Hi Rachel—

Here’s a link to the bibliographic record for the book in the Library of 
Congress catalog. They classed it with fiction. They added some subjects 
headings, too, including a subject heading reflecting the fact that the book is 
juvenile literature. So if someone searches for Bar Kochba in the catalog as a 
subject, they will find the book, but they will see that it is a work of 

I don’t catalog too many kids’ books. But I think the principle would be the 
same for books for young adults as it is for older adults—you want to be sure 
that  they know that they are looking at a fictionalized account rather than 
historical fact. I wouldn’t want them to use it as a source in a term paper, 
thinking that it historically accurate.


Best wishes,

Faye Leibowitz
General Languages Catalog Librarian
University Library System
University of Pittsburgh

From: Hasafran [mailto:hasafran-bounces+frleibo+=pitt....@lists.osu.edu] On 
Behalf Of rhaus_...@yahoo.com
Sent: Thursday, August 17, 2017 12:58 PM
To: hasaf...@lists.service.ohio-state.edu
Subject: [ha-Safran] Question about classifying YA historical fiction

Dear Hasafranim,

I just came along a grey area that makes me want to rethink a few things about 
classifying YA historical fiction, specifically biographical fiction. Someone 
donated this older book, Bar Kochba, by Amram Whiteman. I have very little on 
the period for kids, so I thought why not.

For very young kids, it seems acceptable to place some historical fiction in 
with the history or biography it covers. Same with bible stories. For adults, 
of course, I wouldn't consider such a thing, but what about for tweens and YA? 
Should I place this fictional account of Bar Kochba with fiction or with the 
history of the period, with a classification identifying it as fiction so that 
it's in the same area?

I'm also beginning to wonder about fictional accounts of biblical figures such 
as David or Amos. Right now they're in bible stories, but for older kids, 
should they perhaps be in fiction instead? Is this a grey area for others, or 
is there a standard practice where teen literature is concerned.

Rachel Haus
Library Director
Congregation of Moses Fisher Library
Kalamazoo MI
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