October 27, 2016

Book Review: Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Posted by at 1:10 am in Reads | Permalink

Found_130 Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix

I just FOUND the best fantasy series! It’s called Missing, and it’s by Margaret Peterson Haddix, the author of the Shadow Children series, Running Out of Time, and one of the authors of The 39 Clues series. I don’t want to give away the entire story, but if you like time travel, history, mystery, and action, then you’ll love this book.

At the start of Found, Angela DuPre, an airline worker, finds 36 abandoned children on a plane. The weird thing is, there are no adults, no pilots, and no one knows how the plane got there in the first place. Weird . . .

Meet Jonah and Chip 13 years later — they’re two of the surviving kids from plane. Both were adopted into wonderful families, and both strangely end up in the same town. Is this a coincidence or pre-determined fate? One may think it’s just some bizarre occurrence, but when Jonah and Chip both start receiving the same strange, unmarked letters, they begin seeing things that are unexplainable to the human eye. And then both end up at an adoption convention, along with the other 34 children from the mysterious flight! At this point, questions will be raised not only by Jonah and Chip, but the readers as well.

Found will leave you asking: what would happen if I were to go back in time and change one little event, or if I were to affect the actions of a prominent figure? How would that change the future? Would how we live today be any different if one person’s life were changed in any way?

— Carly M.

October 26, 2016

Halloween Books from Scholastic

Posted by at 1:06 am in Reads | Permalink

Happy HalloweenGet ready for Halloween with these new scary books from Scholastic!

Creepella von Cracklefur: A Suitcase Full of Ghosts By Geronimo Stilton for Ages 7–10
Creepella is about to interview the famouse Hector Spector, who has come to Mysterious Valley with his Galloping Ghost Circus. But before she can, she has a mystery on her paws—someone is playing tricks and making messes all over Cacklefur Castle! Can she put a stop to these ghastly gags?

Ghosts By Raina Telgemeier for Ages 8-12
Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake — and her own.

The Gathering (Shadow House, Book 1) By Dan Poblocki for Ages 8–12
You don’t just read this ghost story. You step into it. Some houses are more than just haunted . . . they’re hungry. Dash, Dylan, Poppy, Marcus, and Azumi don’t know this at first. They each think they’ve been summoned to Shadow House for innocent reasons. But there’s nothing innocent about Shadow House. Something within its walls is wickedly wrong. Nothing–and nobody–can be trusted. Hallways move. Doors vanish. Ghosts appear. Children disappear. And the way out? That’s disappeared, too. . . . Enter Shadow House . . . if you dare.

Goosebumps Most Wanted #10: Lizard of Oz By R.L. Stine for Ages 8–12
The infamous Most Wanted Goosebumps characters are out on the loose and after you!
Kate Orton loves animals, especially unusual ones. So when she sees a pop-up ad on her computer for an amazing lizard from Australia, she has to have it. The ad says the lizard is actually a kind of chameleon-it can change its color to blend in with its surroundings. But what makes this lizard really strange is that it’s a copycat-the ad says it can even change its shape.
Kate’s parents don’t believe all the claims in the ad, but they tell her to go ahead and order it. They tell her not to be disappointed if it’s just a plain old lizard. After anxiously checking the mail every day for two weeks, the package finally arrives from Australia. Kate can’t wait to open it. But when she does-there’s no lizard inside. Instead, she finds an egg with a warning:
You MUST let the egg hatch by itself. Do NOT hurry it and do NOT open the egg early-no matter how much noise it makes.

Goosebumps Most Wanted Special Edition #4:The Haunter By R.L. Stine for Ages 8–12
Sammy Baker, twelve, is a quiet kid who wishes he wasn’t so shy and timid. He is frightened but eager to prove he can be brave. On Halloween night, he follows his friends to the Barlow House, an abandoned mansion on the edge of the woods. It’s rumored a whole family died in the house many years before, and everyone knows there are ghosts there.
Just past midnight, he feels a cold tingle at the back of his neck. The cold seeps down, a heavy chill he has never felt before. Soon, his whole head feels like a block of ice. He’s about to scream — but the cold feeling vanishes. He realizes the others are watching him — because he’s panting so frantically.
Sammy doesn’t realize that his body has been invaded by a ghost known as The Haunter. The Haunter takes over Sammy’s brain and gives him instructions that he has to obey. But The Haunter’s commands become more and more dangerous. And then life-threatening. And to his horror, Sammy realizes The Haunter’s goal — to turn Sammy into a ghost, too!

