~posted by Jenny C.
We’re coming to a close on the Science Fiction Checklist Challenge shortly, but I wanted to make sure there were a few more offerings for the child sci-fi reader out there. Oddly, while children’s fiction is crammed to the gills with fantasy and magic, there’s not much SF on the shelf, especially chapter books, once kids have made their way past all the Star Wars beginning Readers.
If you haven’t picked up The True Meaning of Smekday yet, I highly recommend this hilarious adventure with a plucky young heroine and a truly ridiculous alien that inspired the Dreamworks movie, Home. I can’t speak to the movie, but the audio book version is mind-bogglingly well-read, and deeply funny. Other funny aliens on earth adventures can be found in the Alien in my Pocket books, What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World, Adventures of a Cat-whiskered Girl and Aliens on Vacation.
For more menacing tales of alien invasion, there’s the clever King Arthur meets spaceships adventure: Project X Calibur, and the ever creepy Animorphs. There’s also John Christopher’s The White Mountains, a classic dystopian future with the world ruled by War of the Worlds-ian Tripods. Bot Wars begins with a devastated earth, but this time the invaders are of our own making.
For interplanetary experiences, there’s a whole range of worlds to explore. In George’s Secret Key to the Universe (by Lucy and Stephen Hawking, yes, that Stephen Hawking) a young boy directly explores some of the more amazing known features of space. The Search for WondLa on the other hand, is a lavishly illustrated and completely imaginitive extraplanetary adventure. Then there’s the race against time and memory of The Lost Planet, and Jimbo and Charlie’s unexpected travels in Boom!
Finally, for something a little different, there’s the futuristic Africa in Nancy Farmer’s The Eye, The Ear and The Arm, the singing families of Thresholds and Wendy Mass’ weird and wonderful Pi in the Sky. And don’t forget Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time — now there’s an adventure in time and space.