Category Archives: Awesome Box Suggestions

End-of-Summer Awesome!

New Doctor Who is materializing on TV screens this fall and, before that, the educational adventure will resume for those of you going back to school. Do you need some AWESOME to ease the transition? Here are books recommended for young adult readers by patrons of the Longmont Public Library, courtesy of the Awesome Box!

school reunion gif

The Amulet series is an exceptionally popular series of graphic novels that is recommended for readers as young as 8, but engaging enough for readers of all ages.

A very astute patron recommended the Doctor Who television series, entertaining imaginative teens since 1963! You might also want to get on board with Twelve Doctors, Twelve Stories, an anthology of stories by some very well-known Whovians. There is one story for each Doctor, except for the War Doctor, that is. Quick! Someone write some fan fiction!

war doctor gif

A very enthusiastic patron recommended The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter for “teens looking for a good read about the Greek gods.” She added that the book “involved love, mystery, murder, and tests!” School exams are nothing next to the seven tests our main character has to endure!

For another action-packed take on the supernatural, try The Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney, recommended for readers age 11 and up.

Watch this space for the final Awesome Box post–a round-up of all the best recommendations from the 2014-2015 school year from Saint Vrain Valley school district readers. When that first day of school arrives, strap on your best geek-themed backpack and allons-y!

allons-y french gif


Readers Always Know Where to Find the AWESOME!

Grey Havens YA is very lucky that Mead High School hosted our Awesome Box for a month. We are lucky that the librarians and students there have patiently waited for their awesome book recommendations to appear while we were busy with even more geeky pursuits than usual and we are especially lucky that they sent us photos of the blue box’s time at their school. Of course, if you think those things are special, just wait until you get a look at some of their books recommendations!

MHS Awesome Box

At last, Mead High School, here are some of the books you thought were AWESOME! The Doctor checked them all out of the library, but it’s okay. He can just hop in the TARDIS and return them before you even know they were gone.


The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen is described as ” a warm and sweet read” and is recommended for “anyone who wants a short, feel-good book.” The reviewer adds that the book “can be a little simplistic in places but this serves a purpose.”

Level Up by Gene Luen Yang is recommended for “anyone who is struggling with meeting expectations.” Sounds like a great read for the kinds of tough times we all face.

Yellowcake by Margo Lanagan is strongly recommended. In fact, the reviewer writes that “anything by Margo Lanagan is awesome. She is so soulful in her writing.” The reviewer adds the caution that some of the stories in this collection “are so obscure they are difficult to understand” but concludes by saying that Yellowcake is a great choice for “anyone who likes to have their minds blown, wants some food for thought, or is a fan of Neil Gaiman.”

Did you know that Neil Gaiman also wrote a couple of stories about a certain traveler in a certain blue box? Coincidence? We think not! Lanagan sounds like just the kind of author Gaiman (and the Doctor) would love–evoking both thoughtfulness and emotion in the reader.

bigger on the inside

Another book suggestion that is very close to our heart(s) is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. It is recommended for “adventurists.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. Grey Havens YA grew out of a Tolkien discussion society that was founded in 2010. The Hobbit was the first book GHYA members read and discussed together. On April 25 and 26, we will be hosting Real Myth and Mithril: Delving into Fantasy Literature, a symposium and celebration of Tolkien and the writing and culture he has inspired. As a thank you to all of the St. Vrain Valley School District librarians who have hosted our Awesome Box and in recognition of the ways our local librarians and teachers have sparked the imaginations of their students, we have decided that admission to Real Myth will be FREE for all SVVSD librarians and teachers! Just register online then show your school i.d. at the door. We hope to see you there. Why? Because you are AWESOME!!

MHS Awesome Box librarian

Thank you, Mead High School! There are more book recommendations to come from your library, along with recommendations from Frederick High School, Longmont High School and Trailridge Middle School. We will even be traveling back in time for more recommendations from other middle schools in town AND there might be a surprise or two! We love working with the libraries of SVVSD. They are full of adventurists!

bag end doctor

Send us an owl! What is the best adventure you ever found in a book?

