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Best Science Fiction Books for Children

Top 25 Best Science Fiction Books for Children | Best Science Fiction Books

Science fiction opens up a world of possibilities for children from aliens and space travel to robots and time travel and even machines that can do your homework for you. Unlike fantasy, these speculative fiction stories offer an added layer of believability in that they are loosely based on science, and sometimes, it's very loosely. Still what child hasn't dreamt of being a super-spy with nanobots in their braces like Jackson Jones in N.E.R.D.S. or building a machine that can do your homework for you like Brenton in The Homework Machine? For many sci-fi fans, these books will introduce young readers in their lives to the worlds and characters that they have grown to love, tried and true sci-fi fans may even find a few new places and faces that enchant them.

For any reader with a sense of adventure, come explore space, meet aliens, dinosaurs, robots, mad scientists, and more in these pages. Though these books may seem to be flights of fancy, a lot of them tackle some very down to Earth issues, like the importance of being yourself, bullying, and respect for others who are different than you. The kids in these stories display very real qualities from Franny K. Stein feeling like an outcast to Milo in Mars Needs Moms resenting his mom for making him eat broccoli. They also display courage and friendship, like Tip in The True Meaning of Smekday, and determination, like David and Chuck in The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet. The stories on this list range from picture books for toddlers to middle-grade books for fifth and sixth graders, but whatever your age, whether you like sci-fi or not, there will be something in these pages to capture your imagination and take you on a wild adventure. So, what are you waiting for? Check out these titles.

Cryptid Hunters is Jurassic Park for tweens. It's got all the action and adventure of the blockbuster, and it's got dinosaurs! When Marty and Grace's parents disappear in South America, they are sent to live with their Uncle Wolfe, a cryptid hunter, who looks for things like the kraken, the loch ness monster and dinosaurs. 

Uncle Wolfe receives an urgent message from his friend in the Congo and promptly prepares to pack Marty and Grace up to go back to boarding school so that he can go to the Congo and possibly find the dinosaur, mokele-mbembe before the evil scientist Dr. Blackwood encounters it. On the way though, Marty and Grace are accidentally dropped into the jungle with only a chimpanzee, a teacup poodle, and a high-tech gadget called a Gizmo. 

It's up to them to find mokele-mbembe and to avoid Dr. Blackwood's clutches to reunite with their uncle. Grace and Marty are great characters who slowly develop over the course of the story. Bookish Grace discovers an inner bravery that she never knew she had, and Marty eventually turns his mischievous pranks into life-saving plans. The book is an action-packed thrill ride through the jungle that you will not want to miss.

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The first in the Books of Ember series, The City of Ember was adapted into a movie in 2008. This book is a great intro to the dystopian genre that is so popular in young adult fiction. Lina and Doon are 12 in the underground city of Ember, and at 12, they are assigned job based on their abilities. 

Lina is assigned to the job that she's always dreamed about, a messenger who flits about the city, learning interesting things, while Doon is stuck in the pipeworks. What they both soon discover is that the lights of Ember are going out. Supplies are running low. People are hoarding things and behaving in strange ways. Lina and Doon realize that it is up to them to solve the problem before the lights of Ember go out for good. This book has everything! There's a mystery, there's action and adventure. 

The underground city is perfectly realized in every detail, and Lina and Doon are smart, real kids who are up against some pretty scary things with bravery and the power of friendship. For fans of the Harry Potter series who want to transition to science-fiction, this series is a great place to start.

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Whales on Stilts does for pulp-sci-fi what A Series of Unfortunate Events does for gothic drama. It's a fun spoof that kids will love. Shy Lily is overshadowed by her famous friends, Katie Mulligan who battles zombies and werewolves at her house in Horror Hollow, and Jasper Dash, a boy inventor who thwarts pirates. 

On Career Day, Lily is convinced that her father is ignoring all the signs that he works with a mad scientist. He works in abandoned warehouse that is heavily guarded, his boss wears a grain sack over his head and talks about taking over the world. When Lily can't convince her father of her doubts, she turns to her friends for help. The first in Anderson's Thrilling Tales series, Whales on Stilts calls to mind both Nancy Drew and Tom Swift. 

