The Great American Eclipse is almost here, which makes now the perfect time to pick up a book about a popular and fascinating topic: space.
When I was younger, one of my favorite books was Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass. It tells the story of three young teens who visit the Moon Shadow Campground to view a rare solar eclipse in totality. The way the author described the beauty of an eclipse and the science behind it made me very interested in learning more about them. I looked up future eclipse dates to find out if I would ever get the chance to see one myself. I was so excited when I saw that, in 2017, an eclipse’s path of totality would pass directly through Wyoming—but at the time it seemed so far away!
We have plenty of space-themed reads in our children’s collection, and while you might not be able to live on Mars as soon as you can see this eclipse, it’s still fun to read about all the possibilities! From colonies on the moon to asteroids speeding towards Earth, from star-crossed lovers on spaceships to man-eating alien cakes, here are some fantastic middle grade and young adult books to get you in the mood for this month’s astronomical event. Make sure you come by to watch the eclipse with us at our Eclipse Block Party on August 21st!
Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass- “Ally, Bree, and Jack meet at the one place the Great Eclipse can be seen in totality, each carrying the burden of different personal problems, which become dim when compared to the task they embark upon and the friendship they find.”
Space Case by Stuart Gibbs (Moon Base Alpha #1)- “Dashiell Gibson, who lives on Moon Base Alpha, has to solve a murder of one of the moon’s most prominent doctors.”
Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson (Chronicle of the Dark Star #1)- “While waiting to leave Mars before it burns up just like the Earth before it, Liam and his friend Phoebe discover some facts about time and space and realize that the human race is just one of the races trying to survive in space.”
Cakes in Space by Philip Reeve- “When ten-year-old Astra and her family move to a new planet, she must save the spaceship and its crew from man-eating cakes, aliens, and more.”
Starbounders by Adam Jay Epstein (Starbounders #1)- “Zachary Night enrolls at a secret training camp for future defenders of the galaxy, but when a routine mission takes a dangerous turn, he finds himself lost in a universe that’s bigger than he ever imagined.”
The Doom Machine by Mark Teague- “When a spaceship lands in the small town of Vern Hollow in 1956, juvenile delinquent Jack Creedle and prim, studious Isadora Shumway form an unexpected alliance as they try to keep a group of extraterrestrials from stealing eccentric Uncle Bud’s space travel machine.”
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Illuminae Files #1)- “The planet Kerenza is attacked, and Kady and Ezra find themselves on a space fleet fleeing the enemy, while their ship’s artificial intelligence system and a deadly plague may be the end of them all.”
Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy- “Brought over from Russia to help NASA prevent an asteroid from colliding with Earth, seventeen-year-old physics genius Yuri feels awkward and alone until he meets free-spirited Dovie.”
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (Last Survivors #1)- “Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family’s struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.”
Dove Arising by Karen Bao (Dove Chronicles #1)- “On a lunar colony, fifteen-year-old Phaet Theta does the unthinkable and joins the Militia when her mother is imprisoned by the Moon’s oppressive government.”
We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach- “The lives of four high school seniors intersect weeks before a meteor is set to pass through Earth’s orbit, with a 66.6% chance of striking and destroying all life on the planet.”
Avalon by Mindee Arnett (Avalon #1)- “Seventeen-year-old Jeth Seagrave, the leader of a ragtag team of teenage mercenaries, skirts the line between honor and the law in an attempt to win freedom for his sister and himself in the form of their parents’ old spaceship, Avalon.”