September 5, 2008

THE FIVE: Genres Your Teacher Doesn’t Know About

Posted by at 8:53 am in Reads | Permalink

5. Dying Earth
The name says it all. Rooted in science fiction, Dying Earth stories narrate the struggle of life forms in the distant future as natural resources become deplete, the sun goes kaput, and the planet loses the mojo to spin. This form is becoming quite chic now that folks are catching on to the destruction that human activity is causing the world. But don’t despair — there’s hope! Hope for life is a dominant theme in these stories. Example: Wall-e!

4. Steampunk
This is not your grandma’s fantasy genre. In fact, it’s your grandma’s grandma’s fantasy genre! Steampunk works are fantasy and sci-fi tales that take place during the 18th century when steam power was the power of choice. So instead of laser-shooting titanium robot armies, you might get brass wind-up robots made of old clock parts. Example: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.

3. Screenplay novel
Many popular books get turned into movies, but a few books are movies just as they are. Well, sort of. These titles read like screenplays, complete with dialogue, camera angles, scene transitions, and other director’s notes.

2. Secret History
Works belonging to this genre deal with historical events that have been kept a secret by authorities (mainly the government). Chances are you won’t find these confidential stories in your Social Studies textbook, so you’ll have to do some outside reading to find out more. Example: The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages, a fictional novel about the nuclear experiments at Los Alamos during WWII.

1. Mockcyclopedia
These compendiums contain loads of innaccurate or plain made-up information. Often filled with detailed charts and drawings, mockcyclopedias have the format of an encyclopedia, but with about as much truthful knowledge as a tabloid. Example: What Buttosaur Is That? by Andy Griffiths

Why is mockcyclopedia #1? Because I just made it up! If YOU could make up a genre, what would it be? Or better yet, what are your favorite genres?

— Cindy, Scholastic.com Editor