Monthly Archives: June 2012

June 27, 2012

Nancy Drew Readalikes

Posted by at 3:20 am in Reads | Permalink

Book_titleYou know when you find an amazing book, and you never want it to end? How do you find another book to read after that? Our answer: Readalikes to the rescue! We hope our Readalikes will rescue you from the what-to-read-next question, and help you find lots of new amazing books.

Today’s Readalikes are for the classic mystery detective Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene. 18-year-old Nancy Drew is beautiful, bold, intelligent, wealthy, and can pretty much solve any mystery that gets thrown at her. Even though these books were first published in the 1930s, Nancy Drew is still the ultimate teen detective.

There are a bunch of books in that series, as well as the movie Nancy Drew. But once you’ve finished all those, what to read next? Try these other mysteries with super-smart detectives.

Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin Van Draanen
After she witnesses a robbery taking places across the street, 7th grade ace detective, Sammy gets involved in the investigation. See also the other books in the Sammy Keyes series.

Sleuth or Dare Book #1: Partners in Crime by Kim Harrington
Best friends Darcy and Norah create a fake detective agency! But then their pretend agency gets a real case. Someone is missing, and it’s up to Darcy and Norah to take on the search. Can Darcy and Norah crack the case in time? See also the other books in the Sleuth or Dare series.

The Sisters Grimm Book #1: The Fairy-Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley
Orphans Sabrina and Daphne are sent to live with their grandmother, an unusual old woman whom they believe to be dead, and discover that fairy tales may not be fiction after all. See also the other books in the Sisters Grimm series.

The Secret Series Book #1: The Name of this Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch
Pseudonymous Bosch has a secret he can’t share. Or maybe he can, if you’re brave enough. A magician is dead, and it’s up to two 11-year-old misfits to figure out why and stop those responsible from wreaking more havoc. See also the other books in the Secret series.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Four children are selected for a secret undercover mission while attending the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened. See also the other books in the Mysterious Benedict Society series.

The 39 Clues Book #1: The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan
After their grandmother passes away, siblings Amy and Dan Cahill must race the rest of their greedy (and deadly) family to be the first to uncover 39 clues and the mystery involving their family. See also the other books in the 39 Clues series.

The Genius Files Book #1: Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman
13-year-old twins, Coke and Pepsi McDonald, discover they are on the list of YAGs (Young American Geniuses), and must work with other YAGs to solve the nation’s problems. See also the other books in the Genius Files series.

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
When a famous painting goes missing, 11-year-old Petra and Calder must combine their talents to solve this international mystery. You solve the mystery along with the characters using the artwork throughout the story. See also The Wright 3 and The Calder Game.

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
16 different people are invited to a mansion to solve the death of the eccentric millionaire Sam Westing. Whoever can solve the mystery will inherit Westing’s 200-million dollar prize!

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
Ted and Kat’s cousin entered the London Eye ferris wheel, but he never exited. Now, Ted and Kat must put their heads together to find out what happened to him — before it is too late.

The Sherlock Files Book #1: The 100-Year-Old Secret by Tracy Barrett
When Xena and Xander Holmes discover that Sherlock was their great-great-great grandfather, they take it upon themselves to solve unsolved mysteries from his 100-year-old casebook. See also the other books in the Sherlock Files series.

Mudshark by Gary Paulsen
Principal Wagner is always in control of his school, but when sixty-five erasers go missing, he enlists the help infamous 12-year-old detective Mudshark.

The Midnight Tunnel: A Suzanna Snow Mystery by Angie Frazier
It is 1905 and Suzanna works at her family’s inn in Loch Harbor, but she wants to be a detective like her uncle. When a young guest disappears, can Zanna solve the mystery before her uncle closes the case? See also The Mastermind Plot.

Hope you enjoy our Readalikes!

—Amanda, Scholastic Booktalker

June 26, 2012

Trivia: Leap Second

Posted by at 1:34 am in Trivia, Writing Prompt | Permalink

Trivia: Leap Second . . . & Leap of Faith!

On February 29, we posted Leap Year Trivia Quiz because 2012 is a Leap Year. Did you also know that 2012 has a Leap Second? A leap second is one second added to clocks worldwide to compensate for the slowing of Earth’s rotation.

Believe it or not, there is an International Earth Rotation and Reference System Service, or IERS for short. (Wow! I wonder how I get a job with them?!) They determine when to add a leap second. Since 1972, a total of 24 seconds have been added to the clock. And the next one will be added on the last day of June. So on June 30th, 2012, there will be 86,401 seconds instead of 86,400!

In honor of cosmic leaps, we have some wacky Leap Second Trivia for you. Imagine if there were other things you could leap. For instance . . .

  1. Leap Class! What class would you create, if you had to have an extra class in the school day?
  2. Leap Grade! Which school grade would you choose to repeat if you had to do it all over again? Or what new school grade would you create to add on?
  3. Leap Meal! What meal would you choose or invent if you had to have an extra meal each day?
  4. Leap Sibling! Would you pick an extra brother or sister?
  5. Leap Birthday! Which birthday party or year would you love to repeat? Or what would you do for your extra birthday this year?
  6. Leap Gift! What one extra gift do you wish you could get?
  7. Leap Vacation! An extra vacation anywhere in the world – where would you go?
  8. Leap of Faith! If you could cure or fix one thing in the world, what would it be?

