Starry sky and the headline: Star Wars Reading List

Recommended Reads

May the 4th be with you: A Star Wars reading list


Apr 30, 2024

It all started a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… otherwise known as 2011 when the first organized celebration of Star Wars Day happened in Toronto. Since then, fans have come together every year on May 4th to celebrate their favorite galactic fandom, which has also been extended to May 5th, or “Revenge of the 5th.” This year is the 25th anniversary of The Phantom Menace, which holds a special place for me because it’s the first Star Wars movie I ever saw in the theater. And yes, I still unabashedly love the prequels. You can’t tell me that “Duel of the Fates” isn’t one of the most iconic scores of the entire franchise — or that the lightsaber battle between Obi-Wan and Anakin on Mustafar isn’t amazing. OK, I told myself I was going to reign it in for this blog post...

Anyway, May 4th isn’t just about the movies, it’s about celebrating Star Wars as a whole. Obviously, this includes the impressive, but also extremely intimidating, number of Star Wars books that exist. If you've never read any of the books and don’t know where to start, you’re not alone! Luckily, the Libby app has plenty of recommendations for fans of any age. Hop on your landspeeder and skip the power converters at Tosche station to check these out.

For the Younglings

Are You Scared, Darth Vader?Are You Scared, Darth Vader? by Adam Rex

What is Darth Vader scared of? Nothing, of course — just look at the cover! No, really, his speech bubble says, “I FEAR NOTHING." This is a cute, quick, and fun story for kids that parents will also enjoy reading to them. The illustrations are quirky but cute, and Vader’s responses to all the things he might be scared of get funnier and funnier with every page. My personal favorite is when asked if he’s afraid of the dark, he replies, “Is that a joke?” And while it was made for Halloween, it’s a great read for the younglings in your life year round.

Darth Vader and FriendsDarth Vader and Friends by Jeffrey Brown

This series started out with Darth Vader and Son and quickly expanded because of its popularity and cuteness. This is a great book that will teach kids about friendship in a fun way that they can also understand. It looks at all the friendships in the Star Wars universe from Han Solo and Chewbacca to C-3PO and R2D2, even to Darth Vader and the Emperor. We can kind of call them friends, right? I’ve always loved the illustrations in this series and the humor that kids and adults can appreciate. It’s one of the best Star Wars series for younglings, and each addition can be read on its own without the need for continuity.

Creatures Big & SmallCreatures Big & Small by Calliope Glass

This time we’re taking a break from the humans, or human adjacent, of Star Wars to focus on the creatures that make up the universe. Going back to Rancors and Tauntauns all the way to Porgs and Purrgil, each page introduces a different creature with a small poem. Admittedly they aren’t perfect because have you tried rhyming something with Wampa? But the illustrations are adorable and it’s a fun book to explore if your kids like Star Wars, space creatures, or just silly looking things!

For the Padawans

Leia, Princess of AlderaanLeia, Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray

When I finished reading this book, I didn’t want anyone else to write the character of Princess Leia ever again, if that’s any indication of my opinion of Claudia Gray’s writing. The story gives us some background of Leia’s life on Alderaan and the training she must go through before she can officially be named as the heir to the throne. She’s written exactly as a younger version of Carrie Fischer with the same headstrong personality, quick wit, and fearlessness. I also loved having more background on her life growing up on Alderaan and her relationship with her parents — and Gray did not disappoint in helping us get to know teenage Leia.

AhsokaAhsoka by E. K. Johnston

The TV show Clone Wars is my favorite, non-movie, piece of Star Wars media. It delivers one of the best characters in the show, Ahsoka Tano. If you haven’t seen Clone Wars or Star Wars Rebels, then be aware there could be some spoilers because this story takes place in between both shows. The story follows Ahsoka after Clone Wars as she lands on a distant planet to hide out and process the fallout of everything that’s just happened in her life. Star Wars aside, this is also just a great found family story about someone trying to make their way in the world and figure out who they are. I loved getting an extra story about Ahsoka and seeing the transition from screen to paper. E. K. Johnston does a fantastic job of writing her voice in a similar way that does her character justice. If you listen to the audiobook, it's narrated by Ashley Eckstein, the actual voice actor from Clone Wars. I’ll try not to fangirl too much, but I will say when I found that out, the audio was an immediate download for me.

