As Star Wars fans today, through everything from films to novels to comics to animation to video games, we’re enjoying some of the absolute best Star Wars stories ever told. And it’s never been a better time be a kid taking their first steps into the larger world of Star Wars storytelling.
In celebration of Star Wars Reads this October, we’re shining a light on the veritable galaxy of Star Wars books available to capture the attention and imaginations of kids and younger readers. But don’t let the “young reader” label fool you. Even though many of the books on our list primarily target elementary and middle-grade readers, there’s absolutely nothing preventing readers of all ages — including adults — from cracking them open and enjoying them alone or while reading aloud. They’re excellent stories from excellent authors. So with that in mind, here’s a collection of more than a dozen of our favorite recent releases, roughly arranged according to age…
1. Star Wars: Creatures Big & Small (written by Calliope Glass & Caitlin Kennedy; illustrated by Katie Cook; published by Disney Lucasfilm Press)
We learned the alphabet with A, B, C-3PO. We practiced counting with Obi-One, Two, Three. We got in touch with our emotions with Search Your Feelings. And now we’re exploring contrasting sizes and out-of-this-world animal species with Creatures Big & Small. Just as delightful as the first three, this book helps young Padawans recognize the relative sizes of familiar creatures in the Star Wars galaxy. Accompanying Katie Cook’s achingly adorable art are charming poems that go well beyond the simple “big versus small.” You’ll not find more adorable porgs, tookas, tauntauns, fathiers, rancors, or purrgil anywhere.
2. C-3PO Does NOT Like Sand! (written by Caitlin Kennedy; illustrated by Brian Kesinger; published by Disney Lucasfilm Press)
Turns out Anakin isn’t the only one who hates sand. This adorable picture book finds C-3PO, R2-D2, and BB-8 on Tatooine, trying to complete a secret mission for the Resistance. And, you guessed it, everything goes sideways for our droid trio, despite C-3PO’s determined effort to stay on track.
If you’re a teacher or have beginning readers in your house, then you’re likely already familiar with the leveled reader series of books, which are intended to gradually help kids become independent readers. Level 2 books target “junior readers” in kindergarten through 2nd grade and include simple storylines, compound sentences, and contractions. These two books tie in to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and focus on our heroes and villains, respectively.
4. Who’s Who in the Galaxy (written by Ella Patrick; illustrated by PowerStation, Pilot Studio, and Leigh Zieske; published by Disney Lucasfilm Press)
Perfect for reading aloud or independent reading, this collection of eight stories (one for each of the first eight films in the Skywalker saga) is a charming retelling of the saga through character spotlights and vignettes. Read straight through or jump around. The Star Wars: Return of the Jedi story, for example, is structured to teach younglings more about Jabba the Hutt and Wicket while they also learn the story of the film. And with all-new art, it’s a great choice for bedtime.
5. Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (written by Delilah S. Dawson; illustrated by Brian Rood; published by Disney Lucasfilm Press)
Want to revisit the first eight films in the Skywalker saga through phenomenally beautiful art and a stunning adaptation from a fan-favorite author? Delilah Dawson (Phasma, Black Spire) retells the Skywalker saga — from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace through Star Wars: The Last Jedi — in a way that seriously echoes the vintage movie storybooks from the original trilogy. If you grew up reading, and loving, those classic hardcovers, then you owe it to the little ones in your life to add this gorgeous and massive book to their collection.
6. Star Wars Adventures (written and illustrated by various; published by IDW Publishing)
If your young reader wants to jump into the world of Star Wars graphic storytelling but isn’t quite ready for the Marvel comics series, there’s no better place to start than here. IDW’s Star Wars Adventures series presents brilliant all-ages stories that encompass the entire saga. There’s something for everyone: from self-contained short stories to serialized mini-epics featuring all the main characters — from The Phantom Menace to The Last Jedi (and beyond). New issues come out monthly, and six collections have been released so far, with Volume 7 due out in November.
7. Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader’s Castle (written by Cavan Scott; illustrated by various; published by IDW Publishing)
Spinning off from the core Star Wars Adventures series, Tales from Vader’s Castle was a weekly event series of spooky tales that led up to Halloween last year. In the sequel series running all of October, the special five-issue run will arrive in comic shops weekly to tell five tales of all-ages frights. Each issue will focus on a different villain (from Darth Maul to Asajj Ventress to Jabba the Hutt), and even though they’re a perfect pairing with the spirit of the Halloween season, they’re great fun any time of year.
