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Frisky, industrious black squirrels are a familiar sight on the Kent State University campus and the inspiration for Black Squirrel Books®, a trade imprint of The Kent State University Press.

Classic Pens

| Filed under: Black Squirrel Books, Classic Sports, eBook Sale 20, Sports
finoli cover image

In the Pittsburgh Penguins’ early years, starting in the late 1960s, it wasn’t uncommon to buy a $5 ticket for a seat at the top of the Civic Arena (the “Igloo”) and at the end of the first period move to a seat in the first row behind the glass. Except for a few winning moments scattered through their first three decades, the idea of a full season sold-out arena was too farfetched, never mind the thought of a Stanley Cup. The only constant was that the Penguins were always in financial trouble and often threatening to move out of the Steel City.

 


Founding 49ers

| Filed under: Black Squirrel Books, eBook Sale 20, Sports
Newhouse 49ers cover

The San Francisco 49ers are among the most dynamic franchises, not only in the National Football League but in all of professional sports. They have won five Super Bowl titles and have produced some of football’s most dynamic players in Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Ronnie Lott, all of whom were coached by Bill Walsh, one of the game’s most innovative thinkers.

 


Cincinnati Reds Legends

, , and | Filed under: Black Squirrel Books, Sports
cincinnati reds cover

Best-selling baseball author Mike Shannon brings to bear his expertise on the Reds in selecting and profiling the forty Reds who best fit the definition of “legend.” From the Wright Brothers and Edd Roush to Johnny Vander Meer and Ted Kluszewski, from Frank Robinson and Pete Rose to Barry Larkin and Joey Votto—athletes who by their stellar play, unique personalities, and uncommon achievements have made themselves unforgettable—they are all here in Cincinnati Reds Legends. Shannon encapsulates the greatness of each player in deft vignettes that are remarkable as much for their insight as their interest. Even veteran Reds fans will get to know and appreciate these legends better through the book’s lively and informative text.

 


The Baseball Stadium Insider

| Filed under: Black Squirrel Books, eBook Sale 20, Sports
Lupica Cover

Major League Baseball occupies a special place in the hearts of Americans. The sound of the umpire yelling “play ball” is as familiar as the sight of the Stars and Stripes, and generations of sports fans spend summer nights staying up late to watch games. In The Baseball Stadium Insider, author Matt Lupica offers baseball fans an unprecedented guide to the stadiums that are home to their favorite sport.

 


The Complete Funky Winkerbean, Volume 4, 1981–1983

| Filed under: Art, Black Squirrel Books, Humor
Batiuk Funky 4 cover

By the 1980s Batiuk’s talent for character- and story-driven work comes into its own. Harry L. Dinkle, the World’s Greatest Band Director and Funky’s first breakout character, is still marching along happily. He makes the first of two visits to the Tournament of Roses Parade, and his ego grows even larger. Harry proves a good match for the sitcom style of writing into which Batiuk’s work on Funky is developing, and Crazy Harry thrives as the repository for the more outré ideas and situations. Whether it is living in his locker and playing frozen pizzas on his stereo, battling the Eliminator at Space Invaders, announcing that he is an air guitar player, or inviting Carl Sagan and ET to the Star Trek Convention that he and the school computer would host, Crazy becomes Funky Winkerbean’s natural-born outlier. Meanwhile, Les Moore continues his angst-filled journey as the leader of the school’s out crowd. He’s still at his machine-gun-fortified hall monitor’s post, trying to avoid getting beaten up by Bull Bushka, and generally dealing with school life as best he can.

 


The Complete Funky Winkerbean, Volume 3, 1978-1980

| Filed under: Art, Black Squirrel Books, Humor
Batiuk Cover

In this third volume, award-winning cartoonist Tom Batiuk continues to chronicle the lives of a group of students from the fictitious Westview High School. Funky Winkerbean fans are introduced to a host of new characters, including black cheerleader Junebug Jones; Melinda Budd, Holly Budd’s ambitious stage mother; Jerome the drum major; Nancy the school librarian; Ron the tennis pro; Irma, Rita Righton’s tennis partner; Channel One reporters Brenda Harpy and Minnie Cameron; talk show host John Darling; news anchor Charlie Lord; Phil the Forecaster; and program director Reed Roberts. Batiuk also features a troupe of inanimate forms achieving sentience, such as talking trees, clouds, school desks,video games, and a talking tennis ball machine that goes on to play at Wimbledon.

 


In the Wake of the Butcher

| Filed under: Black Squirrel Books, True Crime
Badal cover

In 2001 The Kent State University Press published James Jessen Badal’s In the Wake of the Butcher: Cleveland’s Torso Murders—the first book to examine the horrific series of unsolved dismemberment murders that terrorized the Kingsbury Run neighborhood from 1934 to 1938. Through his access to a wealth of previously unavailable material, Badal was able to present a far more detailed and accurate picture of the battle between Cleveland safety director Eliot Ness and the unidentified killer who avoided both detection and apprehension.

 


Classic Steelers

| Filed under: Black Squirrel Books, Classic Sports, eBook Sale 20, Sports
Classic Steelers-David Finoli. Kent State University Press

When it came to football in the 1930s, the college sport was king. But in 1933, former boxer and minor league baseball player Art Rooney, who had quarterbacked the squad at Duquesne University, purchased a team for Pittsburgh for $2,500. Thus began the legacy we know as “Steeler Nation.”

At the time, no one could have imagined that the Pirates, as they were originally named, would become a treasured possession for Pittsburghers. For the first 40 years, the franchise was a national joke. With only one playoff performance—a 21–0 defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles for the eastern division title in 1947—highlights were minimal for a team that regularly found itself at the bottom of the standings.

 


Bloody Lies

| Filed under: Audiobooks, Black Squirrel Books, True Crime

The remote farming community of Murdock, Nebraska, seemed to be the least likely setting for one of the heartland’s most ruthless and bloody double murders in decades. In fact, the little town had gone more than a century without a single homicide. But on the night of Easter 2006, Wayne and Sharmon Stock were brutally murdered in their home. The murders garnered sensational frontpage headlines and drew immediate statewide attention. Practically everybody around Murdock was filled with fear, panic, and outrage. Who killed Wayne and Sharmon Stock? What was the motive? The Stocks were the essence of Nebraska’s all-American farm family, self-made, God-fearing, and of high moral character. Barely a week into this double murder investigation, two arrests brought a sense of relief to the victims’ family and to local residents. The case appeared to fall neatly into place when a tiny speck of murder victim Wayne Stock’s blood appeared in the alleged getaway car.

 


Strike Four!

and | Filed under: Black Squirrel Books, Humor, Sports

The Toledo Mud Hens—a farm team for the Detroit Tigers—once had a budding pitcher named Ed Crankshaft. At least that’s how partners in cartooning, writer Tom Batiuk and artist Chuck Ayers, scripted the main character in Crankshaft. This enjoyable volume collects all of Crankshaft’s baseball-themed exploits. Fans will enjoy revisiting Crankshaft’s reminisces about his minor league pitching career and his comic attempts to recapture his youthful successes on the diamond.