Science Fiction (Sci-Fi) is a genre that includes science technology that could possibly happen in the future and/or in space and/or in a different dimension.
Check out these engaging science fiction chapter books for ages six to sixteen. I hope they’ll get your kids reading and reading and reading.
Below you’ll find I’ve divided the books into age groups.
Then, look for more books here:
Best Science Fiction Books For Kids
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
This is one of our favorite graphic novels! Zita the Spacegirl is a true friend who not only saves her best friend from kidnapping aliens but saves the galaxy!
Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot The Voodoo Vultures from Venus by Dav Pilkey, illustrated by Dan Santat
Kudos to Dav Pilkey and Dan Santat for creating such an action-packed, engaging new series for young readers. And the illustrations are marvelous. It’s not often you see a book in full color – love that!
Galaxy Zack Hello, Nebulon!
An easy chapter book that’s simple, fun, and entertaining about a boy who moves to a new planet.
Plants vs. Zombies by Paul Tobin and Ron Chan
If your child likes these graphic novels, there are TONS of books in this funny sci-fi zombie series.
Diary of a Minecraft Zombie Book 1: A Scare of a Dare by Herobrine Books
Short sentences with witty observations on life from the perspective of a Minecraft zombie that will crack you up. I was surprised that this was such an entertaining, funny read. Nothing scary. Just fun. Especially for Minecraft enthusiasts. (These are FREE for Kindle Unlimited subscribers!)
Doodle Adventures: The Search for Slimy Space Slugs! by Mike Lowery
This book not only hooks the reader with its space-adventure plot and hilarious narrator Carl the Duckbut it invites YOU to find the missing priceless artifact requiring bravery, heroism and drawing. Yes, drawing. Along the journey to retrieve the artifact from Captain Sleezoog (he’s a slug), you’ll be tasked with doing your part. So you’ll make sure (by drawing) that you’ve got a spacesuit, you’ve packed everything you need to bring, the rocket design is perfect plus has some silly (bandages!?) extras, and lots more as the adventure ensues. It may sound contrived but it’s an engaging adventure any kid, artist or not, will love. And there is MORE in the series! Also read: The Pursuit of the Pesky Pizza Pirate!
Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Brian Biggs
Frank invents things. Most of the time, those things don’t work. Recently, Frank has been trying to make a robot who can think for himself (like Frankenstein) using old appliances and spare parts (toaster, keyboard, Shop-Vac). Frank doesn’t do it but in a miracle of fictional science, the robot builds himself. This book is a bit slower-paced than I like but I think it’s a decent read that will appeal to young tinkerers.
Hilo The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick
Hilo can’t remember much before D.J. finds him crashed into the earth. But evil robots have followed Hilo to Earth and it’s up to Hilo to protect it. This ends on a cliff-hanger but is worth it — it’s a great page-turning graphic novel adventure with more in the series.
Bots #5: A Tale of Two Classrooms by Russ Bolts, illustrated by Jay Cooper
I’m late to the Bot books craze so I started with a story about Bot school. It’s funny, adventurous, and engaging to read with comic panels and dialogue, I can see why this beginning chapter book series has gained such a big fan base in the last year.
Star Wars Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown
Engaging from the first page, this is a relatable graphic novel adventure story about a young boy, Roan, who dreams of becoming a pilot . . . but gets into Jedi school instead. He’s the oldest new student, everyone else started long before him. Roan has ups and downs, as one does at a new school, but finds his place at the school and new friends. Highly recommended!
Killer Species by Michael P. Spradlin
A fast-paced adventure series about a mad scientist who creates a hybrid crocodile-dinosaur-bird killer creature to stop visitors from entering the Everglades. Emmet and his father arrive to investigate but when his father is kidnapped, Emmet and his friend, Calvin, know it’s up to them to find where the kidnapper is holding Emmet’s father. GREAT for reluctant readers — and anyone who loves a crazy sci-fi who-done-it!
Into the Game (Minecraft Woodsword Chronicles) by Nick Eliopulos
First in one of the BEST Minecraft book series, this adventure follows five players who are transported inside the game– and it’s real and they’ll have to use all their survival and problem-solving skills to stay alive. BOXED SET of Books 1 – 4 HERE.