October 25, 2016

10 Things Only Athletes Understand

Posted by at 1:56 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Football130x130Basketball. Soccer. Dance. Swimming. Tennis. Hockey. Baseball. Karate. Running. Lacrosse. Gymnastics. What’s your sport? Or maybe you just love exercise and fitness in general. Well then this one’s for you. On your mark. Get Set. Go!

10 Things Only Athletes Understand

10. Your dad forgot to wash your uniform and your game is in 10 minutes.
9. Your friends are on the OTHER team.
8. How gross your socks smell after a game. We’re talking bad. Really bad.
7. You are EXHAUSTED after practice!
6. That feeling when you first see your new uniform. With your number. And your name. Glorious.
5. Pre-game superstitions.
4. You still want to go to practice the day after you fracture your wrist.
3. Your best friend wants a playdate, but you can’t because you have practice.
2. Losing sometimes. Ughh!
1. Even if you lose, you still LOVE your sport and would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Let us know your sport or sports, and the problems you battle – in the Comments below!

- Ratha

October 21, 2016

SPONSORED POST Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Posted by at 1:44 pm in Movies & TV | Permalink

Fantastic BeastsThis Blog Post Is Sponsored by Warner Bros. Pictures.

The wizarding world of J.K. Rowling lives on in the upcoming film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (rated PG-13), in theaters November 18, 2016.

In this new adventure, wizard New Scamander brings a suitcase full of magical creatures to 1920s New York City. When some of Newt’s fantastic beasts escape, it could spell trouble for both wizards and No-Majs (the American word for Muggles).

Get ready to have your imagination ignited by all the fantastic beasts in the movie! You’ll meet a Thunderbird, whose powerful wings can generate storms, especially when faced with danger. The tiny Bowtruckle has a leafy, stem-like body for camouflage. The silvery Demiguise can see the future and even become invisible!

Check out the Magizoology 101 Personality Quiz to find out which fantastic beast from the wizarding world you have the most in common with. You can also check out the movie trailer.

Of course, there are fantastic beasts in our world, too—let’s celebrate these animals together! Tell us what’s most fantastic about your pet or your favorite animal in the Comments.

October 21, 2016

Goosebumps Movie Would You Rather

Goosebumps logoThe Goosebumps Movie (rated PG), based on the Goosebumps books series by R.L. Stine is becoming somewhat of a Halloween classic, especially now that the DVD is out. Full of silliness, spooky characters, and just a great story line, it features teenagers Zack and Hannah. Zack has just moved to a new town with his mom, and meets the girl next door, Hannah. Little does he know she is R.L. Stine’s daughter, and before you know it, they have unleashed the monsters from his books. We dare you to try our Goosebumps Movie Would You Rather.

Would You Rather . . .

1. Be attacked by garden gnomes OR the abominable snowman?

2. Have horror stories come true OR really bad nightmares?

3. Be chased by Slappy the Evil Dummy OR a car full of evil clowns?

4. Be locked in a house OR stuck in a book?

5. Have R.L. Stine for a dad OR J.K. Rowling for a mom?

6. Be trapped in a deserted supermarket OR a deserted ice rink?

7. Have a graveyard ghoul suck out your soul OR a slimy pink Blob swallow you whole?

Gather your courage, and let us know what YOU would rather in the Comments below! And let us know if you’re a fan of The Goosebumps Movie!


October 20, 2016

Secret Passageways

Posted by at 1:53 am in Reads | Permalink

Hi!I grew up in an old house, full of history and antiques and tiny staircases. And, I was convinced, full of secrets, too. I just knew that if I searched hard enough, I’d uncover a hidden passageway to the shed out back — or, cooler yet, a secret underground path to the beach a few blocks away.

I long ago gave up my search, but luckily, hidden passageways and secret rooms feature in a lot of amazing books, so I can live vicariously through the characters who disappear, find treasure, or even step into different realms. Plus, reading all those books has taught me the best lessons I’ll need, should I ever discover a secret passageway of my own.

For example, I know what to listen for when I start knocking on walls in my search for a hidden trapdoor, and how to carefully run my fingers up and down any cracks in the wall, looking for the latch. That’s because I’ve read The Ghost at Dawn’s House (The Baby-sitters Club #9). I also know not to give my trust too freely to anyone I should meet if and when I finally find that secret passageway – because I’ve read Coraline.

