Monthly Archives: January 2013

January 31, 2013

China Anne McClain InfluANTces

Posted by at 1:17 pm in Movies & TV | Permalink

ANTfarm1_2China Anne McClain “influANTces”

On Friday, February 1, 2013, A.N.T. Farm will celebrate African American History Month in the new episode titled “influANTces.”
Chyna and the ANTs are tasked with creating a special project. As Chyna struggles to write a song for her Mcclain_infuANTces_jackson presentation, she decides to lock herself in a recording booth until she comes up with a great song. After accidentally falling asleep, Chyna takes a dream journey back in time where she becomes famous African American music icons from the past: Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, and Janet Jackson. Using her dream as inspiration, Chyna writes a new version of the A.N.T. Farm theme song with lyrics that pay tribute to the great women who came before her.

We talked to China Anne McClain, the actress who plays Chyna, about her life and what African American History Month means to her.

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January 30, 2013

Pajama Program

Posted by at 11:33 am in Kid Power | Permalink

Make_a_differencePajama Program

You know that feeling of getting into bed at the end of a long day in your snuggly, warm pajamas and an awesome book? I looove that feeling! But there are lots of kids in the U.S. who don’t ever get that snuggly, warm pajamas, good book feeling at night. These kids live in various situations including group homes, shelters, and temporary housing facilities where they are waiting and hoping to be adopted. Many have been abandoned, abused, or neglected. For these kids, owning their own books or new pajamas is a rare luxury.

Pajamagirl2We want to work together with you to help these kids. Scholastic’s got the books to donate, but we need pajamas. That’s where you come in. Let’s show these kids that STACKers care! Scholastic has already donated 200,000 books to Pajama Program. I am challenging you to donate one set or a bunch of sets of pajamas. If everyone who reads this contributes (that means YOU!), we can at least make it to 2,000 sets of pajamas!

  • WHAT: New set of pajamas, top and bottom for any age 0-17.
    WHERE: Send pajamas to:
    Pajama Program
    171 Madison, Suite 1409
    New York, NY 10016
  • WHEN: Anytime. Do it now!

Pajamagirl3Thanks for your support of the Pajama Program, but don’t stop there. Send an e-card to everyone you know, encouraging them to send pjs too. Why not host a pajama party and ask all your friends to donate a pair of new pajamas to send? Or ask your principal if you can have a box to collect new pajamas from everyone in school. Depending on how cool your principal is, maybe you can even have a fun pajama day when you get to wear your pjs to school!


image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

Photos courtesy of Pajama Program

January 30, 2013

January Books of the Month

Posted by at 1:59 am in Reads | Permalink

Writing_prompt_book_recommendationJanuary Books of the Month

The Books of the Month series continues! Here's how it works. You write the titles of the books you are reading right now, and I make a word cloud out of all your recommendations. So here they are! YOUR January book recommendations in Wordle-y wonderfulness! The more votes a title gets, the bigger the print. This month's winner looks like Harry Potter.


I need your help for next month's Book Wordle. Leave a Comment with the title of the book you are reading right now. In February, I will make a new word cloud of all our reads for the whole month. 

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

January 29, 2013

Fantasy World Would You Rather

Posted by at 5:08 am in Would You Rather | Permalink

WouldYouRatherFantasy World Would You Rather Quiz

I love to imagine what it would be like to live in a completely different world. If you think about it, there are so many ways that our world could be totally different from what it is now. The possibilities for creating a whole new fantasy world are endless!

Start your dreaming with this Would You Rather Quiz.

Would you rather live in a world where . . . 

  1. Everyone can fly OR everyone can become invisible whenever they want to?
  2. Everyone can do magic OR everyone has super strength?
  3. Houses are made of candy OR it snows marshmallows?
  4. Dogs can talk human language OR trees can talk human language?
  5. Farts smell like chocolate OR pencils smell like French fries?
  6. You can go back in time OR go forward in time?
  7. There is no such thing as TV OR there is no such thing as books?
  8. Every family must have only 2 kids in it OR every family must have 10 kids in it?
  9. The only colors are black and white OR the only smells are seaweed and soap?
  10. Reading a book makes the characters come to life OR listening to a song makes the singers appear in your room?

