Omaha Public Librarywants to help readers find newbooks — or at least books new to them. Everymonth in this space, OPL employeeswill recommend reading based on different writing genres, themes or styles. This year's Summer Reading Program theme is "A Universe of Stories," and OPL staff have suggested some of their favorite books about or relating to space, galaxies and science fiction. Find these books and learn more about how to participate in the Summer Reading Program at your local branch or

Torsten Adair, library aide at Benson Branch

"Laika," by Nick Abadzis. This is the sad, but true story of Earth's first space traveler aboard Sputnik 2.

"T-minus: The Race to the Moon," by Jim Ottaviani. In graphic novel form, Ottaviani chronicles the race between the Americans and Soviets to reach the moon first.

Billy Coghill, clerk at W. Dale Clark Main Library

"Agent to the Stars," by John Scalzi. In this lively debut novel, aliens have traveled across the galaxy to introduce themselves to humanity, but there's just one problem: they're blobs of goo with an offensive odor. They come up with a plan to get cast as good aliens in movies to build some goodwill. They hire an agent, and the misadventures begin. A touching story of friendship and what it means to be human, with a nice look behind the scenes of Hollywood, this is one of my favorite books.

Evonne Edgington, manager at Millard Branch

"The Astronaut Wives Club," by Lily Koppel. This book shares the fears and courage of the first astronauts' wives.

Russ Harper, youth services specialist at W. Clarke Swanson Branch

"The Vinyl Frontier: The Story of the Voyager Golden Record," by Jonathan Scott. This book tells the fascinating story of what went on the "mixtape" message that got sent to the stars with each Voyager satellite launched in the 1970s. It's a great piece of pop-culture science, told by a music journalist and astronomy fan.

Trina Rivera, youth services librarian at Benson Branch

"Legends of Zita the Spacegirl," by Ben Hatke. This graphic novel is the story of a young girl who takes on a robot doppelganger. The art and writing are both active and engaging, and gets readers excited to see what mischief Zita will get into next.

"Dragon Pearl," by Yoon Ha Lee. This is a spin on a Korean folktale in which a 13-year-old girl travels to space and becomes an undercover cadet to try and save her brother, who is accused of being a deserter. The writing is filled with magical elements and exciting scenarios.

"Cleopatra in Space," by Mike Maihack. This is a fun twist of ancient and futuristic tales in which Cleopatra is prophesied to save the universe. Unique elements like math, history and science fiction help to develop the setting. This beautiful graphic novel will captivate readers.

"Midas," by Ryan North. In this new graphic novel, Midas has the ability to make everything he touches turn to gold. Two girls and a dinosaur are faced with keeping Midas from being used as a weapon on other planets.

"Skyward," by Brandon Sanderson. This is an exciting novel of a young girl walking in her father's shadow to become a space pilot, protect her colony, and clear her father's name. The writing style is exciting, fastpaced and full of entertainment.

Emily Simmons, library aide at W. Clarke Swanson Branch

"On A Sunbeam," by Tillie Walden. This graphic novel is a tender look at queer love, loss, friendship and chosen family. Set against the backdrop of a fictional outer-space world in which spacecrafts are shaped like giant fish, Walden crafts a dreamy story split across two timelines. It's a comingof-age novel that reminds the reader that some friendships are worth traveling across galaxies.

Ameen Wahba, clerk at Charles B. Washington Branch

"A Wrinkle in Time," by Madeleine L'Engle. Arguably my favorite/the best metaphysical science-fiction children's book, "A Wrinkle in Time" talks about love and connection and family and alienation in away that's accessible and carries emotional weight regardless of age. There is also a new(ish) movie thatmodernizes some of the dated content. I enjoyed both!

Melanie Webb, youth services librarian at Millard Branch

"What Goes Up," by Katie Kennedy. Have you ever wanted to join Star Fleet and go on space missions? This novel follows a group a teenagers through the application process, training and even into some unexpected missions that are critical to fate of Earth. Both quirky and adventurous, this book has something for all sci-fi fans.

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