Science Fiction

Grade Level Interest
M
: Middle School (defined as grades 6-8).
S: Senior High (defined as grades 9-12).
A/YA: Adult-marketed book recommended for teens.

 

The Diary of Pelly D by L.J. Adlington

When Toni V, who works on the City Five demolition crew, unearths a diary that belonged to a girl called Pelly D, he can’t help starting to care for her, especially as her words slowly reveal the chilling state of her world. What happened to Pelly D? (M, S)

 

Feed by M.T. Anderson

For Titus and his friends, it started out like any trip to the moon—a chance to party during spring break. But that was before the hacker caused their feeds to malfunction. And it was before Titus met Violet, who has decided to fight the feed. (S)

 

 

Losers in Space by John Barnes

Susan and her friends are celebutantes. Their lives are powered by media awareness, fed by engineered meals, and underscored by cynicism. Everyone has a rating; the more viewers who ID you, the better. So Susan and her almost-boyfriend Derlock cook up a surefire plan: the nine of them will visit a Mars-bound spaceship and stow away. Their survival will be a media sensation, boosting their ratings across the globe. There’s only one problem: Derlock is a sociopath with his own goals in mind. (S)

 

Exodus by Julie Bertagna

Less than a hundred years from now, almost all land has disappeared beneath the sea. Only Mara has the vision and the will to lead her people in search of a new beginning in this harsh, unfamiliar world. (M)

 

 

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

When brilliant Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is drafted to Battle School to learn to fight against the aliens threatening humanity, what he thinks are just battle games carry some very real consequences. (A/YA)

 

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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Katniss lives in the poorest district of Panem, what used be the United States. Every year, each district sends one boy and one girl to appear in a televised event called the Hunger Games—a competition in which only one participant can survive. When Kat’s sister is chosen by lottery for the games, Kat steps up to go in her place. (S)

 

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

While skipping school one day, technogeek Marcus is caught near the site of a terrorist attack on San Francisco and held by the Department of Homeland Security for six days of intensive interrogation. After his release, he vows to use his skills to fight back against an increasingly frightening system of surveillance. (S)

 

The Sky Inside by Clare B. Dunkle

Life is happy and carefree inside Martin’s steel-domed suburb, where railway carts bring in food, gadgets, and even test-tube babies. But when his parents allow his genetically enhanced sister to depart with a smooth-talking official as part of a “product recall,” horrified Martin begins to realize a chilling truth about his society. Now he knows that it’s up to him to rescue his sister. (M)

 

House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Matteo Alacrán is a clone of El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium—a strip of poppy fields lying between the United States and the land that was once called Mexico. As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by a sinister cast of characters who seem to want him dead. Escape is the only chance Matt has to survive. (M, S)

 

Gone by Michael Grant

In the blink of an eye, every adult in the world disappears. Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. And the teens themselves are developing new powers that grow stronger by the day. It’s a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen and war is imminent. (M, S)

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Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix

When Melly and Anny Beth were offered the chance grow young again by participating in an experiment called Project Turnabout, they agreed. Years later, Melly and Anny Beth know they will soon be too young to take care of themselves. They need to find someone to help them before time runs out, once and for all… (M)

 

 

Siberia by Ann Halam

When Sloe was tiny, her Papa disappeared and she and her mama went to live in a prison camp in the snowy north, in a world where there are no more wild animals. Years later, Mama disappears, and Sloe escapes and sets out on a solitary journey. But she is not truly alone, for Mama left Sloe a gift: the seeds of five missing species and the knowledge to bring them to life. (M, S)

 

 

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

It’s been decades since anyone set foot on the moon. Now three ordinary teenagers, the winners of NASA’s unprecedented, worldwide lottery, are about to become the first young people in space – and change their lives forever. Mia, from Norway, hopes this will be her punk band’s ticket to fame and fortune. Midori believes it’s her way out of her restrained life in Japan. Antoine, from France, just wants to get as far away from his ex-girlfriend as possible. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, but little do the teenagers know that something sinister is waiting for them on the desolate surface of the moon. And in the black vacuum of space… no one is coming to save them. (S)

 

Rash by Pete Hautman

It’s late in the 21st century, and the United Safer States of America has become obsessed with safety. Bo Marsten knows the harsh laws were created to protect the people. But when Bo’s temper flares out of control and he’s sentenced to three years of manual labor in a factory on the Canadian tundra, he’s not so down with the law anymore. (S)

 

Crater by Homer Hickam

It’s the 22nd Century and a tough, pioneering people are mining the moon
to produce energy for a desperate, war torn Earth.  Crater Trueblood, an
orphan, loves his life in Moontown, a frontier mining settlement, and hopes someday to be a foreman on the scrapes.  But “the Colonel,” the man who owns the mine, has a different plan for Crater which includes Maria, the Colonel’s daring young granddaughter.  Crater, accompanied by Maria and his gillie – a sentient and sometimes insubordinate clump of slime mold cells – must shepherd a convoy of Helium 3 trucks across a forbidding river of dust while also looking for a mysterious, historical artifact that could mean the difference between life and death for every inhabitant on the moon. (M, S)

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The Declaration by Gemma Malley

In the future, longevity drugs are a fountain of youth. Sign the Declaration and you too can live forever. Refuse, and you will live as an outcast. For those born outside the law, it only gets worse—Surplus status. Now Surplus Anna is about to find out what happens when you can’t decide if you should cheat the law or cheat death. (M, S)

 