Leave your choices in the Comments and tell us what your fantasy world would be like!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

January 29, 2013

Reader Personality Quiz Results

Posted by at 1:13 am in Personality Quiz | Permalink

Trivia_quiz1Personality Quiz Results: What type of reader are you?

Last week, we asked you a bunch of random questions to find out what type of reader you are. This week the results will reveal your reader personality! Count up all your answers and see where you fit.

Mostly A’s: OMNIVORE
You read everything! Like the scientific Latin word (eating all things plants and animals to survive), you are a literary omnivore. From sci-fi to fantasy, drama to historical fiction, trendy series to offbeat authors, if it’s got a good hook, you’ll read it! You may go in spurts of reading one genre, and then take a break to read another. You may read several books simultaneously, and you may be caught late at night reading with a flashlight under the covers. You are the person everyone turns to for book recommendations, so wear your badge proudly: a true Book Omnivore.

Mostly B’s: FAN READER
You love the latest popular series! You have your finger on the pulse of what’s hot now. You pick an author or series and become a fan follower. You follow the latest trends and when you find one you like, you are fiercely loyal. Camp out at midnight for the latest book release? Check. Dress like your favorite character? Check. See the movie version the day it comes out? Check. You might like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Baby-sitters Club, Percy Jackson, and other popular series. Wear your badge proudly: you’re a true Fan Reader.

You read the same books over and over again! Once you find a good thing, you stick with it — because a good book never gets old. You treat your books with loyalty and care. You can quote memorable lines from your favorite books. You will probably pass down your favorite books to your kids! So wear your badge proudly: a respectable Repeat Reader.

You like to experiment with different types of books! After all, variety is the spice of life! You are not afraid to wander away from the norm. You seek out new and cool books – maybe based on a review you read, an off-the-beaten path bookstore you discovered, or a book you saw someone reading at school. You like books that surprise you . . . and sometimes make you cry. You might like books like The GiverWhen You Reach Me, The Graveyard Book, or The Underneath. So wear your badge proudly: an exciting Experimental Reader.

A book better impress you . . . or it gets shelved! You are a very selective reader. You put a lot of thought into the books you pick. You can’t be bothered with a mediocre book – it’s a waste of your valuable time! If a book turns boring, you’ll shelve it. You only read books you know are great. People know if you recommend a book, it must be good. So wear your badge for the world to see: you are a proud Picky Reader.

Did this quiz accurately describe your reading personality? Leave a Comment and tell us your results.

— Ratha, Stacks Writer

January 28, 2013

The 2013 Newbery Winner is. . .

Posted by at 12:00 pm in Reads | Permalink

Newbery2013 Newbery Medal Winner

The Newbery Medal is awarded every year by a committee of librarians to recognize "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children." Past winners have included The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis, The Giver by Lois Lowry, and Holes by Louis Sachar. Last year's winner was Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos.

This year's winner was just announced today, and the 2013 Newbery Medal goes to . . . The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.

Have you read it yet? Do YOU think it was the best American book published in 2012? If you were on the committee voting for the 2013 Newbery Medal, which book would YOU have chosen? (Remember, only books published in 2012 by writers in America are eligible.) Let us know in the Comments.

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

UPDATE: Congratulations also to the Newbery Honor Books for 2013: Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin, Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage, and Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Shlitz. All amazing books too!

January 25, 2013

Taylor Swift Interview

Posted by at 12:09 am in Music | Permalink

Taylor_swiftREDTaylor Swift “Read Every Day” Live Webcast
October 2012

Q: Moving from Philadelphia to Nashville, how did that influence you as a writer?
Taylor: I became obsessed with poetry really early on because my favorite books were the Dr. Seuss books and Shel Silverstein and the books where you have the stories come together through rhyming. That was always my favorite kind of book to read because it sounded like a song. Like when you have a line of poetry where the rhymes hit at the right ends of the sentences, it sounds kind of like lyrics. English class was always my favorite class because of the reading, the writing, and mostly because of the poetry.

