Best Intro to Sci-Fi for Young Readers

The best books to introduce children and young adults to the realm of science-fiction literature.
1

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2

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4.22 avg rating — 1,277,817 ratings
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3

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4.33 avg rating — 5,853,109 ratings
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5

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4.13 avg rating — 1,583,162 ratings
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6

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3.98 avg rating — 1,478,685 ratings
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7

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4.22 avg rating — 643,400 ratings
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8

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3.86 avg rating — 526,163 ratings
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9

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4.19 avg rating — 250,391 ratings
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10

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3.92 avg rating — 2,433,851 ratings
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11

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4.17 avg rating — 2,716,581 ratings
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12

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4.14 avg rating — 191,146 ratings
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13

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4.29 avg rating — 2,246,889 ratings
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14

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4.01 avg rating — 748,378 ratings
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15

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3.82 avg rating — 220,930 ratings
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16

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4.41 avg rating — 84,143 ratings
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17

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3.86 avg rating — 135,569 ratings
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18

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4.27 avg rating — 2,594,763 ratings
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19

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4.30 avg rating — 1,156,206 ratings
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20

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4.37 avg rating — 6,423 ratings
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21

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4.21 avg rating — 2,671,288 ratings
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22

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3.79 avg rating — 1,055,264 ratings
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23

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4.03 avg rating — 2,113,830 ratings
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24

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4.01 avg rating — 175,047 ratings
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25

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3.98 avg rating — 106,936 ratings
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26

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3.84 avg rating — 841,245 ratings
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27

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3.90 avg rating — 25,035 ratings
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28

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4.12 avg rating — 433,160 ratings
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29

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4.24 avg rating — 25,820 ratings
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30

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3.67 avg rating — 2,074,923 ratings
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31

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4.02 avg rating — 922,522 ratings
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32

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4.14 avg rating — 235,254 ratings
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33

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4.14 avg rating — 157,868 ratings
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34

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4.24 avg rating — 45,025 ratings
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35

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3.98 avg rating — 1,301,869 ratings
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36

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3.67 avg rating — 1,774 ratings
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37

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4.17 avg rating — 100,905 ratings
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38

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4.22 avg rating — 210,316 ratings
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39

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3.93 avg rating — 45,027 ratings
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40

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4.03 avg rating — 334 ratings
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41

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4.10 avg rating — 74,298 ratings
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42

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4.36 avg rating — 2,156,991 ratings
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43

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4.11 avg rating — 117,153 ratings
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44

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3.54 avg rating — 52,127 ratings
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45

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 113,129 ratings
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46

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3.94 avg rating — 11,163 ratings
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47

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4.03 avg rating — 698 ratings
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48

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4.21 avg rating — 112 ratings
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49

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3.78 avg rating — 3,704 ratings
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50

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3.91 avg rating — 81,881 ratings
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51

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4.52 avg rating — 610,041 ratings
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52

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3.94 avg rating — 11,665 ratings
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53

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4.02 avg rating — 21,450 ratings
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54

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 8,573 ratings
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55

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3.89 avg rating — 371,663 ratings
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56

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4.08 avg rating — 305,725 ratings
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57

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4.44 avg rating — 639,934 ratings
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58

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4.08 avg rating — 198,119 ratings
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59

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3.96 avg rating — 96,524 ratings
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60

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4.10 avg rating — 40,633 ratings
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61

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3.80 avg rating — 8,709 ratings
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62

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4.05 avg rating — 367 ratings
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63

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3.77 avg rating — 161,607 ratings
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64

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4.18 avg rating — 179,733 ratings
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65

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3.89 avg rating — 205,616 ratings
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66

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4.21 avg rating — 1,946,917 ratings
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67

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3.86 avg rating — 227,850 ratings
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68

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4.03 avg rating — 219,220 ratings
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69

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4.13 avg rating — 112,240 ratings
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70

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3.98 avg rating — 13,024 ratings
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71

