The German word Bildungsroman, from which the term is derived, means 'novel of education' or 'novel of formation.' Classic examples are J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. The novel of the emotional and social development or formation of a young person as they learn to make their way in an often hostile world, the Bildungsroman was a key form taken by the European novel from the early 19th century. bildungsroman.
German in origin, "bildungs" means formation, and "roman" means ... 'A Bildungsroman of sorts, it charts the formative years of Dylan Ebdus, a Jewish boy growing up in Brooklyn in the 1970s.' 'Natasha is essentially a Bildungsroman for Mark written over several short stories; he doesn't necessarily grow wiser, just more assimilated.' Bildungsroman (n.) 1910, from German Bildungsroman, from Bildung "education, formation, growth" (from Bild "picture, image, figure") + roman "novel" (see romance (n.)). A novel set in the formative years, or the time of spiritual education, of the main character.