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.
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
Subject: [ha-Safran] Question about classifying YA historical fiction
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.
Congregation of Moses Fisher Library
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