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Books for Children and Youth

This list is (only) a selection of English books for children and young adults. It includes recommendations from Michael Ciancone, Marc Cohen, John Harlow, Scott Howe, Gilles Schneider, Kevin Scholtes, Douglas Millard, Radu Rugescu and me. 


Author Title, Publisher, Year Age Topic
Anderson Clayton Letters From Space, Sleeping Bear Press, 2020 6-8 Space History
Barker Sarah 50 Things to See in the Sky, Pavilion Books, 2019 / Astronomy
Becklage Susan 100 facts Astronomy, Miles Kelly Publishing, 2015 5-8 Astronomy
Becklage Susan 100 facts Space – Solar Systems, Planets, Galaxies, Educational Projects, Fun Action, Miles Kelly Publishing, 2019 8-10 Astronomy
Becklage Susan Space Detectives Handbook, Miles Kelly Publishing, 2009 6+ Astronomy
Becklage Susan Space – 100 facts you should know, Gareth Stevens Publishing, 2010 8-11 Astronomy
Bennett Jeffrey Max Goes to Mars: A Science Adventure with Max the Dog, Big Kid Science, 2015 7-9 Mars
Betts Bruce My First Book of Planets, Rockridge Press, 2020 3-5 Space History
Betts Bruce Super Cool Space Facts, Brilliance Corporation, 2020 5-6 Space History
David Macaulay The NEW way things work, HMH Books for Young Readers, 1998 12 Space Architecture
David Hitt Homesteading Space: The Skylab Story, University of Nebraska Press, 2008 12 Space Architecture
Gerard O’Neill The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space, 2019 12 Space Architecture
Joels Kerry Mark Mars One Crew Manual, 1985 12 Space Architecture
Häuplik-Meusburger Sandra Architecture for Astronauts, Springer, 2011 12- Space Architecture
Kelly Erin Entrada We Dream of Space, Greenwillow Books, 2020 8-12 Space History
Kerry M. Joels The Space Shuttle Operator’s Manual, Ballantine Books, 19998 12 Space Architecture
Kim Stanley Robinson Mars Trilogy, Heyne Verlag, 2003 12 Mars
Krull Kathleen Fly High, John Glenn: The Story of an American Hero, HarperCollins, 2020 4-8 Space History
Michael Johnstone History News In Space, Gareth Stevens Pub, 1999 9-12 Space History
Misa Anu Ella Says: I’m Going to be an Astronaut!, Anna di Misa, 2020 4-9 Space History
Mitton Tony Roaring Rockets, Kingfisher, 2020 2-6 Space History
Moscow Design Museum Soviet Space Graphics: Cosmic Visions from the USSR, Phaidon, 2020 / Spacearchitecture
NASA Saturn V Flight Manual, NASA, 2012 12 Space Architecture
Neece Michael Tony Jenzano, Astronaut Trainer: The Man Who Made the Stars Shine, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, 2020 5-6 Space History
Nigel Hawkes The fantastic cutaway book of Spacecraft, 1985 7-9 Space Architecture
Ottaviani Jim Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier, First Second, 2020 9-13 Space History
Rabe Tish There’s no place like space: all about our solar system (Cat in the Hat’s learning library), Random House Books for Young Readers, 1999 5-8 Astronomy
Rader Andrew Rocket Science: A Beginner’s Guide to the Fundamentals of Spaceflight, Candlewick, 2020 10-14 Space History
Randell Munroe What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, John Murray, 2014 / Space Physics
Read John 50 Space Missions that Changed the World, Stellar Publishing, 2020 6-10 Space History
Rocco John How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure, Crown Books for Young Readers, 2020 10-17 Space History
Thomson Sarah The Story of Neil Armstrong: A Biography Book for New Readers, Rockridge Press, 2020 6-8 Space History
Trechter Holly Galileo! Galileo!, Sky Candle Press, 2020 9-12 Space History
Whitcomb Kate NASA Mars Mission for Kids: A Space Book of Facts, Activities, and Fun for Ages 7-12, Wendybird Press, 2020 7-12 Space History
Wilgus Alison The Mars Challenge: The Past, Present, and Future of Human, First Second, 2020 13-18 Space History

List of space books 2020

The list was developed by the American Astronautical Society (AAS) History Committee.  Similar lists from previous years are posted to the History Committee website.

It comprises English-language books published (original appearance or new edition) on various aspects of spaceflight in a variety of disciplines and ranging from juvenile and pop literature to texts intended for academia or practicing scientists and engineers.  In addition to obvious topics of human spaceflight and unmanned interplanetary explorations, this list also includes the occasional non-astronautics title that has a space “flavor.”

Last Name First Name Title Publisher
Anderson Clayton Letters from Space Sleeping Bear Press
Ayrey Bill Lunar Outfitters: Making the Apollo Space Suit University Press of Florida
Betts Bruce Space Exploration for Kids: A Junior Scientist’s Guide to Astronauts, Rockets, and Life in Zero Gravity Rockridge Press
Bizony Piers The Art of NASA: The Illustrations That Sold the Missions Motorbooks
Carrier W. David Apollo Memories Collector’s Guide Publishing
Ciancone Michael (Ed.) Proceedings of the 51st History Symposium of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Univelt; Volume 50 of the AAS History Series History of Rocketry and Astronautics
Cristoferetti Samantha Diary of an Apprentice Astronaut Allen Lane
Druyan Ann Cosmos: Possible Worlds National Geographic
Dye Paul Shuttle, Houston: My Life in the Center Seat of Mission Control Hachette Books
Edberg Don Design of Rockets and Space Launch Vehicles AIAA
Ganse Bergita The Spacefarer’s Handbook: Science and Life Beyond Earth Springer Praxis
George Alice John Glenn: The Last American Hero Chicago Review Press
Gerardi Kellie Not Necessarily Rocket Science: A Beginner’s Guide to Life in the Space Age Mango
Gorman Alice Interior Space: A Visual Exploration of the International Space Station: Photographs by Paolo Nespoli & Roland Miller Damiani
Greene Kate Once Upon a Time I Lived on Mars: Space, Exploration, and Life on Earth St. Martin’s Press
Hansen James A Reluctant Icon: Letters to Neil Armstrong Purdue University Press
Harrison Tanya For All Humankind: The Untold Stories of How the Moon Landing Inspired the World Mango
Howell Elizabeth Canadarm and Collaboration: How Canada’s Astronauts and Space Robots Explore New Worlds ECW Press
Howell Elizabeth The Search for Life on Mars: The Greatest Scientific Detective Story of All Time Arcade
Johnson Julie Swarstad Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflight University of Arizona Press
Jonk   Baikonur: Vestiges of the Soviet Space Program Jonglez Publishing
Kelly Erin Entrada We Dream of Space Greenwillow Books
Lardas Mark Images of Aviation: Ellington Field Arcadia Publishing
Launius Roger Unofficial History of NASA Mission Patches Thunder Bay Press
Levasseur Jennifer Through Astronaut Eyes: Photographing Early Human Spaceflight Purdue University Press
Misa Anu Ella Says: I’m Going to be an Astronaut! Anna di Misa
Mitton Tony Roaring Rockets Kingfisher; Amazing Machines
Moore Kimberly Star Crossed: The Story of Astronaut Lisa Nowak University Press of Florida
Morgan George Rocket Age: The Race to the Moon and What It Took to Get There Prometheus
Muir-Harmony Teasel Operation Moonglow: A Political History of Project Apollo Basic Books
Mullane Patrick The Father, Son, and Holy Shuttle: Growing Up an Astronaut’s Kid in the Glorious 80s Independently published
Neece Michael Tony Jenzano, Astronaut Trainer: The Man Who Made the Stars Shine Morehead Planetarium and Science Center
O’Sullivan John European Missions to the International Space Station: 2013 to 2019 Springer Praxis
Ottaviani Jim Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier First Second
Peake Tim Limitless: The Autobiography Century
Petty Chris Beyond Blue Skies: The Rocket Plane Programs That Led to the Space Age University of Nebraska Press
Price Luke Space Mission Art: The Mission Patches & Insignias of America’s Human Spaceflights Ammonite Press
Rader Andrew Rocket Science: A Beginner’s Guide to the Fundamentals of Spaceflight Candlewick
Read John 50 Space Missions that Changed the World Stellar Publishing
Rocco John How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure Crown Books for Young Readers
Sacknoff Scott Remembering the Space Race with Walter Cronkite: Rockets, Reporters, and the Rise of Television
Sankova Alexandra Soviet Space Graphics: Cosmic Visions from the USSR Phaidon Press
Shayler David NASA’s First Space Shuttle Astronaut Selection: Redefining the Right Stuff Springer Praxis
Siddiqi Asif Soyuz 1: The Death of Vladimir Komarov
Teitel Amy Shirra Fighting for Space: Two Pilots and Their Historic Battle for Female Spaceflight Grand Central Publishing
Toivonen Annette Sustainable Space Tourism: An Introduction Channel View Publications
Trechter Holly Galileo! Galileo! Sky Candle Press
Virts Terry How to Astronaut: An Insider’s Guide to Leaving Planet Earth Workman Publishing Company
von Ehrenfried Manfred „Dutch“ The Artemis Lunar Program: Returning People to the Moon Springer Praxis
Wanjek Christopher Spacefarers: How Humans Will Settle the Moon, Mars, and Beyond Harvard University Press
Weichert Brandon Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower Republic Book Publishers
Whitcomb Kate NASA Mars Mission for Kids: A Space Book of Facts, Activities, and Fun for Ages 7-12 Wendybird Press; Woo! Jr. Kids Activities Books