Check out These Books From the 2020 Salem Lit Festival!

It’s one thing to read a good book. It’s another to hear an author talk about it, especially from the comfort of their own home. If you attended this past weekend’s virtual Salem Lit Fest and want to read the books you heard about, never fear! Abbot Public Library has many of the books by the authors who presented programs, and many of the ones we don’t have can be reserved from other libraries. See what authors and moderators participated in the festival, and if you missed any of the programs, many of them have been posted on Salem Lit Fest’s Facebook page.

As we move closer towards Halloween, and especially being a neighbor to Witch City, this may be a good time to start reading stories of witches and vampires. Rose Mortiz deals with family secrets and learning to understand her new powers in Zoraida Córdova’s Wayward Witch. More family secrets are revealed in The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson. Immanuelle Moore’s family is disgraced by her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race, and so she does her best to behave in her puritanical society until she finds herself in the forbidden Darkwood, where four powerful witches were once chased and killed by the first prophet. Estranged family members can also be found in The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman. In order to save Four Paths, May Hawthorne is stepping up when no one else seems to be, seeking help from her despised father. This Coven Won’t Break by Isabel Sterling steps away from familial problems. Hannah and her girlfriend instead must face the Hunters who are hunting them down to steal their magic. If you prefer fangs to broomsticks, Vampires Never Get Old (previously mentioned in Our Favorite YA Vampire Stories) is a collection of vampire stories which includes one by Zoraida Córdova. 

Not long after Halloween is election day! In The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert, when Marva Sheridan is voting for the first time, she sees someone denied his right to vote and does everything she can to help. The whole book takes place in a single day! Natalia Sylvester gets even closer to the candidates than the voting booth in Running. Mariana Ruiz’s father runs for president and she sees the reality of his public life vs. his private life. For more political teen books, take a look at our Read. Think. Vote post. 

This is just a small sampling of all the wonderful authors who spoke last weekend. Below is a list of all the books from this year’s Salem Lit Fest which can be checked out from Abbot Public Library or one of our partner libraries. If you don’t see a book here that was featured in the Salem Lit Fest events, feel free to contact one of our Reference Librarians at mar@noblenet.org or at 781-631-1481 (please only call during Curbside Pickup Service Hours). 

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

 TEEN BOOKS

ADULT BOOKS 

Summer Doldrums–Sorted! August Movies of the Month on hoopla and DVD

The dog days are definitely dragging on. Do you feel like you’ve been there, done that with your summer viewing? If you don’t have the energy to trawl through whatever’s available on TV right now (face it, you know there’s nothing), then hoopla and the Abbot Public Library have some ideas for you! 

Too heat-beat to budge from the couch–or really to move anything except your fingers? hoopla’s got a fabulous little curated collection right at your fingertips. Explore August Movies of the Month for a spectrum of offerings, from an Academy Award winner to a couple of indies to an almost cult-status tween favorite. You can revisit 2016’s Moonlight and recall the historic mixup at the 2017 Oscars. Lad: A Yorkshire Tale certainly didn’t achieve such dizzying heights of acclaim, but as an endearing coming-of-age story in the cool, green landscape of God’s Own Country, it should satisfy.

Or, if you like, travel to the southern end of the Eastern Hemisphere and take in a South African-flavored romance that’s a bit off the beaten track: Forever. With 1,013 viewer reviews averaging 4.5 stars, you probably won’t regret following the path less traveled! And who could say no to Anne Hathaway in her early-career charmer Ella Enchanted? With elements of sci-fi, fairy tale, and fantasy (as well as romance), this is one for the whole family on a balmy summer’s evening.

If you find that you need a good stretch, then hop off the couch and try out APL’s curbside service for the DVD versions of a number of the titles recommended on hoopla: Moonlight, Florence Foster Jenkins, Legally Blonde, and The Last Word are ready for you to place on hold and pick up when they’re ready! And if you don’t see your choice on that list, remember that you can get some of the rest of the titles via interlibrary loan, through APL: A Small Act, Human Capital, Knock Knock, and The Rover! And right now, all DVDs have no checkout fee, too–our treat!

Here’s hoping we’ve helped you beat those summer doldrums!

If you’re new to hoopla, have a look here to get started. If you don’t currently have a library card, you can get started here. It’s easy!

