I read a lot of fantasy as a kid: the Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, the Earthsea trilogy by Ursula LeGuin, Anne McCaffery’s Pern books, lots of C.S. Lewis (even The Screwtape Letters, oddly enough) and Tolkien (everything except The Silmarillion, although I tried). I read A Wrinkle in Time, although something about it rubbed me the wrong way. I’ll probably have to re-read it to figure out what, exactly.
SF in book form I mostly missed until later, though. Maybe because I was a girl growing up when I did, nobody pointed me in that direction, and I didn’t have friends who were reading that genre. I did spend a lot of weekday afternoons with “Star Trek” reruns, which turns out to have been a decent investment of time. (I’d like the hours lost to “Gilligan’s Island” and “McHale’s Navy” back, though.)
I don’t want my children, who are now 8 and 10, to be as SF-deprived as I was. Not having much in the way of personal reading experience to go on, I asked Twitter for recommendations. Here are some of the suggestions I got, listed alphabetically by author. Please add more recommendations or reactions in the comments. I’ve left out the many fantasy books folks suggested, since I was in robots-and-starships mode. Thanks to all who contributed suggestions via Twitter.
To the stars!
SF BOOKS FOR YOUNGER READERS
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
The Barsoom series (featuring Earthman John Carter) by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Tripods trilogy by John Christopher
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress and Tunnel in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Leviathan by Scott Westerfield