Click on a grade below to see a list of suggested science fiction books for that level.
New Science Fiction
Reading Level: Grades 7 & up
Set in a dystopian American, years ago before the story begins a new virus killed millions of people and turned others into half-human, half-animal mutants. The rest of humanity fled and built a wall along the Mississippi River to separate themselves from the "Feral Zone."
When 16-year-old Lane McEvoy learns her father has gone missing, she must enter the forbidden "Feral Zone" to complete a mission that could save his life. Everson, a handsome border guard, and bad boy Rafe accompany Lane her astonishing journey. The characters are multi-faceted and, like all good science fiction, Inhuman raises important questions, namely, what it is to be human or humane. Readers will eagerly await the next two books in the trilogy.
16-year-old Sydney Carton is an orphan. As a baby he was rescued from the eastern wastelands by the Benevolent Society...for a price. Syd must repay the cost of his rescue and education. To recoop their costs the Society sold baby Syd's services to Mr. Brindle, an ultra-wealthy member of the ruling class, as his son's proxy.
16-year-old Knox Brindle only thinks of Syd when he is forced to watch the screen that broadcasts Syd receiving Knox's punishments which range from violent electical shocks to weeks of hard labor.
In two years Syd's debt will be paid and he will never have to worry about suffering for his unknown "patron" again. Syd counts the days until he is free. His hopes are dashed when Knox does the unforgivable, leaving Syd to face years in a brutal maximum security prison. It is a fate Syd is determined to escape.
Other action-packed dystopian tales include:
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Coda by Emma Trevayne
Reading Level: Grades 6 - 9
A devastating world war has left the Earth ruined, nations destroyed, and survivors scattered in small colonies trying to restore the world. The United Commonwealth (formerly the U.S.A.) chooses the best and brightest to be tested for the University where they will be trained as scientists, educators and leaders. Cia lives in tiny Five Lakes Colony where nobody has been chosen for testing for years, until her graduation day when she and three other students are chosen. Although it is a great honor, being chosen means that Cia will never see her home again. If she passes all the tests she will go to the University and be assigned to a new colony upon graduation, and if she fails she will be removed from the testing and sent to a new colony to live. Or so the students are told...
Fans of the Hunger Games will not want to miss this new dystopian series.
Reading Level: Grades 8 and up
This tense well crafted thriller opens with 16-year-old Noa waking up on a metal table in a warehouse with an incision in her chest. Much like a young Dragon Tattoo's Lisbeth Salander Noa is a tough, smart orphan who has been mistreated by the system and was able to use her considerable computer skills to establish a life on the border of society. After her escape, she meets up with wealthy, privileged Peter who has hacked his way into some files in his father's office. Both teens find themselves on the run. Will they elude capture long enough to get some answers? Who are these men who are chasing them and why are they after Noa and Peter? What has done to Noa? What is the connection to Peter's family?
WARNING: This is the first book in a trilogy. Book one leaves you hanging. You'll want to keep reading, but you can't.
Reading Levels: Grades 6+
In a complicated post-WWIV world ravaged by a fatal, incurable disease, Earth is separated into independently ruled Commonwealths, completely separated from the Lunars, a somewhat new species spawned from previous moon colonization.
Cinder is a second-class citizen at best. She's indentured to her step-mother, and a gifted mechanic, but a cyborg. Over 36% robotic, Cinder relies on a robotic hand, foot, nervous system, and more - to stay alive. Despite this supposed (and mostly unknown) handicap, however, Cinder is the best mechanic in New Bejing, a reputation that brings the Royal Prince himself to her door with a broken android in need of quick - and quiet - repair.
When Cinder's younger step-sister Peony catches letumosis, the fatal disease that killed Cinder's father and ravaged Earth, everything changes. Furious, Cinder's step-mother sells her cyborg ward into voluntary testing for a letumosis cure - a grim fate, until Cinder's body rejects letumosis and it is discovered that she has a natural immunity. Dr. Erland, letumosis researcher in the royal palace, begins working with Cinder to develop a cure, but their testing reveals dangerous secrets about Cinder's past. In the meantime, Cinder's repairs on the Prince's android cause it to divulge another secret - relating to the relations between the Earth and the Lunars.
When the Emperor himself succumbs to letumosis, the Lunar Queen declares that she will visit the Earth herself to comfort the Prince during his time of mourning - but with recent information Cinder has learned from the Prince's android... it is clear the Queen's motives are anything but comforting.
In a creative, complex sci-fi retelling of the classic Cinderella story with a hint of Anastasia, Meyer creates memorable characters while simultaneously posing difficult questions - what does it mean to be human? What is the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good? When is the sequel coming out?
Three more books are planned in the series.