Mission To Space: Reading Recommendations

By: Shanleigh Klassen

Space: the final frontier. . .

In our October MISSION TO SPACE box, we’re including an incredible tale of exploration, bravery, and science from a Newbery Honor-winning author. This story will be perfect for fans of The Wild Robot, The One And Only Ivan, and of course, all things outer space!

Take a look at these six heartfelt space-themed stories that will inspire you to reach for the stars.

**Curious to know what book we’re featuring next month? Check out our SPOILER PAGE HERE!**

My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi

Ebony-Grace has lived with her beloved grandfather Jeremiah in Huntsville, Alabama ever since she was little. As one of the first black engineers to integrate NASA, Jeremiah has nurtured Ebony-Grace’s love for all things outer space and science fiction. But when trouble arises with Jeremiah, she’s sent to spend a few weeks with her father in Harlem. Harlem is an exciting and terrifying place for a sheltered girl from Alabama, so Ebony-Grace’s first instinct is to retreat into her imagination. But soon 126th Street begins to reveal that it has more in common with her beloved sci-fi adventures than she ever thought possible, and by summer’s end, Ebony-Grace discovers that Harlem has a place for a girl whose eyes are always on the stars.


The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole by Michelle Cuevas

When Stella shows up at NASA to request that her recording be included in Carl Sagan’s Golden Record, something unexpected happens: a black hole follows her home and begins to swallow everything it touches. Though a little challenging, it’s also a convenient way to get rid of those items that Stella doesn’t want around, like the ugly sweaters from her aunt, the smelly class hamster, and most important, all the reminders of her dead father. It’s not until Stella, her younger brother, the family puppy, and even the bathroom tub all get swallowed up by the black hole that Stella realizes she has been letting her grief consume her. And that’s not the only thing she realizes as she attempts to get back home.


We Dream Of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly

The year is 1986, and Cash, Fitch, and Bird Nelson Thomas are three siblings in seventh grade together. As the country waits for the launch of the Challenger space shuttle, each of the siblings struggle with their own personal anxieties: Cash is in danger of failing seventh grade for the second time; Fitch wrestles with an explosive temper that he doesn’t understand; and Bird dreams of being NASA’s first female shuttle commander, but feels like she’s disappearing. The Nelson Thomas children exist in their own orbits, circling a tense and unpredictable household. As the launch of the Challenger approaches, their science teacher assigns a project — they are separated into spacecraft crews and must create and complete a mission. When the fated day finally arrives, it changes all of their lives and brings them together in unexpected ways.


See You In The Cosmos by Jack Cheng

Alex loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he’ll uncover — from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.


George's Secret Key to the Universe by Lucy & Steven Hawking

George's parents have always been wary of technology, so they warn him about their new neighbors: Eric is a scientist and his daughter, Annie, seems to be following in his footsteps. But when George befriends them and Cosmos, their super-computer, he finds himself on a wildly fun adventure, while learning about physics, time, and the universe. With Cosmos's help, he can travel to other planets and a black hole. But what would happen if the wrong people got their hands on Cosmos? This energetic story explains the universe to readers of all ages.



The Jamie Drake Equation by Christopher Edge

How amazing would it be to have a dad who’s an astronaut? To see him go on rocket launches, live in zero gravity, and fly through space like a superhero? Jamie Drake knows. His dad is orbiting Earth in the International Space Station. Jamie thinks it’s cool, and he’s proud of his dad, but he also really misses him. Hanging out at the local observatory one day, Jamie is surprised when he picks up a strange signal on his phone. Could it be aliens? Are they closer to our planet than anyone realizes? With his dad in space, Jamie feels he has no choice but to investigate on his own. But when something goes wrong with his dad’s mission, Jamie is reminded that space is a dangerous place. He decides it’s time to prove that he’s a hero too. 

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