Unison Spark by Andy Marino

Everyone is obsessed with Unison, the social network that knows you better than you know yourself. Everyone who can afford it, that is. Living beneath the vast ceiling that separates Eastern Seaboard City into rich topside and poor sub-canopy zones, Mistletoe can only dream of logging in and has to make do with technological hand-me-downs. Worlds collide when Ambrose Truax, the privileged heir to the Unison empire, wanders into the dangerous sub-canopy streets and Mistletoe saves him from suspicious, uniformed men. They soon discover that they share eerily similar dreams, hinting at a significant past. Together, Ambrose and Mistletoe begin to unravel the mystery of their identities and learn that they’re pawns in a bigger game: the Unison 3.0 upgrade. (M, S)

 

Planesrunner by Ian McDonald

When Everett Singh’s scientist father is kidnapped from the streets of London, he leaves Everett a mysterious app on his computer. Suddenly, this teenager has become the owner of the most valuable object in the multiverse the—Infundibulum— the map of all the parallel earths, and there are dark forces in the Ten Known Worlds who will stop at nothing to get it. They’ve got power, authority, and the might of ten planets—some of them more technologically advanced than our Earth—at their fingertips. He’s got wits, intelligence, and a knack for Indian cooking. Can Everett and hsi friends rescue his father and get the Infundibulum to safety? (M, S)

 

The Secret Under My Skin by Janet McNaughton

In the year 2368, humankind must struggle to survive under dire environmental conditions and government control. Then one brave young woman begins to unravel a web of lies about life on Earth that will empower her to discover at last who she really is. (M, S)

 

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Ever since they were infected with the Noise germ, everyone hears what everyone else thinks. But still, Todd knows that the town is hiding something from him—something so awful he’s forced to flee. Then, Todd stumbles upon a strange creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? (S)

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Shade’s Children by Garth Nix

In a futuristic urban wasteland, evil Overlords have decreed that no child shall live a day past their fourteenth birthday. On that Sad Birthday, the child is harvested to construct a machinelike creature whose sole purpose is to kill. The mysterious Shade – once a man, but now more like the machines he fights – recruits the few children fortunate enough to escape. With luck, cunning, and skill, four of Shade’s children come closer than any to discovering the source of the Overlords’ power – and the key to their downfall. But the closer the children get, the more ruthless Shade seems to become… (S)

 

The Inferior by Peadar O’Guilin

Stopmouth and his family know nothing but a savage, desperate existence, struggling to survive. But then, a strange and beautiful woman falls from the sky. It is a moment that will change Stopmouth’s destiny, and that of all humanity, forever. (S)

 

 

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

Who is Jenna Fox? She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn’t remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers? (M, S)

 

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

It’s been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology. Four years ago Elliot North refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go. (S)

 

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

After an asteroid knocks the moon closer to earth, worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun. In her journal, Miranda records the events of each desperate day, while she and her family struggle to hold on to their most priceless resource—hope. (M, S)

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Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

Resources in the future are so limited that mobile cities must consume one another to survive. When London resident Tom saves a man from a murder attempt by Hester Shaw, he is thrown from the city and stranded with Hester in the Out Country, where they must struggle to survive. (M, S)

 

Tankborn by Karen Sandler

Best friends Kayla and Mishalla know they will be separated when the time comes for their Assignments. They are GENs, Genetically Engineered Non-humans, and GENs are at the bottom rung of society, sequestered in slums, and sent to work as slaves as soon as they reach age fifteen. When Kayla is Assigned to care for Zul Manel, the patriarch of a trueborn family, she finds a host of secrets and surprises. Meanwhile, the children that Mishalla is Assigned to care for are being stolen. When Kayla and Mishalla reunite, they hatch a plan to save the children who are disappearing. Both girls must put their lives and hearts at risk to crack open a sinister conspiracy, one that may reveal secrets no one is ready to face. (M, S)

 

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight to survive. If they make it to their 18th birthday, they can’t be harmed—but when every piece of them is wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away. (M, S)

 

 

The Comet’s Curse by Dom Testa

When a deadly virus begins killing the adult population of Earth, a renowned scientist proposes a bold plan: to create a ship that will carry a crew of 251 teenagers to a home in a distant solar system. (M, S)

 

 

Skinned by Robin Wasserman

After an accident nearly kills her, Lia Kahn is downloaded into a new body that only looks human. Lia will never feel pain again, she will never age, and she can’t ever truly die. But she is also rejected and betrayed by her friends. And some people would do anything to make Lia’s kind go away forever. (S)

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A Beautiful Friendship by David Weber

Stephanie Harrington always expected to be a forest ranger on her homeworld of Meyerdahl, until her parents relocated to the frontier planet of Sphinx in the far distant Star Kingdom of Manticore. Sphinx is a far more dangerous place than ultra-civilized Meyerdahl, and Stephanie’s explorations come to a sudden halt when her parents lay down the law: no trips into the bush without adult supervision! Yet Stephanie is a young woman determined to make discoveries, and the biggest one of all awaits her: an intelligent alien species. The forest-dwelling treecats are small, cute, smart, and have a pronounced taste for celery. And they are also very, very deadly when they or their friends are threatened… (M, S)

 

Partials by Dan Wells

The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Kira, a  medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what’s left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she’s not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them—connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there. (S)

 

Double Helix by Nancy Werlin

Eighteen-year-old Eli discovers a shocking secret about his life and his family while working for a Nobel Prize-winning scientist whose specialty is genetic engineering. (S)

 

 

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

In Tally’s world, your 16th birthday brings an operation that turns you into a pretty and catapults you into a paradise where your only job is to have a great time. But Tally’s friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns there’s a darker side to the pretty world. Then the authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. (M, S)

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