December 17, 2014
The Badger Knight (for ages 8 and up) by Kathryn Erskine
The year is 1346. Adrian is almost 13 years old but he isn’t like most other boys his age. He has Albinism, which means he has very pale skin and light hair and eyes. He has almost always been a small, sickly kid. The bullies in his English village call him “badger” because of the dirt he rubs under his eyes to stop the glare from his paper-white skin.
Adrian has a sharp mind, and all he wants to do is go to war as an archer. This is not his father’s plan. Adrian can write, and Adrian’s father wants him to become a scribe. To Adrian, this sounds like the worst job in the world.
The Scottish invade near their home in England, and Adrian’s best friend Hugh joins his father on the battlefield. Adrian follows Hugh, determined to find his friend and participate in his glorious vision of warfare. As Adrian ventures through war-ridden England and Scotland, his voyage becomes a true knight’s tale.
But will Adrian even be able to find Hugh? The perils of war don’t exactly resemble what Adrian had pictured in his head. Will he make it home safely? Read the book to find out how this young knight’s adventure ends. Have you already read The Badger Knight? Leave your Comments in the section below!
Marisa, STACKS Intern
December 16, 2014
Famous Books Written by Literary Cats
Most people know that cats are smart, but did you know that many famous books were actually written by cats? I had no idea until I discovered these books in my cat’s library (a.k.a. his pile of treasured possessions hidden under the couch).
Can you identify these literary masterpieces written by cats?
- Diary of a Wimpy Cat by Jeff Kitty
- Purrrcy Catson and the Olympians by Rick Rowr-dan
- Little Kittens by Louisa May Alcat
- Furry Pawter and the Dog’s Bone by J.K. Meowling
- Say Meow and Chase that Tiny, Moving Red Dot! by R. L. Feline
Leave your answers in the Comments and let us know what books you would find in your cat library!
Sonja, STACKS Staffer
December 15, 2014
Create a Caption!
This tiny reindeer is ready to ride! Leave your caption for Rudolph’s baby Chihuahua brother in the Comments! Happy Holidays!
“Xmas Doge” Flickr photo by 55Laney69
December 12, 2014
Meet the New Annie!
The new movie Annie comes out in theaters on December 19 and we have an interview with the 11-year-old girl who plays Annie. Her name is Quvenzhané Wallis (pronounced kwuh-ven-zhuh-nay), and she is the youngest person to ever have been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress! Read on to hear about her role in the Annie movie.
Q: Did you like shooting the musical parts of the film?
Quvenzhané: Yes, I liked shooting the musical parts of the film because I like to sing and dance.
Q: Were you a fan of the original Annie before you accepted the role?
Quvenzhané: Yes, I was a big fan of Annie when I accepted the role. When we heard that Sony was remaking Annie, I watched to see what it was about and fell in love. I love to sing and dance along with Annie, now people are going get to sing and dance along with me.
Q: How does the new movie differ from the original?
Quvenzhané: We’ve made some updates to make it feel like 2014. Like Annie is a foster kid, not an orphan. Mr. Stacks is the head of a cell phone company and cell phones did not exist in the original.
Q: Who is your favorite character in the movie, and why?
Quvenzhané: Ms. Hannigan. She is so funny!
Q: Did any of the older stars in the movie have tips or advice for you?
Quvenzhané: Jamie [Foxx who plays Mr. Stacks] taught me to just have fun. Don’t be so serious. We use laughter to get through some scenes. He would make it fun by telling me funny things or making funny gestures. Rose [Byrne who plays Grace] taught me to always be me and to be kind. Cameron [Diaz who plays Miss Hannigan] taught me to take care of myself. She would check on me to make sure I had what I needed.
Q: What is your favorite subject in school?
Quvenzhané: My favorite subject in school is science.
Q: Your favorite snack to eat on-set?
Quvenzhané: My favorite snack is grapes.
Q: Your favorite thing to do when you are done filming?
Quvenzhané: I like cheerleading, playing basketball and volleyball, reading, swimming, and riding my bike and scooter for fun.
Q: What is your all-time favorite book or author?
Quvenzhané: I like Roald Dahl books because of the mystery.
December 11, 2014
What Do You Want in Books?
