Science fiction is one of the most popular genres of literature thanks to the way that so many sub-genres can fit under the sci-fi umbrella. Nearly everyone, especially teens, since young adults are very often the subjects, can fall in love with a sci-fi novel or series. If you're looking for your next, or first, sci-fi adventure, these are the best science fiction books for teens.
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov is one of the classic science fiction books and is definitely a must-read for high school students that are fans of the genre. This book is a selection of short stories all intertwined through the connection between man and robot. Asimov takes the reader through the journey of the robot from primitive beginnings to full autonomy in what he describes as a not so distant future. The stories are told in the past tense, being told in the 21st century, making it seem that as a society today we're not that far off from this type of lifestyle.
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card is suggested reading for the United States Marine Corps, which certainly makes it one of the best science fiction books for teens. This military sci-fi novel takes place in Earth's future and features an imperiled mankind after multiple conflicts with the "buggers," an alien species. The novel gets its name from main character Ender Wiggin and the series of games he's put through during his training to enter the war. Initially released in 1985, Card released an updated edition in 1991 to change the political facts to reflect the times more accurately like the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Cold War.
The Giver Series by Lois Lowry
Released in 1993, The Giver by Lois Lowry is a young adult dystopian novel, set in a society that appears to be utopian. The story follows 12-year-old Jonas as he inherits the position of Receiver of Memory, the person who stores all the memories of the time before the dystopian society. Jonas receives all the memories of the society, the good, the bad, and the ugly. After a series of events involving the death of a child, Jonas and his mentor "The Giver," as the only ones possessing the memories of the entire society, decide it's time for the people to have their own memories back.
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
It's almost impossible to imagine that there are people out there that haven't read the Harry Potter series, but if you fall into that small category of people, then these are the best science fiction books for teens. The series of seven novels, which has inspired millions, tells the story of Harry Potter and his friends as they go through the turmoil of their high school years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, while also fighting off the most powerful dark wizard the world has ever seen. Each book in the series has sold a minimum of 65 million copies making the Harry Potter series the best selling series of all time. If you still haven't read Harry Potter, now is your time.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
A Wrinkle in Time tells the story of 13-year-old Meg Murry, the emotionally immature daughter of two scientists. Meg's father is missing and Meg learns that "there is such a thing as a tesseract." Meg learns that the tesseract refers to a scientific concept her father was working on that led to his disappearance. This leads Meg, her younger brother who happens to be a science prodigy, and a classmate of theirs, on an adventure to find her father throughout the wrinkles of time and space. This story is being depicted in a movie of the same title released by Disney in March 2018.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games tells the story of the citizens of Panem, a post-apocalyptic society. The story focuses primarily on Katniss Everdeen as she's entered into a fight to the death tournament called The Hunger Games. The series tells stories of love, survival, and war, as Katniss fights her feelings for fellow Hunger Games competitor Peeta and lifelong friend Gale. After the events of the first and second novel, Katniss joins a resistance in a fight to reclaim the capital and put an end to the Hunger Games forever. Dealing with themes like poverty and identity, this story is very relatable for young adults making it some of the best science fiction books for teens.
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
It shouldn't be a surprise that the most widely read fantasy epic of all-time makes the list of best science fiction books for teens. The Lord of the Rings tells the story of hobbit Frodo Baggins and his journey through Middle Earth to destroy the One Ring. Accompanied by wizards, elves, dwarfs, and incredible warriors, Frodo travels to Mordor to destroy the ultimate weapon of evil. The novel by which all other fantasy and sci-fi novels are based and compared, The Lord of the Rings is absolutely required reading for all fans of the genre.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Set in dystopian 2044, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, tells the story of Wade Watts on his search for an Easter egg in a virtual reality game. If Watts can find the Easter egg he will be able to inherit a fortune in a world ruined by an energy crisis. The novel takes readers through classic games and 1980s pop culture phenomenon, providing any reader with nostalgia. Steven Spielberg directed a film adaptation of Ready Player One, set to be released in March 2018, and if Spielberg made the film. you know it's one of the best science fiction books for teens.
The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner
The Maze Runner is a post-apocalyptic series written by author James Dashner and follows the story of the main character Thomas, who wakes up one day in a metal elevator in a random place with no recollection of who he is or how he got there. The Glade, the place where Thomas woke up, is surrounded by a set of walls called the Maze. Thomas becomes the first person to discover that although everyone else thinks the walls change at random, they are in fact a code and the walls are spelling out words. The story then tells the story of Thomas trying to escape the Glade after he was the first person to survive a night in the Maze. The Maze Runner is definitely one of the best science fiction books for teens.
The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth
The Divergent series is a trilogy of novels written by Veronica Roth that tells the story of a post-apocalyptic dystopian society. The youth of the society is split into five factions based on their attributes and these factions are where they will spend the rest of their lives. Main character Beatrice Prior is deemed factionless, or divergent, which means she normally would find herself as the lowlife of society with nothing to amount to. Beatrice thinks of herself as a fighter so she sneaks her way into the Dauntless faction. The first novel in the series tells the story of Beatrice, who rebrands herself as Tris when she joins the Dauntless, and her trials and tribulations through the training required to become a member of the Dauntless faction, as the leaders of society are trying to find her once they find out she is divergent. The story is captivating for young adult readers through themes of identity, social structure, and knowledge making it one of the best science fiction books for teens.