July 29, 2016

Muggle Mob

A Flash Mob in New York City Celebrates a New Harry Potter Story
by Adedayo Perkovich

In New York City, Harry Potter fans stopped traffic! More than 300 people streamed out of Scholastic’s headquarters onto Broadway, the street in front of the building. Scholastic employees and their children were part of a flash mob celebrating the July 31 publication of a new Harry Potter story, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two.

Watch the Muggle Mob video.

Scholastic is the United States publisher of the best-selling Harry Potter series by British author J.K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of a wizard named Harry Potter and his classmates at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The eighth Harry Potter story is a script book based on a play that’s opening in London, England, on July 30. The play is by Jack Thorne and is based on an original story by Rowling, Thorne, and John Tiffany.

SHARING THE MAGIC

I had no idea what to expect as I entered Scholastic in the morning. Scholastic editors and artists whispered excitedly as they flooded down the escalator. The only word I caught was “Muggle.” In the auditorium, we were each given a copy of one of the original books in the series and a paddle announcing the publication of The Cursed Child.

Billy DiMichele, vice president of creative development at Scholastic, said that we were about to become a “Muggle Mob.” We would celebrate the upcoming release of The Cursed Child by doing a giant read-aloud in the middle of Broadway.

“This means that [we] can continue to share the magic with new generations of children,” DiMichele said.

LUCKY READERS

Excitement continued to build as we rehearsed our movements and practiced reading aloud. Abram Chen, 10, said that he was thrilled “that there is going to be a new book to read.” Abram considers himself to be a Hufflepuff, his favorite house at Hogwarts.

As for editorial assistant Patrice Caldwell, she is “absolutely Slytherin,” she said. “It’s kind of cool to be here and imagine what it felt like when the first seven books came out,” Caldwell added. “This is a way to delve back into that world.”

After a few run-throughs, we calmly strolled outside with our paddles hidden inside our books, pretending to be tourists and typical passersby. Suddenly, music started playing and we rushed into our places in the middle of Broadway. (The street had been blocked off by the police for the event.) Then we read aloud from the Harry Potter books.

Our voices rose along with the music. Right on cue, we faced the Scholastic building and looked up. A giant, billowy banner began to drop, revealing the cover of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

We held up our paddles and cheered. Then we went into the crowd of observers and gave away copies of the original books to happy readers.

Lesley Little saw everything from the sidewalk. “This is fantastic,” she said. “I can’t wait to see the new play. I’m going to get to see it in London in September.” Suzanne Lewis, a Gryffindor, added, “This was a lot of fun. I could tell, even from blocks away, that something wonderful was happening.”

July 27, 2016

Wings of Fire Would You Rather

Posted by at 1:42 am in Reads, Would You Rather | Permalink

Wings of Fire Escaping PerilFive dragon eggs are stolen away and hatched in secret, raised to one day fulfill an ancient prophecy and end the war. The Wings of Fire series follows these dragons as teenagers. It’s not just full of fighting and fantasy and fate (although there’s plenty of that!) but also dragon bullies, lovable nerds, crushes, and funny personalities.

Whether you’ve been a fan forever or are just getting interested, test your fate with the Wings of Fire Would You Rather.

Would You Rather . . .

1. Breathe fire like a Nightwing OR deadly, freezing air like a Skywing?

2. Be attacked by an enchanted statue OR locked in an underwater prison?

3. Dream about food like Clay OR read minds like Moonwatcher?

4. Have your mouth bound shut so you can’t spit out your poisonous venom OR have your touch be made of fire?

5. Be raised as a killer (like Peril) OR be raised with the pressure of fulfilling a prophecy to save the world?

6. Live in an underwater kingdom OR rainforest kingdom?

7. Baby dragons OR baby dinosaurs?

Hatch your answers in the Comments below, and let us know if you love the Wings of Fire series too!

-Ratha

July 26, 2016

Hiking and Camping Name Generator

Posted by at 1:31 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Pack Up! Hiking and Camping Name Generator

People who hike the Appalachian Trail come up with fake names for themselves so they don’t reveal their real names to strangers they meet on the Trail. Wish you had your own outdoorsy, fake name? You can make one with our HIKING AND CAMPING NAME GENERATOR!

Find the first letter of your first name in the left column below, and the word next to it is your new first name. Then find the first letter of your last name in the right column below, and the word next to it is your new last name. So if your name is, say . . . Abercrombie Fitch, your new hiking name is Bear-Poop Mosquito.

Ready to become that cool, outdoorsy hiking and camping person? Go!