Cool Off With Christmas in July!

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!

If you’re more into movies than books, stream one of the many holiday movies available on hoopla! Not only will you find the aforementioned Christmas with the Kranks and various versions of A Christmas Carol, but you’ll find family friendly movies like Small Town Santa, in which the sheriff arrests a home intruder who claims to be Santa Claus; or Christmas with the Andersons, to show how you can enjoy the holiday even if you lose your job. For more mature movies, Christmas Kiss or Back to Christmas might be the romantic movie you want to see.

All these titles are just the tip of the iceberg! Check out even more on Overdrive/the Libby app or on hoopla!

Keep Cool and Carry On: Ice-Cold Movies on hoopla!

No doubt about it–it can be scorching hot out there, even by the seaside, now that July is in full swing! If you’re about ready to dump an ice bucket over your head, hang on. Save that ice for a cooling beverage and pop on over to hoopla, where the Abbot Public Library has curated some Arctic (and Antarctic) titles to seriously cool you off.

Have a look at the collection titled 2020 APL Keep Cool and Carry On for some heat-beating film adventures. If you’re wishing yourself far, far away in the frozen tundra, grab your explorer’s gear and hitch a ride to the South Pole with some spellbinding documentaries. 

Award-winning Antarctica: A Year on Ice gives you a window onto an alien world and those who live there–both animal and human–through the lens of talented nature photographer Anthony Powell. Climate change-conscious Antarctica: Ice and Sky  is an entrancing biopic of Claude Lorius, whose research as a glaciologist was vital to our understanding of the deleterious effects of human industry.

Or head north to the Arctic Circle for more tales of derring-do with Across the Ice. You’ll be keeping company with intrepid explorers Sebastian Copeland and Eric McNair Landry as they chase a Guinness record, kite-skiing the length of Greenland. Get your snowshoes on for an extreme trek across 4000 kilometers of the Canadian Arctic with Adam Shoalts (Alone Across the Arctic.) Some frigid thrills await in feature film Icequake: Panic in the Alps,where a wedding party finds themselves in a nail-biting predicament . Whew! You may just break out in a frozen sweat!

Looking for something a little less white-knuckle and just a shade or two warmer? Lose yourself in a late-life romance between a Czech widow and a charming “ice-swimmer” after a dramatic rescue in Ice Mother. Or watch a comically awful father-son relationship unfold as they try to connect over a shared hobby–ice fishing (Frozen Stupid with Academy Award-winning actor Ernest Borgnine.)

So tune into hoopla and keep your cool–all you need is your library card!

Oh, and by the way, if you’d like access to our expansive DVD collection full of the coolest (and hottest) titles, you’re in luck! Please see the post “What You Need to Know for Curbside Pickup” for all the details. And–good news–during Curbside Service, there is no fee to borrow DVDs!

If you’re new to hoopla, have a look at our FAQs page for pointers. And if you don’t currently have a library card, you can easily get started here.

3…2…1… BLAST OFF! Bedtime Moon Stories for Kids

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! 

*all descriptions are publisher’s material

Moon written by Julie Lundgren

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. 

A Kite for Moon written by Jane Yolen, Heidi Stemple, and Matt Phelan

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.

Available on hoopla as an ebook, audiobook, movie, and Read Along.

Earth’s Moon written by Christina Hill, part of the Science Readers: Content and Literacy Series

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.

Sing to the Moon written by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl, and Sandra van Doorn

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.

Moon Phases written by “Baby Professor”, part of the Introduction to the Night Sky Series 

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. 

Also from Baby Professor, try The Faces, or Phases, of the Moon, part of the Children’s Astronomy Books series.

If I Were the Moon written by Sheree Fitch, art by Leslie Watts

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.

Breakthroughs in Moon Exploration written by Elsie Olson 

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!

Explore more space-themed ebooks for kids on Overdrive/Libby as well as more children’s ebooks, audiobooks, and even some music and movies (both fiction and nonfiction) on hoopla. To learn more facts about space, check out hoopla’s Aeronautics, Astronautics & Space Science collection or the Space and Astronomy section of the Gale Elementary Database. 

Explore Newbery Award-Winning Author Grace Lin’s Books!