PadawanPadawan by Kiersten White

Look, I realize not everyone wants to read about an angsty, teenage Obi-Wan Kenobi, but I’m nothing if not a fangirl for this character and Ewan McGregor’s portrayal of him throughout the prequel trilogy. My nerding out aside, this story follows 16-year-old Obi-Wan as he’s training to become a Jedi and brings us to the beginning of his relationship with his Master, Qui-Gon Jinn. It’s a great story about feeling misunderstood, wanting to grow up too quickly, and learning to accept and grow with your flaws. Kiersten White does a great job of bridging the gap from young Obi-Wan to the version we meet in The Phantom Menace. Yes, it’s full of self-doubt and questioning and angst, but we’ve all been that angsty teenager and sometimes, even in adulthood, it’s nice to know you weren’t alone.

For the Jedi Knights

Vector PrimeVector Prime by R. A. Salvatore

There are an overwhelming number of 90s Star Wars titles if you decide to venture into older territory. This is the first in the New Jedi Order series. By this point in time, Luke Skywalker is married, and Han Solo and Leia are married and have three kids. Whether you count this as “canon” or not, it’s a good introduction into the expanded universe and the new villains our heroes are facing. This could’ve been the perfect start to a new movie that includes the Star Wars we know while introducing new elements to the universe. Our villains, the Vong, are easily some of the best ever created. They come from outside the galaxy and are adamantly against any type of technology and somehow manage to feel like a threat right from the start. It’s also just fun to see the dynamic of Luke, Han, and Leia as parents and how they’ve clearly passed those traits on to their kids.

The Princess and the ScoundrelThe Princess and the Scoundrel by Beth Revis

We’re jumping around the timeline a little here, but if you, like me, have always wondered what the wedding of Han and Leia was like, then you’re in luck. This takes us from the proposal all the way to their semi-happily ever after and gives us some insight into the early days of the Rebellion, too. It's also a deep dive into how she views herself with the added role of wife on her resume. What really, truly, made me love this book, though, was how the author understood how everyone in Star Wars interacts with one another. Han bullies C-3PO, Lando is charismatic and over the top, even the Ewoks were adorable yet somehow still annoying. It’s a lot to dig into, but it’s well worth the read. If you don’t read it for anything else, just read about their wedding on Endor and call it a day. Then we can all pretend they lived happily ever after, right?

Light of the JediLight of the Jedi by Charles Soule

If you truly want to start in a galaxy far, far away, then you may want to look into the High Republic series. It’s set long before the Empire or the Republic, and essentially is the golden age of the Jedi. Scouts are still navigating the stars and trying to expand the growing Republic as far as possible, working with the Senate in the process, until a disaster occurs in hyperspace. Of course, the Jedi are called to intervene, but what should be an easy rescue mission turns a little darker when the Jedi have to investigate what was actually behind the disaster that occurred. In true Star Wars fashion, this has you on the edge of your seat from the first page. Even though the characters are unfamiliar, they’re still likeable and easy to connect with. They’re very different from the Jedi we know and grew up with, but that’s what makes them more unique. Ultimately, it was a great expansion of the universe and it’s kept me reading with each new addition to the series.

*Title availability may vary by library & region.

Explore the books in this galaxy and beyond in the Libby app from your library.


About the Author

Sarah Filiberto spent 10 years in public libraries planning programs, doing community outreach and answering every question under the sun. In her spare time, she loves to craft and try new hobbies, go to comic cons and spoil her pets, not necessarily in that order.


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