Secret passages and hidden doors are everywhere in literature, including places like Hogsmeade (where a trapdoor in the cellar of Honeydukes lets Harry Potter and friends connect to a secret passage that leads them to Hogwarts), the city of Venice (which Amy and Dan Cahill discover in The 39 Clues Book 2: One False Note), and even hidden in plain sight behind a fireplace (like in The Monstrous Memoirs of a Mighty McFearless by Ahmet Zappa). You just have to know how to find them!

So do any of you have hidden passageways or secret rooms in your houses? Would you want to find them if you did? Leave a Comment and let me know!

— Morgan, Scholastic Staffer

October 19, 2016

Not-So-Scary Halloween Books

Posted by at 1:42 am in Reads | Permalink

Happy HalloweenHalloween is an exciting time of year: fun costumes! Pumpkin carving! Yummy candy! Parties all month long! I know I spend at least half a year planning what I’ll dress up as on October 31st. But Halloween can also be a really frightening time of year, and spooky and scary isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Maybe you’re not really into creepy ghost stories and gory movies—that’s totally okay! (Guess what? Me, neither.) Just because you don’t like getting your pants scared off doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, too. To celebrate the Halloween season, I’ve put together a list of books for a non-scary Halloween. These mysterious stories will take you on fantastic, wild adventures to get you in the Halloween spirit, but you’ll still be able to sleep at night (well, maybe with a night light).

The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer
Young Jack is only just beginning to learn of his mysterious magical abilities when he and his little sister, Lucy, are kidnapped from their small village by berserkers. What follows next is a thrilling (and hilarious) adventure featuring man-eating spiders, dragons, troll bears, and Vikings—and a universe of creatures, powers, and myths that will forever change Jack’s life.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
The Baudelaire children—Violet, Klaus, and Sunny—have had a run of very bad luck. Not only did their parents perish in the fire that claimed their house, they are sent to live with the horrible Count Olaf. It will take a lot of clever skill and determination for the Baudelaires to foil Olaf’s sinister plans to steal their inheritance, and a lot of teamwork, but they might just make it out of this chapter of their lives OK…for now!

The Witches by Roald Dahl
Thanks to his grandmother’s stories, a seven-year-old boy knows all about witches—REAL witches, not just the ones of stories! He knows how to tell if a human is really a witch in disguise, and knows that what witches hate more than anything else in the world is children. When he accidentally uncovers a truly terrible plot to rid England of all its children, it’s up to the boy to come up with a plan to stop the witches…though an unfortunate transformation is going to make it a lot harder than he thought!

The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis
Neighbors Digory and Polly are having a pretty wild summer. After accidentally stumbling into an alternate world (thanks to Digory’s Uncle Andrew and some magic rings), they find themselves in even further trouble when they awaken an evil queen with a sinister desire to take over the earth! This first book of the Chronicles of Narnia series will pull you in right away, introducing you to the incredible universe of Narnia and all its fantastic creatures.

Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson
Five teenagers, used as models for holographic “guides” in the Disney World theme park, find themselves transported back to the park every night thanks to a bizarre technological glitch. They are tasked with battling an evil force called the Overtakers, a group of Disney villains intent on destroying the world. If you love fantasy, mystery, and all things Disney, this is definitely a must-read!

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
When sixteen people are named as the heirs to the fortune of Samuel W. Westing, an eccentric millionaire who loved puzzles, they are divided into teams of two and tasked with solving a series of clues. The pair who solve the mystery first will inherit the entire fortune…but the heirs may be hiding some dark mysteries of their own!

Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
Serafina is a pro at staying hidden: she lives on the vast Biltmore Estate with her father, the estate’s maintenance man, completely unknown to the estate owners Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilt. She knows all the secret corridors and passageways of the mansion, which she explores every night. So when children start disappearing from the estate, Serafina is the only one who knows which clues to follow…but is she willing to risk being discovered to save them? With mystery, suspense, and—yes!—magic, this book is sure to suck you in right away and whisk you off on a most fantastic journey.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Young orphan Hugo relies on being quick and staying undetected to survive in a busy Paris train station. He picks pockets, lives in the walls, and keeps the clocks running. But his world is about to change—and become a lot more visible—when he collides with the mysterious man who runs a toy booth in the station. A series of clues, including a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father, lead Hugo on a journey of discovery that will reveal not only more about the new people in his life, but his own past as well.

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
Eleven-year-old classmates Petra and Calder are fairly new friends, but they have so much in common—they love art, their teacher Ms. Hussey, and even the same blue candy! So when a famous Vermeer painting is stolen on its way to Chicago, and the art thief leaves a series of clues in the public paper, the two decide to solve the mystery on their own…and with the clock ticking down and clues becoming more complicated by the day, it’s a race against time for the new dynamic duo!

