July 24, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars Readalikes

Posted by at 1:04 am in Reads | Permalink

Recommend me!When You’re Not Old Enough for The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

If you’ve seen a movie or visited a book store in the past few months, you’ve probably heard about a movie based on a book called The Fault in Our Stars (rated PG-13). I bet you can practically hear your older sister gushing about it. Here’s the bottom line: TFIOS is about two teenagers with cancer who fall in love, and by the end of the book, one of them dies. The falling in love part is sappy, and the dying part is downright depressing, so this book is definitely not for kids under 13. But if the fact that the book has been glued to big sis’s hands has made you curious, what are some similar books for kids your age?

Are you 8 or older?

Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Auggie Pullman has a facial deformity that has kept him homeschooled until now: the fifth grade. Wonder is Auggie’s story of navigating a new school, making new friends, and learning new rules. Like TFIOS, this realistic fiction novel will bring on the waterworks, but with this book, they’ll be tears of joy.

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu. Hazel and Jack were best friends – before a freak accident caused Jack to mysteriously disappear into the woods with a woman made of ice. Breadcrumbs reminds me of TFIOS because both books are about the things we leave behind when we enter the unknown.

Rules by Cynthia Lord. Catherine just wants to be a regular 12-year-old, but having a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability always keeps her from a normal life. Rules asks one of the very same questions as TFIOS: What is normal?

Are you 9 or older?

Gossamer by Lois Lowry. Why do we dream the way we do? Where do our dreams come from? This novel walks the line between imagination and reality. After this read, you’ll definitely have your thinking hat on for when you’re old enough to read TFIOS!

Radiance by Alyson Noel. Riley has moved on to the afterlife, but finds that paradise isn’t all fun and games. She’s assigned a job as Soul Catcher and must help a certain soul cross the bridge – a soul four other people have not been able to bring to the afterlife. What happens after people die is a big question in TFIOS. Radiance gives us a peak at one possibility!

Are you 10 or older?

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Nobody ‘Bod’ Owens is just a toddler when he stumbles into the graveyard after his family is murdered. It’s there that Bod starts his life, under the protection of the graveyard’s many ghosts. I know what you’re thinking: What on Earth does this have in common with TFIOS? But this book, too, examines life, death, and what comes after – so there you have it.

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. Ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles upon members of the Tuck family who have been given eternal life after drinking from a magic spring. The Tucks explain to Winnie that they are both blessed and doomed to stay the same age forever. Like TFIOS, Tuck Everlasting examines life and death.

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper. Melody is a brilliant and talented fifth grader with a photographic memory. But cerebral palsy leaves her unable to communicate with others, and she often feels like a goldfish stuck in a bowl, only able to observe the outside world from inside her head.  Melody feels trapped by her condition, much like the main character of TFIOS also does. What does it take to rise above the thing you have no control over?

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine. As an 11-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome, Caitlin doesn’t know how to deal with her brother’s death. Caitlin decides she and her father need “closure” after she reads its definition in the dictionary. Mockingbird’s theme of closure will certainly translate to the end of TFIOS when you get there!

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan. Willow is a 12-year-old child genius whose greatest comfort is counting by 7s. When her parents die in a tragic accident, Willow must decide to push through her grief. Also like TFIOS, Counting by 7s will give you a snapshot of grief – and most importantly, what it takes to get through it.

So there you have it! We hope these fantastic, realistic fiction recommendations will tide you over until you’re old enough to take on The Fault in Our Stars!

Marisa, STACKS Intern

July 23, 2014

Scholastic Fantasy Book Previews

Posted by at 1:55 am in Reads | Permalink

Fantasy Books FestivalHave you read these Scholastic fantasy books?

The July Fantasy Books Festival continues! Today, we will be highlighting some of the newest Scholastic fantasy books. As you know, Scholastic has published LOTS of amazing fantasy book series such as Harry Potter, the Ink trilogy, Guardians of Ga’Hoole, and, like, a thousand others. Here are just 3 of the fantasy books we are excited about right now:

Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy
The seven dragon tribes have been at war for generations, locked in an endless battle over an ancient, lost treasure. A secret movement called the Talons of Peace is determined to bring an end to the fighting with the help of a prophecy — and five dragonets are collected to fulfill it.
Read Chapter 1
Watch the video

The Finisher
Enter the thrilling world of Wormwood, a village surrounded by danger and built on lies. Only young Vega Jane has the courage to probe Wormwood’s dark secrets . . . and face the consequences of what comes to light.
Read Chapter 1
Watch the video

Spirit Animals: Wild Born
In the world of Erdas, four children are about to discover if they have a spirit animal bond, a rare link between human and beast that gives great powers to both. Separated by vast distances, Conor, Abeke, Meilin, and Rollan each see a flash of light . . . and then the animals emerge.
Read Chapter 1
Watch the video

So fun, right? Please come to the live readathon on July 31 and tell us what fantasy books you are excited about right now.


