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.
Then, look for more books here:
Best Science Fiction Books For Kids
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 ages 6 – 9
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 (SERIES) (ages 6 – 10)
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 ages 6 – 9
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 ages 7 – 10
This book not only hooks the reader with it’s 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 ages 6 – 9
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 ages 6 – 9
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 the earth. This ends of a cliff-note but is worth it — it’s a great page-turning adventure.
Star Wars Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown ages 7 – 10
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 ages 7 – 10
I loved this 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!
5 Worlds: The Sand Warrior by Mark Siegel, Alexis Siegel, Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, and Boya Sun ages 8 – 12
Star Scouts by Mike Lawrence ages 8 – 12
Jonny Jakes Investigates: The Hamburgers of Doom by Malcolm Judge ages 8 – 12
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.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle ages 8 – 12
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.
Six: A Devastating Call. An Impossible Journey. And No Turning Back. by M.M. Vaughan ages 8 – 12
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.
Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior by Cube Kid, illustrated by Saboten ages 7 – 12
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.
Space Case and Spaced Out by Stuart Gibbs ages 8 – 12
review written by 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.
Timeless Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic by Armand Baltazar ages 8 – 12
Horizon by Scott Westerfeld (ages 8 – 12)
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.
Dead City by James Ponti ages 8 – 12
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 ages 8 – 12
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?
Edge of Extinction The Ark Plan by Laura Martin ages 8 – 12
Action from the first page! This is a crazy good story about a dangerous world where cloned dinosaurs have taken over the world. Now Sky and her fellow humans live below ground in safety with Noah as their supreme ruler. 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 her dad. Barely outside a day, she and her friend Shawn are rescued from hungry dinosaurs by a boy who lives in a treetop enclave. When his enclave is attacked by Noah’s soldiers looking for her, Sky realizes that everything she believed about Noah is wrong and is even more determined to find her father. LOVED it!
Cleopatra in Space #1: Target Practice by Mike Machack ages 8 – 12
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? Difficult to follow at first but overall entertaining.
The Fog Diver by Joel Ross ages 8 – 12
Excellent dystopian middle-grade! The world is covered by a deadly “fog” that kills humans so the humans live only on the highest mountain peaks. Our heroes, a band of scavenging orphans, are trying to find something in the world below that they can sell in order to travel to another city where they can treat the cloud sickness of their beloved mother-figure. I loved the suspense, the fascinating world, the characters, and the happily ever after. I couldn’t tell from the ending if there will be more books because thankfully there was no cliffhanger.
Minrs by Kevin Sylvester ages 8 – 12
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.
Beetle Boy by M.G. Leonard ages 8 – 12
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.
Boy X by Dan Smith SCI-FI / ADVENTURE
The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier, illustrated by Douglas Colgate ages 8 – 12
If you went by this book, you’d think the zombie apocalypse was 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) where they plan for rescuing his crush June (she doesn’t need rescuing being quite capable) and fighting zombies. Illustrations throughout make this even more appealing to read and imagine. I absolutely loved this series. Who would have thought?!
The Time Museum by Matthew Loux ages 8 – 12 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.
The Quest for the Truth series (books 1 – 4) by Brock Eastman ages 8 -12 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 G-Man Super Journal Awesome Origins by Chris Giarrusso ages 8 – 12
Dark Life by Kat Falls ages 10 +
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.)
The Neptune Project by Polly Holyoke ages 8 – 12
What a fascinating, compelling story! When the government cracks down and discovers her mom’s secret lab, Nere learns that her mom has experimented on her . . . and many other kids . . . so that they can survive underwater. Suddenly Nere has gills and is forced to swim for her life to meet up with the other kids who are part of the Neptune Project, traveling to where her not-really-dead-after-all father has built an underwater headquarters. The journey is dangerous and there’s tension within the group. Will they survive the trip and if they do, to what end? (The second book, The Neptune Challenge, is also fantastic.)
Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar ages 8 – 12
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.
The Jupiter Pirates Hunt for the Hydra by Jason Fry ages 8 – 12
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.
Hypnotists by Gordon Korman ages 8 – 12
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.
Under Their Skin by Margaret Peterson Haddix ages 8 – 12
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!
The Mighty Odds by Amy Ignatow ages 8 – 12
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.
The Last Dogs: The Vanishing by Christopher Holt ages 8 – 12
I drug my heels about reading this book, I don’t usually like books with animal characters. However, from the first page, I couldn’t put it down. 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.
Mary Andromeda and the Amazing Eye by J.G. Kemp SCI-FI
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.
Psion Gamma by Jacob Gowans ages 13+
I generally dislike self-published children’s books. But not self-published YA books. This is one of those book series — self-published and excellent! A dystopian world where some have unique powers (psion powers) that he can use to fight the ongoing battle for a better world. Loved it!
The Prisoner of Cell 25 (Michael Vey #1) by Richard Paul Evans ages 13+
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 ages 13+
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 (SERIES) ages 13+
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 ages 13+
Wow – 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 ages 13+
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 ages 13+
I can’t believe it took me so long to read this YA book for it’s totally compelling and unique plot (with the craziest plot twist at the end!). How to explain . . . 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!
Red Rising by Pierce Brown ages 13+
I’m with the thousands (millions) of readers who rightfully 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.
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer ages 13+
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 (ages 10+) SCI-FI
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 ages 13+
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 ages 13+
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.
Strange Skies by Kristi Helvig ages 13+
If you like fast-paced action and sci-fi YA, this is a good book for you! Second in the Burn Out series, Tora is rescued from the Consulate and arrives on a new planet in the middle of two conflicts — one, between the Resistance and the Consulate and two, between the vicious Resistance leader, Kale and the less-violent Resistance members including Tora. And everyone wants Tora’s father, the scientific mastermind behind the guns or at least his knowledge of the key to using the guns. Her feelings for James are conflicted but develop into a romance during this action-packed story.
Shade’s Children by Garth Nix ages 13+
Yes, another dystopian novel – but if you like them, here’s another entertaining read. Nix creates a world of evil Overlords who kill children on their 14th birthday to turn them into hybrid-machine-animal killers. Shade, a holograph projection of his original adult self, guides escaped children to discover the Overlord’s secrets. Only how many children have sacrificed their lives for his missions? Is he everything he says he is?
The 5th Wave by
Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve ages 13+
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) ages 13+
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.
The Rig by Joe Ducie ages 13+
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.
KIDS BOOK LISTS BY GENRE
Download my "Can't Put 'Em Down" book lists for your kids ages 3 - 13.
Also, I'll send you a bonus "23 Reasons to Read" printable poster!