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40 Science Fiction Books for 5th Graders

science fiction books for 5th graders

I’ve recently been on a quest to compile a list of Science Fiction books for 5th graders, because my oldest is on a 5th grade reading level. Science fiction novels are a great way to get your kids interested in reading. Nothing fuels the imagination like a great story about an alien planet, mad scientist, or a thrilling adventure to save human beings from ruin. The fun, interesting, and deep characters and storylines in these fiction books tend to make kids fast science fiction fans. It’s hard to find amazing books for your kids, so book lists help narrow down your search. That’s why I put together this list of 40 of the best books in science fiction for 5th graders. They can explore new worlds, time travel, space missions, fictional technological advances, and more with sci-fi story lines.

Our absolute favorite series of Science Fiction Books for 5th Graders:

Before we dive into our huge list of science fiction books for kids, I wanted to spotlight my favorite and my son’s favorite. I actually read these with him, and even as an adult, I was totally hooked. We loved this book series so much that I wrote an entire blog post about it. The book series is called Explorer Academy and they are published by National Geographic Kids. Check out more info about them here.

40 Awesome Science Fictions Books for 5th Graders

Young readers will love this list of the best science fiction books for 5th graders. 

1. Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble by D. Robert Pease

The first book of a four-book series, this story takes you through time and space on a mission to fight killer robots while saving the earth’s animals from extinction. This will quickly become one of your kid’s favorite science fiction series and Noah will be one of your kid’s favorite characters.

2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

The five-book series will take your reader on a wild ride of time travel and mystery. A mix of myth, fantasy, and science fiction, this story takes young readers on a trip through time and space while the main character searches for her father, a scientist who had been missing for several years. 

3. Found Margaret by Peterson Haddix

In this suspenseful first book of an eight-book series, Jonah learns about his past and his role in history. He knows he’s adopted but he doesn’t know his whole story. He doesn’t realize that history itself depends on him. Fifth graders will love the twists and turns of this book and all eight in the series. 

4. Space Case by Stuart Gibbs

This book is a good mix of humor and suspense. It tells the story of Dashiell who is one of the first humans to live on the moon and he’s bored out of his mind. Kids who love space will love this first book of a three-book series.

5. Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

Zita comes to the rescue when her best friend is abducted by aliens. To her surprise, she becomes an intergalactic hero in this three-book series that takes place in outer space. This story is light-hearted and great for kids who don’t like the scary stuff. It will have you smiling all the way through.

6. The Giver by Lois Lowry

Jonas stands out in what seems to be the ideal community to live in, but he begins to learn that’s not the case. This story tells the tale of Jonas learning the truth and then standing up for what is right. It’s the first book in a four-book series that you will enjoy just as much as your 5th grader will.

7. Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

This story is a blend of science fiction, fantasy, and mythology. The main character, Min, is the heroine of the story as she sets out to find her brother whose disappearance is being covered up. This is a two-book series that will be hard to put down.

8. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien

This book, also a movie, tells the story of a family of mice and the rats who help save their lives. It’s a charming fantasy fiction novel that has a powerful effect on its readers.

9. Pi in the Sky by Wendy Mass

Joss is living life in the cosmos in the shadow of his brothers who are busy ruling the universe. When the earth suddenly disappears, Joss is surprisingly tasked with bringing it back. This is a great story about friendship, hidden powers, and secrets of the universe. 

10. Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander Key

Twins, Tony and Tia, and their paranormal gifts are on the run from the evil forces that don’t want them to recover their forgotten past. This book is also a movie and can be fun to read and compare to the film as a family.

11. Cosmic by Frank Cottrell-Boyce

This clever, funny, and engaging story will help your 5th grader understand what it means to be a parent, specifically a dad. It’s a hilarious and heartfelt story of a son getting into all sorts of trouble and adventures in space as much to his surprise as ours.

12. The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

The Wild Robot is a story of life and includes all the joy, anger, sadness, insecurity, death, discovery, and love that life offers. Roz, the robot, wakes up in the forest as a robot one day and has to find her purpose as she struggles to survive. In the meantime, the wild begins to change her. This is the first of a two book series that kids will love.

13. The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles

This book is full of adventure, fantasy, love, life lessons, and family. Two boys set out on the last day of Summer for one more adventure together and they wind up getting more than they bargained for. It is a thought-provoking, SciFi adventure fantasy with great characters and surprising twists and turns.

14. Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks

Best friends Sanity & Tallulah try to break up the monotony of living on a space station by creating adventures, solving mysteries, and getting into trouble. Their latest adventure in this first book of a three-part series involved a three-headed kitten as a school project. This graphic novel will keep your kids on the edge of their seats.

15. The Fellowship for Alien Detection by Kevin Emerson

What sounds more fun than a round trip with a total stranger to save the world from an alien attack? The main characters, Haley and Dodger, take you on an adventure of big and then even bigger discoveries involving aliens.

16. Akiko on the Planet Smoo by Mark Crilley

This is the story of a 4th grader who finds a spacecraft hovering outside of her home one night and decides to check it out. This leads her on the adventure of a lifetime and the quest to help the planet Smoo find their King’s son who was kidnapped. Short chapters, lots of pictures, and lots of laughs throughout the book will keep your 5th grader interested in this story from start to finish.

17. Seventh Grade Vs. the Galaxy by Joshua S. Levy

Imagine you are a 7th grader and your school is a spaceship orbiting a moon of Jupiter. Then imagine the spaceship gets mysteriously attacked and you’re given control of it. This sci-fi action and adventure novel is a great read for boys or girls.