With plenty of jokes and asides, Whales on Stilts mixes sci-fi, adventure, and mystery in a way that pokes fun at them all. Definitely not a hard science fiction story, but also not a hard story to get into. Middle-grade readers, especially, will relate to Lily and her feelings and will cheer for her on her adventures. Older readers will appreciate the spoof of genres they read in their youth, and everyone will laugh out loud at this imaginative tale.

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A venture capitalist with a brain-damaged mother. A technology that can transform the world. A ruthless enemy with a dark agenda.

Packed to the brim with non-stop action and thought-provoking science, Mind Machines is an intensely complex sci-fi thriller you don’t want to miss. The unpredictable plot hooks you immediately, and the snarky narration lightens even the darkest scenes. The inventive Brainocyte technology will appeal to die-hard fans of the genre as well as casual readers. 

The characters are well-developed and the relationships are realistic. As entertaining as it is clever, Mind Machines is a story you won’t soon forget. Get the Kindle ebook copy here, paperback here or audiobook here.

The True Meaning of Smekday has been compared to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for kids. With the same zany humor, Rex delivers not one alien invasion but two in this clever tale. Smekday, formerly known as Christmas, was the day that aliens known as the Boov invaded Earth and relocated all humans to "human preserves", such as Florida. 

Tip, whose mother was kidnapped by the Boov earlier, tapes soup cans to her shoes and drives the family car to Florida to find her mom. Along the way, the car breaks down, and Tip comes across a Boov. The two form an uneasy alliance that blossoms into friendship. J. Lo, as the Boov calls himself, is on the run after accidentally making a rude phone call to some big, bad aliens known as the Gorg. Together, Tip and J. Lo must find Tip's mom and stop the Gorg invasion. 

This book is laugh-out-loud funny with spot on characterization, and the illustrations, photos of Tip and J.Lo, and comics depicting the history of the Boov and the Gorg will draw in any reluctant reader. Give this to a 9-12 year old immediately! They do not have to like sci-fi. They only have to appreciate a good joke, which most 9-12 year olds do. Even parents will love the way that Rex satirizes cultural expectations and societal shifts, though these are heavy issues, their presentation is never heavy-handed. All in all, this is just a fun book.

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The 1963 Newbery Award Winner, A Wrinkle in Time is a much-loved classic of the sci-fi genre. The first in the Time trilogy, which lated added two more books, it has been made into movies, adapted into a graphic novel by Hope Larson, and been reprinted countless times. A Wrinkle in time is the story of how Meg Murry, a smart but insecure teen girl, her genius brother Charles Wallace, and their friend , Calvin O'Keefe, travel across time and space with the help of some other-worldly creatures to rescue their father from an evil alien, and save the world in the process.

 This is the book to give to any pre-teen girl to introduce her to the genre. Meg Murry is the type of girl that any pre-teen girl can relate to. She's bookish, moody, and unlike most other popular girl heroines of the time period, she gets into trouble. Even years later, it's easy to relate to Meg as she adventures across the universe out of love for her family, and her budding romance with Calvin O'Keefe also adds to the appeal, but don't let the romance or the amazing female heroine fool you. 

A Wrinkle in Time has a wide appeal. Boys will be drawn to the adventure, and the aliens. This book never talks down to its audience, even when explaining complex concepts like tessering. The Time trilogy is to science fiction what Lewis's Narnia is to fantasy, a must read for readers 9-12.

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Found is an intriguing mystery with a splash of time travel thrown in. The first book in The Missing series, Found starts out with a plane that mysteriously appears on a runway with no pilot or flight crew, only 36 babies on board. Years later, thirteen year old, Jonah receives a strange letter that states, "You are one of the missing.