First Letter of First Name First Letter of Last Name
A Bear-Poop Tent A
B Starry Night Headlamp B
C Campfire Lake C
D Swamp Canoe D
E Thunderstorm Mountaineer E
F Marshmallow Mosquito F
G Firewood Boots G
H Deer Squirrel H
I Mountain Camper I
J Heat Wave Backpacker J
K Backcountry Navigator K
L Snake Bug Bite L
M Bear Crickets M
N Waterproof Compass N
O Forest Flashlight O
P Frog Stream P
Q Trail Mix Ranger Q
R Blaze Hiker R
S Captain Map S
T Sunscreen Canteen T
U Whitewater Trail U
V Bald Eagle Sunrise V
W Sleeping Bag Moon W
X Wiggly Worm Water Bottle X
Y Woodpecker Canyon Y
Z First Aid Kit Chipmunk Z

What’s your Hiking and Camping Name? Tell us in the Comments below!

-Ratha (a.k.a Blaze Crickets)

July 22, 2016

Star Wars Kid Review

Posted by at 1:47 am in Kid Power, Movies & TV | Permalink

star wars the force awakensStar Wars (rated PG and PG-13): it’s the best movie series in the galaxy. The Star Wars story line is amazing. It is jam-packed with action and it has been one of my favorite movie series ever since Darth Vader said, “Luke . . . ”

One of my favorites out of the whole series is Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (rated PG). It has a lot of interesting characters since it is based a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. There are characters like Luke and Leia who are human, but there are characters like Chewbacca and the Ewoks who make the movie a lot more interesting than just humans fighting with lightsabers and blasters.

Chewbacca and Han Solo

courtesy of LucasFilms

These characters have very interesting personalities and they can be very funny. Chewbacca is a Wookie, basically half human, half Bigfoot. I like to think of Ewoks as fluffy teddy bears that can be vicious if you try to take over their territory. It has a lot of action. From lightsaber fights to lightspeed X-Wing battles, Star Wars will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. If you haven’t seen the movie, I tell you, “This is the movie you are looking for.”

Another amazing thing about Star Wars is the music. John Williams wrote the best music ever for these movies. The music makes you feel like you are in an X-Wing or fighting off Stormtroopers.

I think that Star Wars is one of the best movie series ever created. I would recommend these movies to anyone. If you haven’t seen them, you definitely HAVE to see these movies.

Alex, Scholastic Kids Council

July 20, 2016

10 Things Diary of a Wimpy Kid Fans Understand

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double DownHave you read all 10 Diary of a Wimpy Kid books? Are you eagerly awaiting the release of Book #11 Double Down coming out November 1, 2016? If so, we’ve got just the thing to get you through. Check out our Top 10 list of…

10 Things Only Wimpy Kid Fans Understand

10. You will never eat a slice of deli cheese again.

9. When your mom asks you to change your baby sister/brother’s diaper you start singing the “Exploded Diaper” song.

8. Other people’s parents try to talk to them while on the toilet, too?

7. Why taking a “shower” at camp with baby wipes… is actually a pretty good solution.

6. Why wearing your older brother or sister’s hand-me-down underwear is a problem.

5. Silas Scratch.

4. The difference between a purse and an embroidered book bag.

3. That scary moment when you have to stop going to the kiddie dentist … and start the adult dentist.

2. When you take a picture of somebody’s bent inside-of-the-elbow, but your photography teacher thinks it is somebody’s butt (and of course you get in trouble).

1. “I’ll be famous one day, but for now I’m stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons.”

Are you a huge Diary of a Wimpy Kid fan? Let us know in the Comments below!

-Ratha

July 19, 2016

Which Twisted Fairy Tale Character Are You?

Posted by at 1:50 am in Personality Quiz | Permalink

If you love classic fairy tales with Prince Charmings, princesses, and happily ever afters, then this fairy tale quiz is NOT for you. The fairy tale characters listed here are not your typical heroes and heroines. Instead, these characters are a little bit different, a little bit interesting, and a little bit… twisted.

If you’re interested in learning more about these twisted fairy tales, check out the book list here. If you’re interested in finding out which twisted fate you hold, take the quiz below. In each question, you will find an answer followed by a point system. For every one of your answers, write down the points on a separate sheet of paper. At the end of the quiz, add your points to find your poison.

Good luck, my twisted fairy tale creatures!