Albert Hopper Science Hero by John Himmelman
Albert Hopper and his niece and nephew use his wormlike ship to dig into the center of the earth…but the ship gets stuck! The story contains lots of science, particularly geology vocabulary, which makes me think it will be too hard for many beginning readers. Nevertheless, it’s an exciting science adventure with engaging black and green illustrations.
First Cat in Space by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Shawn Harris
Absurdly hysterical, this is a bizarrely perfect adventure in space with a cat and a toenail-clipping robot who journey to the moon to stop the rats from eating it all. Silly adventures ensue –like befriending a whale, becoming pirates, and answering a sphynx’s riddle. Then, the spaceship’s computer joins the Rat King’s side with revenge in mind and when the heroes arrive at the Rat King’s they GET CAPTURED. But, don’t worry — somehow they’ll escape. Right?
Trapped in a Video Game by Dustin Brady, illustrated by Brady Jessee
Gamers and non-gamers alike who love exciting and dangerous stories won’t want to miss this excellent action-packed series. Jesse’s friend gets an early release of a video game — and it sucks both boys into the game. Inside the game, they meet a classmate who has been missing for weeks and is now a grown-up man in the game. They’re all trapped with no escape possible.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
I’ve read this book so many times, I can’t count — many times with my classes as a read aloud — and every time it’s just as fantastic. (That doesn’t always happen with books.) A Wrinkle in Time is a remarkable, well-written adventure in space that deals with the overarching theme of good vs. evil. Meg and her brother, Charles Wallace, and friend, Calvin, set off to find her scientist father who disappeared while researching tesseracts.
Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior by Cube Kid, illustrated by Saboten
Runt is a 12-year old with real problems. He doesn’t want to be a typical villager with the typical boring life. He wants to be a warrior like Steve. So he’s excited when his school finally agrees that the villagers might need warriors to fight back against the nightly attacks. When Steve loses everything and moves in with Runt’s family, Runt hopes that Steve will help with warrior training. But it’s a guy named Mike whose in the village jail that helps because Steve is too depressed. Runt’s a relatable, mostly serious, character who just wants a different life — like most kids his age and is competing for a dream opportunity.
Your Pal Fred by Michael Rex
Fred is a robot who brings kindness (and STICKERS!) to a dystopian world he makes better in this funny, warmhearted, and interesting story. When Fred discovers that two warlords are capturing innocent people to fight as soldiers for them, Fred knows what he has to do–ask the two bad guys to try peace. He irritates and surprises everyone he meets with his cheerfulness and positive attitude, even when he’s caught and “tortured” with drumming, which, of course, he loves. His character oozes charm, you can’t help but love him–along with the other curious characters that he meets. Will Fred succeed on his seemingly impossible mission?
Space Case and Spaced Out by Stuart Gibbs
review written by my daughter, 11-year old JJ
This series was AMAZING! It was a murder mystery on the moon. I can never turn down a good, realistic sci-fi PLUS murder mystery. It has it all! It was placed in 2040 and their second-in-command had died. He had walked out the airlock (to the moon’s surface) with his space suit on wrong– he died in seconds. Everyone thought he had gone crazy, but Dashiel suspected differently. Murder. The first book is almost mirrored in the second –the base commander this time disappears. With just enough breaking the rules, they can figure out where she is and who did it.
The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier, illustrated by Douglas Colgate
ADDICTING!! In this story, the zombie apocalypse is kind of fun. At least that’s how Jack approaches life and zombie fights. He and his best friend, Quint, live in an upgraded, well-defended treehouse (which is SO COOL I totally want to live there) where they plan for rescuing his crush June (even though she doesn’t need rescuing being quite capable) and fighting zombies. Illustrations throughout make this even more appealing to read and imagine. I absolutely love this series.
The Last Gate of the Emperor by Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel Makonnen
Yared’s Uncle Moti moves them around frequently so when Yared gives his real name during an augmented reality game, he doesn’t think the soldiers that arrive are after him. But they are. And everything he believed about his life turns out to be a lie…including his identity. Yared partners with another game player, the Ibis, to escape the troops and the giant monster and find the truth. The two clever, quick-witted kids face incredible danger, insurmountable odds, and a galaxy-spanning war but Yared has been trained for this and he is ready to fight. Set in a futuristic Ethiopian empire, this exciting adventure grabs your interest and keeps it through wild twists and turns that feature heroic main characters!
