| By Rebecca Parks, Senior Content Developer, Gale |
It’s easy to see why libraries are connecting space exploration and reading in their summer reading programs this year, beyond celebrating the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon. Both space exploration and reading make you feel like literally anything can happen—whether you’re in the vast unknown of space or between the pages of a book.
Children in 1969 witnessed what had been considered impossible when they saw Armstrong walking on the moon, and suddenly stories about encounters with little green Martians, space colonies, and laser guns didn’t seem so far-fetched. Not only did those things seem possible, but children could envision themselves in those stories as the heroes, bravely facing danger and seeing things that few others would see. Space, like books, expands a child’s vision for what’s possible in the universe and what’s possible for themselves.
Books & Authors, a reader’s advisory product offered by Gale, celebrates the limitless possibilities of space and books by pointing children to great space-themed stories. Readers can follow along as a young boy attempts to find the owner of a little star in Star in a Jar (2018) by Sarah Massini and Sam Hay. Kids can learn about the phases of the moon through the tale of a girl named Little Star, who eats a little of the irresistible Mooncake night after night in the story A Big Mooncake for Little Star (2018) by Grace Lin. They can join in on the fictional space adventures of the “mousetronaut” Meteor (Mousetronaut by Mark Kelly and C. F. Payne) or the little red hen Zelda, who wants to be the first chicken in space (Zelda’s Big Adventure by Marie Alafaci and Shane McG). Or they can learn about the real-life astronaut Mae Jemison, the first African American astronaut, in the nonfiction picture book Mae Among the Stars (2018) by Roda Ahmed and Stasia Burrington.
There’s plenty of recommendations for middle-grade readers too, including nonfiction accounts of the Apollo 8 mission, which succeeded in circling the moon in 1968 (To the Moon!: The True Story of the American Heroes on the Apollo 8 Spaceship by Jeffrey Kluger and Ruby Shamir; Apollo 8: The Mission That Changed Everything by Martin W. Sandler), and American astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s kid-friendly description of Mars (Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet). And there’s plenty of imagination to be had in the fiction offerings, whether readers are following the adventures of two best friends on a space station whose experiments create the adorable three-headed kitten named Princess Sparkle, Destroyer of Worlds (Sanity and Tallulah by Molly Brooks); rooting for a band of space cadets to defeat the aliens that have taken over their ship (The Planet Thieves by Dan Krokos); or trying to solve the mystery of a scientist’s suspicious death on the surface of the moon (Space Case by Stuart Gibbs).
Take summer reading to the next level with Gale’s Books & Authors, containing Adult Fiction, Adult Nonfiction, Young Adults, Preteens, and Kids titles that will have your patrons reading under the stars with space-themed books for all ages.