How are books about fictional characters or stories classified?

I am sorry, I didn’t give a lot of detail about the assignment. The main point of my local public library’s Summer Reading Program is for my kiddo to read 15 books, earning fabulous prizes after completion. He has to note on his official Summer Reading Program form the book’s title, author, and whether it is juvenile fiction, or juvenile non fiction. My wife, who was helping him fill out the form describing the books he has read so far, asked me if the book “The One Eyed Giant and other Monsters from the Greek Myths” was fiction or non fiction (found under Juvenile 292 Rockwell for those who are keeping score). I didn’t know, we debated, I doped!

Yeah, this is less an assignment and more “write down the call number on the spine.” You were making it sound WAY more complicated.

It also clues you in on the way real librarians do it: copy what someone else thinks. In fact, the official term for it is even “copy cataloging” and its the first thing you’ll learn in any Cataloging class.

Well, it wasn’t the first thing I learned in cataloguing class, but that was 38 years ago, and there was a lot less copy cataloguing in Australia 38 years ago. (The most common form was use of LC printed cards, but they were used a lot less in Australia than in the U.S. at that time.)

If the book is out of the public library, then the answer would seem simple - the book is classified however the public library system classifies it. If it is from the school library or a university library, I’d go with however they classify it. If it is from a bookstore, a friend, or from your own bookshelf, or Aunt Tillie’s shelf, etc., you can check your local public or university library to see if they have a copy, and if so, how they classify it.

Considering that this is not exactly a university level assignment, I wouldn’t think too much about this. If they want to object, they can.

“Now, laddie, you were supposed to read 5 non-fiction and 5 fiction books. I called Head Librarian McGillis at State A&M University, and he says that “Little House on the Prairie” is actually an autobiography and not fiction because Mary Jones at Southern Tech did a dissertation showing that the plot of the novel was substantively all true history, and so you actually read 6 non-fiction and 4 fiction books. No reward for you. Next!”

Is he allowed to read non-“juvenile” books?

I’m a university librarian (although not a cataloger), and I’d recommend against checking how a university library classifies a book because this is likely to just further muddy the waters.

A university library in the US is probably using the Library of Congress Classification system, and probably does not split its collection into fiction and non-fiction. Novels, short story collections, etc., go under Class P - Language and Literature, but so do books about literature and authors. The novels of Jane Austen will be classed in the same area (somewhere in Subclass PR, British Literature) as critical works about the novels of Jane Austen, the collected letters of Jane Austen, and biographies of Jane Austen. This system can be a bit confusing for people who just want to pick out a novel to read for fun, but it’s more convenient for people who are actually studying literature.

In post #21 the OP tells us directly that the book is a 292. No need for any more guessing.

For the purposes of the OP, anything with a number is nonfiction, anything without is fiction.

But it’s been a very interesting conversation - thank you everyone. It’s made me think I might just take all my graphic novels from their various hiding places and either put them in a separate display, or maybe change 'em all to 741.5. How convenient to have them all together for the little blighters and not go searching the whole collection when I want to do a display…