Reserve Your Halloween Library Items Today To Get Them Before the Building Closes to Staff Next Week!

You may have read our important update about the building being closed to staff next week for air duct cleaning, which means if you want to check out physical copies of Halloween titles (or any titles for that matter), this Saturday, October 24th, is the last day to pick up physical materials before Halloween via the Abbot Public Library’s Curbside Pickup Service.

Likewise, if you have any items you would like to return before the building’s closure, please put them in a library return bin by 3:00 pm on Saturday, October 24th. After 3:00 pm, the library return bins will be closed to ensure they don’t overflow with uncollected returns.

If you would like to reserve any title(s) available in Marblehead for Curbside Pickup this Saturday, you should reserve them on your library account today. Don’t forget to click “Limit to Available” when searching so you only see titles that should be ready for pickup by Saturday. 

Please wait for a notification that your items are ready for you before you make an appointment for Curbside Pickup, either online or by calling 781-631-1481, Ext. 201 during Curbside Pickup hours (weekdays 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm and Saturday 9:30 am – Noon and 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm). 

Below are some titles that are currently available in Marblehead, and therefore are able to be reserved for Curbside Pickup for this Saturday. Reserve these titles online or search the catalog for available titles you’d like to check out for next week. 

Halloween is definitely not the same this year. Plan a safe stay-in Halloween with help from the following books about decorating and Halloween crafts for all ages! 

Search through more available books, including some ebooks, about Halloween decorating here

Children who want to read books about Halloween next week can borrow some of these titles, including collections of spooky stories or fiction titles about witches, vampires, characters celebrating Halloween, and other related books. 

There are plenty of selections for adults as well, from the cute Halloween cozy mystery to terrifying thrillers and horror stories. Browse through available Halloween fiction and horror, which include: 

We also have plenty of titles to choose from online, some which have been mentioned in previous blog posts such as our witch fiction and Summertime Hocus Pocus posts. Reserve any available physical titles for Curbside Pickup this week, or check out what our online collections have to offer you to help you celebrate a safe Halloween.

Books To Celebrate This Week’s Perseid Meteor Shower!

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

*book descriptions are from the publishers

Rocket Says Look Up! written by Nathan Bryon ; illustrated by Dapo Adeola

Aspiring astronaut Rocket draws her community together to see a rare appearance of the Phoenix Meteor Showers, hoping especially that her big brother, Jamal, will look up from his phone.

Meteor Showers by J. A. Kelley

An illustrated introduction to meteor showers that explains the differences between a meteor and a shooting star, how meteors travel through the Earth’s atmosphere, and related topics.

Comets, Asteroids, and Meteorites by Roy A. Gallant

An introduction to the celestial phenomena of asteroids, meteoroids and meteorites, and comets.

Call me Ahnighito by Pam Conrad and pictures by Richard Egielski

A huge meteorite describes how it lay half-buried in Greenland for centuries until it is finally excavated by members of a Peary expedition and begins a new journey.

Meteors by Melissa Stewart

Part of the National Geographic Kids Series

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!

Comets and Meteors: Shooting Through Space by Chana Stiefel, Part of the Inside Outer Space Series

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.

Read more about space in our past Shoot for the Stars blog post.

Learn About Thunderstorms!

Boom and flash! Oh, my! What do kids know about these storms? Here are some conversation starters for different ages that explain the phenomenon. Some you can download from hoopla, and some are print books you can put on hold and pick up as part of the Curbside Pickup Service. Please read these instructions to get started! 

A Party for Clouds: Thunderstorms by Belinda Jensen

Part of the Bel the Weather Girl Series

Bel the Weather Girl and Dylan are having a slumber party, but thunder and lightning send Dylan hiding under the covers! Bel tells him that thunderstorms aren’t so scary once you understand them. Will Dylan overcome his fear?

Thunderstorms for Kids by Bold Kids 

Thunderstorms happen a lot, and sometimes they can be either mild or severe. In this book, your child will learn about the different aspects of thunderstorms, and some other cool facts that they may not even know, along with facts that will help enrich their mind.

Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle, illustrated by G. Brian Karas

“It’s a mad dash for shelter as rain sweeps into an urban neighborhood. Where to go? The subway! It’s the perfect place to wait out the wind and weather. Strangers share smiles and umbrellas and take delight in the experience of a city thunderstorm.”

Thunderstorms by Matt Doeden

Part of the Pull Ahead Books – Forces of Nature Series 

What is a thunderstorm? What dangers do thunderstorms bring? How can people prepare for a thunderstorm? Read this book to discover the answers!

Thunder Boomer! by Shutta Crum, illustrated by Carol Thompson

A farm family scurries for shelter from a violent thunderstorm that brings welcome relief from the heat and also an unexpected surprise.

Reserve more thunderstorm books for Curbside Pickup, or check them out in ebook format on hoopla!

Who Also Comes to the Picnic?

There are, of course, the people that you invited. But sometimes there are also the uninvited! Bees, flies, mosquitoes, squirrels, and other animals. Let us not forget the ants! Here are books for early readers that are filled with facts about ants, as well as stories starring an ant. Learn about the tiny uninvited visitors to your next picnic. You might appreciate them more! 

How Strong is an Ant? by Kurt Waldendorf

Part of the Comparison Fun Series 

Learn about the characteristics, habitat, and the role in nature of ants. 


The Adventures of Mr. Ant by Lloyd Shores 

Sweet stories of an ant’s mild adventures. 


Ants are Farmers and Other Strange Facts by Gary Sprott 

Learn surprising facts about ants. 


Ants by Sophie Lockwood

Part of the World of Insects Series

More about species of ants and their characteristics and activities.


Anthony Ant by Linda Dennis 

He is noble and he is an ant. 


Anthony and the Ants by Gemma Raynor 

Things start going wrong with the arrival of ants, but turn out alright in the end. 


Common Critters: the Wildlife in Your Neighborhood by Pat Brisson 

Learn about the usual creatures (including ants), that live and thrive in your backyard or neighborhood.


Explore more ant books for children on Overdrive/Libby and hoopla. Now you can also request print copies of children’s ant books for Curbside Pickup. And, for even more facts about ants, visit the Abbot Public Library’s Gale Elementary database!

It Is SO Hot!

Phew! It is so hot! Below are books for both younger and older children describing hot summer weather and heat waves. What to do when it is hot, why it is hot, and how to stay safe are some of the topics explored.

* All descriptions are from the publishers

Disaster Zone: Heat Waves by Vanessa Black (also available as a Read-Along ebook)

Part of the Disaster Zones Series

In Heat Waves, early fluent readers learn about the conditions that lead to and result from catastrophic heat waves. Vibrant, full-color photos and carefully leveled text will engage young readers as they learn about the deadliest heat waves and how to stay safe in heat wave conditions.

An infographic illustrates how a heat wave forms, and an activity offers kids an opportunity to extend discovery. Children can learn more about heat waves using our safe search engine that provides relevant, age-appropriate websites. Heat Waves also features reading tips for teachers and parents, a table of contents, a glossary, and an index.

Weather in Summer by Maddie Spalding

Part of the Welcome, Summer! Series

Engage readers with the story of weather in summer. Readers are introduced to the ways that Earth changes in the summertime. Additional features include a table of contents, a phonetic glossary, an index, an introduction to the author, and sources for further research. A kid-friendly project inspires creativity and hands-on fun.

On a Hot Day by Donna Herweck Rice

Part of the My Words Readers Series

Sprinklers, sunglasses, lemonade, and ice cream. These are all things that we use when it’s hot out! Perfect for 1st grade students, this book teaches these 7 high-frequency words from Fry’s First 100 words list: who, can, use, some, on, this, and day. The short sentences and clear images support the text to help with memorization. The rebus pictures and simple text build grade 1 reading comprehension in a format that is appealing to children. Beginning readers will learn the essential sight words and gain confidence as they learn to read independently.