18. Whales on Stilts Matthew by Tobin Anderson

This hilarious and smart narrative will be just as fun for adults to read as it will be for fifth graders. With brave kids, mad scientists, and whales on stilts, your kids are likely to be entertained and find this book to be one of their favorites.

19. The Sand Warrior by Mark Siegel

This book is not lacking in adventure, fantasy, or beautifully illustrated pictures that will keep kids and adults enthralled. It’s the first book in a five-book series and you’ll probably just want to go ahead and get the second book before you even finish the first.

20. The City of Ember by Jeanne DePrau

Any kids who prefer science fiction over more realistic fiction will find this book hard to put down. It’s an easy read with great characters and a storyline that both kids and adults will get into. It’s the first book of a four book series.

reading science fiction for a long time. Get ready to be thrilled as the mystery unfolds.

21. Eager by Helen Fox

This futuristic story has robots, technocrats, and talking houses. This story takes you on a charming and heartwarming search for the meaning of life. Eager is the first in this two-book series and offers good discussion points like individual rights, responsibilities of corporations, technology in our daily lives, and more.

22. The Moon Platoon (Space Runners, Book 1) by Jeramey Kraatz

This intergalactic adventure with great characters and a high-stakes space mission to save the moon. The storyline leads a young boy to learn the power of doing the right thing.

23. The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L Holm

This book is both funny and educational. Its science fiction, but it includes some great science facts that kids will love learning. This is the kind of book that will help kids learn to love science.

24. Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall

This book is full of fun and action as a group of kids evacuate to mars because the earth has been invaded by aliens. When Alice, a young girl who has gotten used to the alien presence on earth learns she is going to mars, she doesn’t know what to expect. This is an adventurous, funny, and exciting read.

25. The Lion of Mars by Jennifer L. Holm

This science fiction book is about the reality of living on Mars with settlements from different nationalities. The children in the story are isolated by their commander, but find their way to other settlements and discover relatable people and fun memories. It is a rational, thrilling, and futuristic book.

26. Trapped in a Video Game by Dustin Brady

This is the first book in a five book series. In each book our heroes find themselves in a different video game. The book’s storyline includes aspects of mystery, fantasy, and even some thriller moments. The heroes are funny and smart. Kids will love this series.

27. Finn and the Intergalactic Lunchbox by Michael Buckley

Get lost in space travel, an alien chase, and a mission to save the Earth from invasion in this fun science fiction novel. From the first page, kids will be having fun following this storyline.

28. Cleo Porter and the Body Electric by Jake Burt

This futuristic story is an exciting and timely tale of compassion, determination, and bravery. The characters are realistic and well developed. It’s a fast-paced read that will keep you on the edge of you seat. Middle schoolers will love this book.

29. The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi

This book is a charming coming-of-age/exploration tale involving a 12 year old girl, raised by a robot, forced out of the underground sanctuary where she was raised and into a wondrous unknown environment, meeting many strange and wondrous creatures, trying to find others like her. It’s a page-turner full of adventure, danger, and new friendships in a futuristic setting.

30. Hilo: The boy who crashed to Earth. Book 1 by Judd Winick

This super fun comic book hero story has diverse characters who demonstrate how to deal with emotions and challenges in a productive way. It’s enjoyed by both adults and middle school kids who love a good science fiction story.

31. The Firefly Code by Megan Frazer Blakemore

The Firefly Code is an exciting story that keeps the reader curious and desiring more. The backstory of the town it’s set in, the message of friendship, and doing the right thing are all inspiring and fun at the same time.

32. Star Wars: Jedi Academy, Jeffrey Brown

Of course, Star Wars-related books should be on any list of science fiction books. This is the first book in a series of 9 for kids will put a smile on the face of any adult or kid who reads it. If you want to get your kids into reading longterm and they are interested at all in space and adventure, try this series.

33. Taken by Brock Eastman

The characters in this book are wonderful, fun, and real. The original storyline is exciting, fun, and full of danger. Your kids will have to be pulled away from reading this book because it draws the reader in so well.

34. Alien Summer #1 by James Murray

There’s so much excitement and so much going on from the very beginning of this action-packed series. You’ll find plot twists, laughs, some scary aliens, and tons of surprises that will make this book and the rest of the series a favorite for 5th grade kids.

35. MiNRS by Keven Sylvester

This fast paced story is action packed from the beginning. You don’t have to worry about the storyline dragging on, it gets straight to the point and feels exciting throughout.

36. The Great Engine Room Takeover by David Horn

This is a great story for kids who like science fiction but might like a less intense story. Horn tells of the life of a young girl living in space in this fun first installment of the Eudora Space Kid series. The main character is a fun-loving, intelligent, and curious girl whose story highlights the importance of honesty and responsibility in a straightforward manner that young minds will relate to.

37. A Tale of Two Classrooms, Russ Bolts

A Tale of Two Classrooms is a cute and lighthearted story of silly alien robots. This is another read for kids who like science fiction but don’t necessarily like thrilling or scary themes. This graphic novel has art on almost every page that young kids will love.

38. Dark Life, Kat Falls

This totally immersive science fiction story takes place in an undersea colony on the ocean floor because the world has been flooded. The story is gripping and exciting from the very beginning. The story is full of twists and turns but it’s not too complex to follow. Young people will love this story, but again, adults will also find it entertaining.

39. The Maze Runner Trilogy, James Dashner

Any kid who is into science fiction should have this trilogy on their bookshelf. From the first to the final book, the story is deep and intriguing. The main characters discover secrets of the MAZE, uncover wicked schemes, and a shadowy organization as they fight to survive in a dangerous world.

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