" He writes the letter off as a prank, since he has long known that he was adopted. Then, his friend, Chip, receives the same letter, which leads Chip to a startling revelation about his family. Together, Chip, Jonah, and Jonah's sister race to discover the secrets of their past, but the letters keep coming warning them to be careful. You will be hooked from the first page and will race through the story, eager, like Jonah and his friends, for clues about the past, and to find out what happens next. 

No one can be trusted in this intriguing opening. Be sure to read it with the next book in the series, Sent, on hand because you're going to want to dive right into it. Found is perfect for 9-12 year old sci-fi fans who also like mystery and adventure.

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Published in 1965, The White Mountains, first in the Tripods trilogy, is widely acknowledged to be a fundamental read for any sci-fi fan. It's been reprinted several times over, and even, at one point, was adapted into a television series that attracted young viewers to the books. Thirteen year old, Will lives in a world where alien machines known as Tripods rule and every adult on the planet wears a metal cap on their head to preserve the peaceful utopia that has been created. 

Will is both excited for and afraid of his impending "Capping Day" as there is some potential for the procedure to go wrong, leaving him a babbling, crazy Vagrant. After he encounters such a Vagrant, Will begins to question the capping process and wonder if he is better off escaping to the fabled White Mountains where it is said that uncapped adults still live. 

Dyed in the wool sci-fi fans will recognize a lot of tropes that have become staples of the genre in The White Mountains, which makes this book, and the entire trilogy, a perfect introduction for young readers. Add to that the fact that at just 195 pages, this slim volume delivers a fully realized setting, an action-packed story, and raises some very interesting questions about the nature of authority, and you've got a sci-fi novel that will stand the test of time.

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Eager is similar to Asimov's classic, I, Robot, but definitely geared toward children. When the Bell family robot, Grumps, begins malfunctioning, they begin to search for a new one. 

Gavin and Fleur are saddened but also excited by the prospect of the new robot they might get. Mr. Bell's professor friend gives them a chance to try out a new robot, EGR3, that has the ability to think on its own and feel. EGR3, or Eager, as he comes to be known, is taken on as Grump's assistant, but as he slowly realizes how humanity treats robots, he begins to worry about death. Fleur's best friend replaces her as a friend with a life-like robot that she spends all her time with, and the shiny, new BDC4's seem to be up to something. 

Eager explores what it means to be human by looking at robots. The book raises questions about morality and relationship, all while being suspenseful and entertaining. The plot moves quickly, and it twists and turns are you're never truly sure of the motivations of the BCD4's. Kids, 9-12 especially, but really anyone who loves intelligent and inquisitive characters will love Eager, both the book and the robot.

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Sci-fi is a genre with very few :classics:, particularly for children, but The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron would definitely be one of them. Cameron is the namesake for the middle-grade reader category of the Golden Duck award, and The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet was her first children's book. 

Published in 1954, the story was written for Cameron's son, David, who wanted her to write a space story featuring himself. In the book, David and his friend Chuck race to build a spaceship after finding an ad in the newspaper looking for one. When the spaceship is completed out of spare parts that the boys find, they bring it to Mr. Bass, a scientist who helps them improve the ship. He tells them that with their parents permission, he will use the rocket to send them to the nearby planet of Basidium-X to help the residents that are in peril. 

He also tells him that their trip will fail without a mascot. The boys grab a hen and prepare for blast off. The first a series of adventures that feature David and the Mushroom Planet, The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet is a quiet book about space travel that lives on in the memories of many sci-fi fans. Like Heinlein's young adult books, it is the spirit of inventiveness and optimism that make these books stand out as classics.

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Among the Hidden is the first of the Shadow Children series, and it's a great introduction to dystopian sci-fi literature which is a very popular trend in YA literature with books like the Hunger Games. Among the Hidden is written for middle-grade students and introduces Luke, a twelve year old boy who has never had a birthday, never gone to school, and never known much of a world beyond his family's small farm. Soon, even that is taken from him, as the government turns the land on Luke's farm into a wealthy housing development. 