Hypnotists by Gordon Korman
Mix the action-packed writing of Korman with a boy who can hypnotize others – and who is recruited to be in a “special” school to save the world. But is that really what the school does? And, unlike some series whos sequels disappoint, all the books in this series are excellent.
Dead City by James Ponti
Okay, this is more paranormal than sci-fi but SO good I wanted to include it in this genre list, too. Molly’s recruited to hunt zombies in New York City, just like her mother, who is dead. Or is mom actually a zombie? And why is she trying to contact Molly? This is a great action-adventure story with a mystery. I loved all the books in this zombie series.
Masterminds by Gordon Korman
Now a complete series now that my kids and I highly recommend… Eli and his friends are riding bikes when they accidentally discover that some of them are physically prevented from leaving their utopia-type town. But there’s more. Then Eli discovers that his “father” is the leader of a group of scientists who are using the town and some of the kids, in a secret and unapproved science experiment. And you won’t believe what that experiment is!! (Hint: the title gives you a big clue.) Will the kids escape and will they be more than their DNA?
Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret by Trudi Trueit
This is National Geographic’s first fictional book series with full-color illustrations that hits the spot with an exciting mix of science, technology, adventure, and mystery. Newly accepted into the prestigious Explorer Academy for science and exploration, Cruz realizes that someone is trying to kill him; someone who doesn’t want him finding out about his mother’s mysterious research and untimely death. I LOVE the cool tech, amazing friendships, plot twists, plus an intriguing premise with more books to follow.
Minrs by Kevin Sylvester
Action & intrigue in outer space — this book will hook you right away. Christopher’s space colony home is attacked by pirates. He and many other children escape to the underground mines. Christopher’s determined to help the others find food, water, and the emergency beacon but first, they’ll have to work together and confronting a terrible truth about the Melming Mining company. The third and final book in the trilogy is out now. This is a not-to-miss middle-grade sci-fi series.
The Ghost Network: Activate by I.I. Davidson
Jack and his friend are hackers who get taken to a top-secret tech school where all is not as it seems. Not only are the kids in danger but there seems to be a computer implanted inside their brains!? The story intrigued me from the get-go but after about the middle, the action was so fast-paced and suspenseful, I was totally hooked.
Escape from a Video Game by Dustin Brady
If you like adrenaline with pure high stakes action, this choose-your-own adventure book will be your next favorite book! You are the hero in a new release video game called Cooper Hawke and the Secret of Phantom Island. Think quickly in order to escape your enemies and not get killed.
Edge of Extinction The Ark Plan by Laura Martin
Action and excitement from the first page! This is a fantastic story about a dangerous world where cloned dinosaurs have taken over the world. Sky and her fellow humans live below ground in safety with “Noah” as their supreme ruler. When Sky discovers that her missing (maybe traitor?) father left her a secret note with cryptic instructions on how to be found, she decides to leave the underground city in order to find him. Barely outside a day, she and her friend Shawn are rescued from hungry dinosaurs by a boy who lives in a treetop enclave. Then, the boy’s enclave is attacked by Noah’s soldiers looking for her and Sky realizes that everything she believed about Noah is wrong. But can she escape the soldiers that are following her every move?
Bloom by Kenneth Oppel
Get ready for a wild ride of suspense, action, adventure, science fiction, and coolness!! Bloom tells the story of three kids who are not affected by the strange-looking plants that appear out of nowhere and take over land all over the world, covering houses and streets, swallowing animals and people but doing nothing to these kids. Scientists figure out that the plants are an alien invasion…and think these kids may be the only chance they have to stop them. To avoid spoilers, I’ll just tell you that it’s an AWESOME story…and ends on a crazy cliff hanger.
Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar
They’re not supposed to be in the woods, but to avoid Chad the bully Tamaya and Marshall go there anyway. Tamaya discovers the weird-looking “fuzzy mud” and throws it at Chad’s face who had followed them. When Chad goes missing, and Tamaya’s hand gets a bloody rash, it’s clear that the mud is not just mud. Fast-paced and adventurous, kids won’t be able to put this book down. I couldn’t.
City of Thieves (Battle Dragons) by Alex London
In Drakopolis, gangs of kins clans run the neighborhoods with violence and crime, using dragons to fight each other and work as taxis and cargo carriers. He’s devastated to learn that his best friend who happens to be non-binary is in a kin and never told him– and that his family is in danger if Abel doesn’t fight. In an exciting plot twist, Abel uses his strengths, his family, and his two 7th grade classmates to fight against ALL the kins to erase his family’s debt once and for all. Cool world-building with fantastic character development — this was a fun read!
Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan
Get ready for action, intrigue, plot twists, and super-cool technology! Ana’s freshman class at her specialized marine and naval academy are the only survivors when the academy is blown up. As the class races to board their field trip ship, their chaperone reveals several essential secrets…Jule Verne’s novels based on Captain Nemo are mostly true, Ana’s the only surviving relative of Captain Nemo, and they will be attacked by the land school if they don’t get to safety immediately.
Area 51 Interns: Alien Summer by James S. Murray and Carsen Smith
It’s the first day of summer vacation and Viv and her friends’ parents are “taking their kids to work”–at Area 51. It starts off boring and touristy but when aliens escape from their cells, the kids see the real facility and watch as the adults get captured by aliens. Viv and her friends must find a way to get to the alien ship and save their parents and other kids. It’s an exciting, fast-paced, kids-as-heroes alien adventure with a big twist…
Lion of Mars by Jennifer L. Holm
Eleven-year-old Bell lives in an underground compound on Mars. His United States group is isolated from the other country’s settlements but when the grownups get a deadly rodent-borne illness, the kids leave and try to get help from the other colonies. An imaginative story of friendship and adventure…on Mars!
Atlantis: The Accidental Invasion by Gregory Mone
Lewis’s scientist dad believes that Atlantis still exists and when Lewis sneaks off to find his dad’s lab, he ends up on a journey with his dad and his dad’s research assistant, Hanna, to find out the truth. Meanwhile, an Atlantian girl sneaks away from home and passed the guards to see if there could be life above the ocean. When their fates collide, the excitement at each other’s existence is short-lived because the Atlantian Eraser guards capture Lewis’s dad…and then Lewis and Hanna. Interesting, action-packed, and filled with cool tech!
Greystone Secrets: The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Exciting from the first page to the last! Why would the Greystone kids’ loving, wonderful mom leave the three of them just after hearing the news about a bizarre kidnapping involving a family with their EXACT same names and birthdays? And why is there a secret room in their basement that leads to another house in a different world? The kids, along with their new friend, Natalie, embark on a dangerous adventure to find their missing mom, travel to an alternate world, and save the kidnapped children.
7th Grade vs the Galaxy by Joshua S. Levy
What a wild ride! Literally. Because PSS 118 is a spaceship school. When the school/ship is attacked, Jack gets instructions from his former-teacher dad on how to escape. But Jack accidentally sends the ship into another solar system resulting in their capture by aliens. Aliens they didn’t know existed! Apparently, Jack’s dad invented the human’s first light-speed engine and neglected to tell anyone that he’d installed it on their school spaceship. If you like stories with aliens, friendship drama, awesome kid heroes, and plenty of action, you’ll love this book. Plus, it has an ending that will knock your socks off.
Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks (GRAPHIC NOVEL)
Sanity and Tallulah are two good friends who live on a space station. Sanity is a brilliant inventor — but her newest (illegal) creation, a three-headed kitten named Princess Destroyer of Worlds has escaped and is living up to her name — destroyer. The friends look for their missing kitten but instead discover a big problem that will destroy the space station only it’s not caused by the kitten. While the station is evacuated, the friends work hard to stop the duct weasels and the engine from overheating. I love the space station setting, the super-smart problem-solving main characters, and the non-stop action.