While sheltering in place with kids, try exploring different authors each week. This week, borrow ebook, e-audio, and video copies of Newbery award-winning author Grace Lin’s books on hoopla and Overdrive/Libby. Extend the experience with a YouTube video of her showing how to draw a Chinese dragon. Then listen to another video of her reading aloud from her book Mulan: Before the Sword, her story prequel to the live-action Disney movie, Mulan. Below are three books at different reading levels: middle grade, picture book, and early reader.

Mulan: Before the Sword, written and illustrated by Grace Lin. This is a middle grade fantasy for ages 8-12. 

A mixture of traditional tales and previous adventures of the legendary Mulan character. Young Mulan, accompanied by an immortal healer in the shape of a rabbit, journeys to the garden of the Queen Mother of Immortals to obtain a plant that will heal her sister of poisoning. In the process, Mulan grows in courage and faith in her own abilities.

A Big Mooncake for Little Star, geared towards ages 3-8.

Watch the short video of this picture book. It has a read aloud function to follow along and practice early reading. The illustrations are lovely of the story of Little Star and her Mama making a Mooncake in the night sky. Hint: the mooncake is more than a cake in this story.

This title is also accessible as an ebook in Overdrive/Libby and as a movie on hoopla.

Ling & Ting: Twice as Silly (#3 the Ling & Ting series), an early reader book for ages 5-8.

Listen to this charming collection of stories about Chinese-American twin sisters and their silly  and sweet adventures. Lighthearted stories reveal their sibling jokes and humor in their play. The girls plant cupcakes, paint their toys red, swing “to outer space,” and, in the last story, create a story to recount their escapades.

This title is also accessible as an ebook in Overdrive.

Entertain Your Kids With hoopla Bonus Borrows!

Looking for a way to entertain your young children? Bonus Borrows on hoopla have been extended through May 31! There are quite a few titles children can read, watch, and listen to without it counting towards your monthly limit. Enjoy characters such as Captain Underpants, Winnie-the Pooh, and Percy Jackson.

You can have a movie marathon with movies from hoopla’s Movies for Kids collection. Join Curious George on a series of adventures in Curious George Rides a Bike. Help catch a creature of fantasy in the How to Catch a Unicorn read along. For something a little more serious and historical, take a trip back to 1869 and ride a train on America’s new transcontinental railroad in the movie Locomotive.

Perhaps you want to help your children learn from home while schools are closed. Check out the Homeschool with hoopla collection, which was discussed in a previous blog post. Or you can give your kids a break from looking at a screen with the Children’s Favorite Music collection. Get up and move with one of Sesame Street’s most popular characters in Elmo’s Dance Party, and later you can get your kids ready for bed with Bedtime songs with Mr. Rogers.

Browse through hundreds more Bonus Borrows titles for kids and enjoy before May 31! 

Your Ticket to an At-Home Film Festival with hoopla and IndieFlix!

If you’re a culture vulture and/or film buff, you may be mourning the cancellation of film festivals around the country (like SXSW), the uncertain fate of Cannes, and the suspension of viewing opportunities like the MFA’s Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Film Program. For the latter, if you have a little extra cash, feel free to visit the new Virtual Screening Room for the museum’s hand-picked rentals. If you’d like to enjoy your own lockdown watch party for free through APL, read on!

This month, hoopla has introduced its “Art House” initiative to promote the sort of film fare that festivals and festival goers thrive upon. You’ll be spoilt for choice with 380 curated titles in four categories: Modern Indies, Documentaries, Global Cinema, and Classics. Have a helping of heartening, music-filled dramedy with Hearts Beat Loud. Escape to the frozen wild with the award-winning Antarctica: A Year on Ice (talk about effective social distancing!). For a pilgrimage through a more populated realm, have a look at the cinematically lovely Arabian Nights, a glimpse of Portugal during another recent global crisis (the Great Recession) that has been touted as “a colorful, surreal, and politically potent palimpsest of a film.”* Or savor a classic favorite like The Red Balloon. Your ticket to Cinema Paradiso? You guessed it–your Marblehead library card!

While you’re in the mood for culturally-informed cinema, you might well want to check out another of our streaming sources for top-notch, out-of-the-ordinary viewing: RBDigital’s IndieFlix! Use your library card to open an account, check out a 7-day pass, binge, and repeat. (If you’ve never logged on before, please see the blog’s FAQs page.)