July 22, 2014

Constellation Personality Quiz

Posted by at 1:01 am in Personality Quiz | Permalink

ConstellationsPersonality Quiz: What Constellation Are You?

A constellation is a group of stars that, when you connect the dots, forms a shape (like the Big Dipper). In honor of this year’s Reading Under the Stars Summer Reading Challenge, we’ve put together a personality quiz to let you know what constellation you are! Most constellations are based on legends, so you’ll also learn the mythology behind the stars. Are you the largest constellation in the sky? Or do you have the brightest stars? Take this quiz to find out, and then try to spot your constellation in the sky this summer!

  1. Sometimes you wonder . . . A) what it would be like to live in a cave in the mountains! B) how many pets you could fit in your house. C) why humans can’t breathe underwater. D) where the time goes when you are reading!
  2. Choose one of the following animals. A) Lion. B) Scorpion. C) Fish. D) Snake.
  3. Your favorite summer activity is . . . A) going for a hike. B) visiting the zoo. C) swimming. D) camping.
  4. Choose an adjective. A) Courageous. B) Caring. C) Free-flowing. D) Swift.
  5. If you could spend a day with one of these celebrities, it would be . . . A) Leo Howard. B) Dove Cameron. C) Michael Phelps. D) Ariana Grande.
  6. Choose a season. A) summer. B) fall. C) spring. D) winter.
  7. You would be most surprised if . . . A) a volcano popped up in your backyard. B) you saw a gargantuan spider rescue a cat from a tree. C) fish grew legs and walked out of the ocean. D) your little sister brought home a baby crocodile as a pet.
  8. Your favorite method of transportation is . . . A) walking on foot. B) by horseback. C) by boat. D) by airplane.
  9. If you could travel anywhere in the world, it would be to. . . A) Africa. B) Brazil. C) Hawai’i. D) Tasmania.

Are you ready? Count up your answers to discover what constellation you are!

If you answered mostly A’s, you are . . . Leo!
Leo was one of the earliest identified constellations and is represented with a lion. Legend says that the lion can’t be wounded by weapons and is the ultimate warrior! So… you are a quick-on-your-toes adventurer and a fearless explorer. You dream of becoming a leader!

If you answered mostly B’s, you are . . . Scorpius!
Scorpius is one of the brightest constellations in the sky. According to mythology, Scorpius defeated Orion, who had declared he was going to kill every animal on earth. This makes you an animal lover! You’re probably not even afraid of bugs!

If you answered mostly C’s, you are . . . Pisces!
You probably love to swim and enjoy trips to the aquarium. Pisces is Latin for fish. Based on Greek legend, Aphrodite and Eros escaped a monster by turning themselves into fish. So they wouldn’t lose each other in the sea, they tied their fish tails together with a rope!

If you answered mostly D’s, you are  . . . Hydra!
Hydra the snake is the largest of the modern constellations. When Apollo was served a snake in his cup of water, he got so angry that he cast the serpent up into the sky where it became the constellation Hydra. You’re quiet and stealthy just like a snake. Also like a snake, you sometimes have eyes bigger than your stomach when it comes to your appetite!

Marisa, STACKS Intern

July 21, 2014

Would You Rather Kiss . . .

Posted by at 1:39 am in Would You Rather | Permalink

Question marksRandom Would You Rather

Here is a Random Would You Rather from the fabuloso STACKer EarlyFairy3. Leave your answers in the Comments!

  1. Would you rather kiss a snail OR a frog?EarlyFairy3 STACKS Profile
  2. Would you rather be a successful movie star OR a well-known smart person?
  3. Would you rather go to the supermarket OR to the mall?
  4. Would you rather watch the sunset OR the sunrise?
  5. Would you rather do well in math OR in music?
  6. Would you rather be a dog OR a cat?

\ Thx, EarlyFairy3

July 19, 2014

Harry Potter Readathon

Posted by at 4:05 pm in Harry Potter, Live Chats, Reads | Permalink

Extra!Please join us for a live readathon to celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday! 

Since it will be on Harry Potter’s actual birthday, it will be a combination birthday party/readathon. You can read, eat virtual cake, chat with all your reader friends on STACKS, and participate in some special Harry Potter challenges we have planned.

  • When: Thursday, July 31 at noon ET
  • Where: Harry Potter Message Board
  • How: Sign in to the Message Board at noon with your STACKS screen name. If you don’t have a screen name, it’s easy to get one – and free! Sign up now.

Art copyright Kazu Kibuishi

Hope to see you at the readathon!

