Literally an "education novel", the Bildungsroman is a familiar form of literature. It's a coming of age story, like The Catcher in the Rye or Candide.

Most Bildungsromane (plural) have been about young men, but that doesn't mean they have to be. Indeed, many of Judy Blume's novels for young adults (and many other YA stories) are Bildungsromane. (I absolutely refuse to coin the term Bildungsroman no shoujo here.)

Among sci-fi fans, Ender's Game is a particularly well-known Bildungsroman.

The interesting fact about this word is: In Germany pupils normally learn to call this "Entwicklungsroman" (something like 'development novel' or 'formation novel'). Try searching Google with "Die Leiden des jungen Werther" together with "Entwicklungsroman" and together with "Bildungsroman". The first search will mostly turn up German sites, the second English-speaking ones.

Don't you like it if foreign words are used differently from how the natives use them. Interesting fact no. 2: In Germany a "mobile phone" is called a "handy" and probably 80% of the Germans think that to be the English term, too.

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