Get kids ready for the upcoming school year with STEAM materials they can check out online or in print for Curbside Pickup with Abbot Public Library! If you are new to our Curbside Pickup Service, please carefully read these instructions for how to reserve items and set up an appointment to pick them up after they come in.
Hoopla’s STEAM Lookbook Collection has a number of items for students of all levels. STEAM Lab For Kids not only has science projects, but Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math activities as well. The book explores the connection between art and other STEM subjects, giving kids tools for problem solving and critical thinking. Check out even more fun projects in Math Art and Drawing Games for Kids which combine artistic skills with STEM concepts, such as making pixel art with graph paper. Overdrive also has fun STEM activity ebooks such as STEM Lab, in which you can learn concepts by racing wind up cars or making a homemade guitar.
For young science lovers, the Bill Nye the Science Guy DVDs may be just the thing to help kids learn about friction, animals, light optics, pressure, energy, and more! During Curbside Pickup service, there is no checkout fee for DVDs, so you can explore science with Bill Nye for free! Some fictional characters that can help kids learn about STEM concepts are Ada Twist, Scientist (in print and on Overdrive/Libby app and hoopla) and Rosie Revere, Engineer (in print and on Overdrive/Libby app and hoopla).
These are just a few of the library’s offerings! Browse through hoopla’s STEAM Lookbook Collection or search for more online science, technology, engineering, art, and math items for kids on hoopla and Overdrive/the Libby app, or reserve physical titles through the library catalog for Curbside Pickup. Read about how the Curbside Service works here.
The Perseid meteor shower is active this week. This annual summer sky show brings hundreds of shooting stars overhead. With a clear night sky, dozens of bright meteors will be visible each hour.
Meteor showers happen as our planet moves through a debris field left in the wake of a comet or asteroid. Earth intercepts this field during its annual orbit. In the case of the Perseids, those tiny stones come from a long-ago passage of the comet.
Here are some books for families to share to understand comets, asteroids, and meteors. Go out together at night and take in the sight! Reserve the print copies today for Curbside Pickup! If you’re new to Curbside Pickup, please carefully read these instructions.
Blast off on a trip to discover the fascinating world of meteors. In this image-packed book, kids will learn all about these objects hurtling through space and into our atmosphere. Written in an easy-to-grasp style to encourage the scientists and explorers of tomorrow!
What has a head, two tails, and shoots across the sky? A comet. Coming from the far edges of the solar system, most comets travel around the Sun, while meteors appear as flashing streaks of light in the night sky. Explore these amazing celestial wonders as they zip through space! This book looks at the difference between comets and meteors and their effects on Earth. The physical characteristics of each are identified in detail. This book won’t come crashing down! It’s filled with fun facts that give additional information on this exciting science topic. This book allows students to use observations of the Sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be predicted.
Every summer, Discovery Channel hosts a week full of new films and documentaries about carnivorous Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fishes), a celebration known as Shark Week. Featuring a range of subjects, from Great Whites breaching to catch seals, to the little-known species of the deep, every year there are new surprises to learn about these long-feared creatures.
If you don’t subscribe to Discovery Channel, or if you want even more than what Shark Week can provide, Abbot Public Library can help! Check out the following selections from our collections in physical format through the library catalog, or online through Overdrive and hoopla!
You’ll find a curated collection of Shark Week movies on hoopla with a few family-friendly titles such as Sea Level and Shark Lady (also in print format); to selections geared towards mature audiences, like the horror movie Shark Lake or the action/adventure Swamp Shark, two movies about shark attacks which give these peaceful creatures their bad reputation. But if you watch documentaries such as Tiger Shark: Predator Revealed, you’ll find that sharks don’t seek out humans as prey, but prefer their natural appetite of fish, seals, and other sea creatures. The documentary Sharksshows how many shark species are becoming extinct and need our help in order to survive.