5 Worlds: The Sand Warrior by Mark Siegel, Alexis Siegel, Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, and Boya Sun (GRAPHIC NOVEL)
Gorgeous artwork sets the tone for an otherworldly graphic novel story. The five worlds are falling into chaos. When one world attacks another, Oona Lee, a girl who is a sand dancer, rescues two boys and the three work together to light the unlit Beacons and save the worlds. But, they face a dark force that comes with a devastating betrayal.
Star Scouts by Mike Lawrence (GRAPHIC NOVEL)
Not fitting in and finding your place in the world never was so out of this world! Avani hates her new school and the girls in her Flower Scouts troop who talk about makeup and boys. When she’s accidentally abducted by a friendly alien named Mabel, Avani joins Mabel’s Star Scout troop– a more crazy and adventurous group than her human troop, just like she wants. It’s always important to find your tribe of friends, even if they’re aliens. This is a fantastic romp through space with stunning illustrations. (And also endorsed by my 12-year old daughter!)
Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation by Sylvia Liu
This is an excellent and exciting sci-fi story about a world where corporations control the world and at age 13, kids get “meshed” into the multiweb. Hana meets a mysterious hacker who makes her see that things aren’t always at they seem and that getting meshed might not be good. When Hana’s school friends get sicker and sicker, Hana discovers a conspiracy using kids as human experiments. Even worse, her mom is involved in it. With the help of a wise old man, two friends, and her sister, they work together to help the sick students and stop the corporation’s nefarious plans.
Beetle Boy by M.G. Leonard
Darkus Cuttle’s museum director dad mysteriously disappears from a locked room in the museum. Darkus learns that there’s something very strange going on . . . and it has to do with intelligent beetles and a cruel benefactress of the museum. This sci-fi chapter book took me by surprise; I can’t wait for the next book in the series.
Horizon by Scott Westerfeld
First of seven books, we follow a plane crash over the Arctic Circle with only 8 kid survivors. The wrecked plane lands in a sinister jungle filled with attacking vines, shredder birds, and two moons in the sky. When the kids find an anti-gravity tool, they use it to help them fly so they can locate water and hunt for answers to where they are. They suspect someone engineered this dangerous world and more importantly, the kids need their help –Molly is getting sicker from the glowing green bird bite on her shoulder and they don’t want another death. *The adults on the plane are presumed dead and one of the kids dies during the story.
Boy X by Dan Smith
Action-packed science fiction with plenty of suspense, Ash wakes up in a medical facility on a remote island with gun-wielding soldiers and a dangerous poison that will kill his mother and the other trapped scientists within hours. He works with a girl named Isabel to traverse the island in search for the antidote carried by the soldiers. Of course, it won’t be easy. And there are more dangers than he knows.
Timeless Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic by Armand Baltazar
Lush, full-color illustrations (over 150!) fill this dramatic science fiction adventure in one of the most uniquely imagined worlds. 13-year old Diego lives in New Chicago post-Time Collision. Now, in the present, the Steam Timers, the Mid Timers, the Elders, and other groups coexist peacefully after a terrible world war. But it’s a fragile peace. When Diego’s dad, the leading engineer for the territories, and his colleague are kidnapped by a splinter group, Diego and his friends set out on a rescue mission where they’re immediately captured by pirates. The action is non-stop, the plot is skillfully crafted, and the characters, both boys and girls, are interesting. Don’t miss this incredible, epic adventure!
Glitch by Laura Martin
In this world, some people have the genetic ability to time travel. Regan is one of those people. Like all kids with this ability, she’s required to train as a Glitcher so as teens and adults, they’ll be ready to stop the bad guys from interfering with historical events. She gets an illegal message from her future self that she could go to jail for— and start to suspect that things aren’t as they seem. Then, she and her nemesis, another kid called Elliot, get sent to a secret partner program. They’re forced to work together clandestinely to stop a catastrophe that could destroy the entire Glitch program. Fast-paced, unique, and entertaining!