Q: Did you have teachers who recognized your creativity early?

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January 24, 2013

No Name-Calling Week

Posted by at 1:26 am in Kid Power | Permalink

Make_a_differenceNo Name-Calling Week

Jan. 21-25 is officially "No Name-Calling Week." No Name-Calling Week was inspired by a book The Misfits by James Howe. It is the story of four friends who run for student council on a "No Name-Calling" platform. Awesome, right?

In high school, people made fun of my name and I hated it. Having glasses and braces was hard enough, not to mention a weird name! I just tried to ignore the people who would make fun of me, and focus on my real friends. It only made me work harder at school, sports, and activities, and want to succeed even more. It's like that Taylor Swift lyric, "One day I’ll be living in a big ol' city, and all you’re ever gonna be is mean." I think that would have been one of my high school mottoes!

It’s important to remember if you’ve been called a name that it’s not your fault. It’s a reflection of other people’s insecurities. They want to get attention or make themselves feel bigger by making someone else feel small. Always remember you are AWESOME, not small. And you're not alone. Many, many people have been bullied and called mean names. 

Even famous celebrities once had to deal with mean people. Jake Short from A.N.T. Farm was made fun of in 4th grade because his last name was “Short” and he was short. He gives this advice: "Sometimes if you talk to the bully. . . they become at a loss for words. And have a friend back you up if you need it." 

Cymphonique from How to Rock also has some good advice. "Ignore any of those types of comments, and just be yourself."

Band together with your friends, and take a stand against name-calling. Here are some things you can do in your school.

  • If you encounter a name-caller (whether the mean name is directed at you or someone else), give a withering look and say, “Not cool.” That might make the name-caller stop and think about what she said. Maybe she just didn't realize it was hurtful when she said it.
  • Learn everyone's name in your class, and call them by their right names. This is important. Don't call someone "the short kid with braces" just because you don't know his name.
  • Think before you speak. If you are about to say something that you think is funny or cool, make sure it won't hurt someone else's feelings.
  • Make No Name-Calling posters to hang up in your school.
  • Make a No Name-Calling T-shirt and wear it proudly all year long.
  • Read The Misfits. It's really good and will totally make you think differently about the cliques in your school.

Each time you stand up for yourself or someone else, you make the world a little better. Go forth, be cool, and make a difference! And let us know in the Comments what you will do for Name-Calling Week.

—Ratha, Stacks Writer

January 23, 2013

The Encyclopedia of Me Book Review

Posted by at 1:57 am in Reads | Permalink

Encyclopedia2The Encyclopedia of Me
by Karen Rivers

The Encyclopedia of Me is unlike any encyclopedia you've ever read before! . . . that is, if you've ever tried to read one. This is an encyclopedia that never stops entertaining. 

The main character, Tink, is bit of an oddball, but she is totally relatable. Tink is not used to being in the spotlight. Actually, she tends to be on the fringe of all the action (unless it’s the receiving end of a bullying encounter). Her best friend, Freddie Blue, is tall, blonde, funny, and amazing in every way. Tink is short, biracial, and has freckles. She also has twin older brothers, Lex and Seb. Seb is autistic, which she doesn’t want to talk about. But sometimes his disorder prevents Tink's voice from being heard.

Then "Blue-Haired Boy Who Just Moved in Next Door, The" (a.k.a. Kai) skates into her life. That was the day everything changed. Suddenly, Tink and Freddie Blue start drifting apart. Seb's autism starts to have more of an impact on her everyday life, in both positive and negative ways. And why has she become obsessed with boarding all of a sudden?

If you have ever found yourself in a similar situation to Tink's summer saga, tell us about it in the Comments!
Or, write us an encyclopedia entry! ;-)

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

January 22, 2013

Reader Personality Quiz

Posted by at 3:12 am in Personality Quiz | Permalink

Trivia_quiz1Personality Quiz: What type of reader are you?

All readers have one thing in common: we LOVE books! But not all readers are the same. Some people just devour any book and they don’t really care what it is, while some people are very picky and will only read books by certain authors or about certain topics. Take this Reader Personality Quiz to find out what type of reader you are.

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