Spot the AWESOME Box and Win a Prize!

What is an Awesome Box? You can find lots of details here but, in short, it is a mysterious blue box that travels through time and space in search of good books to read. Usually, the Awesome Box visits school and public libraries but we have heard a rumor that one has been spotted at a local business. The first three people to spot THAT box somewhere in Longmont, Colorado then like our Facebook page and leave a comment stating, “I spotted the Awesome Box” will each win a prize worth $20!


We will need to be able to send you a Facebook message or email verifying that you did indeed spot the box and not a decoy. We would love to see a picture of  you with the Awesome Box and, while you are there, we hope you will help the box to fulfill its mission by leaving behind a book recommendation. Good luck spotting the box. If you happen to also meet its occupant, tell him he owes us a visit!

man of mystery

P.S. If no one has spotted the box in a week, we will start leaving clues in comments so come back to this page if you need a little extra help!

**Unfortunately, members of Grey Havens YA, the Grey Havens Group and their families are not eligible to win the prize.**

Happy hunting!

We Apologize for the Interruption in the AWESOME!

If you know our Grey Havens Ya Awesome Box, you probably know that it is always on duty. The Awesome Box never takes a break. It is always there, in a library somewhere in the universe, waiting to discover all of the worlds that reading opens to us. We at Grey Havens YA, however, can sometimes get a little distracted. We have been busy preparing for our fabulous Blind Date with a Book fundraiser that took place on Valentine’s Day, a new activity called Fitness for Nerds that took place that very same evening and our upcoming Real Myth Symposium. That is why our report from the Awesome Box parked at Frederick High School is coming to you just a tad bit late.

fitness for nerds volunteers
Here are some of our volunteers preparing for Fitness for Nerds.
jack running
We want to be in shape in case we have to run for another blue box when it suddenly appears.

Here, at last, are some of the books that students at Frederick High School thought were AWESOME.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. In an articulate review, this book was described as being about “[a]n independent, intelligent young woman in 18th century England who refuses to conform to society’s standards.” It is recommended for “anyone who likes complex, relatable, characters and some witty humor.”

brilliant doctor gif

Into the Wild by John Krakaur was recommended with the endorsement, “Chasing dreams, yo!” We agree that this inspirational adventure tale is about exactly that and would appeal to anyone who has ever dreamed of setting off on a life-changing journey. You don’t even need a blue box to do it!

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson was recommended for “those who love plot twists.” The Doctor adores plots twists like the ones in this book of complicated magic. In fact, he believes that the universe is full of them!

Finally, the Awesome Box received a strong recommendation for Mistborn, the first of a trilogy also by Brandon Sanderson. “It was amazing. Every detail matters. It was a twist of suspense and action.”

We at Grey Havens YA very much appreciated the thoughtfulness of the book suggestions made by FHS students. There are more to come, not only from Frederick but from Mead High School, Westview Middle School, Altona Middle School and the Longmont Library. The Awesome Box is currently visiting two others schools in the area. We hope to have enough recommendations to take you all the way through the summer! Allons-y!

Send Us an Owl: What do you think of these books? Do you have suggestions of your own?

You Can’t Stop the Awesome!

The Grey Havens YA Awesome Box is currently visiting Frederick High School and Mead High School. (How can it be in two places at one time? Well, timey-wimey.) We will share the results from these two schools with you soon but we still have a lot of recommendations from the students at schools the blue box visited in 2014. Here are some of the results from Westview Middle School. It’s almost like the box can travel in time or something.


Wonder by R.J. Palacio is recommended for “middle schoolers.” The book is certainly  a good read for grades 6 and up but Palacio’s story of prejudice and perseverance has proven to be one of the publishing sensations of 2014. It is a story that speaks to hearts of all ages.

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm is recommended for 5th-8th grade. Turtle is the perfect heroine for this work of adventurous historical fiction. She is just the kind of spirited, tough character the Doctor might like to meet some day.