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3.82 avg rating — 4,040 ratings
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72

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3.97 avg rating — 140,467 ratings
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73

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 210,217 ratings
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74

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4.29 avg rating — 21,521 ratings
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75

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4.10 avg rating — 1,225,002 ratings
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76

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4.01 avg rating — 83,021 ratings
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77

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3.81 avg rating — 48,312 ratings
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78

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3.89 avg rating — 108,361 ratings
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79

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3.93 avg rating — 66,544 ratings
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80

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4.16 avg rating — 72,783 ratings
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81

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4.19 avg rating — 76,535 ratings
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82

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4.51 avg rating — 33,650 ratings
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83

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3.95 avg rating — 27,059 ratings
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84

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4.13 avg rating — 34,002 ratings
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85

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4.03 avg rating — 2,229 ratings
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86

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4.01 avg rating — 20,664 ratings
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87

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3.79 avg rating — 5,219 ratings
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88

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3.80 avg rating — 8,956 ratings
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88

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3.88 avg rating — 178,313 ratings
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90

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4.15 avg rating — 604,859 ratings
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91

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4.16 avg rating — 368,985 ratings
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92

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4.09 avg rating — 48,828 ratings
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93

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3.75 avg rating — 8,357 ratings
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94

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4.10 avg rating — 18,044 ratings
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95

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4.02 avg rating — 14,865 ratings
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96

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4.14 avg rating — 64,499 ratings
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97

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3.93 avg rating — 104 ratings
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98

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3.66 avg rating — 7,921 ratings
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99

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 6,060 ratings
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100

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3.78 avg rating — 6,521 ratings
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761 books · 941 voters · list created March 26th, 2009 by Vinson (votes) .
113 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Vinson 18 books
1 friend
Christopher 292 books
293 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 3142 books
828 friends
Bettie 15398 books
121 friends
William 47 books
6 friends
Libbeth 2493 books
37 friends
Greyweather 2653 books
72 friends
Shannon (Giraffe Days) 4492 books
1201 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-27 of 27 (27 new)

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message 1: by michelyn (new)

 michelyn I would say a wrinkle in time.


message 2: by Thomas (new)

Thomas I second A Wrinkle in Time.


message 4: by Marin (new)

Marin Fun list. It's cool to see pieces of my younger self all over it. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that anyone could really get into science fiction if they only have the right "gateway."


message 5: by Adam (new)

Adam I voted for the list that worked for me in my younger life. Verne, Wells, Moorcock, and Mary Shelley. I would add to this list some Poe, Robert Howard, and Lewis Carroll(stacks of E.C. ccomics!!!).


message 6: by John (last edited Jun 22, 2009 12:26PM) (new)

John Mayer I still remember at least some of the books that first captured my imagination as a lad. _The Red Planet_ was not only one of my first science-fiction books, it might also have been the book that started me on the road to becoming a full-fledged liberal. Ironic, in light of Heinlein’s political devolution. I’m amazed anyone would recommend _The Moon is a Harsh Mistress_ for kids, though; I couldn’t get into it even as an adult, and not because of the politics; it was boring. “Andre” Norton was also an early favorite.

I”m disappointed, though, that there is only one short story collection (that I recognize), _The Martian Chronicles_. One of my very first introductions was _The Best Science-Fiction: 1951_, discovered on a bookmobile. I still remember how clever I thought the first story was, “Santa Claus Planet.” I think short stories have an obvious advantage in appealing to kids. They have special merits of their own distinct from novels, as well, and I’m sorry to see the vanishing of short story anthologies in general, a seeming exception to Americans’ diminishing attention span.


message 7: by Tamora (new)

Tamora Pierce The problem with most, though not all, of the first 54 of these is that they are pieces of our teenage years, which means the technology is dated. Most teenagers will come to these in their college years, when they're getting into the roots of science fiction. So far these days new converts are coming from Orson Scott Card, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Timothy Zahn's teen books, and Scott Westerfeld's work. There's a lot of good new teen science fiction being published these days, with up-to-date technology and the issues that young readers are interested in!