IndieFlix has a few shark videos you can stream as well, including Sharks in My Viewfinder, about an underwater photographer who went around the world to film sharks; and the short, The Shark and The Can, in which a shark tries to find acceptance from the other ocean creatures who are scared of him. Log into IndieFlix via Abbot Public LIbrary’s RB Digital Services to access these and more IndieFlix videos.
You can check out even more shark movies in DVD format! While Abbot Public Library is offering curbside service, there will be no fee to check out DVDs. Reserve them online for Curbside Pickup and make an appointment to pick them up from the rear entrance of the Abbot Public Library. Read these instructions for the full details. There are kid-friendly titles like Finding Dory and Wild Krats: Shark-tastic! to the adult thrillers Jaws and The Shallows. For something realistic, try the documentaries Oceans, which features other sea creatures as well, or Shark Dive.
If you’d rather read about sharks than watch them (some of these shark attack movies can be pretty gruesome and scary), check out Abbot Public Library’s print, Overdrive, and hoopla collections for all ages!
Some feature fiction titles for kids include Swimming with Sharks by Heather Lang, about how Eugenie Clark saw a shark at the aquarium when she was young and grew up to be a scientist who studied them; Shark Baby by Ann Downer, about a lost baby shark trying to find out what kind of shark he is; and Fins by Randy Wayne White, about three kids who help a marine biologist research the local endangered sharks.
Adults can enjoy titles such as the horror classic Jaws by Peter Benchley, which you can reserve in print format for Curbside Pickup or listen to with no wait as an audiobook on hoopla. You can also reserve the movie based on the book. The Shark Club by Ann Kid Taylor features a woman who is attacked by a shark and grows up to be a marine biologist.
Winter is often a time of joy, when people come together to sing carols and spend time with family and friends. Often throughout the year, we forget what is important. The spirit of giving and the season to spend time with those you love can be celebrated all year long. So, to instill these feelings we experience during the popular winter holiday, here are some ebooks, audiobooks, music, and movies about the Christmas season!
Ebeneezer Scrooge is the quintessential Christmas grumbler in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (also available on hoopla), a story that has inspired countless retellings as books (see these ebooks on hoopla), movies (seven of which are available on hoopla), and even holiday plays such as the one shown at North Shore Music Theater. The unforgettable ghostly quartet that visits the greedy guy, led by the spirit of Scrooge’s deceased partner, Jacob Marley, are enough to change a man’s entire outlook and remind him of what is important in life, especially at Christmastime.
John Grisham’s Skipping Christmas is a popular modern classic which inspired the movie Christmas with the Kranks (available to watch on hoopla with no wait!), starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee-Curtis. If ever there were characters who forgot what the holiday season was about, it’s the Kranks. They decide to skip Christmas and set sail on a caribbean cruise. But will they go through with their holiday plans, or will something remind them of why this time of year is so special despite all the holiday hassle?
Mystery fans will love to cuddle up with some Christmas cozies on Overdrive and hoopla. Get ready for A Little Yuletide Murder with Jessica Fletcher in book 11 of the Murder, She Wrote Series. Who killed Santa Claus? All Jessica Fletcher wants to do is enjoy a nice holiday in Cabot Cove, but someone killed the guy who plays the small town Santa Claus every year, and Jessica wants to wrap up the case by Christmas.
Baker and amateur sleuth Hannah Swensen is on the case in Joanne Fluke’s dessert-filled delectables, which can be checked out on Overdrive or hoopla. Included in the holiday-themed titles are a spectacular Christmas ball, a deceased Mrs. Claus, and recipes for delicious desserts!
One of the pleasures of the summer is the weekly trips to the local farmers’ market for fresh produce. Kids enjoy these outings as well. Involve them in the process and they can learn about where their food comes from and how to pick the ripe items. There are also other treats often sold at the local Farmers’ Market. The Marblehead Farmers’ Market is taking place on Saturdays from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm outside of the Marblehead Veterans Middle School. Take a look at their website to read up on their social distancing protocols. Here are some books kids can read to learn more about farmers’ markets.
