We’ve found the best Star Wars books for kids that will get them reading, coloring, and daydreaming of a galaxy far, far away.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far away… George Lucas directed the movie Star Wars, which became a sensation almost immediately after its release to theaters in the summer of 1977. In the nearly fifty years that followed, Star Wars has expanded into video games, television shows, toys, and, of course, books.
That last category is particularly fitting for Star Wars. As its famous opening words suggest, the series has its roots in literature, as Lucas created the movie as a modern-day fairy tale, complete with a bold princess, brave and noble knights, and wise magicians.
In fact, in the sixteen years between Return of the Jedi in 1983 and the release of The Phantom Menace in 1999, Star Wars was primarily a literary franchise, as a bevy of expanded universe novels told the continuing adventures of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo. They even introduced beloved new characters, such as Kyle Katarn and Jacen Skywalker. The prequel movies only accelerated the production of these books, as has the new trilogy that started with The Force Awakens. The movies may get more attention, but the books get to spend the most time in the universe.
But even the biggest Star Wars-loving parent will be overwhelmed by the vast number of choices out there. But we here at Nerdy With Children are bonafide experts in nerdy kids’ books, whether they be magical stories, graphic novels for middle school students, or good old sci fi and fantasy books. We’re bringing that same level of knowledge to the worlds of Star Wars to direct you to the best reads for your young Jedi.
All kids love coloring books, and with good reason. Not only is coloring an inherently relaxing exercise (for proof, just look at the legions of coloring books for adults), but it gives kids a chance to study the characters they love and let their imaginations go wild. So of course there are plenty of coloring books about Star Wars, a franchise chock full of wild aliens and amazing machines.
Illustrated by Nadiya Zabolothaya, the official Star Wars coloring book indulges in all the cool creatures and star crafts that the universe has to offer. Kids can spend time coloring in the lines of classic elements like the Imperial Walkers that menaced the ice planet Hoth or they can go crazy with new designs of new entries like the Progs of The Last Jedi. With 62 full pages of figures, the Star Wars coloring book gives kids plenty of room to release their inner George Lucas. No matter the age of your child, if they are the creative type how about helping them decorate their whole bedroom in a Star Wars theme.
While the favorite Star Wars character of most children is one of the heroes of villains – Luke or Vader, Rey or Kylo Ren, Anakin or Count Dooku – for young kids, it’s all about the ‘droids. And since children need to learn their ABCs at some point, why not bring those lovable robots in to help make the process fun?
That’s the appeal of ABC-3PO, written by Calliope Glass and Caitlin Kennedy and illustrated by Katie Cook. Guided by the lovably fastidious C3-PO, ABC-3PO takes the reader through the Star Wars universe guided by the alphabet. Simplifying his protocol droid explanations for an early reader audience, C3-PO teaches kids that “A is for Ackbar” and “B is for Boba Fett.” With this book, kids will not only learn their alphabet but also gain a love of the Star Wars galaxy.
Part of the appeal to Star Wars is the broad nature of their characters. While there are certainly interesting contours to our favorites, kids can easily understand that Luke is heroic, Vader is evil, and Poe Dameron is dashing. That’s doubly true of the droids. R2-D2 is irascible and cute, while C-3PO is fussy, which makes them an appealing comedy team for children.
Once again, Caitlin Kennedy writes a funny and accessible story that puts the droid duo in the center, with new addition BB-8 joining them for the ride. But by returning 3PO to his desert home planet of Tatooine, Kennedy amps up the comic hijinks by making the protocol droid irritated at, well, everything. Brian Kesinger’s vibrant and sketch-like artwork heightens the humor, capturing 3PO’s annoyance while keeping everything fun.
While Star Wars has roots going back to the late 70s, the current generation is all about The Mandalorian. Applying the classic Lone Wolf and Cub trope to the Star Wars universe, The Mandalorian pairs a stoic, conflicted warrior with a lovable tyke of infinite potential. The irresistible combination draws children into the Star Wars universe, fostering excitement all over again.
For those who learn about Star Wars through The Mandalorian, Allies & Enemies is a perfect introduction. Written by Brooke Vitale, with illustrations from Tomatoform, Allies & Enemies is an early reader book that takes kids on a tour through The Mandalorian universe. Kids get to meet the major characters, including evil Moff Gideon, robot hunter IG-11, and of course the breakout star The Child (not called either Baby Yoda or Grogu here). Allies & Enemies is the perfect book for kids who want to read for themselves about the basics of the Star Wars universe.
Most young kids love Star Wars, just like they love every bright, splashy media franchise. But it’s a special kid who not only continues that love when they get older, but then they get serious about it. And when you get serious about a franchise, especially one with such a deep backstory, you dig into the weird minutia. While internet databases such as Wookiepedia can give fans the exhaustive information they want, there’s no replacing an actual physical guidebook, something you can pull off the shelf and flip through the pages to prove a point to your other nerdy friends.
The Star Wars: Alien Archive continues this proud tradition of nerdy guidebooks. Alien Archive combines detailed technical entries with intricate illustrations, creating the definitive answer for all things Star Wars.
Although the animated film Star Wars: The Clone Wars received a theatrical release, it and the animated series that followed did not receive as much attention as other releases in the franchise. But those who did watch found a fascinating and complex series, which not only fleshed out Anakin Skywalker’s relationship with Obi-Wan Kenobi but introduced some great new characters. One of the standout characters from the series was Ahsoka Tano, Anakin’s padawan learner.
Written by the author of several Star Wars novels, E.K. Johnson fills in the blanks between the end of the Clone Wars series and her return in the sequel animated series Star Wars: Rebels. Taking a YA approach that emphasizes the heroism of a lone fighter coming into her own, Johnson explores Ahsoka’s mixed feelings about her mentor’s turn to the dark side while finding the strength to stand her own. The book establishes Ahsoka as a fully realized and inspirational figure, perfect for tween readers.
During the fallow period between Return of the Jedi and the release of The Phantom Menace, Star Wars was not the dominant cultural force that it is today. Not only were no new Star Wars movies or tv shows being made (save for the occasional Ewoks special), but most people had moved on to different pop culture franchises. However, fans during that time kept the hope alive thanks to the Expanded Universe novels, which continued the adventures of beloved characters and explored new places in the universe.
The Journey to Star Wars series continues that proud tradition by introducing readers to unknown worlds affected by the Galactic Empire. Written by Claudia Gray, Lost Stars takes place on the outer planet of Jelucan, where the Empire continues its rule and a new hero joins the fledgling rebellion. The story captures the classic tensions of a great Star Wars story while adding a romantic element and introducing new characters, keeping the franchise fresh and accessible.
Most Star Wars stories tie into the movies, cartoons, and tv shows. But that’s not all that Star Wars is anymore. These days, Star Wars is an event and a place, as evidenced by the new Galaxy’s Edge collection at Walt Disney World. Guests at Galaxy’s Edge get to live in the world of Star Wars, ordering blue milk and rubbing shoulders with some of the franchise’s signature aliens. For a teenager who loves Star Wars, Galaxy’s Edge is a dream come true, a chance to play a part of their favorite franchise.
The Galaxy’s Edge book series builds on that feeling to follow the backstory of characters who live in that world. Written by the award-winning author Zoraida Cordova, A Crash of Fate takes place on a largely unknown Star Wars world called Batuu, an idyllic planet caught in the struggle between the empire and the rebels. But while the world may be new, the story will be familiar to fans of the series, as it focuses on two childhood friends whose bond is tested by galactic tensions. In other words, it’s exactly the type of dramatic and deeply nerdy story that teenaged Star Wars fans love.