message 8: by Lucille (new)

Lucille A lot of these books aren't exactly gateway sci-fi. they're more like the classics that are to be respected and adored. I think that Little Brother is a fantastic teen sci-fi, as well as all of Scott Westerfeld's novels.


message 9: by Xenophon (new)

Xenophon Hendrix A lot of these books aren't a gentle introduction to science fiction; they are a heave into the deep end. Furthermore, the sex scenes in several of them probably make them unsuitable for children. I suppose a lot depends on what your vision of a "young person" is. I tried to aim my selections for a person 11 to 13.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

The hunger games is my favorite book of all time so i say that one


message 11: by Hilary (new)

Hilary How on earth did "Animal Farm" make it onto a sci-fi list?


message 12: by Unique (new)

Unique The Hunger Games Trilogy
A Wrinkle in Time
Harry Potter Trilogy


message 13: by Mitchell (new)

Mitchell The overall list definitely has some choices I wouldn't make. But the first page is pretty darn good. I try to think of what brought me into sf. And then what did my kids like and not like.

Everyone's definition of ya is a little different. I define ya primarily as having a young adult protagonist. I don't think the book has to be ya to be an introduction to sf but it helps.

Looking at the list description it is not clear that fantasy would be on this list. But looking at the tags, fantasy is clearly listed. I'm thinking that making that clear in the description would be a good idea.


message 14: by Connie (new)

Connie LoL LOL LoL
Try Abby .Try.


message 15: by Connie (new)

Connie Of course The Green book is the best book of all.!!!!!


message 16: by Connie (new)

Connie You all our wrong.


message 17: by Connie (new)

Connie This is a boy typing this so LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!#!!!!!!!!!!#!!!!!#!!!!!!#!!!!!!!!


message 18: by Connie (new)

Connie Mitchell wrote: "The overall list definitely has some choices I wouldn't make. But the first page is pretty darn good. I try to think of what brought me into sf. And then what did my kids like and not like.

Every..."


Quite youtube like little girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


message 19: by Louise Sparrow (new)

Louise Sparrow There's some really good books in there but some of them aren't sci-fi


message 20: by EmilyC (new)

EmilyC Hilary wrote: "How on earth did "Animal Farm" make it onto a sci-fi list?"

Have you read it?


message 21: by Hilary (new)

Hilary Many times. It's a bleak allegory of contemporary politics in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Many people assume it's a children's book because it's "all about animals".

It's not science fiction. You might, at a stretch, consider it fantasy because of the animal characterizations.

1984, on the other hand, is most definitely science fiction. Maybe the submitter got confused...


message 22: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Some of these books, particularly Brave New World, are not appropriate for children, particularly young children.


message 23: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Some of these books, particularly some of the stories and books by Harlan Ellison, are absolutely not suitable for young children or even teens in my opinion.


message 24: by Mitchell (new)

Mitchell Heidi wrote: "Some of these books, particularly Brave New World, are not appropriate for children, particularly young children."

This list calls out children and young adults. Brave New World is absolutely relevant to young adults.


message 25: by Alex V (new)

Alex V Heidi wrote: "Some of these books, particularly some of the stories and books by Harlan Ellison, are absolutely not suitable for young children or even teens in my opinion."

When I was in high school, I participated in Brave New World as a play, and I have to agree with you now in my 30s. It did push me a bit into a direction where I started to think too much out of the box. Read a bit too much into books of mystical nature and was a bit too open to new ideas. Not that this is completely negative, but it's a time when the more innocent books can be enjoyed for a bit longer in a more authentic experience.


message 26: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Why is Lord of the Flies on this list?


message 27: by Dylan (new)

Dylan Lord of the Rings is NOT sci-fi; it is fantasy. It should be removed from this list.


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