Luke is hidden in his family's attic for fear of detection. Luke is an illegal third child, and if he is found, he will be executed by the Population Police and his family will be punished. In his isolation, Luke spots another illegal child in a neighboring home. Soon, he risks it all, escaping his home and breaking into the neighboring home where he meets Jen. Jen wants to bring the status of the shadow children as she calls them to light and to mobilize. 

Haddix introduces two likeable and relatable characters with this story, as well as a world that is scary but also highly believable. Food shortages have forced the government to enact population controls. This action-packed book also raises a lot of serious questions without being heavy-handed. At 158 pages, this slim volume will entice readers into its dystopian world and have them begging for the next book in the series.

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Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians takes similar ideas from the Harry Potter series and turns them on their head in a madcap adventure. Like Harry Potter, Alcatraz Smedry is an orphan, who, on his 13th birthday, receives an odd gift. For Alcatraz, that gift is a bag of sand. Then, some crazy guy shows up claiming to be his grandfather, telling Alcatraz that his bag of sand is magical and can save the world. 

Like any thirteen year old, Alcatraz doesn't believe his grandfather, and anyway, he has bigger problems to worry about. He's accidentally burned down his foster mother's kitchen. Then, his bag of sand goes missing, and Alcatraz in unwillingly drawn into infiltrating the downtown library, where events beyond all his imaginings unfold, including talking dinosaurs. 

Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians is the first in the Alcatraz series in which Alcatraz and his family battle librarians who want to take over the universe. With a mix of sci-fi and fantasy and a whole lot of humor, Sanderson draws readers into Alcatraz's world, a world where liabilities like always being late or always breaking things are considered talents, a world where tourists are talking dinosaurs, and a world where librarians want to control the flow of information. This fast-paced, energetic book will pull you in and drag you along for an amazing ride.

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It's a well-known trope that nerds, and the kids that are picked on today, will become the leaders of tomorrow. N.E.R.D.S. takes that trope and runs with it. Instead of becoming leaders tomorrow, the N.E.R.D.S., or National Espionage Rescue and Defense Society, are a rag-tag group of eleven year old super-spies. 

Believing that kids make the ultimate spies because they are small and go unnoticed by adults, the team of five kids each has the thing that has been their "weakness" enhanced into a superpower. For example, Ruby (codename: Pufferfish) Peet can detect danger when her allergies cause her to swell up. The team has just found out they have a new leader, a James-Bond type spy who now poses as their school janitor. They're not thrilled with this, but they're even less thrilled with their new member, former school golden boy and bully, Jackson Jones, who after getting braces stumbled onto their secret spy ring. 

Will the team pull together to defeat the evil crime boss and his newest assassin? N.E.R.D.S. is the first book in the N.E.R.D.S. series, and it will dazzle middle-grade readers. With laugh-out-loud humor, cool gadgetry like nanobots, and sci-fi enhanced abilities, this team of super-heroes will prove to readers that nerds really are the rulers of the world. Kids will find a lot of identify with this multi-cultural cast of misfits. Clever comic book illustrations also add a good deal of fun to this book, even as it deals with serious issues like bullying.

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What kid wouldn't want to read a book about a machine that does your homework for you? And what parent in their right mind would let them? Don't worry, parents. The Homework Machine dangles this prospect enticingly toward readers, and while the concept is fun, the cast of characters in this story learn a valuable lesson, and the homework machine does much more for them than provide hassle-free homework. Told from the point of view of four kids, who, at first, seem like Breakfast Club type stereotype students. 

There's Brenton, the brains of the operation, an unpopular genius; Snik, who doesn't do well at school. Kelsey, who is struggling like Snik, and Judy who works really hard at school but would like some more time for socializing. Each of these students finds out the secret of the homework machine, and they become unlikely friends. Some even discover that they have things in common with the others. 

When their secret threatens to leak out, some friendships strengthen and others dissolve. What, at first, seems like a simple story has amazing depth as readers follow the kids through their stories and learn about each other. This is an amazing story of friendship with a slight sci-fi bent, centered around Brenton's invention.