8. Jedi Academy: Revenge of the Sis (written and illustrated by Jarrett J. Krosoczka and Amy Ignatow; published by Scholastic)
The seventh book in the Jedi Academy series of graphic novels, Revenge of the Sis is Krosoczka’s fourth entry and the first to focus on Christina Starspeeder — now a student at the advanced Jedi Academy in Jedha City. One of the great things about the Jedi Academy books is that they tell standalone stories that are all connected, so you (or your little ones) should be fine if you read just one of them, some of them, or all of them. And there’s no end in sight! The eighth book, Attack of the Furball, was recently released to continue the Starspeeder saga.
9. Choose Your Destiny (written by Cavan Scott; illustrated by Elsa Charretier; published by Disney Lucasfilm Press)
These books allow readers to choose their own path and become a part of the Star Wars galaxy. There are four books in the series so far (Han & Chewie, Luke & Leia, Obi-Wan & Anakin, and Finn & Poe), and each has more than 20 possible outcomes and dozens of choices to make along the way. This is interactive storytelling at its best for youngsters eager to become part of the action.
10. LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary, New Edition (written by Simon Beecroft, Jason Fry, and Simon Hugo; published by DK Publishing)
Each page of this gorgeous book features close-up, highly detailed photos of sets and minifigures from 20 years of Star Wars LEGO collecting and takes a look at the design teams who make the sets and the process each goes through in development. Bonus: it comes with an exclusive Finn minifigure in his flexpoly bacta suit from The Last Jedi.
11. Star Wars Character Encyclopedia, New Edition (published by DK Publishing)
If the previous book is your deep dive into the world of LEGO Star Wars, then this book is your comprehensive look at the characters who appear in the 10 Star Wars films (so far). Including more than 200 characters, you’ll learn more about each than you thought possible. From household names like Luke, Leia, and Rey to those who’ll have you asking, “Who’s that again?” — C’ai Threnali, Eeth Koth, Razoo Qin-Fee, to name a few — there’s information and factoids here for every fan.
12. Star Wars: Alien Archive (illustrated by Tim McDonagh; published by Disney Lucasfilm Press)
Alien Archive is meant to be an in-galaxy collection of sketches compiled by a mysterious traveling artist. Through over 150 oversized pages, nearly every alien, beast, and creature from Star Wars is represented with a gorgeous illustration, some notes ostensibly written by the traveler/artist, and a full description from scientific records. It’s fantastically gorgeous, simply put. Every page is a treasure, and if I were a wandering traveler in the galaxy far, far away, this is the kind of book I’d spend a lifetime creating. At its core, it’s a travel journal full of thoughts, sketches, and anthropological observations.
13. Star Wars: Myths & Fables (written by George Mann; illustrated by Grant Griffin; published by Disney Lucasfilm Press)
Myths & Fables is a companion of sorts to both Alien Archive and 2016’s Galactic Maps. All three are intended to be books that might exist in the Star Wars galaxy. What sets this one apart is that it’s a collection of fairy tales that would be told to young kids on Tatooine, Naboo, and elsewhere. Included are nine original stories that caution against danger, demonstrate the order of things, and relate thrilling adventures. These are the legends that bind the galaxy together.
14. Spark of the Resistance (written by Justina Ireland; illustrated by Phil Noto; published by Disney Lucasfilm Press)
Set between the events of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, this junior novel follows Rey, Poe, and Rose on a mission against the First Order and helps tie together the events of the two films. Want to dig for clues and try to unearth secrets about the forthcoming film before December? Look no further.
15. Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition (written by Adam Bray, Cole Horton, Tricia Barr, and Ryder Windham; published by DK Publishing)
The ultimate Star Wars coffee table book has been updated and it’s still the prettiest encyclopedia you’ve ever seen. An encyclopedic look at the Star Wars galaxy is inherently a monumental undertaking, and this book reflects a deep love for the subject. The text is incredibly detailed and presents both significant events and minutiae with equal aplomb. What makes this edition new? It now includes The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Star Wars Resistance. The book is still presented thematically, with pages devoted to characters, planets, locations, creatures, weapons, ships, and important events. It’s an encyclopedia…but it’s an incredibly readable encyclopedia.
16. Meet the Heroes (written by various authors, published by DK)
Who is Chewbacca? How does Darth Vader become a Sith? Answering the most eager young fan’s questions just got a whole lot easier with this series of readers that serve as a crash course in (almost) everything your youngling wants to know about the galaxy’s heroes and villains.
Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He’s also a contributor to GeekDad and runs The Roarbots, where he focuses on awesome geeky stuff that happens to be kid-friendly. On top of that, he cohosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates geek culture by talking to people who create it. With two little ones and a vast Star Wars collection at home, he’s done the unthinkable: allowed them full access to most of his treasure from the past 30 years, opening and playing with whatever they want (pre-1983 items excluded).
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