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Picture Encyclopedia of SBT Literary Genres


The adventure genre is defined by having a strong element of danger in the story. Adventure stories are fast-paced and full of action.

Adventure Genre Key Points

Adventure books feature fast-paced and action-packet plots, and a hero that has to complete an unexpected quest or journey in a short period of time. Oftentimes the main character is tasked with saving another person or fighting something evil and scary, and chance plays a big part in what happens throughout the story. Adventure stories usually take place somewhere intriguing with exciting settings that draw in the reader. The journey of the hero has an exhilarating climax, sacrifice, dangerous scenarios, and a protagonist and antagonist. Sometimes adventure stories have realistic characters, settings, and plots, and sometimes they can be more of a fantasy adventure.

The word adventure comes from the Old French aventure, which means “destiny”, “fate”, or “chance event”. These exciting stories have been popular since the beginning of the fiction genre. In the 19th century, adventure stories that were written specifically for children became more popular. Some of these stories include Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, The Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann David Wyss, and The Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat.

Adventure stories hold the interest of even the pickiest readers. The sense of urgency appeals to young people, especially in the upper elementary and middle school grades. Teachers can use adventure stories as a class read aloud, independent reading books, or as a novel study. Students are sure to love the thrill of reading and discussing this genre with their classmates.

Examples of Adventure Books

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