43 Recommendations for Kids Space Books

The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_2021

Looking for a good book to read? Well, in a recent tweet, a father asked for book recommendations for his fifth-grade stepdaughter, who is starting a Space Club at her school.

The Twitter community came together and delivered! So we’ve compiled a list of everyone’s favorite space books so that you can find your next great read. Here are the best book recommendations from our space community!


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_20211. Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood

Recommended Age: 3-5 years

In this book, the author swaps Cinderella’s glass slippers for space boots! Cinderella’s got a knack for building spaceships and uses it to help others. When the prince’s rocket breaks down, she’s there to help him get to the Royal Ball. Soon after, though, she runs off, and the prince is left to search the cosmos for the girl that saved him. With colorful illustrations, this is the classic story of Cinderella with an interstellar twist.

The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_20212. Red Rover by Richard Ho

Recommended Age: 3-6 years

Join the mission of NASA’s Curiosity rover and see what it does on Mars day to day. Told from the perspective of the Red Planet, readers will learn about Mars’ significance and why scientists send rovers and other spacecraft there. Coupled with stunning illustrations, this book brings young readers on a ground-breaking mission while also teaching them about the science and history of space exploration.


3. Moonshot by Brian Floca

Recommended Age: 4 years and up

Learn about NASA’s Apollo 11 mission in a new light and what it was like to travel somewhere no human had gone before. Hear the stories of the scientists behind the Moon landing’s success, and follow along with astronauts right from their spacecraft. Moonshot brings readers on a roller coaster of emotions and inspires them to reach new heights.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_20214. A Computer Called Katherine by Suzanne Slade

Recommended Age: 4-8

This illustrated biography tells the story of NASA mathematician, Katherine Johnson, who was a leader in sending the first crewed missions to space. However, her journey wasn’t an easy one. She needed to prove that her race and gender didn’t define her intellect, and she could do anything her male counterparts could. Learn how Johnson broke stereotypes in the space industry and paved the way for new generations to find their place in the world of STEM.

The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_20215. Margaret and the Moon by Dean Robbins and Lucy Knisley

Recommended Age: 4-8 years

Margaret Hamilton was a pioneer in her field. Without her, many of NASA’s Apollo missions may have had a different outcome. She even hand wrote the code that helped spacecraft solve issues right from orbit. In Margaret and the Moon, readers will follow along on her journey and learn how essential this code was during history-making missions.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_20216. What Miss Mitchell Saw by Hayley Barrett and Diana Sudyka

Recommended Age: 4-8 years

Learn about the incredible true story of Maria Mitchell, the first professional female astronomer in the United States, and how her late-night discovery earned her worldwide recognition. Discover how Mitchell went from humble beginnings to making incredible scientific achievements, and how her legacy continues to inspire generations of young female scientists.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_20217. Your Place in the Universe by Jason Chin

Recommended Age: 4-8 years

How small are we…really? Your Place in the Universe helps readers understand the extraordinary size and composition of our universe. The sizes and scales of objects in outer space can seem unimaginable, but with detailed illustrations, audiences can better picture the world beyond our planet and what is out there to explore.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_20218. A is for Astronaut by Clayton Anderson and Scott Brundage

Recommended Age: 6-9 years

Learn about the mission of an astronaut from A-Z, told by retired NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson. Discover how astronauts prepare, what they go through during the flight, and the history of NASA over the years. With fun poems and illustrations, budding astronauts will learn about spaceflight right from someone who has experienced it.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_20219. Ambassador by William Alexander

Recommended Age: 8-12 years

When Gabe Fuentes is selected to be Earth’s ambassador to the galaxy, he quickly runs into trouble. A dangerous alien force is on its way towards Earth, and they’re targeting Gabe. As Gabe struggles to figure out what to do, he learns that his undocumented immigrant parents are at risk of being deported. Can Gabe solve both his problems at home and problems in the Galaxy?


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202110. Chasing Space by Leland Melvin

Recommended Age: 8-12 years

Leland Melvin has had a remarkable career. He’s played football with the Detroit Lions, made music with will.i.am, completed missions to the International Space Station, and served as the NASA Associate Administrator for Education. It’s no surprise that Melvin has been regarded as one of the most inspirational astronauts! Now, he’s sharing his story to show anything is possible and motivate young people to chase their dreams.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202111. Clues to the Universe by Christina Li

Recommended Age: 8-12 years

Rosalind Ling Geraghty has always loved building rockets with her father, but when he passes away suddenly, Ro has no one to finish the project with. Meanwhile, her friend Benjamin Burns doesn’t like rockets all that much –  he’s a comic book fan! When Benji finds out his favorite comic was written by his father, who walked out years ago, he decides he wants to meet him. Ro helps the two reunite, knowing just how powerful a child’s relationship with their father is, and in return, Benji helps Ro finish her rocket. Together, the two take on an adventure of self-discovery and explore just how the universe works.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202112. Countdown Conspiracy by Katie Slivensky

Recommended Age: 8-12 years

When Miranda Regent is chosen to be one of six kids on the first mission to Mars, she couldn’t be more excited. But just as the news was announced, Miranda starts receiving threatening messages, all while  attacks are made on the astronauts’ training base. She’s going to need the help of her friends around the world to save the mission and show that science is more important than personal greed.



