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Tween

Ask the Librarians: What Sci-Fi Books Are Good for 9-Year-Olds,
But Not Too Scary?

Photo credit: JasnaXX, RooM/Getty Images

Reader Question:
My 9-year-old just read Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman and loved it. What other sci-fi/fantasy books are good for this age group, but are not too “scary”?

What the Librarians Say:

Betsy Bird, Selection Team
Space TaxiIf you’re looking for something crazy episodic with a science fiction twist, then I highly recommend the Space Taxi series by Wendy Mass. It’s got loads of adventure with plenty of thrills rather than chills. And be sure to read Jon Scieszka’s Frank Einstein books as well. That series has the humor of Gaiman as well as some goofy science.

Lauren Younger, Battery Park
Johnny MaxwellI like the Johnny Maxwell series and the Bromeliad Trilogy by Terry Pratchett, also Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo.

 

 

 

Jill Rothstein, Andrew Heiskell
BoomFor a hilarious, lightly sci-fi adventure, I recommend Boom! by Mark Haddon. I laughed out loud on the first page of this story about a middle-grade boy’s adventures with a mysterious language, alien teachers, a metal-head sister, and lots of cheese and jam sandwiches. This is witter than the standard alien-teacher fare, with British flair (and slang). I’m also a fan of Fortunately, the Milk, and this book takes similar glee in its adventurous plot and quirky details.

 

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