Who doesn’t love looking up at the sky and imagining what exists beyond what the eye can see? Our universe is full of amazing phenomena, from the planets in the Solar System, to shooting stars, black holes, meteors, dark matter, and more. The Milky Way Galaxy is 13.6 billion years old with more than a hundred billions stars, so there’s a lot for astronauts and space ships to explore. To join them on a trip through space and time, go through the list of books below to see what you can discover!
To find more books that take you on an adventure out of this world, try searching the catalog using a combination of subject terms like “juvenile fiction” for fiction books or “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books along with “outer space,” “extraterrestrial beings,” “space ships,” or “astronauts.”
Let’s Investigate with Nate: The Solar System. 2017. (Nonfiction: picture book)
Nate takes kid investigators Felix, Wendy, Braden, and Rosa on the adventure of a lifetime as they travel through the Solar System in a race against time to figure out if Pluto is a planet or not. The varying forms of text – speech bubbles, the narrator, and entries from Braden’s Journal – will engage children and keep them turning the pages. Filled with facts about space, readers will learn along with the characters and will be asking for another adventure with Nate!
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. S.523.2 B2101s]
Lucy and the Rocket Dog. 2017. (Fiction: chapter book)
Lucy is fascinated by space, and Laika, her dog, is fascinated by Lucy. Told in their alternating perspectives, this is the story of how Laika accidentally wanders into Prototype I – the rocket Lucy has built – and is launched into space! What follows is Lucy’s lifelong journey trying to bring Laika home that is full of love, wonder, and exploration.
[SSHEL S-Collection S. B8561l]
Destination: Space. 2016. (Nonfiction: picture book)
With beautiful illustrations and accessible explanations, readers will want to explore this book in depth. The two-page spreads about various topics in space are made for perusing, and the question and answer format is a natural way for kids to learn. Children and adults alike will find something fascinating that captures their attention, makes them take a second look, and inspires further research.
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. S.520 En35d]
Hawking, Lucy & Steven.
George’s Secret Key to the Universe. 2007. (Fiction: chapter book)
In this action packed novel from father-daughter duo Lucy and Steven Hawking, George’s pet pig has escaped into the abandoned yard next door, and much to his surprise, he finds new neighbors! A scientist named Eric has moved in with his daughter Annie, and soon they’re exploring the universe with the help of supercomputer Cosmos on a crazy adventure through space while racing to protect the world. Readers will enjoy the scientific explanations interspersed throughout the text along with the creative illustrations and color photographs of space phenomena.
[SSHEL S-Collection S.H313g]
Astrotwins: Project Blastoff (Astrotwins #1). 2015. (Fiction: chapter book)
Loosely based on the childhood of retired astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly, this is the story of how one summer, the twins are in trouble as usual and get sent to their grandpa’s house as a punishment. With nothing to do, Grandpa suggests they build a go-kart, but Mark and Scott decide to build a rocket instead. Amidst the middle-school drama and dreams of being an astronaut, readers will connect with the characters and explore outer space as well as friendship.
[SSHEL S-Collection S. K2978a]
Chasing Space (Young Readers’ Edition). 2017. (Autobiography)
In this moving memoir, Leland Melvin shares with readers how he has spent his life chasing his dreams – even following them to outer space. When an injury cut his time as a professional football player with the Detroit Lions short, Leland didn’t give up, and instead became an astronaut who helped build the International Space Station. With hope, photos, experiments to try at home, inspiration, and adventure galore, readers are sure to race through this book and start chasing dreams of their own.
[SSHEL S-Collection SB. M5312m]
Red’s Planet (Red’s Planet #1). 2016. (Fiction: graphic novel)
Red is a 10-year-old orphan who yearns to get away from her foster family, but she doesn’t expect to be kidnapped by a UFO! Soon she’s definitely far, far away from Earth and the ship she is on has crash landed on a small deserted planet. Along with Red, readers will meet the cast of misfit aliens who live there as she tries to survive this crazy new world and maybe find a new family without trying.
[SSHEL S-Collection S.741.5973 P6871r]
Shetterly, Margot Lee.
Hidden Figures: The Untold True Story of Four African-American Women Who Helped Launch Our Nation Into Space (Young Readers’ Edition). 2016. (Nonfiction: chapter book)
A companion to the movie of the same name, this book helps bring to life and light the amazing accomplishments of the female mathematicians that helped men get to space. Called human computers, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were just four of the women at NASA who helped perform the calculations for the launch of astronaut John Glenn. In the race to get to space, these women defied all the odds placed against them because of gender, race, and status, and readers will love learning about their fight for well-deserved recognition.
[SSHEL S-Collection S.510.92520973 L515h]
Voyager’s Greatest Hits: The Epic Trek to Interstellar Space. 2017. (Nonfiction: chapter book)
Learn all about the space probes Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 in this nonfiction medley of fact, narrative, and photographs that will have readers wishing for more. The twin probes went on a mission to travel to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune in order to take pictures and gather other data to send back to Earth, but they didn’t stop there. Now on a journey into interstellar space, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 both have a copy of a record titled “The Sounds of Earth” – just in case they need to communicate with other (possibly alien!) life forms.
[SSHEL S-Collection S.523.4 Si99v]
Interstellar Cinderella. 2015. (fairy tale picture book)
In this rhyming, rollicking, rocket-full retelling, Cinderella is an aspiring mechanic once upon a planetoid. With her trusty sidekick Murgatroyd the robot mouse, her fairy godrobot, and her socket wrench in her pocket, Cinderella is ready for anything. Readers will love the twists in this traditional tale and will be captivated by the out-of-this-world illustrations and message that you can do whatever you set your mind to.
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. S.398.2 Un25i]