13 SF/Fantasy Books recommended for kids by Reading Rainbow (and me)

I grew up a huge fan of the TV show “Reading Rainbow,” and the creators/sponsors of the show still work hard to promote reading via the Internet and their applications.  I was happy to find this article where they list 13 of the best books for children who may be interested in reading science fiction or fantasy, and I offer them to you here for your enjoyment.  I think the list is EXCELLENT and worth consideration for readers of all ages to get started in exploring SF/Fantasy.

  1. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  2. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
  3. Beegu by Alexis Deacon (I haven’t read this one, but it’s now on my to-read list)
  4. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
  5. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig (the guy who wrote “Shrek”)
  6. The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg (also added to my to-read list)
  7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J.K. Rowling (okay, let’s face it … RR put the first book of the series on their list, but they meant the whole series, and why not?  My favorite HP book hands down is Goblet of Fire and is on my Top 10 All-Time Favorite Book List).
  8. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  9. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  10. The Girl with the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts
  11. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  12. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  13. Stardust by Neil Gaiman

I would also add these books from my own personal list:

  1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  2. The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander
  3. Space Patrol (Choose Your Own Adventure) by Julius Goodman
  4. Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings (thank you, Kevin, for introducing this series to me)
  5. The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks (yeah, it’s book 2 of a series, but it’s the best book of the series for young adults)
  6. Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn (yeah, it’s no longer canon, but it was a damn good book to keep the hooks in any potential Star Wars fan)
  7. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  8. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (dark, but still indicative of the joys/lessons of SF)
  9. The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut (a fun, quirky exploration into SF)
  10. Vendetta by Peter David (a Star Trek: The Next Generation book that tied together some of the greatest parts of TOS and TNG into one book.  A good book to hook someone into Star Trek novels.)