I've been asked this question several times now: Can you recommend some good books for a young reader to introduce them to science fiction?
Because I spent time on my answer and included so many lovely links, I thought I would share it here.
Here are my recommendations for readers aged 12 and up. Paralandra, Out of the Silent Planet and That Hideous Strength is a space trilogy by C.S. Lewis. Thrice Upon a Time by James P. Hogan, Enders Game by Orson Scott Card (this one has been used in schools as required reading and is the first book in a trilogy), The Practice Effect by David Brin, and www.Wake and www.WATCH by Robert J. Sawyer. Rob's Flashforward was the basis of the series by that name.
I guess The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien goes without saying. ;)
Those are all really excellent authors who have tons more books to choose from.
I have some short fiction available online that would be suitable. "Grey Drive" is a flash (under 1000 words) piece at Every Day Fiction. "The Visitor" is still archived at Chaos Theory: Tales Askew. That might have mild language. You should read it first.
You can sample the magazine Beyond Centauri, a magazine that focuses on the 9-13 age group. "For Chance to Dream" is in issue #25. It's an urban fantasy about a disabled girl.
The Promise of Wolves by Dorothy Hearst and Tiger Heart by Peter David are good fantasies fit for young and old alike.
Science fiction is a natural progression from fairy tales. Expose them early! :)
Feel free to add more recommendations in the comments. I love lists!
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