Fiction Book Genres – What Is Fantasy

“Genre” Now that’s a fun word to say — “genre” — that sounds French? Do you know what a genre is? A genre is a category. When you like music,
you don’t always like every kind — or every genre — of music. You might love punk rock,
but not country music. Those are two different types, or genres, of music. We put other things
into genres. We might split our building sets into different categories, like, say, I don’t
know, Space, Castle, or City. Books work the same way. Most chapter books are part of a
large genre called FICTION, which just means those books tell a story that came from the
author’s imagination. But fiction alone doesn’t give us many details about what’s
in the book. So we can divide books up into more specific fiction genres. Holes and The
Hobbit are both fiction books, but they have very different settings and characters. So
we put them into different fiction genres. Let’s talk about one specific fiction genre
right now. You know those books that have wizards and
dragons and unicorns and elves … stuff like that? We call those kinds of stories FANTASY.
The word fantasy basically means imaginary, make believe, or pretend, and comes from an
older word meaning visions or dreams, the same old word that gave us “phantom.”
Fantasy books come from imagination, but all fiction comes from imagination. So what makes
fantasy different from other kinds of fiction? Fantasy contains unreal things that could
never be real in our world. Fantasy breaks the rules of what we know.
Magical fairies that grant wishes living in your backyard? No problem. One-eyed ogres
that fall in love at first, uh, sight? Sure. Those things aren’t real in our world, but
fantasy authors make unreal things real in the world of their stories. A fantasy book might be set in a completely
made-up universe, or in a made-up version of the real world with a few new rules for
what’s normal. In a fantasy book, teenagers might grow wings during puberty instead of
armpit hair. When strange things happen, it’s because of something unreal or unexplainable.
In other words, MAGIC. Or make believe. Sometimes the fantasy genre means every kind
of fiction that isn’t realistic. It can be a very general category that includes fairy
tales, folk tales, spooky stories, animal stories, sci-fi, and anything else that has
some kind of make believe in it. But usually, when we say fantasy, we mean
the specific category of modern or contemporary fantasy, which is literature that has unreal
story elements, but a real, known author. That makes it different from traditional fantasy,
which includes all the myths and legends that were first told a long time ago and shared
by people, not books, so we don’t really know the original author. The amount of unreal things in modern fantasy
varies from high to low. Some books are set in entirely different, imaginary worlds filled
with creatures, places, and objects that never existed. These high fantasy books often involve
lowly characters (like you and me, no offense) who grow and change after a journey or quest
against the forces of evil. I hope that sounds familiar because that storyline has been reused
and remixed in like, a gazillion movies and video games. Think about it. Some fantasy stories keep most of the real
world but change just a few normal things into magical things. These low fantasy books
often have characters who discover magical creatures, places, or objects that had been
hidden or forgotten. Many children’s and young adult fantasy
books are set in magical places that are connected to the real world by a magic word, key, or
portal. When you’re a kid, your dreams and wishes feel like they really could be just
behind a mysterious door or deep inside a hidden cave. We never forget those feelings
and fantasy authors love taking us back to the land of make believe. And even though it’s fantasy, we make connections
from the issues and troubles characters face to what happens in our own lives. If the protagonist is fighting a big
scary dragon, it might make you think about how it feels to conquer your own big scary
fear, or a big scary test, or some big scary bully. Exploring the strange, mysterious worlds
in fantasy can actually help us explore the strange, mysterious world we call REALITY. So that’s fantasy. It’s set in imaginary
worlds where things are unreal because of different rules or magic. And that’s why
we love it — anything can happen. Fantasy authors dream up anything from a magical stone
to a magical galaxy and bring us along for the journey. Fantasy uses imaginary things
to help us understand and deal with real things. When you read about an average kid who learns
new skills and overcomes problems to become a hero, you might start thinking you can do
that in your own life. And guess what. You can! You probably already do. It’s not just
a bunch of … fantasy.

60 thoughts on “Fiction Book Genres – What Is Fantasy

  1. I could not love your videos more!! And my students (3rd/4th/5th) are totally engaged with them as well. I appreciate their production quality, their humor, their spot on descriptions, and in particular how you talk about why that genre matters. I can appreciate that you have an actual life, but for my selfish purposes, you cannot create more of these soon enough!

  2. Love it. When will you complete the set? .lol Historical, poetry, biography…etc.

  3. HI MRS. MATTHIS! (cant spell your name) I HAVE DISCOVERED YOUR CHANNEL! mischievously smiles I sadly is not ging to camp so im stuck. Do you remember meh?

  4. Oh gosh, you do know that like nearly all fairy tales come from the famous German Grimm Brothers. Red riding hood, Cinderella, The bread crumb thing

  5. It's Sad when you find a Video from a promising channel and you go check the channel and its dead 🙁

  6. This were really useful for my elementary students. You should also do some more genres in the same style! Would love to see Mystery, Ghost Stories, Myths, Historical Fiction etc.

  7. Thank you for this video, it really inspired my students!

  8. My daughter and I were reading this togetherness. Great family book to read. Would recommend for 11 and up years old.

  9. Make more!!!! historical fiction, realistic fiction and mystery please!!!

  10. best fantasy is ofc high fantasy. low fantasy is for pubertaly sentimental plebs. high fantasy like lord of the rings or skyrim or world of warcraft are best.

  11. I like country music dont make fun of it’ and this don’t make sense

  12. This is a perfect example of a video that succinctly and clearly explains its subject. Thank you.

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