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Thank you to those who responded to my question about when fiction becomes 
historical fiction.  Here are the responses that I received.  
  The technical definition is the book is historical if the time period
is 50 years in the past.

My definition, however, is if the reader wasn't alive or aware of the
past event, then it's historical - to him/her!

  I'd give it 15-10 years.  Miracles on Maple Hill is certainly
historical fiction now, as are novels set during the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and
those set in the early 2000s, I'm thinking of 9/11 as a historical date.  If
the setting seems contemporary, then times haven't changed very much.  I
know this puts Ramona, Pee Wee Scouts and others like them in that genre,
but they have a timeless quality that Rufus M by Estes doesn't.  Give them
another 50 years and they will.

Students generally think og historical fiction as something from the
beginning of  time until the late 20th.
  Accordingly to my old textbook "Children's Literature in the Elementary
School". There is a difference between historical fiction that is
written as historical fiction and those books which take on historical
significance with the passage of time"  It gives the example of "Snow
Treasure" which was written in the 1940s-making it current for its time
but historical for us.  It classifies it as the later definition.  In
the purest sense of the term, "in historical fiction, the author
deliberately attempts to reconstruct the life of an age other than that
of the present". They give 4 qualities:  story must be interesting;
make the period come alive for the reader; historically accurate and
authentic; contain a theme; and central character who is a boy or girl
experiencing the life of his time as a child.
    Historical fiction is a made up story based on an historical event/period or 
about an historical person, but not written contemporaneously with that event or 
historic figure.
  Realistic fiction or contemporary fiction that continues to be in print and has 
stood the test of time is called a classic.
  This is the way that I look at these genres.
  Janet L. McCoy, LMS
  McAuliffe Elementary, Tulsa, OK

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