Save The Date For A Virtual Baseball-Themed Author Talk!

Step up to the plate and put this date in your calendar – on Wednesday, August 26th, at 7:00 pm, you are invited to join a special event via Zoom! Co-sponsored by Abbot Public Library, Jewish Community Center of the North Shore (JCCNS), and Lappin Foundation, this event will feature Larry Ruttman of Brookline, who will be discussing his book, American Jews and America’s Game (chosen the best baseball book in the country in 2013 by Sports Collectors Digest); as well as his forthcoming  memoir, Larry Ruttman – A Memoir: An Existential Triad of Friendship, Maturation and Inquisitiveness. And, moderating the event will be baseball polymath and legal expert, Professor Jack Beermann!

Visit the library’s website for more details about this event and how to access it! All the information for joining on Zoom is also listed below. 

Author Larry Ruttman
Professor Jack Beermann

Reserve your copy of American Jews and America’s Game today for Curbside Pickup or read the ebook version on Overdrive/the Libby app. 

If you want even more baseball books and other materials, check out more print baseball books or DVDs (with no checkout fee while we offer Curbside Service!) to include in your bag o’books, or see what items are available online on Overdrive and hoopla


Information to access the Zoom meeting is as follows: 

Topic: Larry Ruttman

Time: Aug 26, 2020 06:45 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking this link

Meeting ID: 846 2054 3240

Passcode: 556041

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Meeting ID: 846 2054 3240

Passcode: 556041

Find your local number here.

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!

Pining for Playoffs

When the novel coronavirus pandemic sent us to seclusion, affecting all aspects of our lives, it also caused a dramatic impact on the world of sports, with major sporting events being cancelled or postponed. This left fans looking for other ways to stay connected to various sports.

ESPN’s timely release of Last Dance, a 10-part documentary about NBA legend Michael Jordan, immediately became hugely popular among sports fans. The series takes an in-depth look at Chicago Bulls’ dynasty through the lens of the final championship season in 1997-98. It features exclusive footage and interviews with athletes and journalists.

If you are into the sports and would like to read and watch more about basketball – or any other sports subjects – Abbot Public Library has much to offer.

These books are available through Overdrive/Libby with your library card.

Basketball: A Love Story is a book written in conjunction with the ESPN series of the same name, released at the end of 2018.

It is a story about basketball: its invention in Canada, its expansive history, and the game’s trailblazing players.

Authors interviewed more than 100 players, coaches, and journalists to collect their insight. The book seems to cover every issue pertaining to basketball, including fighting for racial and gender equality.

Another popular team sport, baseball, is the subject of Alex Speier’s Homegrown.

The book is an excellent record of the exceptional accomplishment of the Boston Red Sox winning the 2018 World Series and about building one the best baseball teams of all the time.

Marking the 40th anniversary of the US men’s hockey team winning a gold medal in the 1980 Olympics, beating four-time medalists from the USSR, team captain Mike Eruzione’s book, The Making of a Miracle, recounts that 1980 Lake Placid game in detail. Dubbed “Miracle on Ice,” it is a tale of the underdog, as an amateur team of young American college students faced off against seasoned professional players from the Soviet Union and, against all odds, came out victorious.

Historian and National Book Award-winning author Nathaniel Philbrick (author of In the Hurricane’s Eye among other titles) takes on sailing in his book Second Wind, recounting his triumphs in regattas in his youth and going back to competing 15 years later, following vigorous retraining.

First-person accounts of major league athletes offer a unique perspective into the lives of people participating in professional sports. Numerous biographies of various sports players can be found in Overdrive/Libby when you click on the images: 

The following charming and heartwarming stories will make you smile. They are about sports, but also they are about creating a bond between humans and animals. Christopher McDougall writes about training a rehabbed donkey for the World Championship of burro racing – a very particular type of competition in which humans and donkeys run together. Training a donkey is a big job!

