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Exploring Other Worlds Science fiction stories for kids of every age

bookmarkedsliderThere’s something special about science fiction. Though the genre sometimes gets a bad rap for its over-the-top storylines and—let’s face it—often awful movies, its uniquely imaginative world-building has enraptured audiences of all ages since Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was published in the 1800s.

Whether your child is just starting out or a seasoned sci-fi fan, these picks from The Ivy Bookshop are sure to surprise and delight.

Board/Soft Books (newborn-toddler)

“Darth Vader and Son” by Jeffrey Brown
This sweet Star Wars board book (Chronicle Books) imagines life with Darth Vader as an everyday dad, teaching little Luke Skywalker the ways of the world. (P.S. This is a fun read for any not-so-young fans, too!)

“Curious George and the Rocket” by Margret Rey
Everyone’s favorite mischievous monkey is back for an out-of-this-world adventure (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Though based on the true history of monkeys in space, things take a silly turn when George tries his hand at spaceship-flying.
Picture Books (ages 2-6)

“Return” by Aaron Becker
Though technically more fantasy than sci-fi, “Return” (Candlewick) is a can’t-miss story from Baltimore-born and Caldecott-winning illustrator Aaron Becker. As the third installment of the “Journey” trilogy, this wordless wonder tells the story of a young adventurer’s long trip home.

“Robo-Sauce” by Adam Rubin
How does a normal little kid turn into a giant robot with laser eyes? With the help of a little “Robo-Sauce” (Dial Books). Bonus: The Transformer-like book actually becomes a robot. What kid can resist that?
Early Readers (ages 6-8)

“Time Travelling with a Hamster” by Ross Welford
Al would do anything to bring his late father back—and when he finds his dad’s old time machine, he just might be able to. With the help of his fearless hamster, Al tries to alter the course of history…but time travel has consequences (HarperCollins).

“The Littlest Bigfoot” by Jennifer Weiner
Beloved novelist Jennifer Weiner forays into kid lit with this charming tale of a girl named Alice— who just happens to befriend a little Bigfoot named Millie (Aladdin). But Millie isn’t supposed to play with “no-furs,” and the girls’ forbidden friendship puts them both in jeopardy.


Middle Readers (ages 8-12)

“Astrotwins: Project Rescue” by Mark Kelly with Martha Freeman
Twin brothers Mark and Scott have always dreamed of going to space. When they hear a Russian cosmonaut is in trouble, they strap on their spacesuits and go into orbit. The best part? The book is written by a real live astronaut! (Simon and Schuster)

“Lots of Bots” By C.J Richards, illustrated by Goro Fujita
The second book of the “Robots Rule!” series returns to Terabyte Heights with George and his best robot bud, Jackbot (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). When George lands an internship with Tinker Tech, he couldn’t be happier…until he finds discovers some not-so-fun new tech that could mean trouble.
Young Adults (ages 13-18)

“Still Life with Tornado” by A.S. King
Sixteen-year-old Sarah is an artist. But when she wakes up one day and finds she has lost her ability to draw, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery, accompanied by versions of herself both old and new (Dutton Books).

“Spare and Found Parts” by Sarah Maria Griffin
Nell lives in a world full of incomplete people—some missing arms, some legs, some bits of their faces. Her lack, however, is less obvious: a heart, replaced by a mechanical one when she was a child. To quell her loneliness, Nell begins work on an artificial companion of her own…but things aren’t always as simple as they seem (HarperCollins).


Book Nook

Happy Birthday, A.A. Milne

If you’ve ever taken a (literary) journey through the Hundred Acre Wood, you have one man to thank—A. A. Milne, the author of “Winnie-the-Pooh.” The adventures of Pooh and his friends Piglet, Rabbit, Eeyore, Tigger and the other toys of Christopher Robin are so familiar to us now that it hardly seems like someone wrote them. They could have just materialized out of the ether to become beloved children’s characters and stories.

But it was Milne, whose 135th birthday would have been this month, who brought Pooh and Pooh Corner to life. From the original “Winnie-the-Pooh” and its sequels to the Disney franchise, these lovable toys gain new fans all the time. The Milne Estate is now allowing some new Pooh stories to surface so fans young and old can relive the magic with old friends. So, raise that glass (or jar of ‘hunny’) to A. A. Milne this month.

About Kimberly Uslin

Elizabeth Heubeck, a native of Baltimore, is the editor of Baltimore's Child and the mother of two teenagers. Currently, she spends much of her spare time wishing she was a gourmet cook (or at least a solid short-order cook), hoping the piles of laundry would disappear and, in the warmer months, battling weeds in her flower beds.

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