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What kid wouldn't want to read a book about a machine that does your homework for you? And what parent in their right mind would let them? Don't worry, parents. The Homework Machine dangles this prospect enticingly toward readers, and while the concept is fun, the cast of characters in this story learn a valuable lesson, and the homework machine does much more for them than provide hassle-free homework. 

Told from the point of view of four kids, who, at first, seem like Breakfast Club type stereotype students. There's Brenton, the brains of the operation, an unpopular genius; Snik, who doesn't do well at school. Kelsey, who is struggling like Snik, and Judy who works really hard at school but would like some more time for socializing. Each of these students finds out the secret of the homework machine, and they become unlikely friends. Some even discover that they have things in common with the others. 

When their secret threatens to leak out, some friendships strengthen and others dissolve. What, at first, seems like a simple story has amazing depth as readers follow the kids through their stories and learn about each other. This is an amazing story of friendship with a slight sci-fi bent, centered around Brenton's invention.

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What do you get when you cross alien invasion sci-fi, with B-rated horror references, and the witty wordplay of A Series of Unfortunate Events? It's Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies. In a story that mocks everything about summer camp, twins Joules and Kevin Rockman are shipped off to Camp Whatsittooya by their parents, scientists who are eager to attend the International SPAMathon to defend their crowns. 

The camp is pretty strange to begin with. It's owner is a firm believer in crafting for self-improvement, and even the counselors are slightly off. The group of campers that Joules and Kevin join are quirky too, like the three girls that all speak at the same time. It's shaping up to be a normal, funny, summer camp story. Well, not really. Pretty early on, Camp Whatsittooya is invaded by sugar-crazed aliens that look like giant, fluffy bunnies. Strange things start happening, and the adults become even weirder than usual. 

Luckily, Joules and Kevin are prepared for this kind event from all of the B-rated horror movies they've been watching. This story is campy and fun with asides to the reader, comics, and even advertisements for products found in the books. At only 184 pages, Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies will entice even the most reluctant middle grade reader, who will never look at bunnies, marshmallows, SPAM, or camp the same way ever again.

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Lunch Walks Among Us is the first of the Franny K. Stein books. Franny K. Stein is a child mad scientist who has a snake for a jump rope, and a laboratory in her bedroom. On her first day of school, kids don't know what to make of Franny, and, in fact, are kind of scared of her. The only kind person that Franny meets is her teacher, Mrs. Shelly, who encourages her to experiment with making friends. 

The next day, Franny does decide to experiment, on herself. She creates a serum that transforms her into a cute, but boring version of herself. She instantly fits in and makes friends, but she misses her doll, Chompolina with steel teeth. Then, something terrible happens. All the garbage that the kids have been throwing away from their lunches forms into a Giant Monstrous Fiend that only mad scientist Franny has the smarts to defeat.

The Franny K. Stein series is off to a rolicking start with this book. Franny is fun, and any kid just starting school can easily relate to her desire to fit in. This whimsical book delivers without being heavy handed a very clear message to early elementary readers about the importance of being yourself, even if you are a mad scientist.

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A much loved classic of children's science fiction is The Little Prince, which has been translated to over 250 languages and adapted for stage, screen, ballet, and even opera. The Little Prince tells the story of an aviator who crash-lands in the desert only to meet a young prince who claims to be from an asteroid. 

The prince is lonely on his asteroid which has only volcanoes, deadly plants, and one very beautiful but very vain rose that the prince loves and cares for. Feeling used by the rose, the prince decided to explore the galaxy to find new friends, but all of the other grown ups that he's encountered have been too wrapped up in their own lives to be a friend to him. That is, until he meets the aviator. Though brief, this encounter changes the aviator profoundly, allowing him to once more look at the world with child-like wonder.

At the end, each of the friends must return home. This is a profound book about what it is like to be a child, and the importance of not losing that innocence and honesty as an adult. Children ages 6 and up will love the illustrations and the beauty of the story, and adults will appreciate the complex lessons that it offers as the book can be read with several different interpretations. A sad ending, however, makes this a book that parents might want to shy away from with younger children.

