The Moon Landing: 50 Years Later Reading List

by Kirsti Granholm

On July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin landed on the moon, for the first time in history! That makes this Saturday the 50th anniversary of one of humankind’s biggest accomplishments. To celebrate this achievement, we have put together a list of moon and space-themed books for children and adults alike!


Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 by Helaine Becker, illustrated by Dow Phumiruk (Henry Holt and Company, 2018) Ages 5-10

Katherine Johnson was gifted from the beginning. She had a natural talent for solving even the most difficult mathematical equations! She dreamed of studying the universe, but being a young Black woman in the 1950’s was going to pose some difficulties for young Johnson. Even though sexism and racism crowded the technology and science industries, she was resilient. She got her dream job, climbed her way up the rankings and impressed everyone along the way with her vast knowledge. When disaster struck, Johnson was the one they called. She went down as one of the most important figures in all of space exploration history. This wonderful book pays tribute to Johnson’s life and her ground-breaking accomplishments.


Earthrise: Apollo 8 and the Photo that Changed the World by James Gladstone, illustrated by Christy Lundy (Owlkids Books, 2018) Ages 4-9

Earthrise is both a celebration of planet earth and of the extensive measures humankind has taken to progress. The book circulates around the first photograph of Earth from space, taken by Bill Anders in 1968. This picture represented much more than what meets the eye. It was a sign of peace, of unity and interconnectedness, a theme that encapsulated the 1960s more than any other.

Along with the distinctive illustrations by Lundy, Earthrise proves to be an inspiring read for anyone curious about history, science, space, or technology. It displays one of the many incredible accomplishments humans have made in the last few decades.


If I Were the Moon by Sheree Fitch, illustrated by Leslie Elizabeth Watts (Nimbus Publishing, 2018, ©1999) Ages 4-9

Although this book is not as space focused as others on our list, it is a beautiful moon-themed bedtime read for young children. It is also the 20th anniversary edition of this classic Canadian picture book! The sweet words by Fitch are paired with gentle illustrations, that capture the beauty we get to experience on planet Earth. The adventurous kids in this book journey through the vast landscapes of our planet and inspire wonder for children of all ages.


Meet Chris Hadfield by Elizabeth MacLeod, illustrated by Mike Deas (Scholastic Canada, 2018) Ages 6-10

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be one of the world’s most famous astronauts, this is the book for you! Meet Chris Hadfield gives readers insight into his life-long dedication to space. From being selected to join NASA, to commanding his own mission, to becoming an internet super-star. There is so many things to learn and be inspired by through Hadfield’s incredible expeditions.

Meet Chris Hadfield can be used as an engaging follow-up to Hadfield’s 2016 book, The Darkest Dark (mentioned later on this list). Check them both out to learn more about the life of Hadfield and the path he took to get to space!


Moon Wishes by Guy and Patricia Storms, illustrated by Milan Pavlović (Groundwood Books, 2019) Ages 4-8

Moon Wishes is a picture book that presents a deep admiration for the beauty of the moon. The moon shadows every creature on this planet from the animals of the artic, to the deep sea creatures, to the lonely cowboys of the world. Moon Wishes paints a poetic picture of the brightest light in the night. It is the perfect read for anyone trying to put their little one to bed without a fuss.

“If I were the moon, I would paint ripples of light on wet canvas”


Summer Constellations by Alisha Sevigny (KCP Loft, 2018) Ages 14+

It’s finally summer time and Julia cannot wait to get to the lake. After a tough year of her brother being extremely ill, everyone is looking forward to relaxing. It’s all looking great until Julia’s mother announces that she has been in discussion with a developer over selling the property. Her brother’s medical bills took a toll on the family and they need to pay their debts, one way or another. The news breaks Julia’s heart. She knows she must put a stop to the sale of their families’ property. She feels hopeless, until she meets a handsome young man, named Nick, who also happens to be the developer’s son. If there’s any chance at saving their campground, she’s going to have to talk to Nick.


The Centre of the Universe by Ria Voros (KCP Loft, 2019) Ages 14+

Are you ready for a YA mystery? Grace Carter is a young girl who longs to one day become an astrophysicist. The stars and constellations have always intrigued her more than glitz, glamour and fame. Unlike her mother GG, a famous news anchor who adores time in the spotlight. Their differences definitely strain their relationship, but of course when GG goes missing, Grace is very concerned. The disappearance of Grace’s mother lead investigators to believe it is a kidnapping. Strange, but realistic considering her star-status.

As Grace awaits news on her mother’s disappearance, she learns more about her estranged mother. Although some of the stories she’s heard are more shocking then she could have ever imagined.


The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield, illustrated by The Fan Brothers (Tundra Books, 2016) Ages 4-8

The Darkest Dark is a picture book that highlights the process of getting over a childhood fear. In this case, it was Chris Hadfield’s childhood fear of the dark! Chris finds himself struck by anxiety after the sun goes down. He sees the aliens and monsters crawling all around his room and knows he won’t be sleeping anytime soon. That is until his parents remind him of what’s to come the next day!

This book is a great way to show kids that you can get through anything. Hadfield’s book is an excellent example that with perseverance you can do anything you set your mind to. Whether you’re just a kid or an accomplished astronaut like Hadfield, there are an endless amount of possibilities out there!


The Moon Watched It All by Shelley A. Leedahl, illustrated by Aino Anto (Red Deer Press, 2019) Ages 6-12

Poetic and beautifully illustrated, The Moon Watched It All is a delightful book that displays the value of intergenerational relationships. Contrasting between two lives, two broken souls, Leedahl unites the two characters under the moon. An old widowed woman named Miranda, and a young homeless boy become two wonderful companions as they help each other, and teach each other precious lessons.

“when the sun disappeared behind the trees, the woman drew another chair to the window, and the pair sat almost like friends beneath the moon.”


When the Moon Comes by Paul Harbridge, illustrated by Matt James (Tundra Books, 2017) Ages 6-10

When the Moon Comes resonates with many Canadians, as it follows a few eager children who cannot wait to play hockey under the full moon. As soon as the moon rises, the kids are out on the ice. They skate and banter and cheer, enjoying every second of play time. But all too soon, the night must come to an end. The moonlight leads them home as the children grow tired, but nevertheless content after a good ‘ole game of hockey!

This book is suitable for both children and parents, I know for me, it brings back sweet memories of playing outdoor hockey with my sister and dad.


Thanks for checking out our moon and space-themed booklist! If you decide to read one of these stories, show us on social media @kidsbookcentre.