Like every genre, science fiction comes in all flavors. Most people don’t realize that there is humor, as well as seriousness, to be found in science fiction. Science fiction is usually near the bottom of the list for popularity. If you want to turn kids on to science fiction, steer them toward books by popular authors such as James Patterson, Tom Angleberger and Gordon Korman.
Humorous Sci-Fi Books
House of Robots by James Patterson (series)
Samuel’s mom invents robots. Their house is full of them. Samuel is ok with it until his mom makes a robot to go to school with him. At first the robot is a geek and a total embarrassment. His mom reprograms the robot, and to Samuel’s surprise, he realizes that robots can be friends.
Fuzzy by Tom Angleberger
Fuzzy is a robot sent to Vanguard Middle School to improve its artificial intelligence. Maxine takes it under her wing and teaches it everything she knows. But BARBARA, the school’s AI software, is tasked with improving the school’s rating. Max, her friends, and now Fuzzy aren’t meeting her standards, so she’s on a mission to get rid of them.
Ungifted by Gordon Korman (series)
Donovan is a prankster. When an unintended prank becomes his downfall, the superintendent mistakenly writes his name on the list of students going to the gifted school. It doesn’t take the gifted students long to realize that Donovan is anything, but gifted. He makes his talents clear, however, when he brings down the rival school’s robotics team.
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown (series)
When a cargo ship of robots sinks, only one lands safely on an island. Roz has no programming. She learns by watching. At first the animals are afraid of her, but she learns nurturing skills, and ends up saving many of the animals on the island. Sweet story, full of illustrations.
Cats vs. Robots by Margaret Stohl
The Robot Federation and Feline Empire have been at war forever. Now each of them want the singularity chip to extend their lives. Meanwhile, twins Max and Min are just as different as the cats and robots. One loves to build robots and the other rescues cats. This war is coming to their house.
Serious Sci-Fi Books
The Search for Wondla by Tony Diterlizzi (series)
Eva Nine lives underground with her robot mother. When her compound catches on fire she has to exit to the world above ground where she has never been. With her robot mother and several other species she meets along the way, she goes in search of other humans and the answer to the question “Where am I?” Full of amazing illustratons.
Under Their Skin by Margaret Peterson Haddix (series)
Twins Nick and Eryn have just learned that their mom is getting remarried. They are ok with this until they find out the man she is marrying has kids that have never been mentioned in the two years they’ve known him. Weirder still, both sets of step siblings will never live in the house at the same time. The truth is bigger than Nick and Eryn could have even imagined.
Watchdog by Will McIntosh
Vick and Tara are on their own after the economy tanks. Their dad leaves town and their mom dies unexpectedly. They spend their days rummaging through the dump to find junk Tara can use to build robots. One of her robots is a highly advanced dog named Daisy. When her talent is discovered, she’s kidnapped with the intent of using her tech skills to build a watchdog empire.
The Boy at the End of the World by Greg van Eekhout
The earth has survived man’s environmental destruction far into the future. Scientists saved human DNA in special pods and now they are being awakened. Fisher is the only survivor in his ark, along with a robot tasked to help him survive. Together they go in search of other humans in order to repopulate the earth.