The Quest for the Truth series (books 1 – 4) by Brock Eastman (CHRISTIAN)
I couldn’t put these books down — which was a very fun surprise because I didn’t know what to expect from a Christian fiction series like this. The writing is fantastic — fast-paced and engaging and the story itself is intriguing, a futuristic world in which the four siblings archeologist parents are kidnapped by forces trying to find artifacts which will lead them to eternal life. The kids pursue both the artifacts and their missing parents across different planets where they discover a hidden civilization of blue-colored people, escape a dangerous laboratory with predatory creatures including dinosaurs, learn a friend is really a foe, get captured by pirates, and so much more. I’m looking forward to the final book, book five!
The Jupiter Pirates Hunt for the Hydra by Jason Fry
This is a GREAT pirate adventure, only these pirates are in space and now supposed to be called the more politically correct term “privateers.” Tycho and his siblings are competing amongst each other for who will be the next captain after their mom. When it’s Tycho’s turn to captain, he encounters a ship with a suspicious diplomat. Unable to seize the ship’s cargo because of the diplomat, Tycho’s family demands a court decide.
Under Their Skin by Margaret Peterson Haddix
In this sci-fi world, brother and sister twins discover a big and dangerous secret. Their parents are robots, and so are all the adults in the world! Mesmerizing.
The Mighty Odds by Amy Ignatow
I liked this book but it wasn’t the complete story so be warned, you’ll have to stay tuned until the next book is out to get more of the plot. Basically, this book sets things up — we learn that the random group of students in a bus accident all are different somehow — they each have powers. And so do their fire starting substitute teacher and their now invisible bus driver. The bus driver tells them he was transporting something secret and he thinks that affected all of them.
Six: A Devastating Call. An Impossible Journey. And No Turning Back. by M.M. Vaughan
This is a fantastic, fast-paced adventure! I loved every second of this story and know your kids will as well. When Parker’s scientist father is kidnapped, he sends Parker an interrupted message with only a name. Parker, his friend Aaron, his friend’s butler, and his sister, Emma, race to save their father, only to discover that his father is on another planet and the technology to get him back is the invention his dad was working on.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Set in a dystopian society, this Newbery medal winner grabs your attention and keeps it until the end. What is going on in this community? When Jonas is assigned his job as “Receiver of Memory” he learns just how much his hidden and controlled. Now he’ll have to decide just what he’ll do with this horrifying information.
The Last Dogs: The Vanishing by Christopher Holt
Holt is an amazing writer and the story is a fast-paced adventure that your kids will thoroughly enjoy. All the humans have either left suddenly or were rounded up and forced to leave. But not the dogs or other animals. Max, a yellow Lab knows that he must find and save his family. From the moment he escapes his kennel at the vet’s, he faces huge obstacles – angry, starving wolves, no food, a gang of subway rats, a house of cats, and the controlling Corporation, a “perfect” society for dogs where everyone works and no one can leave.
Jinxed by Amy McCulloch
What an amazing premise — you are going to love this on so many levels. It’s “a fairy tale, but not of princes and frogs, ball gowns and pumpkins, but of makers and metal, of wire and ingenuity and inspiration and creativity and invention.” In this evolved society, the tech company MONCHA makes computerized pets caled bakus that act like smartphones and computers. Lacey finds an unusual, half-destroyed cat baku and rebuilds it using a 3D printer and found parts. When her baku Jinx starts to work, he’s noticeably different than the other bakus– he can speak into her mind and think for himself! So when she starts competing with other kids at her prestigious school in the battle of the bakus, Jinx doesn’t follow the rules which lead to his capture and the discovery of a sinister truth about MONCHA. Fantastic, fast-paced, and thought-provoking.
The Secret Deep by Lindsay Galvin
After their mother dies of cancer, Aster and her younger sister, Poppy, travel to New Zeland to live with their cancer researcher aunt. Poppy sneaks a phone into their aunt’s eco-village and that’s how she sends their new friend from the plane, Sam, a message about where they are. But when Sam bikes to visit them, all he finds of the village are ashes. That’s because Aster’s aunt has moved everyone and burned the village. But what happens next is hard to believe. Aster’s aunt gasses everyone on the boat, the Aster wakes up in the ocean alone. She will eventually find an island and two other teenagers from the village but strangest of all is she meets a boy with gills who breathes water instead of air. When danger arrives with Sam’s help, it’s a fight for survival and answers. Fascinating and hard to put down.