Continuing the theme of historical adventure, Jason’s Gold by Will Hobbs is recommended for “teens and up.” Author, Jack London, is featured as a character in this thrilling book. Did you know that a fictionalized Jack London also made an appearance in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Time’s Arrow?”

From history to a dystopian future, Among the Hidden Stars from the Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix is recommended for “anyone who likes adventure/political books.”

If you just can’t get enough of imaginative stories of future political uprisings, you can check out Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts, recommended for “anyone who enjoys dystopian fiction (Hunger GamesDivergent, etc.).” After that, you might want to turn your attention to the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. This dark tale of a society dominated by ideals of beauty is described as, not just awesome, but “super awesome.”

The Doctor definitely approves of books like these that make readers think! More awesome book recommendations will be coming your way from Westview Middle School and other libraries the Awesome Box has visited in its travels. Plus, you can park your TARDIS here for extra awesomeness from the Longmont Public Library. See you soon!

say it doctor river

Send Us an Owl: Have you read any of these books? Did you think they were awesome? Why or why not?

We Can’t Hear You Over the Sound of How Awesome these Books Are!

eleven reading physics

Altona Middle School hosted our Awesome Box for one month but we got so many responses that we still have some to share with you. It can be cold in the space-time vortex. A certain time traveler could really use a good book to read by the warm glow of the TARDIS console. Thank you, Altona students, for suggesting these books:


Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass is recommended for “my friends because they like realistic fiction which is what type of book [this] is.” Every Soul A Star is a book about friends brought together by a desire to see The Great Eclipse.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is recommended for “magic fans.” If you have not explored the wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling in the Harry Potter series, now is the time! You will want to return again and again and, thanks to the incredibly popular movie series, Pottermore and a series of screenplays in progress by Rowling, herself, you will be able to. It is not too late to get in on the Potter phenomenon!

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch is described as “an amazing dystopian book” and is recommended for “people who like dystopian fiction.”

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan is recommended for “people who like fan fiction.” Rick Riordan is recommended by Awesome Box users more than any other author. If you are new to his work, you might want to start here.


Thank you for filling our favorite Time Lord’s holidays with great book suggestions! After reading these great books, maybe even his enemies will feel some winter cheer!


 Send us an owl: What do YOU think is awesome?

Box Moves On, AWESOME Sticks Around!

We are very grateful to Longmont’s Westview Middle School for hosting our Awesome Box in their fabulous library! It is time for the blue box to move on but we received so many thoughtful book recommendations from Westview students that there will be many more reports to come from the Awesome Box’s time there.

Here are some of the stories Westview students thought were AWESOME! If, like the blue box, you are traveling for the holidays, you might want to take one of these great reads with you.

tardis wreath

Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter is recommended for “people who like Divergent, Hunger Games, Maze Runner or just people who like magic and love books. It is great!”

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson is described as “really, completely awesome” and is recommended for fifth graders in particular.

Deep, Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn is recommended for “kids who like spooky.” There is nothing like a good ghost story on a chilly night! Even a Time Lord can get the shivers from a good book, which reminds us….

doctor aaaah gif

Shiver, a scary novel by Maggie Stiefvater is recommended for sixth graders. You might want to check out some of Stiefvater’s other atmospheric reads, including The Raven Cycle.

Finally, Looking for Alaska by John Green is recommended for “…dear friends and family that have given up.” Thank you for the touching recommendation. We love stories that remind us that there is always hope!


Watch this space for more AWESOME recommendations from Westview Middle School, Altona Middle School and the Longmont Public Library. If you are a student at Westview, you can find more AWESOME book suggestions posted in your school library and, of course, it is always wise to ask a librarian. We think some of them might be Time Lords!

Click here for more AWESOME recommendations from Longmont students!

Here is a tip for AWESOME spotters: We hear rumors that the box might be traveling outside of the Longmont city limits soon. The Doctor mentioned that he would love to see more of Colorado and has always wanted to visit Frederick and Mead!

Where Can You Find Lots of Awesome? Longmont’s Altona Middle School!