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Responding to a most peculiar ad in the newspaper, dozens of children sign up to take a series of competitive tasks to prove their gifted abilities—but only four make the cut. These four children are selected to join a super-secret society and tasked with a dangerous, mysterious mission: to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened. There’s something very sinister afoot at the Institute, and only these four can stop it! Criminal masterminds, plans for world domination, and ultra-smart kids…what could possibly go wrong?

What do you think? Have you read any of the books on this list? Do you have any recommendations for not-so-scary Halloween books? Share your thoughts and picks in the Comments!

Have a very Happy Halloween!


October 18, 2016

Hillary Clinton Wins Scholastic Student Vote

Posted by at 12:17 pm in News | Permalink
Scholastic News logoKids across the U.S. have cast their votes for president.

Most voters will make their picks for president on November 8, but our readers have already made their choice. Hillary Clinton won this year’s Scholastic Student Vote.

The Democratic candidate for president received 52 percent of the student votes, while her main challenger, Republican Donald Trump, received 35 percent. The remaining 13 percent was split among dozens of write-in candidates.

The person with the third most votes was Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, who received about 2 percent. Not far behind were Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who had challenged Clinton for the Democratic nomination (the act of being formally chosen as a candidate for a job or position), and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. About 153,000 students nationwide, from kindergarten through grade 12, voted online or by mail-in paper ballot.

Since 1940, the results of the student vote have usually mirrored the outcome of the presidential election. In fact, Scholastic readers have been wrong only twice. In 1948, kids picked Thomas E. Dewey over President Harry S. Truman. And in 1960, more students voted for Richard M. Nixon than for the eventual president, John F. Kennedy.

Will the student voters be right again? Find out on November 8!

Student Vote Results Map

Student Vote Results by State

Note: The Scholastic Student Vote is not based on a scientifically designed sample of the student population. It is an educational activity meant to give students an opportunity to express their opinions about the 2016 presidential election.

Alabama 32% 51% 17%
Alaska 36% 35% 29%
Arizona 56% 33% 11%
Arkansas 36% 50% 14%
California 71% 19% 10%
Colorado 59% 28% 14%
Connecticut 55% 32% 13%
Delaware 51% 27% 22%
Florida 48% 39% 13%
Georgia 48% 37% 15%
Hawaii 48% 25% 27%
Idaho 41% 38% 22%
Illinois 58% 31% 11%
Indiana 45% 43% 11%
Iowa 41% 42% 17%
Kansas 39% 40% 21%
Kentucky 39% 45% 15%
Louisiana 37% 52% 12%
Maine 44% 40% 15%
Maryland 66% 21% 13%
Massachusetts 65% 24% 11%
Michigan 49% 36% 15%
Minnesota 54% 33% 13%
Mississippi 41% 52% 7%
Missouri 35% 52% 13%
Montana 29% 56% 15%
Nebraska 38% 51% 10%
Nevada 59% 28% 13%
New Hampshire 50% 31% 18%
New Jersey 54% 37% 9%
New Mexico 57% 25% 18%
New York 56% 35% 9%
North Carolina 49% 40% 11%
North Dakota 25% 63% 12%
Ohio 43% 42% 15%
Oklahoma 44% 49% 7%
Oregon 58% 26% 16%
Pennsylvania 48% 41% 10%
Rhode Island 52% 29% 19%
South Carolina 47% 43% 9%
South Dakota 42% 46% 12%
Tennessee 42% 45% 13%
Texas 49% 40% 11%
Utah 44% 27% 29%
Vermont 50% 23% 26%
Virginia 50% 37% 13%
Washington 60% 25% 15%
Washington, D.C. 34% 29% 37%
West Virginia 25% 65% 10%
Wisconsin 46% 40% 14%
Wyoming 22% 49% 29%
October 14, 2016

Fantastic Beasts Fan Event

Posted by at 1:15 pm in Harry Potter, Movies & TV | Permalink

Eddie Redmayne as Newt ScamanderI have seen the first 10 minutes of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them  movie (rated PG-13), and it is EPIC! I was at a worldwide fan event for the new movie in New York City with a whole theater full of Harry Potter fans. Other fans around the world participated, and I can tell you there were wands waving, screams of excitement when a surprise guest appeared (Hint: Her name begins with J.), and even some hyperventilating in the New York theater during this event.fantastic beasts fan event

Watch the highlight video!

For reals, guys! I was there! Am I a lucky no-maj, or what? Leave a Comment and tell us how excited you are for this movie!