Best Kids Chapter Books About Space

5 Books About Space That Your Kids Will Love

Updated Feb. 23, 2019

"We choose to go to the moon in this decade . . . not because [it is] easy, but because [it is] hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win." President John F. Kennedy, 1962

We want to help children feel inspired and captivated by great books. Some of our own favorites focus on space, rockets, and big dreams, so we thought it would be great to compile a list of the best children's books about space. To quote a favorite animated character, Buzz Lightyear from Disney's Toy Story, we want children to believe they can go "to infinity, and beyond!" Sometimes the best way to voyage into new worlds is by being transported into the vast unknown of space through the pages of an amazing book.

In 2011, NASA shut down its space shuttle program, a program that sparked amazing feats of science, math, and engineering and human ingenuity, bravery, and creativity. It seems that despite thrilling achievements in the years after President John F. Kennedy declared "we choose to go to the moon," space exploration lost its perceived value and was seen as a high-risk, low-return government expense. Matthew McConaughey's character, the space shuttle pilot Cooper, might have captured the feeling best: "We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars, now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt."

Interestingly, private companies have stepped into to fill the empty space (wink, wink) left by NASA, and people all over the world are enthralled with the potential of colorful visionaries like Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic, Elon Musk and SpaceX, and Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin.

We're enjoying a resurgence of interest in space and exploration, and we hope children, and the parents and other loved ones who enjoy the books with them, can find their next big dream in one of these, the best books about space. Live long and prosper! ;)

Ender's Game book
#1
Ender's Game
Written by Orson Scott Card
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-16
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers

Ender's Game is a phenomenal book. I read a lot of different books growing up and rarely read the same book more than once. Ender's Game was the exception, and I read it again and again. Ender's Game has an incredible mix of sportsmanship, strategy, fantasy, and violence. Young, intellectually-gifted children are trained for war against the alien "buggers," at Battle School. Ender learns about his own potential and his survival instinct as training to fight the buggers is absorbed into and reflected in a more present struggle to survive a brutal training regimen, a dark and disconcerting virtual world, and, most threatening, the other Battle School students who see Ender's brilliance as a threat to their own power. Ender's Game made me feel like a grown up as I read about children placed into very adult situations, and the freeze-gun fights in the Battle Room made my imagination spin with excitement.

A veteran of years of simulated war games, Ender believes he is engaged in one more computer war game when in truth he is commanding the last fleet of Earth against an alien race seeking the complete destruction of Earth.

Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition book
#2
Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

New York Times bestselling author Margot Lee Shetterly’s book is now available in a new edition perfect for young readers. This is the amazing true story of four African-American female mathematicians at NASA who helped achieve some of the greatest moments in our space program. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner. Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. This book brings to life the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, four African-American women who lived through the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the movement for gender equality, and whose work forever changed the face of NASA and the country.

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet book
#3
The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet
Written by Eleanor Cameron and illustrated by Robert Henneberger, Eleanor Cameron
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-12

A mystery man inspires two boys to build a space ship which takes them to the planet of Basidium to help the Mushroom people.

Midnight on the Moon book
#4
Midnight on the Moon
Written by Mary Pope Osborne and illustrated by Sal Murdocca
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The magic treehouse takes Jack and Annie to a moon base in the future where they continue to search for the fourth thing they need to free their friend Morgan from the magician's spell.

Space Case (Moon Base Alpha) book
#5
Space Case (Moon Base Alpha)
Written by Stuart Gibbs
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

"Dashiell Gibson, who lives on Moon Base Alpha, has to solve a murder of one of the moon's most prominent doctors"--

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.