October 29, 2014

Q & A with R. L. Stine

Posted by at 1:01 am in Authors, Goosebumps | Permalink

R. L. Stine, Goosebumps authorWith Halloween nigh, it’s only fitting to serve up a treat . . . a Q & A with the terrifyingly spooktacular R. L. Stine, author of the Goosebumps series! Read to find out which Goosebumps character R. L. Stine is most like, his inspiration for Slappy, and more!

Q: How did you come up with Slappy’s character and the rhyme that brings him to life? Continue reading

October 28, 2014

Taylor Swift Would You Rather

Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift ROCKS Would You Rather!

The youngest singer EVER to win a Grammy for Album of the Year.  The only female artist to chart at #1 with three consecutive studio albums. An album on Rolling Stone’s 50 Greatest Albums of All Time list. And . . . she writes her own music. And . . . she has a totally awesome fashion style.

TAYLOR SWIFT!!!

Check Ink Splot 26 very soon to watch an exclusive, up-close and personal chat with Taylor. She’ll share books that have inspired her, how writing has opened her world (a.k.a. becoming a rock star songwriter), and an exclusive never-before-seen video clip!

And enter the This Is How I Shake It Off Writing Contest. Taylor uses music to shake off tough moments in her life. You can share your story for a chance to win some amazing prizes. (Read the contest details here.)

So with all the Taylor Swift excitement around the STACKS this week, we want to know . . .

Would You Rather…

  1. Win a trip to see her concert OR win a guitar signed by Taylor Swift?
  2. Be in the room when Taylor was writing a new song OR when she is making a music video?
  3. Have Taylor’s long hair OR short bob haircut?
  4. Have front row seats in a giant concert stadium OR be one of 10 people hearing her play in a private coffee house?
  5. Have Taylor as your songwriting coach OR your fashion stylist?
  6. Have Taylor Swift as your BFF OR Ariana Grande? (too hard to choose?!)
  7. See Taylor guest star on Austin & Ally OR The Thundermans?
  8. Sing a duet with Taylor in front of your whole school to “Shake It Off” OR “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”?

We can’t wait to hear what you guys say in the Comments below! Rock on.

Ratha, STACKS Writer

October 27, 2014

Taylor Swift Shake It Off Contest

Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift This Is How I Shake It Off! Contest

Taylor Swift uses music to shake off the things people do or say that could have the power to hurt her. We want to hear how you shake off the things that get you down in your life. Enter the Taylor Swift This Is How I Shake It Off! Writing Contest for a chance to win these prizes . . .

  • Grand Prize: A trip for 2 people to Taylor’s concert including a meet & greet with Taylor Swift!
  • 2nd place winner: A signed guitar & 1989 CD
  • 5 Runners-up: A signed 1989 CD

Taylor Swift Shake It Off Writing Contest

Here’s how to enter!

  • The contest is open to students attending U.S. schools in grades 3 through 6 who are legal residents of the United States.
  • Students must write an essay or poem, no more than one page, which explores the question “How do you shake it off when someone says or does something that has the power to hurt you?”
  • Each entry must include student’s name and grade, teacher’s name, school name, address, and phone number.
  • Entries must be mailed to: This Is How I Shake It Off! Writing Contest, P.O. Box 714, New York, NY 10013-0714.
  • Entries must be received by December 11, 2014. No other means of entry accepted.

Leave a Comment telling us how YOU shake it off, and then send in your contest entry! Good luck!

October 24, 2014

My Neighbor Totoro Movie Review

Posted by at 1:09 am in Kid Power | Permalink

My Neighbor TortoroMy Neighbor Totoro (rated G): An Extremely Awesome Movie

A movie I would definitely recommend is My Neighbor Totoro by Studio Ghibli. I have dressed up as Totoro for Halloween, and introduced the movie to anyone who would watch it. In this animated film directed by Hiyao Miyazaki, two sisters adjusting to their move from the city meet a forest spirit called Totoro. He helps the girls and they become friends. The movie is super-cute, and the expansive forest backdrops are stunning. My Neighbor Totoro is definitely my all-time favorite movie and is great for everyone.

Tell us YOUR opinion in the Comments.

Maggie, Scholastic Kids Council

October 23, 2014

Book Wars: Harry Potter vs. Percy Jackson

Posted by at 1:45 am in Kid Power, Reads | Permalink

Book warsBook Wars: Harry Potter vs. Percy Jackson

Attention all fantasy readers! You’ll want to get in on this week’s book war, because I will be comparing two of the most popular fantasy series there are: Harry Potter vs. Percy Jackson & The Olympians.

People have been saying for years that the two series are similar in character and plot, but I’m about to take a deeper look to find out. So, are you a Potterhead or are you a Demigod? Can you be both?