Let us know your Leap Answers and any other wacky Leap Questions you can think of in the Comments below.

Don’t forget there’s one extra second on June 30th. Spend it wisely. Myself, I think I’m going to use it to eat an extra Hershey’s Kiss . . .

— Ratha, STACKS Writer

June 25, 2012

Million-Dollar Writing Prompt

Posted by at 1:12 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Million-Dollar Writing Prompt

Today’s Write On Writing Prompt comes to us from WhiteBlack7 who challenges us with a question I would looooove to have to answer some day.

What would you do if you were rich?

Maybe you would give money to charity? Or buy lots of new stuff? Bling out your wardrobe? Help your family? Or a specific cause? The sky’s the limit. We can always dream!

Give a shout out to WhiteBlack7 in the Comments below with your answer. Inquiring minds want to know!

— Ratha, STACKS Writer

June 22, 2012

Brave Movie

Posted by at 1:31 am in Movies & TV | Permalink

BraveScottish warrior movie BRAVE!

About a year ago, I gave you a sneak peek of the upcoming Disney Pixar movie, Brave. Well, now it's finally here! The U.S. release date is June 22, 2012, and I think it looks really good.

Since ancient times, stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. In Brave, a new tale joins the lore when 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 uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin, surly Lord Macintosh, and cantankerous Lord Dingwall.

Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Witch 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.

When you see the movie, you may recognize some of the voices because 3 of them were actors in the Harry Potter movies! The actors who played Ravenclaw's ghost (The Grey Lady), Professor Trelawney, and Hagrid all voice characters in Brave. Leave a Comment if you recognize their voices, and can tell which characters they play in Brave.

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

Image courtesy of Disney/Pixar

June 21, 2012

Kid Power: Human Rights

Posted by at 1:36 am in Kid Power | Permalink

Human Rights: Did You Know . . . ?

We know you care deeply about things. In addition to having fun just being kids, you want to actually do something to make the world a better place.

Today, we are talking about human rights. The United Nations has a Universal Declaration of Human Rights which says that all people are born free and equal and deserve the same rights no matter who they are. Sadly, not everyone actually gets these human rights.

Here are just a few facts about human rights around the world. Just talking about these things can make a difference, so go out and inspire your friends and family to do something about human rights!

Did you know . . .

Continue reading

June 20, 2012

Discover More Technology

Posted by at 12:56 am in Reads | Permalink

Discover More Technology

Have you ever wondered what the inside of a Smartphone looks like? Or how an Xbox Kinect works? Or who invented the iPod? Find out all this and more in Technology, the latest book in the Scholastic Discover DiscoverMore More series.

After you read Technology, use the digital code to redeem the free companion digital book, Cool Tech Heroes, onto your Mac or PC. In the digital book, you can read about the inventor of Facebook, the guy who invented Super Mario Bros.TM, and Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic female astronaut.

Take a special sneak peak at Technology!



–Miriam F., Scholastic Nonfiction Publisher

June 19, 2012

Summer Word Scramble Game Answers

Posted by at 1:21 am in Trivia | Permalink

Summer Word Scramble Game

Happy summer, everyone! Last week’s Trivia Quiz was a two-fer from AmberBlack111 from the STACK Back Message Board. You got a summer-themed word scramble game AND a Would You Rather quiz. How did you do?

Here are the answers.

  1. oth . . .  hot
  2. unnsy  . . . sunny
  3. mmersu . . . summer
  4. edleaonm . . . lemonade
  5. ufn . . .  fun
  6. idsnfer . . . friends
  7. braek . . . break
  8. cavtiona . . . vacation 

Thanks again, AmberBlack111! Hope you have an awesome summer!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

June 18, 2012

Writing Prompt: Book Setting

Posted by at 1:36 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Writing Prompt: Book Setting

Today’s Write On Writing Prompt comes to us from Skyelark Moon who asks an interesting question . . . not which character would you be, but which place would you go?

If you were to go to any place in a book, where would you go? What characters would you like to meet? What would you like to do? Would you go on an adventure the character went on and change the whole plot of the book?

I couldn’t decide between Hogwarts (from Harry Potter) and Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory (from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). In the end, my sweet tooth won out. Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory just seems so fantastical that I wouldn’t be able to resist! I’d love to lick the lickable wallpaper, float along in the chocolate river, and sample sweets to my heart’s content.

What about you guys? Let Skyelark Moon know in the Comments below!

— Ratha, STACKS Writer

June 15, 2012

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

Posted by at 1:47 am in Movies & TV | Permalink

MadagascarMadagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

Alex, Marty, Melman, Gloria, Maurice, and, yes, the penguins are back in Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted! The animals have all escaped from the zoo, and Scholastic Kids Press Reporter Dani Bergman Chudnow got to escape school for a "press day" with all the actors who voice the characters in the movie. She met the actors in a hotel in New York City and videotaped her interviews with them. SO LUCKY!!!


My favorite part of the video is when she asks all the actors, "If you had to run away and join the circus, what would be your act?" Their answers are hilarious!

Read the Kids Press article and watch the video.