Full STEAM Ahead to Children’s Learning!

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.

A similar book in print format to reserve for Curbside Pickup is 100 Easy STEAM Activities: Awesome Hands-On Projects for Aspiring Artists and Engineers. Included are games and projects to help kids learn concepts in science, technology, engineering, art, and math such as shaving cream rain clouds or a pool noodle obstacle course. 

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.

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. 

Introducing Gale Elementary – A Free Educational Resource For Kids!

Have you perused the items in Homeschool with hoopla or the School Closed? Overdrive collection but still want more resources for kids?

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!

Check out the posts from our Children’s category with more educational information for kids, including practicing yoga, making music, going on a backyard safari, exploring resources for stargazing, cooking and doing other kitchen activities, and more!

More Features of NoveList To Help You Choose What To Read Next!

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 mar@noblenet.org for assistance with using this resource, as well as getting further book recommendations.

Your Digital Sunday Newspaper Is Here!

Spend your Sunday reading The New York Times paper online for free! 

The Abbot Public Library now has a subscription to The New York Times Digital. Enjoy easy access to The New York Times daily news from any device and the ability to share articles across social media platforms. You can research historical articles published between 1851 and the current day. Find full access to the international edition.

There are updated, time-stamped articles from the Times sections, including World, Politics, New York, Opinion, Business, Technology, Science, Sports, Arts, Fashion & Style, and Video, as well as searchable access to articles, blogs, features, interviews, obituaries, and columns. You can sign up for weekly newsletter emails. Also included are mini crossword puzzles and The New York Times Magazine.

The New York Times Digital will be available from computers in the library and in your own home with off-site access.

When you access The New York Times Digital from home, click the “redeem” button (the code will be pre-populated). If you are already registered, enter your email and password, or for new users, create an account to get started!

Shoot for the Stars: Resources for Stargazing and Learning About Outer Space

A Boston Globe article from May 6 highlighted a family-friendly quarantine activity that is out of this world: stargazing! The current lockdown has led to a reduction in light and air pollution, resulting in better conditions for observing the night sky. Caity Sullivan, education associate at the Charles Hayden Planetarium of the Museum of Science, outlines some tips and tricks in the article for at-home stargazing with your family, including free star-viewing apps and what to look for in the night sky.

Though you can’t visit the Hayden Planetarium in person, Sullivan and the folks at the Museum of Science have made it possible for the Planetarium to come to you! Check out their Facebook page for Virtual Planetarium events — you can view past presentations and stay informed about upcoming events, including livestreams of what to view in the night sky. If you miss the presentations, take a look at the Museum’s handy May Sky Chart & Viewing Guide — May is a great month to start backyard stargazing as there will be a rare Mercury sighting the week of May 19th!

For even more space-related fun, listen to Pulsar: A Podcast from the Museum of Science. Their episode on Living in Space, featuring Sullivan, is a must listen, as well as their namesake inaugural episode, All About Pulsars. And for young astronomers, learn about our universe through hands-on activities, such as the Museum’s Our Place in Space family STEM activity and Boston Children’s Museum’s treasure trove of Beyond the Chalkboard NASA-inspired activities, including inventing your own constellations, building paper rockets, and keeping a sky observation journal.

Want more galactic goodness? Check out these fiction and nonfiction titles for all ages — some of many available on Overdrive/Libby with your library card number — to keep your whole family shooting for the stars:

8 Little Planets by Chris Ferrie
Moon! Earth’s Best Friend by Stacy McAnulty (audio) 
Stars! Stars! Stars! by Bob Barner
Fly Guy Presents: Space by Tedd Arnold
Ada Twist’s Big Project Book for Stellar Scientists by Andrea Beaty
Midnight on the Moon (Magic Tree House #8) and its companion Magic Tree House Fact Tracker: Space by Mary Pope Osborne

Junior Genius Guides: Outer Space by Ken Jennings
How to Be A Space Explorer by Lonely Planet Kids
Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Hidden Figures (Young Readers’ Edition) by Margot Lee Shetterly (audio)
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach
How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown

And for some further space exploration, check out encyclopedic text about the solar system in Salem Press, or take a peek at our selection of Great Courses videos about astronomy and the mysteries of the universe:

Our Night Sky
Experiencing Hubble: Understanding the Greatest Images of the Universe
The Search for Exoplanets: What Astronomers Know
The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries
The Remarkable Science of Ancient Astronomy

Happy stargazing!

There’s A Podcast For That

There’s no doubt about it: podcasts have taken the listening world by storm. From true crime to politics to self-help, you can find a podcast for every interest and topic. Even some of our favorite museums are getting in on the action and producing their own podcasts in-house! While we can’t enjoy these institutions in person, listening to their podcasts is a unique way to connect with museum collections, stories, and staff.