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Adapted into a TV movie, Aliens for Breakfast is a whimsical sci-fi introduction for beginning readers, and it's exactly as silly as the title implies. It all starts when Richard's family gets a sample of a new cereal called Alien Crisp in the mail. When Richard pours milk over the cereal, he accidentally reconstitutes the freeze-dried alien named Aric. 

Aric is a Ganoobian alien sent to Earth to stop Dorf, an annoying kid in Richard's class who is actually an alien in disguise. If he doesn't, Dorf will divide and case an alien infestation of Earth! There's just one problem, Aric doesn't remember how to defeat Dorf. Richard helps Aric try to remember by carrying him around in his shirt pocket, and they finally discover the clue at the pizza parlor. 

This fun novel is part of a series which includes, predictably, Aliens for Lunch and Aliens for Dinner. It's a great introduction for young readers to aliens and space travel in science fiction, especially if they like silly stories. Though the story is designed for beginning readers, any elementary aged reader will appreciate the humor in the novel, making it a great family read-aloud. Young readers will be begging for the sequels.

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Much different from its 2011 film counterpart, Mars Needs Moms is a simple, heart-warming story with vivid, cartoonish illustrations that young readers will pour over as the pages are turned. Milo doesn't think that his mom is all that great. In fact, he thinks that all moms are totalitarian dictators bent on making their children eat terrible foods like broccoli and do loathsome chores like taking out the garbage. 

Unfortunately for Milo, he's about to find out the hard way just how important his mom is when Martians kidnap his mother. He journeys to Mars to find out that Martians don't have mothers. Instead, they grow up from the ground like vegetables. They kidnap moms from Earth, using enticing things like coffee, to do things for them like bandage wounds and drive them to soccer practice. 

On Mars, Milo learns just how special his own mother is to him. Mars Needs Moms was a 2008 Golden Duck winner, and it's a fantastic way to introduce kids to aliens who are just like them. Kids will relate to Milo and love his story, and parents will love the message. It's a great read-aloud for ages five and up, younger readers may worry about the prospect of aliens coming and taking away their moms.

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A cross between a picture book and a graphic novel, Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery is the 2006 Golden Duck award winner that will captivate young readers who love dinosaurs. What's more awesome than space-travelling dinosaurs, really? When a strange light streaks across the sky on the planet Jurassica, the dinosaurs are worried. 

It's up to Captain Raptor and the crew of the USD Megatooth to travel to the nearby moon of Eos to find out what has happened. The ship crash lands in Eos's sea leading to a scary encounter with a giant octopus, and then, our jurassic heroes find what has caused all the commotion, human astronauts. The adventure isn't over however. When the human commander is kidnapped, it's up to Captain Raptor to once again save the day. 

 Readers will find a lot to love in this tale, and Captain Raptor's adventures are continued in Captain Raptor and the Space Pirates. The melodrama and the illustrations are a great throwback to pulp sci-fi, and kids will love the adventure of the stories as well as the humor. The comic book style will engage even the most reluctant reader. A great sci-fi story for 5-10 year olds who love dinosaurs and space travel.

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Fans of hard science fiction and space travel will appreciate the mix of fact and fiction in If You Decide to Go to the Moon. With true-to-life facts, If You Decide to Go to the Moon, tells the story of an imaginary journey to the moon, including what the surface of the moon is like as well as travel in anti-gravity. 

Whimsical touches include the types of foods that work best in anti-gravity, such as the fact that you can't drink orange juice from a straw in space. The illustrations by Kellogg enhance this whimsical feel, while staying true to the nonfiction facts that are presented. McNulty also includes an environmental message in her story about how precious Earth's unique environment is. 

This story is an ideal read-aloud because of its sparse text and lovely, large illustrations, but beginner readers may have some difficulty with longer words. If You Decide to Go to the Moon is a great introduction to space travel for any 4-7 year old with aspirations to the stars, as well as budding sci-fi fans who want to know about the nitty gritty facts about space travel and experience the surface of other planets, such as the moon.

