Realistic Fiction is a literary genre commonly seen in Children's Literature, and is one of that medium's most popular genres. The genre concerns realistic events happening to realistic people, in a world exactly like Real Life. (This means Slice of Life stories; if they contain aliens, time travelers, and ESPers, or wacky video game battles, they don't count). A good example of a beloved realistic fiction children's author is Beverly Cleary.
While realistic fiction stories have a significant overlap with Slice of Life and Coming of Age tales, the label is never applied to Historical Fiction. (Which doesn't make that much sense, when you think about it, aren't all historical fiction stories that don't include Stupid Jetpack Hitler incredibly realistic?) Due to its prominence in Children's Literature, the vast majority of realistic fiction stories star young kids, with the odd teenager here and there (though those tend to be called Young Adult instead).
Due to the (lamented by the more pretentious) rise in supernatural / fantasy stories, even those that are otherwise down-to-earth, realistic fictional stories have become increasingly rare, and are almost unheard of in pop culture. (After all, what's more likely to referenced in the average sitcom...Star Wars, or Ramona Quimby? Exactly.) This could be tied to the tendency for popular culture fiction to be mostly focused on mindless entertainment and spectacle, while realistic fiction tends to focus on mundane problems and hard-hitting themes. (Though not always- see the aforementioned Ramona.)
Examples of this genre:
- Almost anything by Beverly Cleary, including:
- Harriet the Spy
- The Westing Game
- From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
- Maniac Magee
- There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom
- Bridge to Terabithia
- The Catcher in the Rye
- The Outsiders
- The Pigman
- Almost anything by Judy Blume, including:
- The Fault in Our Stars
- Wonder, by R.J. Palacio.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid
- Because of Winn-Dixie
- Freak the Mighty