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May the 4th Be With You…and All of These Books!

Out of this world books featured on our Best Of lists

Join us as we look back through the years into our Best Of lists. We aim to find titles on specific topics to create starter book lists for you and your kids!

Children’s Choices: The books in these lists are read and voted on by 12,500 children across the US each year. These Children’s Choices can be counted on as books children really enjoy reading.

  • Hello, Moon! by Francesa Simon; illus. by Cort. Orchard (Scholastic, ChC 2015)
  • Next Time You See the Moon by Emily Morgan (NSTA Kids, ChC 2015)
  • Voyagers: Project Alpha by D.J. MacHale (RHCB, ChC 2016)
  • The Secret Galaxy by Fran Hodgkins; illus. by Mike Taylor (Tilbury House, ChC 2016)
  • Hilo Book: The Boy who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick (Random House Books for Young Readers, ChC 2016)
  • Love, Ish, by Karen Rivers (Algonquin, ChC 2018)
  • Pluto is Peeved! An Ex-Planet Searches for Answers by Jacqueline Jules; illus. by Dave Roman (Quarto, ChC 2019)
  • Cosmo Vol. 1 by Ian Flynn; illus. by Tracey Yardley (Archie Comics, ChC 2019)

Young Adults’ Choices: Young Adults’ Choices can be counted on as the new books that teens have enjoyed reading and voted on as their favorites.

  • Stars Above (A Lunar Chronicles Collection) by Marissa Meyer (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, YAC 2017)
  • Waste of Space by Gina Damico (HMH, YAC 2018)

Notable Social Studies: An annual reading list of exceptional books for use in social studies classrooms, selected by social studies educators.

  • Sally Ride: A Photobiography of America’s Pioneering Women in Space by Tam O’Shaughnessy (Roaring Book Press, NSSTB 2016)
  • To the Stars! The First American Woman to Walk in Space by Carmella Van Vleet and Dr. Kathy Sullivan, Illus. Nicole Wong (Charlesbridge, NSSTB 2017)
  • Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing by Dean Robbins (Knopf BFYR, NSSTB 2018)
  • Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 by Helaine Becker (Henry Holt and Co. BYR, NSSTB 2019)
  • Hidden Figures: The Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly; illus. by Laura Freeman (HarperCollins, NSSTB 2019)
  • Starstruck: The Cosmic Journey of Neil deGrasse Tyson by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer; illus. by Frank Morrison (Crown BFYR, NSSTB 2019)
  • Apollo 8: The Mission That Changed Everything by Martin W. Sandler (Candlewick, NSSTB 2019)
  • The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon: The True Story of Alan Bean by Dean Robbins; illus. by Sean Rubin (Scholastic, NSSTB 2020)
  • Look Up With Me: Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Life Among the Stars by Jennifer Berne; illus. by Lorraine Nam (HarperCollins, NSSTB 2020)

Best STEM Books: This list aims to provide recommendations to educators, librarians, parents, and guardians for the best children’s books with STEM content.

  • Caroline’s Comets by Emily Arnold McCully (Holiday House, STEM 2018)
  • Voyager’s Greatest Hits: The Epic Trek to Interstellar Space by Alexandra Siy (Charlesbridge, STEM 2018)
  • Countdown by Suzanne Slade; illus. by Thomas Gonzalez (Peachtree, STEM 2019)
  • A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put a Man on the Moon by Suzanne Slade; illus. by Veronica Miller Jamison (Little, Brown BYR, STEM 2020)

Outstanding Science Trade Books: A list that represents each year’s best science books, chosen by science educators.

  • The Mighty Mars Rover by Elizabeth Rusch (HMH BYR, OSTB 2013)
  • Beyond the Solar System by Mary Kay Carson (CRP, OSTB 2014)
  • Sally Ride: Life on a Mission by Sue Macy (S&S, OSTB 2015)
  • The Planets by DK (DK Publishing, OSTB 2016)
  • Our Moon by Elaine Scott (HMH BYR, OSTB 2017)
  • Chasing Space: Young Readers’ Edition by Leland Melvin (HarperCollins, OSTB 2018)
  • Exploring Space by Martin Jenkins; illus. by Stephen Bietsy (Candlewick, OSTB 2018)
  • My Journey to the Stars by Scott Kelly; illus. by André Ceolin (Crown BFYR, OSTB 2018)
  • Seven Wonders of the Solar System by David A. Aguilar (Viking BFYR, OSTB 2018)
  • Expoplanets by Seymour Simon (HarperCollins, OSTB 2019)
  • Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed; illus. by Stasia Burrington (HarperCollins, OSTB 2019)
  • To Pluto and Beyond by Elaine Scott (Viking BFYR, OSTB 2019)
  • To the Moon: The True Story of the American Heroes on the Apollo 8 Spaceship by Jeffrey Kluger with Ruby Shamir (Philomel Books, OSTB 2019)
  • Hawking by Jim Ottaviani; illus. by Leland Myrick (First Second, OSTB 2020)
  • What Miss Mitchell Saw by Hayley Barrett; illus. by Diana Sudyka (Beach Lane Books, OSTB 2020)
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