The Final Frontier: Space Books & Sci-Fi

Douglas County Libraries is exploring the Final Frontier this month with space-themed events at various locations throughout the district. If you’re looking for more sci-fi fun and futuristic thrills, check out these books!


YA Sci-Fi



by Amie Kauffman & Jay Kristoff
In the year 2575, the planet Kerenza is attacked. New exes Kady and Ezra find themselves on a space fleet fleeing the enemy, with a malfunctioning ship’s artificial intelligence and a deadly plague upping the stakes against their survival in this unconventional, suspenseful novel.


Breaking Sky

by Cori McCarthy
In this compelling, action-packed dystopic novel set in the year 2048, Chase Harcourt, call sign “Nyx,” is chosen to fly the experimental Streaker jets at the junior Air Force Academy, despite the dark secrets in her past. As the world tilts toward war, Chase cracks open a military secret that changes everything.



by Melissa Landers

High school senior Cara Sweeney gets in over her head when she participates in Earth’s first intergalactic high school exchange program in this romantic, suspenseful tale.


These Broken Stars

by Amie Kauffman
Opposites attract in this suspenseful tale. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen are in a fight for their lives when their ship crash lands on an eerily deserted planet, and they must work together in order to survive.

Sci-Fi Books Turned Movies


The Martian

by Andy Weir
In this fast-paced, suspenseful novel, Mark Watley is stranded after a dust storm cuts his team’s Mars mission short. He has to call on his ingenuity to survive with no air, shelter, food or water until the next manned mission to Mars in four years. DVD


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

by Douglas Adams
This quirky, offbeat classic kicks off the extraterrestrial journeys, notions and acquaintances of unwilling galactic traveler Arthur Dent. DVD


I, Robot

by Isaac Asimov
With the three laws of robotics, Asimov changed our perception of robots forever. In this thought-provoking classic, he links the past, present and future of robots through a series of stories, from their primitive beginnings to a future where humanity may no longer play a part. DVD



by Frank Herbert
Set on the desert planet Arrakis, this sweeping classic tells the tale of young Paul Atreides, who survives a devastating betrayal against his noble family to become the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib who avenges his family, and brings to life humanity’s fragile and most ancient dream. DVD


Rocket Boys

by Homer H. Hickham
This fantastic memoir inspired the film October Sky. It explores the life of aerospace engineer Homer Hickham and his friends in Big Creek, West Virginia, from the launch of Sputnik to a career in NASA. DVD

Picture Books for Kids



by Chris Van Allsburg
Two boisterous brothers (Danny and Walter, first introduced in Jumanji) find more excitement than they bargained for in a space adventure board game in this fanciful and fun picture book.


If You Decide to Go to the Moon

by Faith McNulty
In language that is elegant, yet fun, this lavish picture book invites you to accompany a boy on an emotionally charged trip to the moon — from reminders of what one should pack on a trip to the moon, to the exciting countdown and liftoff. After blastoff, facts about space travel are mingled with descriptions of what the journey might be like.


Mousetronaut Goes to Mars

by Mark E. Kelly
A mouse stowaway on NASA’s first human mission to Mars becomes a hero when one of the landing craft’s engines fails. Meteor returns to save the day in this second picture book by Mark Kelly (retired American astronaut).


Mars Needs Moms!

by Berke Breathed
When a disgruntled boy sees his mother being kidnapped by Martians, he realizes he loves her and will go to any lengths to protect her. Check out this delightful picture book that was made into a motion picture.

For Fans of Star Wars & Star Trek


For the Love of Spock (DVD)

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek through a personal, intimate look at the life and career of Leonard Nimoy and the enduring appeal of his alter ego, Mr. Spock, as told by his son, Adam Nimoy.


The Autobiography of James T. Kirk

by David A. Goodman
This clever and engaging chronicle of the most famous Starfleet captain, in his own words, traces his youth on Tarsus IV, education at the Academy, and illustrious career at the helm of the Enterprise, while sharing insights into his beliefs and famous missions. Told “in-universe,” this tribute will appeal to newcomers as well as fans of the beloved franchise.


Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel

by James Luceno

Set before the events of Rogue One, Catalyst reveals the previously untold story of the development of the Death Star. For years the Republic and the Separatists have battled across the stars, each building more and more deadly technology in an attempt to win the war. As a member of Chancellor Palpatine’s top secret Death Star project, Orson Krennic is determined to develop a super weapon before any enemies can. And an old friend of Krennic’s, the brilliant scientist Galen Erso, could be the key.


William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope

by Ian Doescher
A witty retelling of Star Wars in the style of Shakespeare, in which a wise Jedi knight, an evil Sith lord, a beautiful captive princess, and a young hero coming of age reflect the valor and villainy of the Bard’s greatest plays.

Nonfiction Reads


StarTalk: Everything You Need to Know About Space Travel, Sci-Fi, the Human Race, the Universe & Beyond

This New York Times bestselling illustrated companion to celebrated scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s popular podcast and National Geographic Channel TV show is an eye-opening journey for anyone curious about the complexities of our universe.


Spaceships: An Illustrated History of the Real & the Imagined

by Ron Miller
How have actual spaceships influenced the design of fictional ones like the Millennium Falcon and the Starship Enterprise? Did a fiction series in Collier’s magazine really inspire us to create real-life space stations like Mir and the ISS? How have our depictions of space travel developed as the reality of space travel changed? In this book, Miller shows that when it comes to manned spacecraft, art actually does imitate life and, even more bizarrely, life imitates art.


Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void

by Mary Roach
From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA’s new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.


The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars

by Dava Sobel
Elegantly written and enriched by excerpts from letters, diaries and memoirs, The Glass Universe is the hidden history of the women whose contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe.

Explore the Final Frontier at Douglas County Libraries

mayOur desire to explore space fires the imagination and inspires us to reach for the stars. Discover the science and stories of space, the Final Frontier, with Douglas County Libraries during the month of May.

There are several interesting, fun, family-friendly events happening at our libraries across the district. Read on for more information on events, locations, dates and times. We hope to see you in a Douglas County Libraries galaxy this month!



Revenge of the Si(x)th: A Star Wars Celebration
Saturday, May 6

Celebrate Star Wars and explore the Dark Side with games, photo ops, crafts and trivia. Fun for all ages, and costumes are encouraged!

Look Up to the Stars
Wednesday, May 10

This family-friendly presentation, hosted by NASA Consultant Kevin Manning, showcases the beauty and harmony of the universe. It’s a virtual journey through the cosmos. All ages.

Check It Out! Want to explore the stars yourself? Check out a pair of binoculars and stargazing cards starting in June!


Star Trek Past & Present
Friday, May 12

Calling all Trekkies! Enjoy an evening in the Star Trek universe with a double feature of flicks — one from the old generation, and one from the reboot (movies rated PG and PG-13) — plus movie trivia. Great for all ages, and costumes are encouraged!

Our Future on Mars
Wednesday, May 31

Space journalist and author Leonard David will talk about “National Geographic’s Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet,” the book and TV series. The award-winning writer has covered space for 50 years and has co-authored many books, including Buzz Aldrin’s Welcome to Mars. Teens/adults.


Slick Science: Launch It!
Saturday, May 6
1-2PM or 3-4PM
Register for either session

Kids 8-12 can make and then launch their own rockets, and learn important science concepts in the process!

Thursday, May 11

Explore is an ongoing series designed for everyone, including developmentally challenged adults, that uses books and craftivities in a quest for fun and lifelong learning.

Attack of the Drones
Tuesday, May 16

Learn all about drones, from the growing popularity of drone racing to law enforcement, rescue operations, science and research, and package delivery. The “unmanned aerial vehicle” has an important role to play and is here to stay. Teens/adults.

Astronaut School
Saturday, May 20

Kids ages 4-8 and their families blast off to an evening of training to become astronauts!

Shoebox Rover
Saturday, May 27

Kids ages 6 and up work with their caregivers to create a Mars rover.

Castle Pines

May the Fourth: A Star Wars Celebration
Thursday, May 4

Kids celebrate Star Wars with light saber duels and crafts, and discover their own Jedi powers!

Fold ‘N Fly
Saturday, May 20

Calling all paper plane enthusiasts! Learn about aerodynamics and test your skills in a paper airplane-building contest. Great for families.

Highlands Ranch, James H. LaRue

Dynamic Mars: Getting to Know the Planet
Sunday, April 30

Explore the wild Martian landscape, including current scientific and engineering plans for Mars’ future, with Dr. Laura Kerber of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Colonizing Titan vs. Mars
Saturday, May 6

Planetary scientist and writer Dr. Amanda Hendrix explores the viability of colonizing Saturn’s moon (Titan) versus Mars. Adults and children in fourth grade and above.

Johnson Space Center Space Gear!

Five exhibit items from NASA’s Johnson Space Center Exhibits Collection will be shown at Douglas County Libraries in Highlands Ranch throughout the month of May. These exhibit items include an Apollo helmet, a shuttle extravehicular activity glove, a space food tray, a shuttle launch helmet, and a shuttle tile. Stop by to check them out! And if you’ve ever wished you could be an astronaut, you can at least dress like one. Drop in to STEAMWorks on Wednesday, May 3, from 4-5 p.m. for a hands-on opportunity to try on space gear!

Lone Tree

Rhythm of the Universe
Saturday, May 6

Children of all ages can celebrate the universe of music at this interactive program, featuring percussion and singing.

Solar Eclipse Event of a Lifetime
Tuesday, May 16

Learn everything you need to know about the upcoming solar eclipse in August 2017 from a local astronomer.


Slick Science: Rockets
Tuesday, May 9

Kids ages 8-12 will learn fun science concepts about rockets, while having a great time.

Castle Rock, Philip S. Miller

Star Trek Wars
Saturday, May 6

Team up to test your knowledge of the “Stars” — Star Trek and Star Wars — in this sci-fi trivia contest! Teens/adults.

Fun Space Trivia

Some fun facts for fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, and space in general!

* Did you know you can learn Klingon from the Klingon Language Institute? If you’re a die-hard Star Trek fan, check out the development and use of the Klingon language.

* In Star Wars, the sound of the TIE Fighter engines is actually the sound of an elephant call mixed with the sounds of a car driving on wet pavement. Learn more about your favorite Star Wars sound effects!

* NASA has released a searchable Video, Audio and Imagery Library for the public. Learn more about it from this press release.


For more sci-fi fun, check out this collection of great reads!