional fantasy with scientific or technological concepts.
a) A Wrinkle in Time
b) Dungeons & Dragons