Adapting to Severe Heat Waves by Tamra B. Orr

Part of the Science to the Rescue: Adapting to Climate Change Series

Like a row of dominoes, persistent and repetitive heat waves also threaten the environment, exacerbate current climate-related problems, stress a country’s health system, damage its infrastructure, and strain its energy resources. Readers examine efforts, including drought and heat-resistant energy-efficient “smart” homes and buildings, green roof gardens, next-generation building materials, and alternative energy sources as well as technologically advanced climate modeling, weather prediction, and emergency warning systems. Also highlighted are governmental efforts that can be made to alleviate human suffering, including energy conservation initiatives, the opening of public shelters and cooling centers, and the organizing of neighborhood watch programs for heat-vulnerable residents. Most importantly, readers learn how they can learn to reduce their carbon footprint while also coping with increasing heat and remaining healthy.

How’s the Weather in Summer? by Rebecca Felix

Part of the 21st Century Basic Skills Library: Let’s Look at Summer Series

This Level 1 guided reader explores the concept of seasonal changes in weather in the summer. Students will develop word recognition and reading skills while learning about the changes in summer weather we can see and feel.

Why is Summer Hot? by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfelf

Have you ever wondered why the days are so long in the summer and short in the winter? Or why we have hot weather and colder weather? Read on to learn about the Earth, how it spins around the Sun, and the seasons!

If you need to cool down now, take a look at this post about swimming books.

A Trip to the Farmers’ Market!

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.

*All book descriptions are from the publishers. 

At the Farmers’ Market with Kids: Recipes and Projects for Little Hands by Ethel Brennan

“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.

We’re Going to the Farmers’ Market by Stefan Page

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.

Let’s All go To The Farmer’s Market! by Weingart Cydney

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!

Children Can Enjoy the Camping Experience In These Books!

Some families go camping in the summer and some kids go away to summer camp. In the current summer, some of these activities will be different. But there is still fun to be had. Here are some stories that celebrate the silly and the fun aspects of camping outdoors. Some of the great stories below feature campfires, sleeping under the stars, hiking, and maybe even s’mores!

*All book descriptions are from the publisher

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look

Here’s the second book in the beloved and hilarious Alvin Ho chapter book series, which has been compared to Diary of a Wimpy Kid and is perfect for both beginning and reluctant readers.

Alvin, an Asian American second grader who’s afraid of everything, is back, and his worst fear has come true: he has to go camping. What will he do, exposed in the wilderness with bears and darkness and… pit toilets? Luckily, he’s got his night-vision goggles and water purifying tablets and super-duper heavy-duty flashlight to keep him safe. And he’s got his dad, too.

Fred and Ted go Camping by Peter Eastman

Fred and Ted—beloved canine stars of P. D. Eastman’s Big Dog… Little Dog—are back in an all-new Beginner Book written and illustrated by P. D.’s son, Peter Eastman! In this story, Fred and Ted go camping, and as usual, their uniquely different approaches to doing things (such as packing equipment, setting up camp, and fishing) have humorous—and sometimes surprising—results. A charming introduction to opposites that beginner readers will find ruff to put down!

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

In Be Prepared, all Vera wants to do is fit in—but that’s not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera’s single mother can’t afford that sort of luxury, but there’s one summer camp in her price range—Russian summer camp.

Vera is sure she’s found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the “cool girl” drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares!

Spy Camp, the second in the Spy School series by Stuart Gibbs

In this follow-up to the Edgar-nominated Spy School, top-secret training continues into summer for aspiring spy Ben Ripley—and so does the danger.


Ben Ripley is a middle-schooler whose school is not exactly average—he’s spent the last year training to be a top-level spy and dodging all sorts of associated danger. So now that summer’s finally here, Ben would like to have some fun and relax. But that’s not going to happen during required spy survival training at a rustic wilderness camp, where SPYDER, an enemy spy organization, has infiltrated the spies’ ranks. Can Ben root out the enemy before it takes him out—for good?

A Clatter of Jars by Lisa Graff

In this magical companion to the National Book Award nominee A Tangle of Knots, it’s summertime and everyone is heading off to camp. For Talented kids, the place to be is Camp Atropos, where they can sing songs by the campfire, practice for the Talent show, and take some nice long dips in the lake. But what the kids don’t know is that they’ve been gathered for a reason—one that the camp’s director wants to keep hidden at all costs.

