Stars, Planets, and Space: Diverse Books for Kids

These books introduce readers to the science of the night sky, some of the scientists and mathematicians helping to solve the universe's mysteries, and related legends and stories. 

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A Big Mooncake for Little Star

By: Grace Lin
Age Level: 3-6
Language: English
Little Star loves the delicious Mooncake that she bakes with her mama. But she's not supposed to eat any yet! What happens when she can't resist a nibble? In this stunning picture book that shines as bright as the stars in the sky, Newbery Honor author Grace Lin creates a heartwarming original story that explains phases of the moon. A 2019 Caldecott Honor Book.

Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream

1961. Nearly two decades before Sally Ride — there was Jerrie Cobb. Cobb was one of the top female pilots in the country and completed all the astronaut testing the Mercury 7 men did. She excelled at all the tests. Proved she had the Right Stuff. Twelve other female pilots followed her, passing the tests they took with flying colors. When they were told there was no room for women in the space program, they took they're cause to Congress.

Astronaut Ellen Ochoa (Stem Trailblazer Biographies)

Age Level: 6-9

When Ellen Ochoa was young, male American astronauts walked on the moon. But girls were not allowed to be astronauts. Girls didn't often study science either—but Ochoa didn't let that stop her. In high school, Ochoa loved math and science. In college, she studied physics and engineering, and later she became a scientist and inventor. Eventually NASA began accepting women into their astronaut training program. While there, Ochoa developed technology, became the first female Hispanic American astronaut, and logged 1,000 hours in outer space.

Bright Sky, Starry City

Age Level: 6-9

Phoebe loves everything about the stars. She draws the planets on the sidewalk outside of her dad's store after helping him set up the telescope. Saturn and Mars are going to be visible tonight up in the night sky. But Dad warns her that they might be hard to see, since the city lights "always turned the night sky gray and dull." An illustrated afterword includes information about the solar system, planetary conjunctions and rings, moons, telescopes and light pollution.

Coyote and the Sky: How the Sun, Moon, and Stars Began

Illustrated by: Victoria Pringle
Age Level: 3-6

According to Santa Ana Pueblo legend, the animals' spirit Leader created the sun, moon, and stars by using woven yucca mats and hot coals. He selected certain animals to climb from their homes in the Third World up to the Fourth World, but Coyote was forbidden to accompany them because he was always causing trouble and stealing food from the others. Regardless of what he was told, Coyote refused to stay in the Third World. Coyote's punishment is a lesson in what happens to animals, or people, when they refuse to obey instructions.

Hidden Figures

Illustrated by: Laura Freeman
Age Level: 6-9

Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at math…really good. They participated in some of NASA's greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America's first journeys into space. And they did so during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But they worked hard. They persisted. And they used their genius minds to change the world.

If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon

Illustrated by: Simona Ceccarelli
Age Level: 6-9

Have your birthday party on the moon and everyone will come! After all, who wouldn’t want to ride in a rocket and celebrate for a day that lasts as long as a month on Earth? Then, young partygoers could romp in a low-gravity playground; watch candles and balloons behave weirdly in the Moon’s atmosphere; and see why the “moon angels” they make in the thick carpet of lunar dust will last for thousands of years. With each discovery, kids learn the science behind the surprise, explained in terms they’ll understand.

Little Kids First Big Book of Space (National Geographic Kids)

Illustrated by: David Aguilar
Age Level: 3-6
Language: Spanish

This beautiful book is the latest addition to the National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book series. These colorful pages will introduce young children to the wonders of space, with colorful illustrations by David Aguilar and simple text that is perfect for beginning readers or for reading aloud. The book will explain basic concepts of space, beginning with what is most familiar to kids and expanding out into the universe.

Look Up! Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer

Illustrated by: Raúl Colón
Age Level: 6-9

Meet Henrietta Leavitt, a 19th-century scientific pioneer. From careful observations, Leavitt discovered that the brightness of a star determines its distance from Earth, helping us better understand the vastness of the universe. Warm colored pencil and watercolor illustrations by Colón create a contemplative mood. Back matter includes quotations, a glossary, information about other female astronomers, and more.

Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist

Young Sylvia Acevedo looking up at nighttime sky
Age Level: Middle Grade (9-14)
Language: Spanish

This inspiring memoir for young readers tells the story of Sylvia Acevedo, a Latina rocket scientist whose early life was transformed by joining the Girl Scouts and who currently serves as CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA. A meningitis outbreak in their underprivileged neighborhood left Sylvia's family forever altered. As she struggled in the aftermath of loss, her life transformed when she joined the Brownies. The Girl Scouts taught her how to take control of her world and nourished her love of numbers and science.

Reaching for the Stars: The Inspiring Story of a Migrant Farmworker Turned Astronaut

Product Description: Born into a family of migrant workers, toiling in the fields by the age of six, Jose M. Hernàndez dreamed of traveling through the night skies on a rocket ship. Hernández didn't speak English till he was 12, and his peers often joined gangs, or skipped school. And yet, by his twenties he was part of an elite team helping develop technology for the early detection of breast cancer. He was turned down by NASA eleven times on his long journey to donning that famous orange space suit.

Scholastic Discover More: Planets

Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish

Product Description: Welcome to a tour of the major planets, moons, dwarf planets, asteroids, comets, and other rocks and gas that orbit the sun. The latest NASA and European Space Station images, many unique to this book, are combined with up-to-the-minute information from space experts across the globe, and modern graphics to entice confident and reluctant readers alike.

Stella's Stellar Hair

Stella's Stellar Hair
Age Level: 6-9

It’s the day of the Big Star Little Gala, and Stella's hair just isn't acting right! What’s a girl to do? Simple! Just hop on her hoverboard, visit each of her fabulous aunties across the solar system, and find the perfect hairdo along the way. Stella’s Stellar Hair celebrates the joy of self-empowerment, shows off our solar system, and beautifully illustrates a variety of hairstyles from the African diaspora. Backmatter provides more information about each style and each planet.


The Solar System

Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish

Explore our solar system and Earth's place in it as readers flip through the pages of this nonfiction title. Featuring vibrant images in conjunction with accessible charts and diagrams, readers will be fascinated from cover to cover!

The Star People: A Lakota Story

Age Level: 6-9

"While exploring the land around their village, Sister Girl and Young Wolf stray too far. After narrowly escaping a roaring prairie fire, the siblings find themselves lost and frightened in the dark, open land until the Star People, 'the spirits of the Old Ones who once walked on the earth,' offer comfort and guidance home.

We Dream of Space

Four young people looking up at the night sky

Cash, Fitch, and Bird Nelson Thomas are three siblings in seventh grade together in Park, Delaware. In 1986, as the country waits expectantly for the launch of the space shuttle Challenger, they each struggle with their own personal anxieties. The Nelson Thomas children exist in their own orbits, circling a tense and unpredictable household, with little in common except an enthusiastic science teacher named Ms. Salonga. As the launch of the Challenger approaches, Ms.