Sci-fi-ish short stories for 7-9 year olds
August 16, 2020 6:44 AM   Subscribe

I recently read the short story "All Summer In a Day" to my 7 year old daughter, and she loved it. She asked to hear more short stories like that one. It looks like Tomorrow's Child and The Million-Year picnic, also by Bradbury, might fit the bill. But I'll take any recommendations you've got. Thanks!
posted by unionsquarepark to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
On the -ish side, but Tove Jansson's odd and charming "The Invisible Child" (.pdf) might work.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:59 AM on August 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

Go find some Clifford D Simak. His stories would be perfect. “Dusty Zebra” is a really good one.
posted by Slinga at 7:14 AM on August 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

They're Made out of Meat by Terry Bisson might work.
posted by terretu at 7:18 AM on August 16, 2020 [3 favorites]

One of the first science fiction stories I remember enjoying as a child was "The Fun They Had", by Asimov... although it occurs to me that in the wake of lockdown learning, it may be a little close to the bone.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 8:34 AM on August 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

It looks like ... The Million-Year picnic, also by Bradbury, might fit the bill.

Yes but note this is the last story of his Martian Chronicles (or if you're in the UK, The Silver Locusts ) and IMO they're all good. Maybe the first one I read was "The Green Morning" (which I found reprinted in a summertime 'Weekly Reader') and don't forget "Night Meeting" which may be the most well-known. Two more of his Mars stories well worth seeking out are "Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed" (kind of an alternate "Million Year Picnic") which you can find in A Medicine for Melancholy and "The Blue Bottle" from Long After Midnight.

Bradbury wrote another story set on his rainy Venus, The Long Rain which is in The Illustrated Man.
posted by Rash at 9:09 AM on August 16, 2020

A lot of Zenna Henderson’s short stories involve children, if you can find them.
posted by antiquated at 11:12 AM on August 16, 2020

"All Summer In a Day" is so good!

There was a series of books my local library had when I was about 9/ 10/ 11 -- sci-fi collections specifically targeted at young readers -- I LOVED THEM and they kindled my love of sci-fi/fantastic fiction.

A bit of digging reveals the series was published by Raintree.

Here's a list of the stories and links to borrow them from the Internet archive:

Tomorrow's TV (one of my faves)
The fun they had / Isaac Asimov
A scientific fact / Jack C. Haldeman II
The pedestrian / Ray Bradbury
Crime machine / Robert Bloch
Eight o'clock in the morning / Ray Nelson.

After the end
The wheel / John Wyndham
There will come soft rains / Ray Bradbury
Maybe we got something / Josef Berger
"If I forget thee, oh Earth" / Arthur C. Clarke.

Thinking machines (loved this one)
Prototaph / Keith Laumer
A bad day for sales / Fritz Leiber
The answer / Frederic Brown
Road stop / David Mason
The nine billion names of God / Arthur C. Clarke.

Travels through time (another fave)
The assassin / Robert Silverberg
The innocents' refuge / Theodore L. Thomas
The good provider / Martin Gross
The immortal bard / Isaac Asimov
The figure / Edward Grendon.

The better choice / S. Fowler Wright
Prone / Mack Renolds
Barney / Will Stanton
Lost love / Algis Budrys.

Wild Inventions
The postponed cure / Stand Nodvik
Man of distinction / Michael Shaara
Speed of the cheetah, roar of the lion / Harry Harrison
Wapshot's demon / Frederick Pohl.

Earth Invaded
Home team advantage / Jack C. Haldeman II
Three times around / Jane Roberts
In the arena / Brian W. Aldiss
Pattern / Frederic Brown.

Mad scientists
The king of the beasts / Philip Jose Farmer
Silence, please! / Arthur C. Clarke
The weapon / Fredric Brown
Von Goom's gambit / Victor Contoski.

Bug Awful (dissapointing)
Mimic / Donald A. Wollheim
Meddler / Philip K. Dick
The useless bugbreeders / James Stamers

Children of the future
All summer in a day / Ray Bradbury
Teething ring / James Causey
An end of spinach / Stan Dryer
The boy who predicted earthquakes / Margaret St. Clair.

Time Warps
Experiment ; Nightmare in time / Fredric Brown
For the love of Barbara Allen / Robert E. Howard
The biography project / H.L. Gold
Time for survival / George O. Smith
Over the river and through the woods / Clifford D. Simak.

The Immortals
And thou beside me / Mack Reynolds
Invariant / John Pierce
Hail and farewell / Ray Bradbury
The eternal man / D.D. Sharp.

Edit: Really surprised to find that Bradbury's "A Sound of Thunder" wasn't in one of these volumes. That's a great one.
posted by tomp at 2:14 PM on August 16, 2020 [6 favorites]

Some of Ellen Klages’s short stories in Portable Childhoods may fit the bill
posted by azalea_chant at 4:36 PM on August 16, 2020

Not short stories, but books in the age range, Eleanor Cameron’s Wonderful Flight To the Mushroom Planet and its sequels may be in order. The adventures of Mr. Tyco Bass and friends was among my earliest intros to science fiction.
posted by lhauser at 7:07 PM on August 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

"Mimsy were the Borogroves" by Lewis Padgett was included in a collection I read at a young age. It also introduced me to Bradbury by way of "The Veldt."

Jerome Bixby's "It's a Good Life" was a story first read to me at that age and has stuck.
posted by now i'm piste at 1:13 PM on August 17, 2020

Response by poster: Thanks so much everyone! This is a great list and incredibly helpful!
posted by unionsquarepark at 5:07 AM on August 20, 2020

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