The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202113. Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Robot by Markus Motum

Recommended Age: 8-12 years

Read about the mission of the Curiosity rover, right from the rover herself. Curiosity traveled somewhere no human has gone before and has spent years collecting data for scientists back on Earth. Learn how she got her name, how she completes her tasks, and how exactly she spends her time on Mars.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202114. I Love You, Michael Collins by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Recommended Age: 8-12 years

It’s 1969 and Mamie’s class is preparing for the launch of Apollo 11. The boys are writing letters to Buzz Aldrin and the girls are writing to Neil Armstrong. No one is writing to Michael Collins…well, except for Mamie. Michael Collins’ job is important: taking care of the ship the others can return home safely. This resonates with Mamie, who in her letters, tells him about her family struggles and how no one is ever home to take care of her. The Apollo 11 mission brought the world together, but can it bring Mamie’s family back home?


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202115. In the Red by Christopher Swiedler

Recommended Age: 8-12 years

Michael and Lilith know they shouldn’t venture out on the Mars surface alone, but when adventure awaits, how can they refuse? They leave the safety of the colony and ride miles away when suddenly, a solar flare strikes and knocks out power, communication, and even Mars’ magnetic field! Will Michael and Lilith be able to make it back to the colony alive?



The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202116. Lost In Outer Space: Incredible Journey of Apollo 13 by Tod Olson

Recommended Age: 8-12 years

The astronauts on NASA’s Apollo 13 mission were aiming for the Moon, but after a damaging explosion, they’re just lucky to make it back to Earth alive. Step inside the Apollo 13 spacecraft and experience firsthand this exhilarating mission for survival. Learn how astronauts overcame obstacles and how scientists back on Earth dealt with problems as they rose thousands of miles away.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202117. Planet Earth is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos

Recommended Age: 8-12 years

Nova can’t wait for the upcoming space launch. She has big dreams, but because she has severe autism, her teacher and foster parents don’t take her seriously. The only person that does is her sister, Bridget. But when Bridget mysteriously disappears one day, Nova is left to find her place in her community – and celebrate the launch – alone.



The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202118. Quintessence by Jess Redman

Recommended Age: 8-12 years

When Alma spies a falling star in her telescope, she’s excited to see it land in her backyard. However, upon closer inspection, she notices it looks like a child. The star is lost, far from home, and lonely – Alma knows how it feels. She embarks on a mission to return the star back to its place in the sky, but can’t do it alone. She needs some magical help, and the assistance of her school’s Astronomy Club.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202119. Space Case by Stuart Gibbs

Recommended Age: 8-12 years

Space Case is a whodunit mystery with an astronomical twist. Twelve-year-old Dashiell Gibson is one of the first humans to live on the Moon. But when the base’s top scientist, Dr. Holtz, is found dead, Dash suspects foul play. Only, no one believes him. Dr. Holtz was on the verge of an important discovery that would change everything for the families living on the base. Is that discovery worth killing someone to keep it a secret?


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202120. The Lion of Mars by Jennifer Holm

Recommended Age: 8-12 years

Bell grew up on Mars, only ever hearing stories about the US colonies. He knows that they keep secrets and remain largely isolated from the colonies on Mars. But when all the adults fall ill with a mysterious illness, Bell needs to figure out why. In order to unite the planet, he and the other kids need to uncover the truth, because in order to survive, everyone needs to work together.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202121. To Fly Among the Stars by Rebecca Siegel

Recommended Age: 8-12 years

For years, NASA’s astronaut groups have been dominated by men. But during their training, women have always worked alongside them. Women went through the same astronaut tests and worked hard to prove themselves worthy of being a part of the astronaut crews. Learn about their inspirational stories and how they broke down barriers so that young women, too, can now fly among the stars.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202122. Voyage of the Dogs by Greg van Eekhout

Recommended Age: 8-12 years

Lopside is a specially trained dog who journeys to space alongside human astronauts. Their mission is to set up a base on another far-off planet, but along the way, they run into some trouble. The human crew disappears, leaving Lopside and the other Barkonauts alone. Will they be able to complete their mission safely? Lopside is going to show that he’s not only man’s, but Earth’s, best friend.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202123. We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly

Recommended Age: 8-12 years

Middle school is a difficult time for everyone, and that includes Cash, Fitch, and Bird Nelson Thomas. These three seventh-grade siblings each have their own struggles, from poor grades to low self-esteem. They don’t connect with each other much, except when dealing with their tense home environment. What ultimately brings them together is a school project and the 1986 space shuttle Challenger launch. Follow along the resilient story of the Nelson Thomas kids as they navigate middle school and learn just how powerful family can be.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202124. Above and Beyond: NASA’s Journey To Tomorrow by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Recommended Age: 9-11 years

NASA’s has been pushing the limits of science and technology since it was established in 1958. Learn about the organization’s history and how feats like landing on the Moon and Mars were made possible. Hear the stories of lesser-known scientists and discover their important contributions to these missions. Also, discover what the driving force behind space exploration is and how it will propel us toward exciting future discoveries!


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202125. Spaceman by Mike Massimino

Recommended Age: 9-12 years

Discover the true story of Mike Massimino and how he went from a boy with a dream to one of NASA’s most well-known astronauts. While his story begins as a young boy growing up in Long Island, where people rarely moved far from home, he eventually ends up flying thousands of miles above the Earth. Along his journey, Massimino faced challenges and setbacks, but they never stopped him from pursuing his dream, and now he’s sharing his story to inspire others to do the same.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202126. Seventh Grade vs. the Galaxy by Joshua S. Levy

Recommended Age: 9-13 years

Can you imagine going to school on a spaceship orbiting Jupiter? For thirteen-year-old Jack, that’s his reality. But when that school is mysteriously attacked, Jack’s father leaves it up to him to save the ship. He gives Jack an important invention, allowing them to be catapulted away from danger… only its  into a group of aliens no one has seen before (uh-oh). Now, it’s up to Jack to get his school back to safety and get his friends home.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202127. The Martian by Andy Weir

Recommended Age: 10 years and up

Astronaut Mark Watney was one of the first humans to have stepped foot on Mars. But when a dust storm forces the crew to evacuate, Watney finds himself as the only human on the Martian surface; the rest of the crew left him behind. When the dust clears, he’s left with limited resources, food, and damaged technology. When the odds are all stacked against him, can he survive long enough for a rescue mission to bring him home?



The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202128. Fighting For Space by Teitel Amy Shira

Recommended Age: 10 to 12 years

This dual biography tells the stories of female pilots Jackie Cochran and Jerrie Cobb and the dream of being the first American woman in space. From breaking the sound barrier to taking the same tests as the Mercury astronauts, readers will follow the adventures of Cochran and Cobb as they fight to turn their dreams into reality. Their journey takes on both social and political issues as they strive to defy odds and create a “women astronaut” program.



The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202129. My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi

Recommended Age: 10-12 years

Ebony-Grace Norfleet grew up nurtured by her grandfather, one of the first black engineers at NASA. She loves Star Wars and Star Trek, and all things science fiction. But when family trouble arises and she has to move to the other side of the country, Ebony-Grace has to find new ways to share her passion. She doesn’t let herself be limited by other people’s imaginations and instead journeys to find her own place in her new home.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202130. Path to the Stars by Sylvia Acevedo

Recommended Age: 10-12 years

Discover the inspiring true story of Sylvia Acevedo, one of the first Latinx to earn a master’s in engineering from Stanford University. Throughout her childhood, she struggled with loss following the meningitis outbreak. How did she cope? She joined Girl Scouts! Girl Scouts taught her to take control of her life and helped her reach her dream of becoming a rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Today, Acevedo serves as CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA and continues to help girls reach their full potential.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202131. See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

Recommended Age: 10-13 years

In 1977, astronomer Carl Sagan helped send the Golden Record into space on board the Voyager spacecraft. Now, 11-year-old Alex Petroski wants to do the same….t only with his golden iPod instead. Before he can send it, he needs to record what life is like on Earth and document his journey in case any aliens ever happen to stumble upon it.



The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202132. Rocket Science by Andrew Radar

Recommended Age: 10-14 years

In Rocket Science, Andrew Radar makes rocket science accessible to anyone. Learn how rockets work – down to the different stages and power generation – and how scientists use them to travel far beyond our planet. This guide opens up discussions about the future of exploration too, and the possibility of discovering extraterrestrial life. Hard? Pssh…it’s only rocket science!