If you follow our blog, you probably already know about the Awesome Box that materializes all over Longmont, Colorado in search of AWESOME media to check out from school and public libraries. One of the first places the box landed was at Altona Middle School. The students there must love their library because they had lots to recommend. Time Lords are fast readers so I am sure that the owner of that blue box is very grateful!

doctor awesome

Here are just a few of the books that readers at Altona Middle School thought were AWESOME!

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. This book is recommended for “the universe.” When asked if it is awesome, the reader replied, “‘Tis better than life.” City of Heavenly Fire is Book 6 in the Mortal Instruments series. If you are not familiar with the series, start here.

The Spartan Quest series by Michael Ford is recommended for “many sixth graders.” Our reviewer particularly liked The Fires of Ares.

All of the Michael Vey series by Richard Paul Evans is recommended for “everyone.” “Nothing is bad,” wrote the reviewer. That is enough AWESOME reading to keep even a Time Lord busy for quite a while!


Another book recommended for “everyone” is Shadow by Michael Morpurgo. This story of survival featuring a boy and his beloved spaniel is described as “amazing and powerful.” Michael Morpurgo also wrote War Horse, another beloved tale of the extraordinary resilience of animals in times of strife.

Thank you to Altona Middle School, especially the students and library staff, for allowing the Awesome Box to park at their campus for a while. They help us to remember that libraries are so full of AWESOMENESS that they must be bigger on the inside!


Check back soon for more AWESOME suggestions from the students at Altona. You can find even more reviews from Longmont’s young adult readers by clicking here and here. Allons-y!

The Latest in Awesome!

Have you been following the adventures of our AWESOME blue box? It is currently parked at the Longmont Public Library in Longmont, Colorado where patrons are encouraged to leave behind their book recommendations so that a certain Time Lord can find them. Even a traveler in time and space occasionally needs help figuring out what to read next.

Here is what you thought was AWESOME!

doctor hair

The Blood of Olympus Book 5 in Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan. Watch the trailer for the book!

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly  is recommended for middle school students. This moving piece of historical fiction received a 2010 Newbery Honor Award.

A Journey to the Center of the Earth is described as “a very cool story” in both the original and abridged versions. Read the book then check out the movie!

Grimm’s Fairytales comes highly recommended for teens who enjoy fantasy stories. Here is another version and another! If you want to spend more time in the sometimes dark world created by the Brothers Grimm, you can check out these works of contemporary fiction based on the famous tales: A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz and The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman

Whatever you decide to read this week, we hope it takes you on a memorable adventure. Watch this site for AWESOME recommendations from the students at Altona Middle School in Longmont!


You can find even more AWESOME recommendations here and you can always click on our AWESOME BOX page, located in our “About” menu, to learn about recent blue box sightings.

The Awesome Results Are In!

Thanks to Grey Havens YA, a  couple of ingenious Girl Scouts and the Longmont Public Library, awesome has landed in our hometown! When you visit Children and Teen Services at the Longmont Library, you will be immediately greeted by a rather familiar blue box. You might even find that this box has materialized in a few local schools.


It just so happens that this is a box on a mission–to let you know about all that is awesome and available to check out from your public or school library! We will regularly post the recommendations, sometimes adding links to where you can find the items along with other interesting bits of information. We hope you will give us your own feedback in comments!

A link to the most recent awesomeness wll always appear at the top of our Awesome Box page. You can see even more awesomeness when you visit the library because libraries are always bigger on the inside!

Now, the wait is over. Here are this week’s recommendations:

amelia waiting

1. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers for “fifteen and older who are wanting real life war stories.”

2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney for “me, my friend, my brother.”

3. The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White for “young readers about ages 7-10.”

4. Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar for “people who like books about gossip and high schoolers.”

5. Maximum Ride by James Patterson “for EVERYONE!”

6. Wings of Fire Book 1: The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui Sutherland for “fans of Warrior Cats or Guardians of Ga’Hoole or dragons or fantasy.

7. “This Police Box is AWESOME!” (The Doctor agrees.)


Send Us an Owl: What have you read lately that you thought was awesome?