July 28, 2014

Favorite Scenes from Harry Potter

Harry Potter illustration by Mary GrandPreCelebrate Harry Potter’s birthday with us all week long!

Hey, everyone! Welcome to the happiest week of the year (except maybe Christmas or the first week of school): Harry Potter Week! To celebrate Harry’s birthday, we will be featuring Harry Potter on the blog all week long . . . AND having a live readathon/ virtual birthday party on Thursday, July 31. Please come if you can and bring a friend. You’re TOTALLY invited!

Let’s start the week with this Writing Prompt from Skyelark Moon on the Harry Potter Message Boards who is obviously a fan of the Harry Potter series, as you can tell from this question . . .

**Spoilers from ALL the books follow!**

Skyelark Moon STACKS Profile

Skyelark Moon

  1. The Philosopher’s Stone (a.k.a. The Sorcerer’s Stone): I have always loved the scene in Diagon Ally especially when Harry is in Ollivanders. Something about it is so . . . magical. :D
  2. The Chamber of Secrets: The moment when Harry and Ron are figuring out the secret to the Chamber of Secrets has always been one of my favorite parts. I love mysteries, so this was a great part to me. :D
  3. The Prisoner of Azkaban: I love the chapter “Cat, Rat, and Dog.” The Marauders are some of my favorite characters, and seeing them interact with each other is fantastic.
  4. The Goblet of Fire: I have always liked the section in between the first and second tasks: namely the scene where Harry opens the egg in the water. ;)
  5. The Order of the Phoenix: The Room of Requirement is one of my favorite places in Hogwarts, so naturally all of the Dumbledore’s Army parts are my favorite. :D
  6. The Half-Blood Prince: I really like the part when Harry first uses the Half-Blood Prince’s book to brew the Draught of Living Death. :P
  7. The Deathly Hallows: I love the ending of The Deathly Hallows, especially when they seem to be figuring out where all the Horcruxes are. As I mentioned previously, I really love mysteries, so this part was great, in my opinion. :D

Skyelark Moon, who really wants to read Harry Potter right now, but she can’t.

Leave your answers in the Comments and mark your calendars for the readathon on Thursday!

Harry Potter illustration by Mary GrandPré

July 28, 2014

Harry Potter Theme Parks

Posted by at 1:00 am in Harry Potter | Permalink

Harry Potter StampDiagon Alley in Florida, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Japan

It’s been a crazy month for Muggle fans of Harry Potter! As you may know, Universal Studios recently officially opened Diagon Alley in Florida, and Universal Studios Japan just unveiled its own Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Diagon Alley in Florida is essentially a replica of the film sets from the Harry Potter movies, complete with all the shops and spots like the Leaky Cauldron, Gringotts, Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes, Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor, and more. Guests can get their fill of Nosebleed Nougats, butterbeer ice cream, and other Diagon Alley specialties. The main attraction, of course, is the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride. The other attraction is . . . THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS!

The Hogwarts Express is actually a shuttle between 2 different theme parks inside of Universal Studios. You need a “Park-to-Park” ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express which costs $136. For $96, you can see either Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade (but not both).

This Diagon Alley is the first of its kind in the (Muggle) world, but the first Wizarding World of Harry Potter to open outside of the U.S. is now in Osaka, Japan. It opened on July 14th and it is almost identical to the original one in Florida. Tom Felton (who played Draco Malfoy in the movies) and Evanna Lynch (who played Luna Lovegood in the movies) greeted fans on opening night and led lucky visitors into the new park the following morning!

Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment shop

Universal Studios Japan

Another Wizarding World is set to open at Universal Studios Hollywood in California in 2016.

So much Harry Potter coming to life! It’s so exciting . . . and also kind of overwhelming. What do YOU think? Would you go to Diagon Alley? What other parts of Harry Potter’s world would you like to see made real for us Muggles? (Well, to be honest, Harry Potter has always felt very real to me!) Share your thoughts in the Comments below!

En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

July 25, 2014

Leo Howard Interview

Posted by at 1:55 am in Celebrities | Permalink

Leo HowardIf you love Leo Howard from Kickin’ It, keep reading.

If any television actor has undergone an on-screen transformation, it’s Kickin’ It‘s Leo Howard. Remember what he was like when the show first started? But even if Leo–and his character Jack–has changed a bit on the outside, he’s still the super-chill guy we interviewed a little while back. So it was great to catch up with him again and see what he’s been reading, what his favorite school subject is, and more! Check it out. Continue reading

July 25, 2014

Adventure Books Readathon

Posted by at 1:09 am in Reads | Permalink

Adventure Books BlastAugust Is the Month for Adventure!

STACKS has some new activities lined up for your August reading adventure. If you like adventure books, you are going to love our Adventure Books Bash. Here’s what we have planned. . .

August 5: Adventure Guess the Books
Can you guess the book titles just from seeing tiny slivers of their covers?

August 6: Choose Your Own Adventure: Part 1
STACKS Staffer En-Szu is writing an adventure story where YOU get to choose what path to take. At the end of the story, your choices will reveal which adventure hero you are most like.

August 12: Shark Week Who Would Win
If you have read I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916, then you understand my terror of sharks. Guys, an actual shark attacked actual people swimming at the actual Jersey shore. I ask you, what is scarier than that?

August 13: Choose Your Own Adventure Part 2
En-Szu’s story continues with a new twist!

August 20: Choose Your Own Adventure Part 3

August 26: National Dog Day
Well, this might not have anything to do with adventure books, but how awesome is a whole day when we get to celebrate dogs?

August 27: Which Adventure Hero Are You? Find out!

August 28: Readathon 12-4 p.m. ET
Join us on the STACKS for a live 4-hour readathon!

I hope you can join us for 1 or all of these STACKS events this August!

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

 

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? Continue reading

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! Continue reading

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.
Hogwarts

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