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We're Off to Look for Aliens offers children a story within a story. The 2009 Golden Duck Award winner kicks off when the mailman delivers sci-fi writer dad's new book, We're Off to Look for Aliens, a small book that is literally pasted into the book. Dad is too nervous about his family's opinions. 

So, he takes the family dog for a walk, while his children read the colorful tales of Dad's daring adventures on Mars with the family dog. Readers will be swept up in the repetitive verse of Dad's story, which is almost musical in nature. There is an amusing twist to the story, where the kids question whether or not anyone their age will like the book since most kids like fairy tales and the like. Elementary-aged kids will love this innovative, meta-fiction format and appreciate the amusing joke at the end. 

Kids of all ages will love the goofy, bright aliens that populate the pages of Dad's book. Younger kids will get caught up in the catchy rhyme of the story. This book is a great read-aloud for groups of kids aged 4-8, or a great story for a parent to share with their young sci-fi fan. It's definitely a story to tickle your funny bone.

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Who knew that underwear could save the world? That's exactly what happens in Aliens in Underpants Save the World. In the sequel to the popular, Aliens Love Underpants, Claire Freedman's underwear-stealing aliens return to Earth to pinch more pants, only to find a meteor rushing toward the planet. 

Afraid that their only source of undergarments is soon to be obliterated, the aliens think fast, stealing all the underwear while the people of Earth panic. The aliens have a plan, however, a plan that diverts the meteor and saves the planet, and that's why if your underpants ever go missing, you should thank an alien. In a fun, rhyming picture book, Freedman introduces kids to alien invasion stories. Her aliens aren't scary, only incredibly silly. Their mission is not world-domination. 

In the first story, the aliens don't invade to take over the world or even have anything to do with people, instead, they steal underwear and play games with them. Brightly-colored, the aliens grin up from the page even as they're pilfering pants. In addition to the first book, Aliens Love Underpants, there is also a Christmas title in the series called Aliens Love Panta Claus. Aliens in Underpants Save the World is a great read-aloud that gives the aliens a more heroic side as they save their beloved underpants filled planet.

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UFO Diary is the story of an alien who accidentally finds Earth. This quiet book puts a unique spin on the alien invasion subgenre of science fiction in that the entire story is told from the point of view of an unseen and unnamed alien. The alien in his little, yellow, bell-shaped space ship is lost. When he sees a strange, blue planet, he zooms in for a closer look and lands on Earth. 

There he meets a little boy who shows him all the wonderful things about Earth. The two become friends and play together until it is time to go home. Then, the alien gives the boy a lift in his space ship . This beautiful story is simple and quirky with a subtle humor. The book's watercolor illustrations are peaceful and enchanting. 

With lush greens and blues, Kitamura depicts the stunning beauty of the Earth and the cosmos. A sweet ending leaves the reader smiling. This is a great bedtime story to share with preschool and toddler science fiction fans, and lower elementary students will enjoy the jokes in the story as well as the beautiful illustrations.

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Winner of the 2002 Golden Duck Award for picture books, Baloney (Henry P.) is an engaging and relatable story about an alien boy who shows up late for class and is faced with permanent life-long detention if he is unable to come up with a believable excuse for his tardiness. So, Baloney begins a tall tale with words pulled from languages all over the world from Finnish to Swahili. 

Though young readers may have trouble with some of the unfamiliar words, the idea is to for them to take their cues from the vibrant, cartoonish illustrations throughout the story which give hints as to the meaning of the word. There is also a handy decoder page at the back of the book, which contains an afterword that explains that Baloney's story was intercepted from a deep space transmission.

 Kids will love the illustrations and will relate to Baloney's plight. Baloney, himself, is a cute, green-skinned, freckle-faced alien boy with huge, pointy ears that immediately pulls you into his tale. Working best as a read-aloud with young children, this book is a superb introduction to the genre of sci-fi as well as a great introduction to language for children from ages 2-4.

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