“Finish your vegetables!” becomes a phrase of the past when kids discover the diversity and deliciousness of farmers’ markets. From exploring the vibrant booths to selecting produce and tasting the unique flavors each season brings, the farmers’ market provides a fertile playground for kids and brings families together while building healthy habits and supporting sustainable eating. At the Farmers’ Market with Kids profiles the fruits and vegetables available at most farmers’ markets, explaining how to tell which ones are ripe and how to store them. With age-specific tips that cater to children of all ages, plus 65 nutritious and kid-pleasing recipes to put your farmers’ market spoils to use, this cookbook makes it easy for everyone in the family to eat healthfully and live well.
In this story, readers get to visit local farmers, fill baskets with fresh fruits and vegetables, and then head home to cook a feast, all with goodies from the farmers’ market! Featuring Stefan Page’s graphic art, this delightful ebook is filled with bold splashes of color and unique patterns. Plus, this is a fixed-format version of the book, which looks nearly identical to the print version.
This rhyming book explores the farmers’ market with children and families. Healthy foods, fresh air, and community are all part of the farmers’ market – it is a great way to expose children to fruits and vegetables.
What’s your favorite thing to get at the Farmers’ Market? Comment below with your favorite food or craft you’ve gotten!
In the early evening, kids and parents can look for moonrise and see what phase the moon is in and what color it appears. But imaginary stories about the moon are wonderful also, and perfect for bedtime. Learn about the moon in both stories and nonfiction for young readers. No special equipment needed, but binoculars can help!
In Moon: Earth’s Satellite, readers will learn about Earth’s moon, other moons in our solar system, and the patterns and phenomena that they cause. Filled with fun facts, young learners will love exploring the scientific information and drawing conclusions about life now and in the future. The Inside Outer Space series takes readers on an intergalactic journey that unravels the mysteries of the universe. Each 24-page book informs readers in grades K–3 on the Sun, Earth, planets, and stars, while also igniting imaginations about the unknown. Stunning photographs and diagrams engage readers, while text-based questions aid in reading comprehension.
Dedicated to astronaut Neil Armstrong, A Kite for Moon is the perfect children’s book to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first United States moon landing.
What would it be like if the moon was your friend? Find out as you walk alongside a little boy who journeys through life to achieve his dream of becoming an astronaut. And then blast off with your little one as you zoom to the moon together!
The story begins when a little boy, who is flying his kite, notices a sad Moon. He sends up kites to her, writing notes promising he will come see her someday. This promise propels him through years of studying, learning, and training to become an astronaut. Until… he finally goes up, up, up in a big rocket ship with a fiery tail!
A Kite for Moon, written by New York Times bestselling author of How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? Jane Yolen and her daughter, Heidi Stemple, is a heartfelt story about a young boy’s fascination and unlikely friendship with the moon.
While only 12 people have actually had contact with it, many songs and movies have featured this shining object. But it’s not a superstar, or even a star at all. It’s our moon. From tides and tracking time to gravitational pull on orbits, the moon affects life here on Earth. Take a trip to the moon through the fact-filled pages of this book! Third-grade students will enjoy learning about the physical features and phases of the moon, tides, lunar calendars, and more through this high-interest informational text filled with vibrant photographs. Aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards, a hands-on “Think Like a Scientist” lab activity is included at the end of the book, providing students with an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the text. Helpful diagrams, including the eight phases of the moon, and text features, such as a glossary and index, are also included to improve content-area literacy and support STEM instruction.
For one little Ugandan boy, no wish is too big. First he dreams of reaching the stars and then of riding a supernova straight to Mars. But on a rainy day at his grandfather’s house, he is brought down to earth with a bump. Do adventures only happen in galaxies far away or can he find magic a little closer to home? A touching story of a grandfather’s love for his grandson and the quiet pleasures of a rainy day.
Take a look at the night sky, what do you see? You see the moon wax and wane; and you probably want to know why. So this book will help you understand that. Here, your child will be introduced to why the moon changes, and what these changes are called.
