BONUS: Books to get your future astronaut revved up for reading
Discovery Place Nature
Ever wonder if astronauts read in space? Well, the answer is 100-percent yes! In fact, astronauts not only read books they personally enjoy, but they also read aloud STEM-related children’s books – and you can listen to the space stories via streaming footage from the International Space Station.
Part of the Global Space Education Foundation, Story Time from Space aims to combine two very important educational areas – STEM learning and literacy – by featuring astronauts in space reading books to the children on Earth. How fun!
At Discovery Place, we think learning about space is out of this world. We’re checking out some space-themed books, a few of which you can listen to at Story Time for Space, for some great options to download and read at home with the future astronauts in your life:
Mousetronaut, by Astronaut Mark Kelly
This (partially true) picture book by Astronaut Mark Kelly is based on the space shuttle Endeavor and features Meteor, a small but hardworking mouse who is determined to travel to outer space. While the story is centered in space, its lessons are perfectly suited to Earth – those of bravery, perseverance and more. If you love this one, you’ll want to read the follow-up, Mousetronaut Goes to Mars.
[Recommended ages: 4-7]
Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing, by Dean Robbins
A true story, this book chronicles the life of Margaret Hamilton, whose love of numbers as a child led to a role in putting a man on the moon. Hamilton wrote code that allowed the spacecraft’s computer to solve problems along the journey. Kids will love learning about this pioneer in her field who never stopped reaching for the stars.
[Recommended ages: 4-8]
Little Kids First Big Book of Space, National Geographic Kids
Introduce your young ones to space with colorful illustrations and simple text that explains the basic concepts of space. Kids can explore what they see from their vantage point on Earth, learn about the solar system and more.
[Recommended ages: 4-8]
Max Goes to the Moon: A Science Adventure with Max the Dog, by Jeffrey Bennett
Max the Dog and a young girl named Tori take a trip to the moon that ultimately leads people to realize the precious and small nature of our own planet. A part of a larger Max the Dog series, this book includes “Big Kid Box” sidebars that dive deeper into science topics in a way that allows children and adults to learn together. Fall in love with Max after reading this one? Check out Max Goes to Mars and Max Goes to the Space Station for more out-of-this-world reading.
[Recommended ages: 7-9]
Hidden Figures Young Readers’ Edition, by Margot Lee Shetterly
Adapted for young readers, this edition of the New York Times bestseller shares the uplifting, amazing true story of four African-American female mathematicians at NASA who helped achieve some of the greatest moments in our space program.
[Recommended ages: 8-12]