Jonny Jakes Investigates: The Hamburgers of Doom by Malcolm Judge
Johnny is the anonymous reporter for the tell-the-truth secret school newspaper, The Woodford Word. His latest investigation is the unusual principal, an alien who is somehow brainwashing the whole school and the parents and turning them into chubby zombies. (The title is a BIG hint.) He pairs up with a girl named Julie, his friend Norris, and an unusual drama teacher to find a way to stop the alien principal from fattening up the students to eat them all. This sounds weird but it’s actually a great story of perseverance, friendship, and old-fashioned investigative journalism.
Cleopatra in Space #1: Target Practice by Mike Machack (GRAPHIC NOVEL)
Cleopatra is transported to the future on a different planet where she learns she’s destined to save the world. To prepare, she attends school (sort of) and trains with a wise old cat. She’s sent on her first mission before she is fully ready. Can she do it or will her lack of preparation ruin the mission?
The Time Museum by Matthew Loux (GRAPHIC NOVEL)
Delia interns at the Time Museum, a time travel museum where she and other kids her age compete for a permanent spot with the museum in this sci-fi graphic novel. A sinister time traveler forces the group to work together to stop permanent damage to the world and the time museum. My 11-year old thought this book was awesome.
Dark Life by Kat Falls
When the oceans swallowed much of the earth, humans either moved into stacked cities or the ocean floor. Ty lives in the ocean but his way of life is threatened by murderous outlaws who steal and kill. He befriends a Topside girl named Gemma who is looking for her brother undersea. They learn that her brother is the leader of the outlaws, was a former medical experiment, and has Dark gifts just like Ty. This is action and intrigue from the get-go and you’ll love every minute of it. (Next in the series is Rip Tide.)
Finn and the Intergalactic Lunchbox by Michael Buckley
A kooky but entertaining adventure involving good and bad aliens, a secret weapon to defeat the bug bad guys, and a malfunctioning robot. A secret weapon to defeat the bug bad guys gets stuck in a lunch box and partially attached to Finn. The robot wants to bring it back to the Resistance but he’ll have to take Finn with the him. Wormholes, betrayal, and a fight to save the Earth will appeal to adventurous kids who love science fiction.
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore, et.al
Because these books zip along with fast-paced adventure and action, you’ll be hard-pressed to stop reading! John isn’t a human teenager, he’s one of 9 Loric children who were sent to Earth when their planet was attacked by the evil Mogadorians. He moves around a lot with his guardian to escape these alien killers who can only kill the kids in numerical order…Now that he’s come of age, he develops his Legacies — powers that will help him survive. But one, two, and three have been killed already. John is next.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
You will love, love this YA book series that takes place on Mars in a color-coded caste society. Darrow, a low-caste Red, infiltrates the ruling Gold caste’s special training school. His training is to kill or be killed, lead an army or be enslaved. It’s better than The Hunger Games — especially for teens who don’t want to read about romance and who really get enthralled with battle strategy. Every book in this unique sci-fi series is addicting — I dare you to put it down.
The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera A mesmerizing, beautiful story about a girl named Petra who is on a spaceship with her family, traveling to a new home after the Earth is destroyed, that is also about humanity, storytelling, and survival. When Petra wakes up, the reality on the ship is horrifically different than she expected. Her parents have been killed, her brother is missing, and all the other humans’ memories have been erased. Except her memory remains. Since she’s the only person who knows the truth and the past, Petra is determined to foil the sinister Collective’s plan to control everyone and every narrative. She plays the part of a mind-controlled teenager but shares Mexican cuentos / folktales with the other Zetas. Her determination will save not only the Zetas but possibly an entire civilization of settlers. Petra is a brave, fierce girl who shows us that we are less than human without art, music, and stories. Había una vez…
The Prisoner of Cell 25 (Michael Vey #1) by Richard Paul Evans
A fantastic read about a boy with electrical powers, and an evil group who wants to control him and others like him.
The Maze Runner by James Dasher
I loved this series . . . mostly. I didn’t love the last books and how the story ended — but that often happens with series doesn’t it? Series are hard, especially when the first book starts out so strong. In this dystopian world, kids are either killed or must kill to survive. There are tons of plot twists which I loved.