A timeless bedtime book that “beautifully captures that perfect moment when a child is tucked up in bed, spellbound by the voice of an older sibling or an adult sharing a special book” (Books in Canada).
With lyrical text, lit up by soft and gentle illustrations, If I Were the Moon makes its triumphant return to print in a beautiful hardcover just in time for its twentieth anniversary.
Did you know that twelve Americans have set foot on the moon? Or that the moon has mountains, one of them taller than any found on Earth? Striking photos and fast-paced, newspaper-like text explore everything readers could ever want to learn about the moon. Read all about ancient and odd moon theories, human exploration of the lunar surface, and plans for future missions. Examine the moon through the eyes of studious scientists and daring lunar explorers!
To the Moon written by Jodie Sheperd, illustrated by Mike Byrne
Neil’s imagination takes him on a trip to the moon. Join him as he explores mountains and hills, spots a famous astronaut’s footprints, and collects space rocks. Find out more about that big round object in the night sky!
Formally called Kids Infobits, Gale Elementary is a free database through Abbot Public Library with which kids through grade 5 can learn about a variety of subjects, including Health, Literature, Science, Social Studies, Sports, Technology, and more! The new kid-friendly design allows you to explore each category visually.
For example, when you click on “Animals,” you will find a topic tree with a circle of different subcategories, including Mammals, Pets and Farm Animals, Fish and Sea Creatures, and Dinosaurs and Extinct Animals. When you click on a subcategory circle, say “Mammals,” the database will show the most popular species or related topics with photos.
Under “Mammals” it shows photo circles of Arctic Foxes, Armadillos, and Baboons as the top three in an alphabetical list of the most popular mammals. Clicking on “Arctic Foxes” reveals a little bit of information to help you learn what it is. For further details, click “Keep Reading” to find more specific information, such as what it looks like, what it eats, where it lives, and so on. All the text is geared towards kids through fifth grade, to help them learn and understand.
Another feature for the new-and-improved database is it’s “I wonder…” questions. If you wonder what a hedgehog eats, or who invented basketball, or how old J. K. Rowling was when she wrote her first story, these questions and more are answered for you!
So, if you would like to find out more about dinosaurs or trucks or the different continents, or if you have to research something for school, try Gale Elementary!
Here are more exciting features of NoveList Plus for the avid reader! We first mentioned this useful book selection tool in a blog post back in April. Here are some features you may not know about!
NoveList has a wide variety of Book Lists. There are fiction lists and narrative nonfiction lists, each separated by age groups. You can browse through different genres such as Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mystery, and Historical Fiction. You can also check out forthcoming titles as well as many specific subgenres.
For example, if you are interested in reading cozies, search under Adult > Fiction > Mysteries > Getting Cozy, where you will find such titles as M. C. Beaton’s The Witch’s Tree (which happens to be in Overdrive and hoopla) and Buried in Books by Kate Carlisle (available as an audiobook on hoopla).
There are extensive lists of Award Winners, which are also separated by age and include fiction and nonfiction. The most recent Pulitzer Prize winner, The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead, is one of the books displayed under Recent Awards, and it can be checked out on Overdrive.
As we mentioned in the previous NoveList blog post, when you see a book you like and click on the title, a wonderful feature is that you can click on the Series and get a list of the whole series in order, as well as Read-alikes listed on the side.
There are a wide variety of narrative nonfiction book lists, including Biography and Memoir, History, Travel Writing, and Nature and Science. These are also broken down into subcategories.
If you find a title you like, you can visit Overdrive/Libby or hoopla to see if the library has an electronic version of it.
Click here to access NoveList, and feel free to email the Reference Staff at email@example.com for assistance with using this resource, as well as getting further book recommendations.
Julian Fellowes created the hit PBS series, Downton Abbey, and won many awards for his screenplays. His novel Belgravia has been filmed for a mini-series. The story begins in 1815 Belgravia, London. On the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, events occur at the famous ball given by the Duchess of Richmond that will follow the characters with their secrets to unfold twenty-five years later.