1. Your best personality trait is… a) being able to solve mysteries.-1 b) being mischievous.-3 c) having a big heart.-4 d) being creative.-2

2. When you grow older, what do you want to be? a) An artist because I’m creative.-2 b) A detective because no little detail escapes me.-1 c) A hero from any movie or book because why not?-3 d) A doctor because I want to save lives.-4

3. What makes you feel afraid? a) Angry people.-4 b) Losing my friends.-3 c) Getting lost.-2 d) Nothing, I am fearless.-1

4. If you were a superhero, what power would you have? a) Teleportation.-3 b) Strength.-1 c) Flying.-2 d) Invisibility.-4

5. Pick your favorite color. a) Green.-4 b) Yellow.-2 c) Purple.-3 d) Red.-1

6. What is your dream vacation? a) Camping in the wild forest.-1 b) Anywhere in a hotel with soft pillows.-4 c) Somewhere in Europe with big castles.-3 d) Anywhere as long as I’m not at home.-2

7. Which of these sports are you good at or would like to be good at? a) Running track.-1 b) Tennis.-3 c) Soccer.-2 d) None, I don’t like sports.-4

8. If you could adopt an animal, which would you choose? a) A frog because maybe it will turn into Prince Charming if I kiss it.-3 b) A wolf because they’re wild and loyal.-1 c) A baby bear because they’re so adorable and cuddly!-4 d) A horse so it can take me to cool places.-2

9. What is your favorite topping on desserts? a) Fudge.-3 b) Whipped cream.-2 c) Sprinkles.-4 d) To be honest, I don’t have a sweet tooth.-1

10. What is the perfect hangout with your friends? a) Have a sleepover where we paint our nails and comb our hair.-2 b) It doesn’t matter as long as I have many of them and they all like me.-4 c) Sit in and watch mystery movies.-1 d) Start a book club where we read books about fairy tales and adventures.-3

Count up your points and read onto find out your results. Continue reading

July 18, 2016

Find the Eel Picture Puzzle

Posted by at 1:07 am in Games | Permalink

Find the Eel!

You know those pictures where everything looks the same, but you have to find the thing that is different? Last time, I drew one with a squid. Well, I drew a new one for you!

Look at this big bunch of elephants and see if you can find the eel hiding in there.

Find the eel

Click on the image for a larger view.

Did you find it? Tell us in the Comments what you think of my latest picture puzzle!

En-Szu

July 15, 2016

Finding Dory Would You Rather

Finding DoryDisney’s sequel to Finding Nemo (rated G) a.k.a. Finding Dory (rated PG) recently hit theaters to start off the summer movie season. In the movie, Dory, who suffers from short term memory-loss every 10 seconds or so, remembers she has parents and that she got separated from them as a child. With Nemo and Marlin’s help she sets off to find them.

Their adventures take them to The Marine Life Institute, where she gets captured, escapes, gets captured, escapes – you get the picture! Nemo and Marlin and some new friends join the adventure, including Hank the cranky red octopus.

So if you’re looking for some deep-sea adventure, dive into our Finding Dory Would You Rather, and let us know

Would You Rather . . .

1. Be a clownfish like Nemo OR blue tang fish like Dory?

2. If you were a fish … Get stuck in a six-pack drink holder (like Dory did) OR have a smaller right fin (like Nemo)?

3. Wash up in Australia OR wash up in California?

4. Swim through drainpipe tunnels OR the eye of a hurricane?

5. A giant octopus pick you up with his tentacles OR get swallowed by a whale?

6. Be a fish trapped in a plastic baggie OR a fish without water?

7. Not be able to remember things OR not be able to forget things?

8. Have an adorable sandpiper OR cute otter?

Did you like Finding Nemo or Finding Dory better? Let us know your answers in the Comments below. And like the story says, when things get tough, “Just keep swimming!”

-Ratha

Image courtesy Disney Pixar

July 14, 2016

Frankie's Magic Soccer Ball

Posted by at 1:41 am in Reads | Permalink

Frankie's Magic Soccer BallIt’s July, which means the 2016 Summer Olympics is only A MONTH away! From diving to gymnastics and everything in-between, the Olympics will be a month-long celebration of sports and the country’s best athletes.

One of the competitions in the Summer Olympics is soccer, a game that’s played all over the world. We’re celebrating Olympic soccer with Frankie’s Magic Soccer Ball, a magical series about a time-traveling group of soccer fans written by Frank Lampard, an English soccer star playing in Major League Soccer for New York City FC!

Frankie and his friends love playing soccer, and they’ll play the game no matter the place or time period! Join Frankie, Louise, and Charlie as they take on pirates, cowboys, and Medieval knights in Frankie’s Magic Soccer Ball!

Start reading Frankie’s newest adventure in Frankie’s Magic Soccer Ball here.