August 23, 2014

Choose Your Own Adventure, Part 4

Posted by at 1:23 am in Personality Quiz, Reads | Permalink

Adventure Books BashWelcome back to Choose Your Own Adventure! In a choose-your-own-adventure story, you read a chapter and then you get a few choices of what the character should do next. Have you read Part 1Part 2, and Part 3 yet? Pay attention to your answer choices because when the story is done, your answers will reveal the adventure hero you are most like.

Part 4

The door bursts open, sending a blinding light everywhere. You skid to a stop. The rain seems to stop, too. You can’t see anything so you squint your eyes, but you still can’t make out anything.  A second later, you hear a deafening BOOM and feel a gust of wind so strong it literally sweeps you off your feet. You’re knocked backwards and land on your back in the mud, which does not feel good at all.

You cough and blink the dirt out of your eyes, groaning and rolling over onto your stomach. You roll over onto something hard that pokes you in the rib painfully.

“Ouch!” you holler. Sitting up, you see that you rolled onto a giant leather-bound book. On the cover, in giant letters, are the words OPEN ME. You scramble away and stand up. You look up and the sky is clear again. You look towards the spot where the door was and see nothing. The tree that you just watched explode is standing tall and whole.

You . . .

A) can’t deal with this situation alone. You take the book back home, planning to take it to a librarian who might know more about it.

B) are totally excited by this new development! You hide the book in a safe spot and will come back for it tomorrow. Right now, you’re pretty hungry. Dinner first, adventure later!

C) know that books that come out of nowhere are dangerous. You learned how to start a fire at summer camp last year, so you build one and throw the book into the flames. Good riddance!

D) study the outside of the book before deciding what to do next. You’re so curious, but you want to play it safe. You want to do more research on the make of the book and find out who made it.

E) open the book!

What would YOU do? Share your answer in the Comments below! And check back for the next installment of the story. Are you coming to the Readathon?

See ya next time,

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

August 22, 2014

Madison Beer Interview

Posted by at 1:26 am in Celebrities | Permalink

Madison BeerMeet Madison Beer, Internet singing star!

15-year-old Madison Beer got her first big break when Justin Bieber tweeted one of her videos to his millions of followers, and since then she has been working on her first studio album (oh, yeah, and she also recorded “Valentine” with Cody Simpson. Whaaaaat?!). We chatted with Madison about singing, books, her most embarrassing moment, and more.

Q: What advice would you give to young artists if they wanted to get into the music business?
Madison: Well, I started on YouTube just for fun, really. It was something that I always wanted to do, so it was just me having some fun and messing around. My advice? If a teenager really enjoys singing, like me, I would just go ahead and post stuff on YouTube (only with your parents’ permission). I know that it can be really nerve-racking, especially when you start thinking, “What are my friends going to think? What are my teachers going to think?” You don’t really know how people are going to react. But if you’re confident in the video that you recorded, and if it’s going to make you happy, you should post it.

Q: When did you know that you wanted to perform?
Madison: I think when I started posting videos consistently is when I got really attached to the whole idea of doing it professionally. I’ve always wanted to be a professional singer, but the YouTube stuff made me take it more seriously. I felt, like, compelled to do YouTube videos.

Q: Do you remember the first song you sang as a little girl?
Madison: Yeah. I used to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” all the time. I used to sing that and “God Bless America” all the time.

Madison Beer

Q: What is your all-time favorite book?
Madison: As a child, The Giving Tree was my favorite book. It showed me the importance of sharing and caring for people and, you know, giving and not always being selfish. And I also loved all the Shel Silverstein books.

Q: What is your all-time favorite song?
Madison: I love The Beatles song “In My Life.” I like that song a lot. It’s really cute.

