For immediate release | January 22, 2024

Announcing the 2024 Excellence in Children’s and Young Adult Science Fiction Notable Lists

Core presents the 2024 Excellence in Children’s and Young Adult Science Fiction Notable Lists. The lists are composed of notable children’s and young adult science fiction published between November 2022 and October 2023 and organized into three age-appropriate categories. The annotated lists are posted on the website at

The Golden Duck Notable Picture Books List is selected from books intended for pre-school children and very early readers, up to 6 years old. Recognition is given to the author and the illustrator:

  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: The Courage to Dream by Frederick Joseph, Illustrated by Nikkolas Smith. Marvel Press
  • City Under the City by Dan Yaccarino. mineditionUS
  • A Funny Thing Happened After School… by David Calì, Illustrated by Benjamin Chaud. Chronicle Books
  • How to Welcome an Alien by Rebecca Klempner, Illustrated by Shirley Waisman. Kalaniot Books
  • Hush, Little Rocket by Mo O’Hara, Illustrated by Alexandra Cook. Feiwel & Friends
  • The Only Astronaut by Mahak Jain, Illustrated by Andrea Stegmaier. Kids Can Press
  • Pluto Rocket: New in Town by Paul Gilligan. Tundra Books
  • Spacemanatee! by Katie Gilstrap, Illustrated by Alice Samuel. Magination Press
  • Stink in Space! by Mike Henson, Illustrated by Jorge Martin. Happy Yak
  • Up Where the Stars Are by Ryan Jacobson, Illustrated by Michelle Hazelwood Hyde. Adventure Publications

The Eleanor Cameron Notable Middle Grade Books List titles are chapter books or short novels that may be illustrated. They are written for ages 7 - 11. This list is named for Eleanor Cameron, author of the Mushroom Planet series.

  • Alebrijes by Donna Barba Higuera. Levine Querido
  • Billie Blaster and the Robot Army from Outer Space by Laini Taylor, Illustrated by Jim Di Bartolo. Amulet Books
  • The Bright Family: Vacation by Gabe Soria, Illustrated by Ribs Rafa. Andrews McMeel Publishing
  • Futureland: Battle for the Park by H.D. Hunter. Random House Books for Young Readers
  • The Girl Who Built a Spider by George Brewington. Godwin Books
  • Gnome Is Where Your Heart Is by Casey Lyall. Greenwillow Books
  • I Am the Walrus by Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Jurassic Jeff: Space Invader by Royden Lepp. Random House Graphic
  • The Rhythm of Time by Questlove with S.A. Crosby. G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
  • The Ruby Code by Jessica Khoury. Scholastic Press

The Hal Clement Notable Young Adult Books List contains science fiction books written for ages 12 - 18 with a young adult protagonist. This list is named for Hal Clement, a well-known science fiction writer and high school science teacher who promoted children’s science fiction.

  • A Wilderness of Stars by Shea Ernshaw. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  • Star Splitter by Matthew J. Kirby. Dutton Books for Young Readers
  • Airlock by Tash McAdam. Orca Book Publishers
  • Made of Stars by Jenna Voris. Viking Books for Young Readers
  • Stars, Hide Your Fires by Jessica Mary Best. Quirk Books
  • The Infinity Particle by Wendy Xu. Quill Tree Books
  • The Space Between Here & Now by Sarah Suk. Quill Tree Books
  • A Song of Salvation by Alechia Dow. Inkyard Press
  • The Q by Amy Tintera. Crown
  • This Delicious Death by Kayla Cottingham. Sourcebooks Fire

Selections are made by the Core Committee Recognizing Excellence in Children’s and Young Adult Science Fiction each January.

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Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures