Children's Science Fiction Books

Children's science fiction books can make science interesting. (Jump to the awards.) If your child struggles to maintain an interest in science, maybe the solution is space travel! (In a book, of course.)

image cropped and tinted, courtesy of gutenberg dot org, from Donald Wollheim's The Secret of the Ninth Planet

I've managed to find a couple of organizations that present awards for the best science fiction books for kids and young adults.

The first is The Golden Duck Awards, which have been around since 1992. Why "Golden Duck"? You've got me. (Perhaps The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg was unavailable.)

But let's not look a gift horse in the mouth. The Golden Duck Awards for children's science fiction books are determined by a group of teachers, librarians, parents, high tech workers and reviewers. As of this writing they have a VERY primitive website, so you're probably better off checking the books out here.

Use the Amazon search box if anything sounds interesting. Titles that appear as links are reviewed on this site.

Winners of the Golden Duck Awards for Excellence in Children's Science Fiction Literature

Picture Books

  • 2015 Bennett, Jeffrey Max Goes to the Space Station
  • 2014 Brown, Jeffrey Vader's Little Princess
  • 2013 Barnett, Mac Oh No! Not Again! (Or How I Built a Time Machine to Save History) (Or at Least My History Grade)
  • 2012 Smallcomb, Pam Earth to Clunk
  • 2011 Barnett, Mac Oh No, or How My Science Project Destroyed the World
  • 2010 Prelutsky, Jack Swamps of Sleethe
  • 2009 McNaughton, Colin We're Off to Look for Aliens
  • 2008 Breathed, Berkeley Mars Needs Moms
  • 2007 Nickel, Scott Night of the Homework Zombies
  • 2006 TIE Anderson, M. T. Whales on Stilts
  • 2006 TIE Benson, Jim The Fran That Time Forgot
  • 2005 Jon Scieszka Science Verse
  • 2004 Elliot, David Mad Scientist
  • 2003 Saxton, Curtis J. Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones -- Incredible Cross-Sections
  • 2002 Scieszka, Jon. Boloney
  • 2001 Gould, Robert & Duey, Kathleen Rex #1
  • 2000 Kirk, Daniel Hush, Little Alien
  • 1999 Cecil, Laura Noah and the Space Ark
  • 1998 Rex, Michael Floating Home
  • 1997 Gaffney, Timothy R. Grandpa Takes Me to the Moon
  • 1996 Vagin, V. and Asch, F. Insects from Outer Space
  • 1995 Rohmann, Eric Time Flies
  • 1994 Anderson, Joan Richie's Rocket
  • 1993 Weisner, David June 29, 1999
  • 1992 Fleishman, Paul Time Train

Golden Duck Middle Grades children's science fiction books award winners

  • 2015 Alexander, William Ambassador
  • 2014 O'Ryan, Ryan Hello, Nebulon! (Galaxy Jack)
  • 2014 O'Ryan, Ryan Journey to Juno (Galaxy Jack)
  • 2013 Smith, Clete Alien on a Rampage
  • 2012 Service, Pamela and Gorman, Mike Alien Encounter
  • 2011 Borgenicht, David and Kahn, Hena Worst-Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure #2: Mars!
  • 2010 Cole, Steve ZRex
  • 2009 Melton, Henry Lighter Than Air
  • 2008 TIE Daley, Michael J. Shanghaied to the Moon
  • 2008 TIE Asch, Frank Gravity Buster: Journal #2 of a Cardboard Genius
  • 2007 Jansen, Mark Apers
  • 2006 Westerfeld, Scott Uglies
  • 2005 Eoin Colfer Supernaturalist
  • 2004 Haddix, Margaret Peterson Escape from Memory
  • 2003 Greenburg, J. C. Andrew Lost (Entire series)
  • 2002 Dodd, Quentin Beatnik Rutabagas From Beyond the Stars
  • 2001 Etchemendy, Nancy The Power of UN
  • 2000 Coville, Bruce I was a 6th Grade Alien
  • 1999 Anderson, Kevin Young Jedi Knights (Entire series)
  • 1998 Crider, Bill Mike Gonzo and the UFO Terror
  • 1997 Applegate, K.A. The Message
  • 1996 Bechard, Margaret Star Hatchling
  • 1995 Brittain, Bill Shape Changer
  • 1994 David, Peter Worf's First Adventure
  • 1993 Service, Pamela Weirdos of the Universe Unite!
  • 1992 Coville, Bruce My Teacher Glows in the Dark