Put on your best film-critic face, pull up a couch, and let the Quarantine Film Fest begin!

*Quoted material from hoopladigital.

Comment below with what films you are watching!

ARTfull at Home with the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum

The deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum wants you to get your creative energy flowing! Part of their ARTfull at Home program, they have put together a handy virtual guide of creativity prompts to inspire kids and kids at heart alike to create art with what they have.

Designed to get little ones engaging with their built and natural environments in experimental ways, the guide includes a list of objects from your home or backyard that can be used for art projects, as well as prompts for creating, such as sound sculptures, shadow art, paper planes, and looking for patterns in nature. 

The deCordova has a lot of other great virtual content, including an ARTfull at Home Story Time featuring Andrea Beaty’s Iggy Peck, Architect (you may also know Iggy’s friends Rosie Revere, Engineer and Ada Twist, Scientist, too!). They’ve also got a lot of content for the not-so-littles (i.e., grown ups), like a virtual tour of the sculpture park, that is not to be missed.

For more inspiration to jumpstart your creative projects at home, check out these titles from our digital collections:

Books for Art Project Inspiration:

Art Lab for Kids and Art Lab for Little Kids by Susan Schwake

Art For Spring (from the Outdoor Art Room Series) by Rita Storey

Books About Artists:

A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant, ill. by Melissa Sweet

The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art by Barb Rosenstock, ill. by Mary GrandPré

Viva FridFrida Kahlo,a by Yuyi Morales

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe

Books About Art & Design in Our World:

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds (also available on hoopla as an audiobook)

The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola

Maybe Something Beautiful by F. Isabel Campoy & Theresa Howell, ill. by Rafael López

Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty (also available on hoopla as an ebook, audiobook, movie, and Read Along!)

The Fashion World in Books and Movies

Escape to the fashion world – the world of beauty, glamorous clothes, dazzling accessories, and the people who create them.

Start with a visit to the Christian Dior fashion house to learn about its history and look at some of the collections created there. 

If you are much into tattoo designs and its history, watch a documentary on the “godfather of modern tattooing:” Ed Hardy: Tattoo the World.

Discover the secrets of Tiffany’s art appeal, enjoy the beauty of art works and behind-the-scenes creation of those works in Crazy about Tiffany’s.

British designer Ozwald Boateng is a subject of A Man’s Story, an artist of versatile talents and interests: he was a clothing designer for Hollywood’s leading actors, costume designer for multiple film productions and series, and was also chosen to design uniforms for the British Airways.

Watch a movie or read a book about Iris Apfel, an intensely original fashion icon with a decades-long presence in the fashion world, whose work gained immense recognition.

All these films are available on hoopla, brought to you by the Abbot Public Library. You only need your library card to check them out and enjoy. If you need a card, find out how to register online.

If you would like to take a closer look and get more familiar with the lives and work of some fashion designers or models,check out these ebooks:

A stylish memoir of Isaac Mizrahi, American fashion designer and the Chief Designer of the Isaac Mizrahi brand, his life, and his professional career. Included therein are accounts of famous people – designers whom he worked with and Hollywood actors and others for whom he designed.

In ebook and audiobook format on Libby/Overdrive and as an ebook on hoopla

A social history of the French Riviera in the 1930s, with the famous French designer Coco Chanel being at the center of the circle of the rich and famous.

Check it out on Overdrive/Libby

Famous fashion supermodel (and wife of quarterback Tom Brady) Giselle Bundchen writes a book about her life journey and shares her secrets of dealing with challenges and stress in her work and private life.

Check it out on Overdrive/Libby

A posthumous memoir of the legendary fashion photographer and eccentric fashion icon Bill Cunningham.

In ebook and audiobook format on Libby/Overdrive.

If you would like some practical advice from fashion gurus, consider these books:

If you wonder what a smart fashion designer is capable of, read the Maddie Springer fiction series by Gemma Halliday, in which fashion designer and amateur sleuth Maddie Springer solves mysteries and tracks down killers.

All these ebooks can be found in Overdrive/Libby. You only need your library card to check them out and download them.