a "made up" story which has as setting a specific and recognizable historical time period which could not have been during the author's lifetime. These novels and stories often include characters and places which are historically accurate, and many include historical documents as well. Examples of historical fiction are: Dragonwings, The Whipping Boy, Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver.
a "made up" story which uses a collage of documents, in addition to dialogue and narration, to help to tell the story. Some documentary fiction you will read as an adult uses actual news stories, letters, diaries, etc., but the story is the author's invention. Example: Nothing But the Truth.
originally, a story which used the science of the future as a major element of plot or setting. This meaning has been stretched to include all future or utopian, time travel, space, alien contact, and dimension travel stories, as well as to include some elements of fantasy. Examples: A Wrinkle in Time, The Giver, many stories by author Ray Bradbury.
Folklore, folk tale, fairy tale
originally "oral tradition stories," memorized and passed from person to person through the telling, these tend to have messages for the listener to decipher and definite similarities in plot, characters, and settings. You study these stories in Lower School. In Middle School, you need to remember them and watch for "folklore" elements to appear in your reading. Examples of books rich in folklore references: The 13 Clocks, The Magic Circle, Haroun, The Other Side of Silence.
- novels and stories which are "real" in that they take place in a time and place like a present, or recent past, time and place, have plots which are possible, and have characters which are believable as real people. Examples: Hatchet, Shabanu.
fantasy novels and stories cover a wide range of "real-unreal" plots, characters and settings. Some identifying characteristics are: animals as characters, magical events, imaginary beings as characters. Fantasies often involve a search or quest of some type and ask the reader to temporarily believe in the possibility of events and characters. Examples: Alice in Wonderland, The Story of the Amulet, The Wizard of Earthsea, The Hobbit, Watership Down.
a mystery novel contains a puzzle and challenges the reader to join the detective character who eventually solves the puzzle. Collecting clues is a vital skill for mystery readers. Examples: The House of Dies Drear, The Westing Game, The Hound of the Baskervilles.