Golden Duck Young Adults children's science fiction books award winners

  • 2015 Powell, William Campbell Expiration Day
  • 2014 Krokos, Dan The Planet Thieves
  • 2013 Meyer, Marissa Cinder
  • 2012 TIE Weber, David A Beautiful Friendship (Star Kingdom)
  • 2012 TIE Candlewick, Anna Sheehan A Long, Long Sleep
  • 2011 Sawyer, Robert www.Watch
  • 2010 Collins, Suzanne Catching Fire
  • 2009 TIE Collins, Suzanne The Hunger Games
  • 2009 TIE Doctorow, CoryLittle Brother
  • 2008 Brin, David Sky Horizon
  • 2007 Hautman, Pete Rash
  • 2006 Lee, Sharon Balance of Trade
  • 2004 Turtledove, Harry Gunpowder Empire
  • 2003 Anderson, M. T. Feed
  • 2002 Gerrold, David Jumping off the Planet
  • 2001 Layne, Steven This Side of Paradise
  • 2000 Roger MacBride Allen The Game of Worlds (In Out of Time series)
  • 1999 Segriff, Larry Alien Dreams
  • 1998 Shusterman, Neal Dark Side of Nowhere
  • 1997 Gould, Steven. Wildside
  • TIE 1996 Hoover, H.M. Winds of Mars
  • TIE 1996 Goldman, E M Night Room
  • 1995 Farmer, Nancy The Ear the Eye & the Arm
  • 1994 Lowry, Lois The Giver (and its sequel, Gathering Blue)
  • 1993 Stevermer, Caroline River Rats
  • 1992 Hughes, Monica Invitation to the Game

Golden Duck Special Awards - for excellence in science fiction books for kids

2008 Quality Science Fiction Graphic Novels
Stone Arch Books 2007 Nonfiction
Farell, Tish Write Your Own Science Fiction Story

2003 Best Science and Technology Education
Czerneda, Julia for the Tales of the Wonderzone (Entire Series)

2000 Promotion of Reading
Rowling, J.K for the Harry Potter series.

1999 Australian Contribution to Children's Science Fiction
Nix, Garth

1997 Strong Female Characters
Fontenay, Charles L. Kipton and the Tower of Time

The Nebula Awards

The Nebula Awards have been around since the 1960s, but only recently have they begun presenting awards for the best in Young Adult S.F. Let's hope they make a long-term commitment to the genre.

Do note that they lump science fiction and fantasy together. I've never understood such lumping, but they're the ones with the trophies so let's not question it!

Nebula Awards for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy

  • 2015 Updraft by Fran Wilde
  • 2014 Love Is the Drug, Alaya Dawn Johnson
  • 2013 Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson
  • 2012 Fair Coin by E.C. Myers
  • 2011 The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman
  • 2010 I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett
  • 2009 The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
  • 2008 How a Girl of Spirit Gambles All to Expand Her Vocabulary, Confront a Bouncing Boy Terror, and Try to Save Califa from a Shaky Doom (Despite Being Confined to Her Room) by Ysabeau S. Wilce
  • 2007 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
  • 2006 Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier
  • 2005 Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie by Holly Black

More sci-fi reviewed on-site:

And remember this...

Magazines don't just encourage reading, they encourage a reading habit. If your child has an interest in science fiction, consider giving the gift of it monthly! Automatically! Visit our magazine partner,, and search for science fiction magazines!

Golden Duck Children's Science Fiction Books Awards.

Children's books by category.

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