Q: What’s the funniest or most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you recently?
Madison: I live in California, so when I come back to New York I get to see my friends that I haven’t seen in weeks—months, even. I was pulling up to my friend’s house and right when I got out of the car, I kind of, like, tripped a little bit, but I caught myself and I was fine. All my friends were waiting for me outside. So I tried to play it cool, in case anybody noticed, and I walked right into a tree. It was the most embarrassing thing. And I was like, “Awesome. That was great.” Everybody knows that I’m clumsy, so they all were just laughing. They were like, “Oh, Madison’s back.”

Can’t wait to hear the songs Madison’s been working on! Are you a Madison Beer fan? Are you also excited for her new album? Share your thoughts in the Comments below!

Toodles,

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

Interview by Marie Morreale

August 21, 2014

A Graphic Novel About Sisters

Posted by at 1:54 am in Graphic Novels, Reads | Permalink

Sisters by Raina TelgemeierSisters(for ages 8-12) by Raina Telgemeier

When she was young, Raina was so excited to become a big sister. She couldn’t wait to have a sibling to play with! She hoped it would be like having a built-in friend who would never have to go home before dinnertime. But when Amara was born, Raina found having a sibling wasn’t quite what she expected. She was a cute baby, but she cried a lot.

Now that Raina is starting middle school, she can hardly get a minute of privacy at home, especially because she’s crammed into one bedroom with her younger sister and her younger brother Will. To keep the peace between Raina and Amara, Mom and Dad decide to do some room rearranging. Raina will get her own room, and Will and Amara will share the big bedroom. Mom and Dad will move to a sofa bed in the living room.

Will these two sisters finally figure out how to get along?

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

Check out this video preview of Sisters! Doesn’t the art remind you of Raina Telgemeier’s other books Smile and Drama?

Do you have any siblings? What do you love the most about having a brother or sister? What parts don’t you love about it? Tell us what you think in the Comments below!

Marisa, STACKS Intern

August 20, 2014

Choose Your Own Adventure, Part 3

Posted by at 3:20 pm in Personality Quiz, Reads | Permalink

Adventure Books BashWelcome back to Choose Your Own Adventure! In a choose-your-own-adventure story, you read a chapter and then you get a few choices of what the character should do next. For the STACKS Adventure Books Bash, we’re celebrating adventure with a choose-your-own-adventure story written by me! Have you read Part 1 and Part 2 yet? Pay attention to your answer choices because when the story is done, your answers will reveal the adventure hero you are most like. Are you ready???

Part 3

You know it’s going to be dark soon, and also time for dinner, but you are mesmerized by your new discovery. Curiosity gets the best of you, and you reach out and pull on the knob.

Nothing budges.

You try twisting and pushing, but nothing happens. The door is totally stuck. Frustrated, you plop down on the grass and watch the last rays of the sun as it slides behind the horizon.

After a while, you start to feel chilly and kind of hungry, so you decide to go home. As you stand up, though, the ground beneath you starts to tremble. As the trembling intensifies, you hear a loud rattling noise. You look over and see that the door is shaking and bright light is seeping out from the edges.

Scared, you start crawling backwards. The sky, which was completely clear only a moment ago, is full of dark clouds. With a loud CRACK, rain begins pouring from the sky. The wind picks up and intensifies until you feel like you’re being battered by rain on all sides.

You start running towards a large tree in the middle of the field, thinking you can hide in it, when suddenly a bolt of lightning slices through the air and strikes the tree, exploding it. Screaming, you start running back towards the woods and your house. The ground is getting muddy and you are slipping and sliding, so it’s taking you a long time to cover the last twenty yards. Before you can process what’s happening, another bolt of lightning strikes a small shrub only a few yards to your left.  You keep running and lightning strikes another patch of grass to your right. You’re about a foot away from the door, which is still shaking violently like someone—or something—is trying to escape.

You . . .

A) knock and see if anyone answers.

B) keep running for a place to hide!

C) try to remember everything you learned in wilderness safety class. You remember something about lying face down on the ground. That might not be the most accurate memory, but it’ll do—so you do it.

D) know that metal conducts electricity in a thunderstorm so you do NOT touch that metal doorknob.

