What is Fiction and Nonfiction?

Fiction and nonfiction is present in many of our everyday things such as packaging of goods, newspaper and google news articles, novels, autobiographies, educational videos, interviews on the radio and much more.

That’s right! We read, watch and listen to information that is either fiction or nonfiction.

What Do We Mean By Fiction and Nonfiction Books?

Fiction Books Meaning

Books that have imaginary characters and madeup events are called fiction books. Imagination of fiction stories come from the author’s mind. Fiction stories have story elements such as character, setting, problem and solution.

Myths, legends, fairy tales, and short stories are all types of fiction. Fiction books for kids are available in the form of picture books, chapter books, and novels.

Author of fiction stories present point of view of characters or narrator. Stories in fiction books have plot, events and theme. Authors of fiction books could use narrative techniques like going in the past, like in a flashback or visiting future events.

Reading fiction books can stir emotions, for instance, think of humour or horror in fiction books. Fiction books can also have exaggerated events, characters or setting, such as in fantasy stories.

five characteristics of fiction

Examples of fiction books

  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Godzilla book series
  • Silly Joke Book for Kids
  • Adventures of Narnia
  • Cindrella fairytale
  • The Secret Island by Enid Blyton

Movies on fantastical, larger than life characters are fiction. On the other hand, a historical movie can also be fiction, while a biopic based on true life story of a person is nonfiction.

Read the chart below, to know more about types (genres) within fiction and nonfiction.

Note that Historical fiction are fiction stories that are partly real and partly imaginary. In historical fiction, there is a blend of real historical figures, reference of real events along with imaginary characters, unreal events and dialogues madeup by the writer of the story.

Also read: Types of Fiction Genres

What is nonfiction?

Real and factual information is nonfiction, which means it is not imaginary. Nonfiction means the information is not fiction.

In other words, that content, information, communication, or knowledge that is considered real and true in common knowledge is considered nonfiction. There’s no false narrative in nonfiction content.

Books containing real information on history, geography, or science, are nonfiction. Documentaries, biographies, audio-visual interviews, travel guides and company newsletters are some examples of nonfiction information sources.

Nonfiction Books Meaning

The books that give real and factual information are nonfiction books. A detailed personal account of travel to places is a travelogue. Real experience narrated in a story form is called narrative nonfiction. “Swept Away: the story of the 2011 Japanese Tsunami” by Rebecca Rissman is an example of narrative nonfiction.

Also read: Visual Prompts for Narrative Writing

Nonfiction has real information, and may have opinions and views on real issues. Articles have well researched information and statistics.

Nonfiction books have maps, data, graph, charts, captions, real pictures, glossary, index and much more. Encyclopedia, dictionary and autobiographies are examples of nonfiction.

Examples of Nonfiction

  • Newspaper snippet on score of a tennis match
  • Interview of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar
  • My Experiences With Truth by Mahatma Gandhi
  • Encyclopedia of Sea Animals
  • History textbook
  • Autobiography of a famous personality
  • Encyclopedia on Turtles
  • Packaging information of dog food
five nonfiction characteristics

Also read: Types of Nonfiction

Difference between fiction and nonfiction

It can be hard to tell the difference between fiction and nonfiction, both for writers and readers. Fiction usually means that all or most of the plot, setting, and characters are made up. In fiction books, author often use narrative techniques in certain ways to tell a story to make it more powerful.

Fiction and nonfiction books have their special text features. In fiction books there can be descriptive visualization, dialogues, flashback, futuristic voyage, drama, and exaggeration. While nonfiction can have research findings, step by step chronological order, show cause and effect, comparison and contrast of something, and problem-solving of real problems. For instance, an illustrated nonfiction children’s book on “Life-Cycle of a Butterfly” or a book on “Tigers and their Habitat”

Also read: Types of Writing Styles

Examples of difference between Fiction and Nonfiction

To understand the difference better, lets take an example of the story Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. The story is about a human child Mowgli and his animal guardians. Its the story of how Mowgli survives in the jungle. The watchful eyes of Sher Khan follow Mowgli. Is Mowgli successful in going back to where he belongs?

jungle book fiction nonfiction example
Example of difference between Fiction Story and Nonfiction Book

The jungle animals converse with Mowgli. Some wild animals strategize and plan. Other wild animals have protective feelings for the human child. They sing and dance together. The red flowers in the jungle has a scary symbolism for the wild animals. It is surprising to read about such friendship of the human child with wild animals in the forests. The story is imaginary and a fiction.

Also read: Difference Between Fact andt time Opinion

If you wish to read some real information on animals and forests, then read a nonfiction book. An animal encyclopedia is a nonfiction book. It has factual information about animals and their surroundings. It will have information on the animal life cycle. Or what food they eat and how they live. A variety of information covered in nonfiction book animal encyclopedia. It has real information about animals with real pictures and statistics.

Disney The Jungle Book

The author is Rudyard Kipling and publisher Autumn Publishing. The book has 28 good quality pages with wonderful colorful illustrations. Its a sturdy hard bound book. The lovely illustrations will keep the readers spell bound and captivated in the story.

The army of animals around Mowgli including Sher Khan, Bagheera, Bhaloo the bear, the hypnotic snake, monkeys and the family of wolves. They are all there in the fiction storybook waiting to greet and take the reader in to the imaginative story.

The Jungle Book Board book (First Stories)

The book written and illustrated by Miriam Bos and published by Campbell Books. The story originally written by Rudyard Kipling in 1892, featuring endearing characters that are much loved by generations of kids. The first classic story introduced to little children. This board book has thick pages that little kids cannot tear.

The push/pull/slide cut-outs of animals that move for effect will amuse the little kids. Little kids absolutely love these moving animals in the book. The story is compact with less text yet the beautiful colourful pictures are very eye catching to observe. The book size is about a large adult size palm impression. The book is value for money.

Also read related article: Which Are The 21st Century Skills?

Animals- Wow Encyclopedia

The book is for children above 8 years. Younger kids can listen to parents read out the information. Talking about the pictures with reference to the real information will educate the younger kids about the real world of animals. The book has 66 pages with colourful pictures. Publisher is Dreamland Publication in 2020.

The book is supported with augmented reality technology for conveying real and factual information. Users can download a free app on smart phone or tablet. This nonfiction book has real information about animals and their environment and is an engaging, fun read for kids.


Fiction and nonfiction are both necessary. In this article, you read about the difference between fiction and nonfiction examples. They help to balance the creative imagination and practical informational facts about the real world. Reading fiction boosts the innate creativity in young readers and gives limitless possibilities to imagination.

A creative imagination helps in expressing thoughts, ideas and feelings. It helps in out of the box thinking and problem solving. Real factual information in nonfiction helps in acquiring knowledge about the world we live in. Reading different genres of books helps in all-round development.

Also read: Best Picture books for Reading Aloud to Kids.

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