The author of Finding Gobi came across a stray dog while running an ultramarathon in the middle of the Gobi Desert – and gained a running buddy for the rest of the route. Click the images below to view these ebooks in Overdrive.

hoopla, a free service brought to you by the Abbot Public Library, contains an entire sports movie section, where you will find documentaries, biographies, instructional videos to learn new skills (or sharpen existing ones) in a particular sport, and more!

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!

New YA Books to Enjoy

Even during this time of social distancing, new books are released every week. If you have been speeding through your backlog of TBR, you might welcome each new title that appears in your Overdrive account. So, if you love new releases, here are a few of the new YA titles that have been released in the last few months.

*All descriptions are from the publishers.

Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang

Gene understands stories—comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins.

But Gene doesn’t get sports. As a kid, his friends called him “Stick” and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it’s all anyone can talk about. The men’s varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that’s been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships.

Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he’s seen on a comic book page. He knows he has to follow this epic to its end. What he doesn’t know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons’ lives, but his own life as well.

Bent Heavens by Daniel Kraus

Liv Fleming’s father went missing more than two years ago, not long after he claimed to have been abducted by aliens. Liv has long accepted that he’s dead, though that doesn’t mean she has given up their traditions. Every Sunday, she and her lifelong friend, Doug Monk, trudge through the woods to check the traps Lee left behind, traps he set to catch the aliens he so desperately believed were after him.

But Liv is done with childhood fantasies. Done pretending she believes her father’s absurd theories. Done going through the motions for Doug’s sake. However, on the very day she chooses to destroy the traps, she discovers in one of them a creature so inhuman it can only be one thing. In that moment, she’s faced with a painful realization: her dad was telling the truth. And no one believed him.

Now, she and Doug have a choice to make. They can turn the alien over to the authorities…or they can take matters into their own hands.

On the heels of the worldwide success of The Shape of Water, Daniel Kraus returns with a horrifying and heartbreaking thriller about the lengths people go to find justice and the painful reality of grief.

Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold

You are alone in the woods, seen only by the unblinking yellow moon. Your hands are empty. You are nearly naked. And the wolf is angry.

Since her grandmother became her caretaker when she was four years old, Bisou Martel has lived a quiet life in a little house in Seattle. She’s kept mostly to herself. She’s been good.

But then comes the night of homecoming, when she finds herself running for her life over roots and between trees, a fury of claws and teeth behind her.

A wolf attacks. Bisou fights back. A new moon rises. And with it, questions.

About the blood in Bisou’s past, and on her hands as she stumbles home.

About broken boys and vicious wolves.

About girls lost in the woods—frightened, but not alone.

The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh by Candace Fleming

First human to cross the Atlantic via airplane; one of the first American media sensations; Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semite; loner whose baby was kidnapped and murdered; champion of Eugenics, the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding; tireless environmentalist. Charles Lindbergh was all of the above and more. Here is a rich, multi-faceted, utterly spellbinding biography about an American hero who was also a deeply flawed man.

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Two siblings. Two brilliant talents. But only one Mozart.

Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish—to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age—her tyrannical father has made that much clear.

And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true—but his help may cost her everything.

We are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian

Tomorrow, the Wildcat varsity field hockey squad will play the first game of their new season. But at tonight’s team sleepover, the girls are all about forging the bonds of trust, loyalty, and friendship necessary to win.

Everything hinges on the midnight initiation ceremony—a beloved tradition and the only facet of being a Wildcat that the girls control. Until now.

Coach—a handsome former college player revered and feared in equal measure—changes the plan and spins his team on a new adventure. One where they take a rival team’s mascot for a joyride, crash a party in their pajamas, and break into the high school for the perfect picture.

But as the girls slip out of their comfort zone, so do some long-held secrets. And just how far they’re willing to go for their team takes them all—especially Coach—by surprise.


Are there any titles you are looking forward to being released in the next few months? Let us know in the comments below!