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

July 18, 2014

Oscar Dietz Is Antboy

Posted by at 9:55 am in Celebrities | Permalink

Oscar Dietz as AntboySuperheroes come in all sizes in the movie Antboy (rated PG).

Ordinary, overlooked, 12-year-old Pelle (played by Oscar Dietz) is transformed into an extraordinary superhero after he is bitten by a super-ant and inherits its abilities. Overnight, the boy whom nobody noticed becomes a local hero dubbed “Antboy.” With the help of his sidekick, Wilhelm, climbing walls, flipping cars, stopping robbers, and saving babies all become part of his new dream life. But all this changes when super-villain “The Flea” kidnaps a pretty girl from Pelle’s school. Antboy, Wilhelm, and the missing girl’s sister Ida must fight this treacherous evil, rescue the damsel in distress, save the town from a super-villain, and be home in time for dinner.

Here is the Antboy himself, Oscar Dietz, to tell you what it was like making this movie. Continue reading

July 17, 2014

Michael Strahan Hosts Kids' Choice Sports 2014

Posted by at 1:57 am in Celebrities | Permalink

Mochael Strahan Kids Choice Sports 2014Michael Strahan will host Kids’ Choice Sports 2014 on Thursday, July 17 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Legendary Super Bowl champion and Fox NFL Sunday analyst Michael Strahan will host one of the biggest sports celebrations for kids, the first ever Kids’ Choice Sports 2014 show on Nickelodeon. We talked to the former New York Giant about sports, his favorite athletes, and who will get slimed! Read on. Continue reading

July 16, 2014

Fantasy Who Would Win?

Posted by at 1:19 am in Percy Jackson, Reads, Who Would Win | Permalink

Fantasy Books FestivalWho would win in a fight between your favorite fantasy characters?

I know what MY favorite thing about fantasy books is: fantasy books often have the most exciting, epic, earth-shattering battles. In worlds where anything is possible, magical creatures, logic-defying supernatural abilities, and even nature itself can turn any old argument into a knock-down, drag-out fight to save the universe. It’s so exciting!

Fight scenes in fantasy books always leave me wondering what I would do if I had the abilities or strengths that the characters have. Would I try to save the world, too? Or would I go on silly adventures instead? Probably a little bit of both!

Today’s Fantasy Books Festival post is all about special abilities. Everyone loves a good collision of fantasy universes, so do a little imagining yourself: who would win in a fight between these fictional characters?

Who are your winners? Why? What are your suggestions for fantasy face-offs? Share in the Comments below!

Till next time,

image from kids.scholastic.com — En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

July 15, 2014

What Color Is Your Personality?

Posted by at 1:11 am in Personality Quiz | Permalink

Rainbow PenQUIZ: If your personality had a color, what would it be?

Have you ever noticed how some people seem to remind you of certain colors? For example, someone with a sunny, happy personality kind of reminds me of yellow. Now it’s your turn to figure out what color matches your personality. Answer these questions to find out.

  1. A totally awesome job would be . . . A) TV Producer. B) Veterinarian. C) Kindergarten teacher. D) CEO of Disney. E) President of the United States. Continue reading
July 14, 2014

Vacation Would You Rather

Posted by at 1:46 am in Summer, Would You Rather | Permalink

Dream vacationSummer Vacation Would You Rather

It’s finally summer! Do you have wonderful plans to celebrate and have a great time on vacation? Think about these questions and leave your answers in the Comments.

Would you rather . . . 

  1. Go away with your family OR friends?
  2. Educational trip OR fun trip?
  3. Safari OR boat cruise?
  4. Road trip OR Let’s just fly and get there already?
  5. Play games in the car to pass the time? OR just sleep?
  6. Somewhere tropical OR I don’t care as long as it’s not home?
  7. Disney World OR Six Flags?
  8. Horseback riding in Wyoming OR surfing in California?
  9. Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco OR Statue of Liberty in New York?
  10. Rodeo in Texas OR jet ski in South Carolina?
  11. Camp in the rain forest in South America OR the Sahara desert in Africa?
  12. The coast of Maine OR the Canadian Rockies?
  13. The Australian bush OR the Caribbean island of St. John?
  14. The Great Wall of China OR the Pyramids of Egypt?
  15. Yellowstone National Park OR Everglades National Park?
  16. Water park OR ocean?
  17. Aquarium OR drive-through safari?
  18. Botanical garden OR zoo?
  19. Stay in touch with a friend you met on vacation OR long-distance relationships don’t work?
  20. What’s the best part of staying at a hotel? The tiny bottles of shampoo OR room service?
  21. Wander around the hotel to see what it looks like OR head straight for the pool?
  22. Go out to dinner at a fancy restaurant OR stay in for room service?
  23. Take a lot of pictures OR just enjoy the sights?
  24. Always go to the same place OR somewhere different?
  25. Family vacations are the best OR Get me home already?