Monthly Archives: June 2011

June 29, 2011

Animorphs: The Invasion

Posted by at 3:28 am in Reads | Permalink

9780545291514_xlg[1] Imagine if you could transform into a hawk flying high above the trees, or an elephant stampeding through an exotic jungle. Wouldn't it be cool to trade places with your favorite animal for an hour or two?

Well, that's the special power given to the Animorphs! Jake, Rachel, Marco, Cassie, and Tobias were five average teens before they encountered an injured alien, who gave them the ability to morph into any animal they touch. Now Jake spends time in the body of his dog Homer, while Marco becomes a 400-pound gorilla.

But life isn't all fun and games for the Animorphs. These friends must rely on their new powers to defend Earth against an army of alien invaders called Yeerks, brutal extraterrestrials that take control of the human body. Follow these five heroic teens as they try to save the world from the evil Yeerks in The Invasion, the first installment of the Animorphs series by K.A. Applegate.

If you're looking for a hot summer read with adventure and suspense, or you just have a love of animals, I highly recommend picking up The Invasion, the first book in a series that will be hard to put back down. Read an excerpt now!

Brian, STACKS Summer Intern

June 28, 2011


Posted by at 9:33 am in Trivia | Permalink

Questionmark_130 Hi Welcome to Trivia Tuesday! A couple weeks I gave you a way too easy word puzzle, so hopefully this one is a little harder. Today's word comes from PegasusPoseidon2. (Thanks for the cool word!) Your challenge is to see how many words you can create using ONLY the following letters:


Here are a few words to get you started.


Write all the other words you can find in the Comments, and challenge yourself to find long words. Anyone who can find a 10-letter word or higher will get a special shout-out from me!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

June 28, 2011

Global Warming and Climate Change Quiz Answers

Posted by at 1:39 am in Trivia | Permalink

Earth Global Warming and Climate Change Quiz Answers

A sobering fact: The World Health Organization blames 150,000 global deaths per year on the effects of global warming. This includes extreme weather, drought, heat waves, decreased food production, and spread of diseases like malaria brought about by climate shifts. The challenge seems to be how to forge ahead with technology, industry and social growth. . . but take responsibility and make sure we still have a world to do this stuff in!

Last week I posted a quiz on global warming. How did you fare? Answers are below.

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June 27, 2011

Summer Writing Prompt: Tongue Twisters!

Posted by at 3:28 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Writingprompt_genericSUMMER TONGUE TWISTERS

Howdy Splotters! Are you a fan of tongue twisters like the good old-fashioned “She sells sea shells by the seashore?” Well, I was thinking since summer is here, it would be fun to do some non-traditional summer tongue twisters. For example. . .

Justin Bieber bakes brownies by the beach. (Say that fast three times!)

Can you think of any wacky summer tongue twisters? Write yours in the Comments below. Bonus points if you use a celebrity name.

—Ratha, Stacks Writer

June 24, 2011

Brave Pixar Movie

Posted by at 9:17 am in Movies & TV | Permalink

Brave-130x130 It's still a long way away, but there is a new Pixar movie coming out next year that looks really fun. It's called Brave and we've got some preview pics to show ya!

In Brave, the courageous Merida confronts tradition, destiny, and the fiercest of beasts. Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor. Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin, surly Lord Macintosh, and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane, a.k.a. Hagrid from the Harry Potter movies).Brave2Merida's actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Wise Woman for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it's too late.

Brave1This totally sounds like my kind of story! I wish I didn't have a whole year to wait for this movie to come out!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

Images courtesy of Disney/Pixar

June 22, 2011

Fall Books Preview

Posted by at 4:27 am in Reads | Permalink

SneakPeek OK, I know the school year is over and you are looking forward to having a great summer. Hopefully you have piles and piles of good books to keep you occupied. But I am here today with a preview of the absolute coolest books coming out this fall that you will not want to miss! Mark your calendars because I’m talking new books by Rick Riordan, Gordon Korman, Brian Selznick, and Jeff Kinney!! Read on to find out more. . .

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June 21, 2011

Global Warming and Climate Change Quiz

Posted by at 3:42 am in Trivia | Permalink

EarthGlobal Warming and Climate Change Trivia Quiz

With all the very intense and serious weather lately, it has gotten a lot of us Splotters thinking about the state of our planet Earth. The Save the Planet Message Boards have been buzzing. From the flooding of the Missouri River, to tornadoes in the south, forest fires in the southwest, extreme heat waves and blizzards – nothing seems to be “normal” lately.

As you know, global warming is when the earth heats up. It happens when greenhouse gasses (like carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels) trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere. A warmer planet seems to be causing our climate to change. Warmth obviously causes ice to melt, but a warmer planet can also hold more moisture in the air. This moisture then comes back down to earth in the form of massive rainstorms and snowstorms. But in some places, the water evaporates into the air and then the wind takes it far away, leaving a dessert with no water!

Burning fossil fuels creates something called the greenhouse effect. This is like when heat is trapped in a car. On a very hot day, the car gets hotter sitting in a parking lot. This is because heat and light can get into the car through the windows, but it can’t get out. This is what the greenhouse effect does to the earth. The heat and light get through the atmosphere, but can’t get out. As a result, the earth heats up.

Global warming is not just a matter of feeling warmer in our own towns. Across the world, people are feeling the results of climate change, results like floods, tornadoes, heavy rain and snow, drought and heat waves. Try your hand at this quiz to find out more.

  1. True or False? Global warming is due to only natural factors.
  2. Which country currently emits the most greenhouse gasses?
    A. India
    B. China
    C. The U.K.
    D. The U.S.
  3. True or False? Global warming is sped up by the melting of the ice glaciers.
  4. As climate change continues, the intensity of what type of storm that hits coastlines is predicted to increase?
  5. Which is something YOU can do to help in the fight against global warming?
    A. Walk short distances instead of asking your parents for a ride in the car.
    B. Cut down a tree.
    C. Always use lots of plastic water bottles.

Leave your answers in the Comments, and check your answers to see how you did. Then, go discuss how to fix climate change with other green-minded kids on the Message Boards.

—Ratha, Stacks Writer

June 20, 2011

Writing Prompt: Virtual Yearbook

Posted by at 1:59 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Writingprompt_genericSign the STACKS Yearbook!

Now that the school year is over, and summer vacation is here, today’s Writing Prompt is a perfect time to reflect on the school year gone by. (Do I sound like a yearbook editor?!) Maybe you made your first best friend, took a special trip, won an award in school, or made it to the championships with a sports team. Or maybe you had your first crush, got a pet, did volunteer work, or won a hot dog eating contest!

Is there any one thing that happened this year that you will remember for the rest of your life? Or maybe something you are super proud of? Something that made you learn a lot, or cry, or feel on top of the world?

Let us know in the Comments below, and we’ll try to collect the most comments we can to create a virtual yearbook. Then you can scroll through, and see what other kids found most memorable from this school year. Let’s see how many we can get!

—Ratha, Stacks Writer

June 17, 2011

Jim Carrey in Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Posted by at 1:52 am in Movies & TV | Permalink

Penguins03 Have you read the book Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater? It’s about a man who dreams of going to Antarctica, but never expects that Antarctica will come to him when he inherits a brood of penguins! The movie version starring Jim Carrey is coming out on Friday, June 17 and it looks really cute.

Scholastic News Kid Reporter, Damien Murphy, interviewed Jim Carrey to get the scoop on the movie and what it was like to work with the penguins.

Q: What are some of the things you learned about penguins making this movie?

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