YA Friday: It’s Written In The Stars…

Teen Read Week It's Written in the Stars... READ


Teen Read Week is an national literacy initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. It's aimed at teens, their parents, librarians, educators, booksellers and other concerned adults. Teen Read Week 2018 will be celebrated at thousands of public and school libraries, classrooms, and bookstores across the country.

Although teens realize the importance of reading, they have a huge menu of activities to choose from when deciding how to spend their free time, and reading gets lost in the shuffle. Reading skills get rusty when they are not used.

The 2018 theme, "It's Written in the Stars: READ" encourages teens to think and read outside of the box, as well as seek out fantasy, science fiction and other out-of- this-world reads. Below we've put together a list of some new and best sci-fi books of teens zooming around the stars and beyond the stratosphere.

Contagion book coverContagion by Erin Bowman

Hevetz Industries intern Althea Sadik is in the Trios planetary system assisting renowned microbiologist Dr. Lisbeth Tarlow when a storm forces the evacuation of their research facility. Most personnel are sent home, but the forewoman orders Thea and Lisbeth to board the Odyssey, which is traveling to the planet Achlys to investigate a distress call. The ship arrives to discover the remote rock strewn with corpses. A now-deceased engineer has left a disturbing video advising Hevetz to abandon the operation, plus a note scrawled in blood: “It got in us and most are dead. Decklan flew for help. Don’t trust the kid.” The Odyssey crew combs Achlys in search of survivors and the cause of the carnage. Unfortunately for them, they find both.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe book cover

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

Can you fall in love with someone you've never met, never even spoken to - someone who is light years away? Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth - with a single passenger on board. A boy called J. Their only communication is via email - and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love. But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean? Sometimes, there's something worse than being alone...

Landscape with Invisible Hand book cover
Landscape with Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson

The vuvv came in peace, offering new technology and life-changing medical breakthroughs. Yet their presence on Earth has slowly eroded Adam Costello's small town. Joblessness, illness, and food scarcity are the realities of his shaky existence, and his only solace is in his painting. When Adam begins to date Chloe, they realize that there's a moneymaking opportunity in their relationship. Taking advantage of the vuvv's fascination with 1950s-era American life, Adam and Chloe plan to film themselves going on old-fashioned dates. The aliens are willing to pay top dollar to watch these episodes. But when they break up in real life, can they keep up the illusion of being in love? What humiliations will they endure to keep their families from going hungry?

Illuminae book cover

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

High-school students Kady and Ezra have just broken up with each other when Kerenza IV, their mining outpost planetary home, is suddenly attacked by a rival company using both traditional and biological weapons. In the scramble to get off the planet, they are separated, ending up with a waning number of Kerenza survivors on two different space vessels that are trying to outrun one remaining BeiTech dreadnought; however, Kady and Ezra remain united in their desire to escape destruction, exact revenge, and maybe give each other a second chance.

Nyxia book cover

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family forever. Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe. But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.

Defy the Stars book cover

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

The planet Genesis is at war again. With no warning, Earth has revived a conflict after a 30-year hiatus because it has destroyed its own resources and land. Its people are desperate to escape to a healthier planet, and they have chosen Genesis. But the residents of Genesis fear the effects that Earth's policies will have on their planet. Noemi and her foster sister, Esther, are space pilots in the Genesis army, and they are caught in a surprise attack. Noemi boards a derelict ship in a desperate effort to save wounded Esther, but she finds the ship inhabited. Abel, a unique mech prototype, was left behind by his creator during the former war. Abel's intelligence seems to have evolved during his long isolation, and Noemi reluctantly decides to team up with him in a dangerous attempt to help Genesis. Using information gleaned from Abel, Noemi hatches a plan to liberate Genesis that necessitates the mech’s destruction. It’s not long, though, until Noemi is forced to wonder whether Abel has transcended his programming.

Further Reading

The Raging Ones book coverHeart of Iron book coverAcross the Universe book coverZodiac book coverMars One book coverWhat Goes Up book cover