A few days ago, a teacher (or librarian?) told me she’d like to be able to recommend some science fiction for her 4th grade students. (For those of you who aren’t American: I believe 4th graders are nine or ten years old.)
She would like some of those books to be by women.
Anyone got any suggestions?
ETA: While fantasy recs are always good–please don’t stop–I’d like to see some science fiction suggestions, too. Let have some space ships, people!
20 thoughts on “Science fiction by women for 4th graders?”
THE CITY OF EMBER by Jeanne DuPrau
A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L'Engle
ATTACK OF THE FLUFFY BUNNIES by Andrea Beaty (very silly and fun!)
THE TRUE MEANING OF SMEKDAY is by Adam Rex, but stars an 11-year-old girl and is a FANTASTIC book.
I've written a science fiction adventure series for ages 10+, but ABOVE WORLD won't be published until spring 2012, alas. :)
Jenn, thanks for those recs.
Who's publishing Above World? Don't forget to remind us when it's out (or available for pre-order)!
Diana Wynne Jones
Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea series
Peter Dickinson's Weathermonger trilogy
THE WONDERFUL FLIGHT TO THE MUSHROOM PLANET by Eleanor Cameron was the first sci-fi book I remember reading. Great memories–I just put it on my reread shelf ;^)
I just started working on my MG medieval-kids-vs.-alien-armada novel CASTLE RISING.
Dealing with Dragons by Patricia McKillip and Anne McCaffrey's Dragonsong ought to be appropriate. And Vivian Vande Velde's Heir Apparent doesn't have anything objectionable (that I remember, anyway).
*edit* Dealing with Dragons is a Patricia C. Wrede book, not McKillip. Apologies!
Doug, you know I want to read that!
Cecelia, I raised my eyebrows at a McKillip book for nine yr-olds :) Thanks for clearing that up.
Joan Aiken? Not very science-y, but definitely out there!
I loved the Mushroom Planet books! Also:
Joan D Vinge's Cat series, which includes Psion and Cat's Paw
Jeanne du Prau's The City of Ember (and its sequel)
Nancy Farmer's The ear, the eye, and the arm
Andre Norton wrote a bunch of SF for younger readers, but I haven't read them myself in years. Star Ka'at is one of them, IIRC.
(My book is being published by Candlewick — thanks for asking!)
Karen, I'd forgotten about Psion. Thanks.
Jenn, cool–and I mean it, do remind me when it's about to debut.
I was thinking about the Miss Pickerell books, from the 1950s, which I read as a child, and they led me to this blog about children's science fiction: http://farah-sf.blogspot.com
Nicola, we are all worried about you: take care.
Julie Czerneda edited an anthology called Packing Fraction, intended specifically to be used as a classroom tool.
More here: http://www.czerneda.com/sf/sf_anthologies.html
No idea if it's still possible to get her books, but Monica Hughes – A Devil on Her Back and the The keeper of the Isis Light are both scifi I remember from that age.
Margaret Mahy – the Haunting and Kaitangata Twitch (both more fantasy)
Willo Davis Roberts – the Girl with the Silver Eyes
Actually Patricia McKillip's Moon Flash is science fiction for just a little older than that, The House on Parchment St is for that age, but it's ghosts, not scifi, from memory.
The Lake at the End of the World by Caroline MacDonald
Juno of Taris by Fleur Beale – might be a little older.
Jean Ure. Louise Lawrence. Nina Bawden.
Lisa, I can't believe I didn't know about that resource! Thank you. Amazing what slips through the cracks…
I think that one is no longer updated, but a Google search turns up tons: an award site for children's science fiction (http://www.goldenduck.org/), and apparently there is an Nebula award for YA sf/fantasy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andre_Norton_Award) — you MUST have known about that! — and there seems to be a running controversy about a YA Hugo: http://yasff.blogspot.com/2011/04/young-adult-hugo-award.html
It turns out that Miss Pickerell gets a lot more love than I expected.
I very much liked The Colours of Space by Marion Zimmer Bradley at around that age.
People have already mentioned a lot of my favorites, but I enjoyed the Norby chronicles at around that age. Janet Asimov wrote most of the stories and Isaac just polished up the manuscript a bit, by his own admission, though they're still credited as co-written.
Doris Piserchia wrote relatively youthful protagonists having grand sci-fi adventures, and Spaceling was one of my absolutely most favorite books as a child. Unfortunately, she's mostly long out of print.
rmc28, Oh, The Colours of Space was the very first sf I ever read–I was 8. It turned my head inside out.
Occamsnailfile (like the name…), I keep meaning to reread Piserchia.
Star Hatchling, by Margaret Bechard. Alien siblings, first contact, and misunderstandings on both sides of a cultural divide. I haven't read it in years, but I used to read SF like a starving SF-eater as a kid, and this one stayed in my mind.
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