Recommended Reading

Star Challengers

By New York Times bestselling authors Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. Anderson, and June Scobee Rodgers, founder of the Challenger Centers!  Three action-packed science fiction adventures featuring a group of young people using a Challenger Learning Center as a springboard for actual journeys into the future to a moonbase, a space station, and an asteroid mission. Real science is woven throughout the action so readers will learn basics of space science even as they are caught up in the action.

A portion of all proceeds from the sale of Star Challengers books goes directly to Challenger Center

Star Challengers: Moonbase Crisis

Star Challengers: Space Station Crisis

Star Challengers: Asteroid Crisis

Star Challengers: Trilogy Omnibus

The following reading list has been provided by:

Chelsea Couillard-Smith

Youth Materials Selector

Sacramento Public Library

The provided links will take you to the Sacramento Public Library’s website to check out the book. If you are not in the Sacramento area and would like to find the book elsewhere we have provided ISBN numbers for each one.

Mars           Moon           Solar System/Comets


Curiosity’s Mission on Mars   Miller, Ron   CHILDREN 523.43 M649 2014

Discusses some of the information sent back from “Curiosity,” the Mars Rover, including pictures of the Martian landscape, traces of water in Martian soil, and the key chemicals necessary for life. ISBN # 9781467710879


Is There Life on Mars?   Portman, Michael   CHILDREN 523.43 P853 2013

Presents the latest information about Mars, discussing the growing body of evidence that water–and therefore the potential for life–was or is present on Mars. ISBN # 9781433982729


Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet   Siy, Alexandra   CHILDREN 523.43 S625 2009

Presents an introduction to the Mars Exploration Rovers (MERS), “Spirit” and “Opportunity,” with photographs of the Mars landscape taken over a five-year period as the rovers searched for water on the red planet. ISBN # 9781570914621


Planet Mars  Squire, Ann   CHILDREN 523.43 S774 2014

Readers will find out how we have used advanced technology to explore the surface of Mars, why some scientists think they might one day discover life, what it is like on Mars’ surface, and why scientists are paying such close attention to the planet’s moons.                          ISBN # 9780531211526


Mars Rover Driver   Maxwell, Scott   CHILDREN 629.295 M465 2013

No one has yet visited Mars – at least, no humans have. Robot rovers have explored the surface of the Red Planet, and it’s the job of people on Earth to control their every movement. Find out what’s involved in being a rover driver, the tools and skills you need, and the difficulties of controlling something that’s millions of miles away.                                  ISBN # 9781410954831


The Mighty Mars Rovers   Rusch, Elizabeth    CHILDREN 629.4354 R951 2012

Presents the story about the team who gave us our first look at the Martian landscape, including pictures from NASA and the author’s personal collection. ISBN # 9780547478814


The Moon    Taylor-Butler, Christine   CHILDREN 523.3 T238 2014

Introduces the Moon, its phases, composition, surface, eclipses, and role in Earth’s tides. ISBN# 9780531253601


Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11   Floca, Brian   CHILDREN 629.454 F628 2009

Here is the story of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon — a story of leaving and returning during the summer of 1969, and a story of home, seen whole, from far away by steady astronauts in their great machine. ISBN # 9781416950462


Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon   Thimmesh, Catherine

CHILDREN 629.454 T443 2006  

Culled from direct quotes from the people behind the scenes, NASA transcripts, national archives and NASA photos, the whole story of Apollo 11 and the first moon landing emerges. ISBN # 9780618507573

Solar System & Comets

Comets, Asteroids, and Meteors   Atkinson, Stuart   CHILDREN 523.6 A877 2013

What are comets and asteroids like, and could we ever visit one? Taking the form of an imaginary trip, this book explores the science and history of these objects, looking at recent studies and possibilities for the future. ISBN # 9781410945761


How the Meteorite Got to the Museum   Hartland, Jessie   PICTURE BOOK Hartland, J.

This nonfiction book details the steps that brought a meteor from outer space, across the eastern US, to the roof of a car in Peekskill, New York, and thereafter to be verified, tested, and exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History. ISBN # 9781609052522


Universe: Journey Into Deep Space   Goldsmith, Mike   CHILDREN 520 G624u 2012

Presents the Milky Way galaxy and explores local planets and moons, other galaxies, and the worlds around distant stars. ISBN # 9780753468760


Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space   Walliman, Dominic   CHILDREN 520 W211 2013

Professor Astro Cat explains everything he knows about the solar system and outer space, including the Big Bang, manned missions to the Moon, and the night sky throughout the months of the year. ISBN # 9781909263079


Beyond the Solar System   Carson, Mary Kay   CHILDREN 520.9 C321 2013

Traces the evolution of humankind’s astronomical knowledge from its origins to current findings, suggesting a range of educational projects while providing profiles of famous astronomers, a timeline of major discoveries and a glossary of technical terms.                 ISBN # 9781613745441


13 Planets: The Latest View of The Solar System   Aguilar, David   CHILDREN 523.2 A283t 2011

Profiles each of the objects in Earth’s solar system, including Pluto, Ceres, Eris, Haumea, MakeMake, the sun, the Oort cloud, comets, and more. ISBN #  9781426307706


The Solar System Through Infographics   Higgins, Nadia   CHILDREN 523.2 H636 2013

This book examines the solar system, including planets, black holes, meteorites, asteroids, the sun, other stars, and moons, as well as how those entities relate to each other.           ISBN #  9781467712897


Journey Through Our Solar System     Jemison, Mae   CHILDREN 523.2 J49 2013

Introduces the elements of the solar system, and explains how scientists gather and study information about space. ISBN  #  9780531240618


To The Planets And Beyond    Prinja, Raman    CHILDREN 523.2 P957 2013

Examines the solar system, how it was formed, the characteristics of its planets, and planets around other stars. ISBN # 9781609922450


Our Solar System    Simon, Seymour   CHILDREN 523.2 S596 2014

Takes readers on an interplanetary tour from the sun to the ever-mysterious Mars, and then, thanks to the Voyager missions, to the planets beyond. ISBN # 9780062333797


The 100 Year Starship   Jemison, Mae   CHILDREN 629.45 J49 2013

Introduces the solar system and explains how astronomers have used technology to discover new stars and planets. Discusses traveling great distances into space and what it is like to study it while living there. ISBN # 9780531255001


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