E) pull on the knob! You need to get indoors and you need to get indoors NOW!

What would YOU do? Share your answer in the Comments below! And check back for the next installment of the story. Also, please plan to come to the Readathon!

See ya next time,

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

August 20, 2014

Loot

Posted by at 2:33 pm in Reads | Permalink

Loot by Jude Watson (for ages 9-12)

LOSERS, WEEPERS. STEALERS, KEEPERS.

When Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series, says a book is “the perfect summer read,” you know it’s got to be good! He (and we!) love Loot, an action-packed heist book by The 39 Clues author Jude Watson.

Loot starts when March McQuin’s criminal father, Alfie, falls off a high rooftop in a heist gone wrong. As Alfie speaks his last words, he manages to tell March to “find jewels.” But March soon learns that “jewels” is actually “Jules” — a twin sister he’s never heard of!

After finding each other, March and Jules plan to follow their father’s footsteps and find a new life for themselves. With just one well-planned heist, the two could be living beyond their wildest dreams! The only question is how? It all becomes clear when March begins to discover hints his father left behind…

Start reading the action-packed Loot here!

Would you have the courage to pull off a heist like March and Jules? What friends would you take along the way?  Post your answers in the Comments below!

 

August 19, 2014

Ice Cream Personality Quiz

Posted by at 1:40 am in Personality Quiz | Permalink

Ice creamWhat Ice Cream Flavor Are You?

Who doesn’t love ice cream on a hot summer day? It’s no wonder why the ice cream truck always stops at the beach or why your local ice cream parlor is always open late during the summer months. I know I sure crave a cool, sweet treat when the sun is blazing! Even though National Ice Cream Month is over, it’s always a good time to find out what ice cream flavor YOU are! Continue reading

August 18, 2014

Back-to-School Who Would Win

Posted by at 1:35 am in Who Would Win, Writing Prompt | Permalink

Back to SchoolIt’s time to go back to school!

It’s finally time to go back to school! YAYYYY!!! There are so many reasons to get excited about going back to school but for today’s Who Would Win, please choose between these 2:

Which is better?

Having the best school library OR having the best school supplies in your school bag?

Back to School

Leave your vote in the Comments. And tell us your favorite part about going back to school.

–Sonja, STACKS Staffer

The librarian photo credit aussiegal; My schoool bag photo credit anasararojas

August 17, 2014

The Secret Kingdom Series

Posted by at 11:49 am in Reads | Permalink

The Secret KingdomThe Lowdown on the Secret Kingdom Series (for ages 7-10)

Have you read the Secret Kingdom series? If you haven’t heard about these magical books, here’s everything you need to know to get started:

The girls in charge: Ellie, Summer, and Jasmine! These three best friends find an enchanted box that whisks them away to a place called the Secret Kingdom, where they go on amazing adventures and have to save the day from . . .

the villain, better known as Queen Malice. She lives on a grey thundercloud, so you can imagine how mean she is! She is constantly trying to take over the Secret Kingdom and she makes everyone who lives there simply miserable, especially her brother . . .

the good guy. King Merry is just a happy royal with a knack for inventing magical things. He wants the best for all his loving citizens, but unfortunately, he’s often forgetful and gets confused easily.

Luckily, Ellie, Summer, and Jasmine don’t have to save the Secret Kingdom alone – they have Trixi the Pixie to cast spells and help them defeat Queen Malice!

To read an exclusive excerpt from their first adventure in the Secret Kingdom, click here.

If you love it as much as we think you will, you’ll be happy to know there are LOTS more books in the series! Look for Book 2: Unicorn Valley, and help Ellie, Summer, and Jasmine save the Secret Kingdom yet again!