Set in early twentieth century Boston, Diamant tells the story of a Jewish girl, Addie Baum growing up with her three sisters and Russian immigrant parents. They live through the 1918 Influenza epidemic. Addie works toward her dream of going to college and becoming a career woman. She enters the work force as a newspaper typist. Diamant began her career as a journalist and is a Massachusetts author.
Award-winning author Colm Toibin delivers an engaging story of Irish immigrant Eilis Lacey’s experiences having to move to Brooklyn on her own to find a job and then being torn between the life she has found there and returning home to her family. Colm Toibin’s wonderful writing depicts life in the 1950s, Eilis living in a boarding house, attending dances, studying at Brooklyn College, her aching homesickness and the people and events that shape the person she becomes.
Abraham Verghese is an American physician and winner of a National Humanities Medal. Born in Ethiopia he emigrated with his family to the United States and did his fellowship at Boston University School of Medicine during the AIDS epidemic. His novel begins in 1947. Twin brothers, Marion and Shiva were born from a secret union between an Indian nun and a British surgeon. Their mother died in childbirth and the father abandons them. The twins grew up cared for by two doctors. The Ethiopian Civil War began and the ill fated love Marion and Shiva shared for the same woman drove them apart. Marion continues his medical training and becomes a surgeon in New York where he becomes reunited with his estranged father and brother.
Set in Jane Austen’s time, Chevalier brings to life the world of Lyme Regis where Mary Anning and her friend Elizabeth Philpot search the rocky beaches for fossils. Mary Anning’s amazing discoveries had a significant impact on the scientific community.
Coates tells the story of Hiram Walker who was born into slavery on a plantation in Virginia in the mid 1800s. His father was the owner of the plantation. Hiram realizes he has an extraordinary photographic memory except he can’t remember his mother who was sold as a slave when he was young. He then recognizes his mother in a vision as a water dancer when he has a near death experience. Hiram wants to escape slavery and embarks on a journey into the Underground and a fight for freedom. Coates began his career as a journalist and is a National Book Award winner for Between the World and Me.
You can sign up to receive booklist newsletters via email from NextReads through NOBLE. Choose from a variety of genres, including historical fiction, to find your next great read, and search for ebook and audiobook formats to download through Overdrive/the Libby app and hoopla.
In light of current events, we would like to remind you that the Abbot Public Library offers a multitude of resources with current, reliable, regularly updated information, which is easily accessible and available at any time.
Salem Press (introduced in a previous post) is the latest acquired reference database, with a very large history section, where you can search for particular events or names, or just browse through American history, decade by decade, learning about critical events and influential people.
In addition to browsing and searching, Salem Press offers curated content to explore current events, which is a unique feature of this database.
To help explore and better understand current events, you can browse through selected essays on several subjects, which are, presently: race relations, social justice, violent demonstration, civil disobedience, and others.
EBSCO History Reference Center, a database which you will find listed under the EBSCOhost, offers full text from reference books, encyclopedia, leading history periodicals, and biographies. The database also has historical photos and maps, as well as archival videos to offer.
Gale Biography is a well-organized database, where you can browse or search for biographies of influential people of their time.
All these digital databases are free and accessible with your library card through the Digital Resources page on the library blog.
The New York Times published a list of the most influential books on race and the black experience, created by Ibram X. Kendi, a professor of history at the University of Florida and a published author. Here are some of the titles mentioned in that NYT list:
The New Jim Crow was named the most influential book of the last decade and collected numerous awards, inspiring criminal justice reform activists and organizations. Its tenth anniversary edition was reprinted recently.
Dreams from My Father, published in 1995, is a memoir by Barack Obama that looks at the problem of race, class, and color.
Alice Walker’s The Color Purple is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award; it is also on the PBS Great American Read Top 100 list.
Beloved by Toni Morrison also won the Pulitzer and was adapted as a movie with the same title.
You can also check out the following titles from the list (click the cover image):
All these ebooks and audiobooks are available through Overdrive/Libby with your card.