I mentioned in a post yesterday that Scholastic just completed a national survey of children aged 6–17 to study their “attitudes and behaviors around reading books for fun.” According to 70% of kids aged 6–17, books that “make me laugh” rank highest on the list across all ages. Here are some more stats for What Kids Want in Books:
- Children aged 6–8 are more likely than older children to want books with characters that “look like me.”
- Children aged 9–11 are more likely than younger children to want books that “have a mystery or a problem to solve.”
- Children aged 12–14 are more likely than older children to want books with “characters I wish I could be like because they are smart, strong or brave.”
- Children aged 15–17 are more likely than younger children to want books that help them “forget about real life for a while.”
In addition, 73% of children aged 6–17 agree with the statement, “I would read more if I could find more books that I like.”
Do these statistics represent YOU? Leave a Comment to tell us your favorite book with a character who looks like you, or with a mystery, or with smart, strong characters. Tell us what you really want in books!
December 10, 2014
Scholastic wants to know . . . What are your favorite funny books?
Scholastic just completed a national survey of children aged 6–17 to study their “attitudes and behaviors around reading books for fun.” According to 70% of kids aged 6–17, books that “make me laugh” rank highest on the list across all ages.
Here at the STACKS, we already know you love funny books, but we want to know which funny book is your favorite and why?
Please tell us in the Comments! And if you are among the 30% of kids who did not pick funny books as your favorite, tell us what is YOUR favorite kind of book to read for fun?
December 9, 2014
Test Your Holiday Song Smarts!
You know it’s finally the holiday season when you turn on the radio and it’s nothing but your favorite holiday jams! Nothing gets me into the holiday spirit like a great holiday song. So I thought it would be a great idea to give y’all a trivia quiz featuring mashed-up, mixed-up holiday song titles!
In case you’re new to the world of title combination quizzes, here’s how to play. Below is a list of 10 holiday songs, but they’re not the songs you’re familiar with. I combined two song titles together, and you get to determine the two original song titles!
For example, “We Wish You A Merry Silent Night” is a mashup of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” and “Silent Night.”
Can you decode the titles below?
- All I Want for Christmas is Bell Rock
- Do You Want to Build a Red-Nosed Reindeer?
- Rockin’ Around the Navidad
- Holly Jolly Mean One, Mister Grinch
- It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
- Where Are You Silver Bells?
- Deck the Christmas Wrapping
- 12 Days of Comin’ To Town
- Let It Snow Home for Christmas
- Have Yourself a Merry Little Sleigh Ride
- Frosty the Jingle Bells
BONUS: Auld Lang Wenceslas
Can you figure out what the original song titles are? Share your answers in the Comments below!
En-Szu, STACKS Writer
December 8, 2014
Which Holiday Present Is Best For You?
It’s holiday time and everyone is probably asking you what you want for Christmas or Hanukkah. Well, here is a personality quiz to help you simplify your answer. Answer these questions to find out your holiday present personality. Continue reading
December 5, 2014
Ask an Annie Actress!
Nicolette Pierini is the actress who plays the youngest orphan Mia alongside Quvenzhané Wallis in the classic musical-comedy, Annie (rated PG). I can tell that a lot of you are excited for this movie, set for release on December 19, 2014, so I have arranged a special treat for you. Nicolette (a.k.a. Mia) has offered to answer your questions about the Annie movie and about her life as an actress so far.
Photo courtesy Sony Pictures Entertainment
Please leave your questions for Nicolette in the Comments and come back to read the answers on December 19!
Nicolette Pierini photo credit:Yolanda Perez
December 5, 2014
The LEGO Movie (rated PG)
I recommend The LEGO Movie for all ages. It’s a very inspiring story about an average guy named Emmet who thinks life is great. He thinks he’s special, but soon realizes that no one else thinks he is because he’s too average and no one notices him.
By accident, Emmet finds the Piece of Resistance, a tool that can stop the most powerful weapon of all, the Kragle. He goes on a wild adventure and meets all these people that help him try to stop Lord Business. Batruvius, a wise man, is helping Emmet become the ultimate master builder. Emmet keeps saying that he can’t, but Batruvius says otherwise.
Image courtesy Warner Bros.
In the end, Emmet starts to believe in himself and becomes the ultimate master builder. Now that he believes, he is a hero to all the people who never noticed him before. This movie can inspire you to believe in yourself so you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. I recommend this movie to people who need confidence and love funny movies.
What do you think of The LEGO Movie? Leave a Comment!
Rowan, Scholastic Kids Council