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202133. The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth by Rachel Ignotofsky

Recommended Age: 10-14 years

Earth works in fascinating ways. The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth breaks down biodiversity, ecosystems and their inhabitants, the cycles of nature, and a whole lot more. Readers will learn what we need to do to protect our planet and how we can better contribute to nature’s wellbeing.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202134. What We See in the Stars by Kelsey Oseid

Recommended Age: 10-14 years

Take a tour of the night sky guided by beautiful artwork combining mythology and science. Learn about everything from constellations to  bright stars to nebulae to deep space, and fall in love with the magic and history of outer space. This book takes young stargazers deeper into the night sky and helps them find their place among the stars.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202135. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Recommended Age: 11 years and up

Behind the historic missions of Alan Shepard and Neil Armstrong were a group of “human computers.” These female mathematicians made complex calculations by hand that were essential to  sending the first humans to space and bring them home safely. Among these women were Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden who worked specifically in the all-Black “West Computing” unit. Learn about their stories and how they overcame barriers and stereotypes to ultimately change the space industry forever.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202136. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Recommended Age: 11 years and up

Earth is about to be demolished, and Arthur Dent needs a way out. Luckily, his friend Ford Prefect is there to pick him up and together they fly off on a journey into the galaxy. Along the way, they meet other travelers looking for the answers to the universe. Join their hilarious adventure as they frolic through the galaxy and figure out outer space’s inner workings.



The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202137. Endurance: My Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly

Recommended Age: 12 years and up

Scott Kelly holds the record for most consecutive days spent in space by an American and has flown on four spaceflights. However, his time in space has not been without challenges. He’s dealt with isolation from his loved ones, unique struggles with his physical health, and the fear of colliding with space junk – challenges far from the mundane. Discover his incredible journey as he recalls his career and the obstacles he’s had to surmount in the pursuit of science.



The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202138. Nightwatch by Terence Dickinson

Recommended Age: 12 years and up

For decades, Nightwatch has been one of the top stargazing guides around the world. It includes charts and tables, stunning photography, how-to instructions, and planet locations perfect for any backyard astronomer. With only your naked eye, you’ll learn how to see some of the most incredible stellar spectacles, and if you have a telescope, you can discover how to peer even farther into space.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202139. Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space by Lynn Sherr

Recommended Age: 12 years and up

Sally Ride was the first American woman and known LGBTQ+ person to travel to space. In this biography, discover her story and learn how she broke down barriers to allow young women to chase after their dreams and become astronauts. She’s dedicated her entire life to promoting science education, co-founding a company and writing several books on the matter. Her determination and achievements have inspired millions around the world, and now, readers can take a glimpse into how Ride balanced her public image as a scientist with her heavily guarded personal life.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202140. The Space Race by Deborah Cadbury

Recommended Age: 12 years and up

Travel back in time to the space race and experience the remarkable triumphs, political fears, and ground-breaking technological feats between the United States and the Soviet Union. Hear the stories of the people at the center of the race that were unrelenting in their mission to make history and send humans to the Moon. Learn what life was like during this era and how two countries’ competition for dominance led to revolutionary innovations.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202141. Packing for Mars by Mary Roach

Recommended Age: 13 years and up

Ever wonder what it’s like to travel to space and live on the International Space Station? Mary Roach has the answers. In Packing for Mars, she takes on the particularly gross challenges astronauts face on their journey – vomit, feces, body odor, and more – in a humorous way. These are topics not often discussed in the media, but for young aspiring astronauts, they paint a more realistic picture of space travel to consider.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202142. Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Recommended Age: 14-16 years

In this science fiction, dystopian tale, Ray Bradbury explores what life looks like on Mars and what happens when humans try to interfere with it. Set immediately after World War II, Bradbury brings to life an alien species and describes their conflicts with the people from Earth. The post-apocalyptic technologies will bring readers to the Red Planet and leave them wondering what’s really there.


The Mars Generation_43 Book Recommendations from Our Space Community_202143. Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam

Recommended Age: 14-16 years

This memoir by Homer Hickam shares the story of how he chased after his dreams to become a NASA engineer. It’s a coming-of-age story set in the 1950s, where Hickam’s biggest fear was never growing up and getting out of his dying town. Against all odds, he made his dream of launching rockets into space come true during an important time in the space industry. Hickam recalls the obstacles he faced and how he found the hope and determination to overcome them.



What Will Your Next Space Read Be?

A huge thanks to our space community for these fantastic recommendations! We have one more to add: our very own Abigail Harrison’s new book, Dream Big!: How to Reach for Your Stars, for anyone looking to chase after their dreams. However, each and every one of these books is perfect for both school clubs and to pass the time in quarantine!

If you are looking for more space content to share with the astronomy-lover in your life, be sure to follow The Mars Generation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and sign up for our email list.


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