PEMcast from the Peabody Essex Museum launched in 2014 and is hosted by Chip Van Dyke and Dinah Cardin. They aim to connect the museum and its collections to broader cultural issues through conversations and storytelling. Their dedication to high-quality and engaging content has even earned a Silver Muse Award from the American Alliance of Museums. Episodes cover everything from music to historic homes to the maker movement and public art. 

The Museum of Science’s Pulsar: A Podcast, described as a “playground for the mind” is another great museum-created podcast. Produced by the Gordon Current Science and Technology Center of the Museum of Science, Pulsar tackles your biggest science questions, including what it’s like to live in space, how to use technology to preserve our cultural heritage sites, and how Cliff, a 65 million-year-old Triceratops fossil, arrived at the Museum.

All caught up on the latest episodes of your favorite podcast? Maybe looking for a new one to dive into? Check out these awesome, popular titles inspired by your favorite pods and podcasters:

Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide by Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark 

From Overdrive/Libby: “The instant #1 New York Times and USA Today best seller by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, the voices behind the hit podcast My Favorite Murder! Sharing never-before-heard stories ranging from their struggles with depression, eating disorders, and addiction, Karen and Georgia irreverently recount their biggest mistakes and deepest fears, reflecting on the formative life events that shaped them into two of the most followed voices in the nation. In Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered, Karen and Georgia focus on the importance of self-advocating and valuing personal safety over being ‘nice’ or ‘helpful.’ They delve into their own pasts, true crime stories, and beyond to discuss meaningful cultural and societal issues with fierce empathy and unapologetic frankness.”

Unqualified by Anna Faris 

From Overdrive/Libby: “A hilarious, honest memoir—combined with just the right amount of relationship advice—from the popular actress and host of the hit podcast Anna Faris is Unqualified. Anna Faris has advice for you. And it’s great advice, because she’s been through it all, and she wants to tell you what she’s learned. After surviving an awkward childhood (when she bribed the fastest boy in the third grade with ice cream), navigating dating and marriage in Hollywood, and building a podcast around romantic advice, Anna has plenty of lessons to share: Advocate for yourself. Know that there are wonderful people out there and that a great relationship is possible. And, finally, don’t date magicians. Her comic memoir, Unqualified, shares Anna’s candid, sympathetic, and entertaining stories of love lost and won. Part memoir—including stories about being “the short girl” in elementary school, finding and keeping female friends, and dealing with the pressures of the entertainment industry and parenthood—part humorous, unflinching advice from her hit podcast, Anna Faris Is Unqualified, the book will reveal Anna’s unique take on how to master the bizarre, chaotic, and ultimately rewarding world of love. Hilarious, honest, and useful, Unqualified is the book Anna’s fans have been waiting for.”

Alice Isn’t Dead: A Novel by Joseph Fink

From Overdrive/Libby & hoopla: “From the New York Times best selling coauthor of It Devours! and Welcome to Night Vale comes a fast-paced thriller about a truck driver searching across America for the wife she had long assumed to be dead, performed by the voice of the Alice Isn’t Dead podcast, Jasika Nicole, with an exclusive essay written and read by Joseph Fink. “This isn’t a story. It’s a road trip.” Keisha Taylor lived a quiet life with her wife, Alice, until the day that Alice disappeared. After months of searching, presuming she was dead, Keisha held a funeral, mourned, and gradually tried to get on with her life. But that was before Keisha started to see her wife, again and again, in the background of news reports from all over America. Alice isn’t dead, and she is showing up at every major tragedy and accident in the country. Following a line of clues, Keisha takes a job as a long-haul truck driver and begins searching for Alice. In pursuit of her missing wife, she will stumble on a forgotten American history of secret deals and buried crimes, an inhuman serial killer who has picked her as his next target, and an otherworldly conflict being waged in the quiet corners of our nation’s highway system—uncovering a conspiracy that goes way beyond one missing woman.”

Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor

From Overdrive/Libby & hoopla: “From the creators of the wildly popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast comes an imaginative mystery of appearances and disappearances that is also a poignant look at the ways in which we all struggle to find ourselves…no matter where we live. Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge. Nineteen-year-old Night Vale pawn shop owner Jackie Fierro is given a paper marked “KING CITY” by a mysterious man in a tan jacket holding a deer skin suitcase. Everything about him and his paper unsettles her, especially the fact that she can’t seem to get the paper to leave her hand, and that no one who meets this man can remember anything about him. Jackie is determined to uncover the mystery of King City and the man in the tan jacket before she herself unravels. Night Vale PTA treasurer Diane Crayton’s son, Josh, is moody and also a shape shifter. And lately Diane’s started to see her son’s father everywhere she goes, looking the same as the day he left years earlier, when they were both teenagers. Josh, looking different every time Diane sees him, shows a stronger and stronger interest in his estranged father, leading to a disaster Diane can see coming, even as she is helpless to prevent it. Diane’s search to reconnect with her son and Jackie’s search for her former routine life collide as they find themselves coming back to two words: “KING CITY”. It is King City that holds the key to both of their mysteries, and their futures…if they can ever find it.”