Meanwhile, a Talent jar that has been dropped to the bottom of the lake has sprung a leak, and strange things have begun to happen. Dozens of seemingly empty jars have been washing up on the shoreline, Talents have been swapped, and memories have been ripped from one camper’s head and placed into another. And no one knows why.

With a camp full of kids, a lake full of magic, and a grown-up full of secrets, A Clatter of Jars isa  story of summer, family, and the lengths we go to win back the people we love.

Summer at Meadow Wood by Amy Rebecca Tan

Vic Brown did not want to go to camp this summer.

Even though it’s nice being back with her friends at Meadow Wood, Vic still can’t forget about the secret reason her mom wanted her and her brother out of the house—or how much her family is going to change. When her home life is blowing up, it can be hard to focus on campfires and canoeing.

But there is something about summer and surprises that go together like blueberry pancakes and maple syrup. And soon, Vic starts to feel like—just maybe—a summer at Meadow Wood was exactly what she needed.

Swimming Stories For Young Readers

On hot summer days, we need to get cool in the water. If you are not at the beach, pool, or lake yet, here are some books to get kids thinking about it. Below are charming stories for young readers based on swimming and learning to swim. 

*All book descriptions are from the publisher.

Maisy Learns to Swim by Lucy Cousins

Today Maisy and her friends are going swimming for the first time. Eddie is a natural, but Maisy and Tallulah get into the pool slowly—ooh, it’s freezing! But soon they are kicking and floating and even blowing bubbles with the rest. Whether water-shy or raring to go, young readers will relate to Maisy as she learns to make a splash!

Waiting for High Tide by Nikki McClure

For one young boy, it’s a perfect summer day to spend at the beach with his family. He scours the high tide line for treasures, listens to the swizzling sound of barnacles, and practices walking the plank. But mostly he waits for high tide. Then he’ll be able to swim and dive off the log raft his family is building. While he waits, sea birds and other creatures mirror the family’s behaviors: building and hunting, wading and eating. At long last the tide arrives, and humans and animals alike savor the water.

Another beautiful ode to life lived in harmony with nature, and by the labor of one’s own hands, from an artist of great warmth and clarity.

Peppa Goes Swimming, a Scholastic book

An all-new storybook featuring Peppa—a lovable, slightly bossy little piggy! Peppa and George are going swimming, but George is a bit scared. How will Mummy and Daddy pig ever convince him to get in the pool?

Duck & Goose Go to the Beach by Tad Hills

In this delightful follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Duck & Goose and Duck, Duck, Goose, Duck wants to go on an adventure. Goose doesn’t. He doesn’t see the point. After all, why would they go anywhere when they’re happy right where they are? But then Goose sees the ocean and loves it. Who doesn’t? Well, Duck, for one! 

This Read & Listen edition contains audio narration.

Check out more swimming stories for kids on Overdrive/Libby and hoopla!

Diverse Biographies for Kids

The specifics of people’s lives can give children insight into the fears and hopes of other people with quite different experiences. A way into empathy is through hearing stories and really listening to what the stories based on people’s real lives mean. Enjoy a handful of biographies in picture book form for opening up the diversity and richness of other lives and dreams.

Dreamers, written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales, a memoir picture book for ages 5-9.

A moving and deeply poetic memoir of Yuyi Morales as a young Mexican immigrant to the US with her infant son. Struggling to make sense of their new world, she discovers the children’s section of the public library and learns a new language, new dreams, and hope.

28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World, written by Charles R. Smith, Jr., and illustrated by Shane Evans. The entries of this history/ group biography audiobook are spoken by various narrators. 

From the Revolutionary War to the present, the achievements of African-Americans in a wide range of arts, politics, sports, etc., are described in prose and poetry. The chapters are divided into the 28 days of Black History Month.

Pride: the Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag, written by Rob Sanders and illustrated by Steven Salerno, a picture book biography for ages 6-9.

A clear and age-appropriate recounting of the life of gay activist Harvey Milk and the collaboration that created the Rainbow Flag in 1978 that is a symbol of gay pride throughout the world today.

Firebird, written by Misty Copeland and illustrated by Christopher Myers, a picture book memoir for ages 5-8.

An inspiring story of achievement through hard work and the development of confidence in yourself despite obstacles and your own doubts.