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief book coverTo begin the comparison, let’s start with the two main protagonists. Harry and Percy are both unlikely heroes with difficult backgrounds. Harry’s parents were killed when he was just a baby, and he was forced to live with his horrible Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon and his vile cousin, Dudley. Percy was raised by his mother and his awful step-father, Gabe Ugliano. Both children were bullied because they were weak and scrawny and no one really cared about them.

Harry and Percy also share some similar traits. Harry and Percy both have a “saving people thing” because they always want to help someone in danger. They are also known to be witty and sarcastic, but incredibly loyal to their friends.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone book cover illustrated by Kazu KibuishiFinally, Harry and Percy are the “Chosen One” and the “Child of the Prophecy” meaning that they are the only people who can save the world because of a prophecy written about them.

Now let’s compare some of the other characters.

The main female protagonists, Hermione Granger and Annabeth Chase, are both the most intelligent characters in each series. They always know the answer for everything and always have a plan, but Annabeth is more of a warrior than Hermione.

And let’s not forget about the lovable best friends. Ron Weasley and Grover Underwood are the two main characters’ best friends. They are similar in that they are both easily scared, funny, and have a love of food. The only difference would be the fact that Grover has goat legs . . .

And, of course, we have the villains. There are the main bad guys, Lord Voldemort and Kronos, and also the conflicted henchmen, Draco Malfoy and Luke Castellan.

Another similarity in the series would be the plot. Both books are about two children who become heroes and have to save the world. They both involve a prophecy, magic, and myth.

So what do you think? How similar are these two series? And are you a fan of HP or PJO? Leave your opinion in the Comments.

Izzy, Scholastic Kids Council

PS. Emma Rose weighs in on the debate in her video. Ari is also a PJO fan. He says, “The books are exciting. It is fun to see Greek Mythology come alive in the present day. Percy, the son of Poseidon, must learn to survive and protect both the mortal and the immortal worlds.”

October 22, 2014

Whatever After: Cold as Ice

Posted by at 1:36 am in Reads, Whatever After | Permalink

Whatever After booksWhatever After Book #6: Cold as Ice

The next book in the Whatever After series is almost here! Abby and Jonah are visiting another fairy tale . . . and this one’s freezing! When author Sarah Mlynowski meets her fans, they often suggest to her which fairy tale they want her to write about next. The #1 request she had been getting from readers was to put main characters Abby and Jonah in the story of “The Snow Queen.” Next month, the Snow Queen-themed Whatever After book will be available and here’s a sneak peek at the cover!Whatever After #6: Cold as Ice

What do you think? Pretty awesome, right!?!

If you’re not familiar with Whatever After, check out the website to play the dress-up game, watch the trailer, and read a few excerpts.

For all you Whatever After fans, Cold as Ice will be available on November 25th.

And look out for Whatever After #7: Beauty Queen, coming in May!

Happy reading!

October 21, 2014

Halloween Poll

Posted by at 1:50 am in Trivia, Writing Prompt | Permalink

Happy HalloweenHalloween Poll

Moderator Katie on the Reading Buzz Message Board posted a poll-type quiz with questions contributed by Go-green-or-else, DreamtimeDetermined14, BreezeBrain39, WinterWonder9300, and DarkRising6.

MU HA HA HA! Let the fun begin!

  1. What’s your favorite thing about Halloween?
  2. What’s your favorite type of candy?
  3. What are you being for Halloween this year?
  4. What’s your favorite Halloween costume you’ve ever had?
  5. What do you usually do for Halloween (trick-or-treat, party, stay home)?
  6. What’s the most IDEAL Halloween costume?
  7. Do you have any Halloween traditions?
  8. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like Halloween?
  9. Do you know the history of Halloween? Do you care?

There are lots more questions to answer in the Halloween Quiz post. Go check them out and tell Moderator Katie I said, “Hi!” Happy Halloween!!

image from kids.scholastic.com — Sonja, STACKS Staffer

October 20, 2014

Goosebumps Monster Personality Quiz

Goosebumps SlappyWhich Goosebumps Monster Are YOU?

Villainy. Terror. Mischief.  All words to describe the monsters that wreak havoc in the Goosebumps book series by R.L. Stine. The menacing ghouls that fill the pages of the books each have their quirks that make their “monster-nalities” absolutely wretched! Take the Goosebumps Monster Quiz to see which ghoul is your rightful alter-ego.

Are you the trash-talking Slappy with a heart of pure cold, the vengeful Mummy, the devilish Scarecrow, the dastardly Lawn Gnomes, or the beastly Abominable Snowman? Discover your innermost wicked trait and see which Goosebumps monster you truly are.

Take the quiz. Which monster are you? Post it in the Comments.