Adnan’s Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial by Rabia Chaudry 

From Overdrive/Libby: “Serial only told part of the story… In early 2000, Adnan Syed was convicted and sentenced to life plus thirty years for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, a high school senior in Baltimore, Maryland. Syed has maintained his innocence, and Rabia Chaudry, a family friend, has always believed him. By 2013, after almost all appeals had been exhausted, Rabia contacted Sarah Koenig, a producer at This American Life, in hopes of finding a journalist who could shed light on Adnan’s story. In 2014, Koenig’s investigation turned into Serial, a Peabody Award-winning podcast with more than 500 million international listeners. But Serial did not tell the whole story. In this compelling narrative, Rabia Chaudry presents new key evidence that she maintains dismantles the State’s case: a potential new suspect, forensics indicating Hae was killed and kept somewhere for almost half a day, and documentation withheld by the State that destroys the cell phone evidence — among many other points — and she shows how fans of Serial joined a crowd-sourced investigation into a case riddled with errors and strange twists. Adnan’s Story also shares Adnan’s life in prison, and weaves in his personal reflections, including never-before-seen letters. Chaudry, who is committed to exonerating Adnan, makes it clear that justice is yet to be achieved in this much examined case.”

Sadie by Courtney Summers

From Overdrive/Libby & hoopla: “An innovative audiobook production featuring more than thirty voices, Sadie explores the depth of a sister’s love — poised to be the next story listeners won’t be able to pause. A missing girl on a journey of revenge and a Serial—like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister, Mattie, in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him. When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late. Courtney Summers’ Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep listeners riveted until the last chapter.”

Virtual Read Aloud With Author Kate Messner

Children’s author Kate Messner has written over 35 books on many science and nature topics, easy readers, picture books, and mysteries. On her website, the former classroom teacher and well-known author includes:

  • Video clips of her reading aloud from many of her books. Videos include her reading from Over and Under the Snow, The Next President, and a chance to hear her latest, which will come out in August; Over and Under the Rainforest.
  • Activity tips for kids following the readings, which mainly involve a single question from the book.
  • Video clips of other well-known authors reading from their books aloud, including Grace Lin and Nikki Grimes.
  • Resources with mini lessons for different grade levels.

You can listen to Messner reading her picture book, The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs, illustrated by Matthew Forsythe. It’s also available on hoopla to borrow as an ebook. She tells the true story of how a young boy who loved coral reefs became an adult who devised a method to transplant coral to create new colonies on devastated sites where corals have died. Ken Nedimeyer grew up near Florida’s coral reefs and became a pioneer in the techniques of grafting stag coral to create new coral colonies. The illustrations are as intense in coloring as the corals. The story is geared to ages 4-7, and adds simple descriptions for young readers of how corals grow.

Messner includes a link to the Coral Restoration website, which details the threats facing coral reefs worldwide. There is also a link to the NASA Climate Kids site, which helps kids learn what they can do to help the oceans.

Homeschool with hoopla!

While home during shelter-in-place, it is practical to keep new digital learning resources coming in to help with burnout and boredom. Check out all of the Abbot Public Library’s e-collections and digital resources online. Today we are spotlighting homework help on hoopla.

Parents can borrow any of these picture and chapter ebooks as “Bonus Borrows.” They do not count toward the five borrows a month limit. Use your Bonus Borrows for supplementing nonfiction books for kids. The collection of ebooks covers diverse subjects, from astronomy to zoology, and is geared to grades K-5. Update homework help with fresh, factual materials.

Below are some engaging examples:

Rosie Revere’s Big Project Book for Engineers by Andrea Beaty
Cooking Class: Global Feast! By Deanna Cook
Junk Drawer Algebra by Bobby Mercer
How Plants Grow by Donna H. Rice (also available as a Read Along)
The Solar System by Laura Hamilton Waxman, part of the Early Bird Astronomy series

You can also check out the School Closed? collection on Overdrive or through Overdrive’s Libby app for more books to keep kids learning while at home, as well as other activities for kids that were posted on the blog!

What’s New in Our Digital Resources

If you’ve scanned our digital resources recently, you may have seen a slight change in our list! While you’ve always been able to explore encyclopedic texts from each decade from the 1920s to the 1990s, you’re now able to go beyond the 80-year span in American history. 

Newly labeled as Salem Press in our Digital Resources tab, you have access to the Encyclopedia of American Immigration, Milestone Documents in American History, and information ranging from social justice, to pandemics, to treaties in the news. Salem Press also provides information in science and health for students and general readers alike!

Library card holders are able to access the essential coverage of all major aspects of the Earth’s solar system in a completely revised and updated way. For information on health, feel free to explore the 8th edition of Magill’s Medical Guide, or learn more topics on cancer, psychology, and mental health. Whether you have a research project or just want to learn, Salem Press might have the right information for you!