 

August 16, 2014

Choose Your Own Adventure, Part 2

Posted by at 1:49 am in Personality Quiz, Reads | Permalink

Adventure Books BashWelcome back to Choose Your Own Adventure! In a choose-your-own-adventure story, you read a chapter and then you get a few choices of what the character should do next. For the STACKS Adventure Books Bash, we’re celebrating adventure with a choose-your-own-adventure story written by me! Have you read Part 1 yet? Pay attention to your answer choices because when the story is done, your answers will reveal the adventure hero you are most like. Are you ready???

Part 2

“Alfie!” you say. You don’t want to be left alone, and he’s acting weird. “Come back!” He looks back a few times and barks, but soon his fluffy, yellow tail is out of sight. You sigh and think, “So much for loyalty.”

You start walking deeper into the field. You’re still mad at Kyle and don’t want to go home just yet. You’re distractedly wondering why Alfie was behaving so strangely when you trip and nearly fall on your face.

At first you think you tripped over a large rock or piece of garbage. After all, the grass is pretty unruly and tall, and sometimes rowdy teenagers leave trash here. But when you look back, you see something glinting in the light of the setting sun — a shiny, metal doorknob covered in strange symbols.

Curious, you lean in closer and can see that it is attached to a wooden door in the ground. The door isn’t very big and it looks old, but the knob looks very new.

You . . .

a) call a friend and tell him/her to come take a look before deciding what to do next.

b) think it looks pretty cool and you want to look at it later, but for now it’s more important to find gross bugs to stick in your brother’s bed.

c) wonder out loud, “Is it safe?” Probably not. Who knows what’s down there! Go about your business and ignore it. It’s probably just a musty, old cellar anyway.

d) take a picture of the doorknob with your phone. Then go home to do some research on the meaning of the symbols.

e) don’t waste any time and open that door! There could be all kinds of cool stuff in there.

What would YOU do? Share your answer in the Comments below! And check back for new installments of the story.

See ya next time,

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

August 15, 2014

Kelli Berglund in How to Build a Better Boy

Posted by at 1:11 am in Celebrities | Permalink

Kelli Berglund in How to Build a Better BoyHow to Build a Better Boy

Get ready for a new Disney Channel movie starring Kelli Berglund, China Anne McClain, and Marshal Williams. How to Build a Better Boy premieres at 8 p.m. on Friday, August 15. In the movie, best friends Mae and Gabby are super-smart tech whizzes but not very popular in school. When mean-girl Neveah (played by Ashley Argota) teases Mae about not having a date to the Homecoming Dance, the friends use a computer to program the perfect boy. What could possibly go wrong? Umm. . . lots.

First let’s meet the boy, played by Marshall Williams. Check out this video.

KELLI BERGLUND, MARSHALL WILLIAMS

Photo credit Disney Channel/Rick Rowell

Now, let’s hear from Kelli.

Q: What’s the most embarrassing that’s happened to you?
Kelli: One time I was filming a scene, and I slipped and I fell right on my face. Billy [who plays her brother Chase on Lab Rats] and I tripped over each other and we just landed face-down in opposite directions. It was really funny! It was on camera, but we just got up and laughed it off.

Q: Can you tell me one thing that you think would help to make the world a better place?Kelli: I think everyone should stop being so judgmental of everybody. I think if we started loving more–I honestly think that would definitely help make the world a better place.

Q: What’s the best book you ever read (besides this one)?
Kelli: The Maze Runner (for ages 12 and up) and they are actually turning it into a movie, which I am really excited about. It was so good. It’s kind of similar to The Hunger Games (for ages 12 and up) but the storyline is completely different. It involves a lot of action and character development. I actually auditioned to be in the movie! And I was like, “I read the book and I’m prepared,” but I ended up not booking it. But it was cool just to audition for it.

Watch Kelli talking about The Maze Runner in this brand new video.

Are you excited for Kelli’s new movie? Share your thoughts in the comments below! And don’t forget to read our earlier interview with Kelli and her Lab Rats castmates, as well as our interview with Kelli’s new costar, China Anne McClain!

Interview by Sue Schneider
Images courtesy of Disney XD