Undertakers: The Rise of the Corpses by Ty Drago
A great kids-must-save-the-world book with a unique zombie/alien twist. Aliens are taking over corpses and reanimating them. Only some kids can see the real zombie beneath the alien “masks” — our hero gets the zombie sight and is rescued by a group of zombie fighters called Undertakers. He convinces the Undertakers group to stop being defensive but to be more aggressive and determine how to kill the corpses. I liked this book a lot!! (Free on Kindle Unlimited.)
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Wow – I loved this adventure that is typical of Sanderson’s unique worlds with plot twists and turns. In this world, the Epics are super-powerful individuals with extraordinary powers and no goodness who control the cities. David’s father was killed by Chicago’s Epic, Steelheart, and David wants revenge. He joins the Reckoners to assassinate Steelheart, all the while studying the Epics to know their weaknesses. This is a page-turner and completely entertaining.
Bot Wars by J.V. Kade
Trout’s dad disappeared in The Bot Wars. When Trout makes a plea for his missing dad on a vid that goes viral, things go crazy FAST. Like the government trying to kidnap him. What do they know that he doesn’t know? A fast-paced, excellent adventure!
Eye of the Minds by James Dashner
A totally compelling and unique plot (with the craziest plot twist at the end!) Imagine our world with more advanced technology that lets you “live” in a game world. Players hook up their bodies to the game, and while they’re in the game, food and bathroom breaks are taken care of. It’s crazy action and adventure that will keep you reading late into the night!
The Rig by Joe Ducie
Oh, this was a deliciously good action story. I loved how the author wove in the science-fiction elements with a realistic story of incarcerated kids who are mistrusting, and find that there are a few people in the world that they can trust. This detention center is on an oil rig in the ocean. But Drake is determined to escape — especially after he discovers what the Rig is really doing.
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer
Cinder is a skilled mechanic cyborg, a human with machine parts, and lives with her step-mother and sisters. When Prince Kai asks her to fix something for him, she becomes entangled in a plot which puts her life at risk and the entire country’s fate is hanging in the balance.
Phoenix by S.F. Said, illustrated by Dave McKean
Great writing and an amazing plot will hook you from the first moment in this science fiction adventure about dying stars, an imperial empire, cloven-hooved Aliens, and an unusual boy named Lucky who is far more than he seems. LOVED it!
Dangerous by Shannon Hale
I’m a HUGE Shannon Hale fan so I was excited that she branched out to YA. I devoured this book! Maisie’s dream of attending the NASA-like summer camp turns into a nightmare when she’s exposed to alien technology that embeds in her body, giving her special powers. But powers for what? An alien invasion?
Origin by Jessica Khoury
Teen, Pia, is the only immortal in the world. She’s been raised in seclusion (captivity?) in the Amazon jungle with no knowledge of the outside world. But, all that changes when Pia finds a hole in the electrified fence and meets a village boy who helps her see that her origin might be a secret the scientists will kill to guard. Or worse. Predictable yet still entertaining.
Lockdown (Escape from Furnace) by Alexander Smith
Action and intrigue from the get-go, this is an amazing book because you, like our main character, have no idea what’s going on. Alex is framed and sent to the underground Furnace jail where the other prisoners are also under 18 and randomly killed or tortured by beast-like creatures. But Alex won’t listen to his cellmate and survive, he wants to escape.
The 5th Wave by
Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve
A totally original story of an orphan, Fever, who is raised by a scientist in the order of Engineers. She begins having strange memories and wants to know the mystery of who she is – if she’s a non-human Scrivener and where she came from.
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Mayberry (SERIES)
It’s a creepy, scary, and also somewhat bittersweet world of humanity who must survive in enclaves while the hoards of zombies roam the land — zombies who might have been family or friends. Mayberry does an amazing job at making the zombies pitiful and the zombie hunters’ job (so to speak) heartbreaking but necessary. At age 15, Benny must either fight zombies like his brother Tom or find a different job, or else his rations will be halved. So many of the “zoms” are people he once knew – and loved – and soon Benny learns there are people in the world who are worse than the zombies.
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