March 20, 2013
Lincoln’s Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin
Question: How are master counterfeiter Benjamin Boyd and Abraham Lincoln connected?
Answer: The friends of one guy tried to steal the other guy’s dead bones.
Counterfeiting was a big problem in the United States during the Civil War when the U.S. Treasury began mass-producing paper currency, and people began using paper money instead of just coins. Crafty people figured out how to make copies of dollar bills, and then criminals spent the “coneys” (counterfeit money) just like real money.
Benjamin Boyd was a highly talented engraver, notorious for his nearly perfect copies of real money. Once Boyd was arrested, many criminal networks crumbled without Boyd’s expert handiwork. Criminals, Jack Hughes, Terrence Mullen, and James Kennally decided that something needed to be done, so they came up with a crazy plan. They would steal President Lincoln’s remains out of his coffin, and ransom them for $200,000 and Boyd’s freedom. But first, they had to get a team of body snatchers to do the job. . .
This book tells the thrilling true story of how 3 men plotted and nearly executed a plan to break into Abraham Lincoln’s tomb and steal his remains. If you’re looking for a juicy, action-filled bit of American history, this book is certainly worth checking out. It’s full of mystery and suspense, and it reads more like an adventure story than a history lesson. (It has cool pictures too!) Sheinkin switches perspectives between the crooks and the Secret Service agents, so readers get to see both sides of the law as the great Abraham Lincoln grave robbery takes place.
Let us know in the Comments if you like this book, and suggest other fun history reads as well!
— Elysse, STACKS Writer
March 19, 2013
Tasmanian Devil Trivia Quiz
Not only does the Tasmanian devil exist inside Bugs Bunny's world of Looney Tunes, but did you know there are REAL Tasmanian devils? This sort-of-cute but deadly creature comes from the island of Tasmania off the coast of Australia. Tasmania is the only place Tasmanian devils exist!
How much do you know about the Tasmanian devil? Feeling quizzy? See if you can guess the answers to the trivia questions below.
March 18, 2013
Create a Caption: Snow Dog
Here's one fabulous looking pup! Killy looks like she enjoys the snow, but her natural environment is definitely center stage. Look at the sass in that pose. There's definitely a lot of diva in this dog.
My caption for this photo would definitely be the following:
“Ooh, snow! I love snow. It brings out my eyes. I think this would be the perfect backdrop for my glamour shots!”
What do YOU think Killy is doing here? What’s she thinking? What’s she trying to say? Give us YOUR caption in the comments below!
— En-Szu, STACKS Intern (a.k.a. MidnightMagic5)
March 15, 2013
Vote for the Kids’ Choice Awards!
Some of our very favorite books were nominated for the 2013 Kids’ Choice Awards, and YOU get to choose the winner!
Of course, here at Scholastic, we are thrilled that two of our titles were once again nominated in the Favorite Book category. The Harry Potter series and The Hunger Games trilogy (for ages 12 and up) are both in the running. While Harry has actually won in this category before, The Hunger Games trilogy has never won. Diary of a Wimpy Kid has taken the prize for the last 3 years!
FUN FACT from Nickelodeon: Harry Potter won the Favorite Book category 7 times during the years 2000-2008, losing twice to A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.
FUN FACT from Nickelodeon: In 1998, the Favorite Book of the year was Goosebumps Deep Trouble II, and the Favorite Movie was Titanic. There was some kind of underwater theme going on that year.
Winners will be announced on the Kids’ Choice Awards Show on March 23, 2013.
And PS, One Direction is nominated for Favorite Music Group, so that’s another reason to go vote!
March 13, 2013
Freaks by Kieran Larwood
These freaks aren’t your ordinary crime fighters. First there’s Sheba the Wolfgirl, whose eyes flash orange, whose nose puckers into a snout, and hands strongly resemble claws whenever she gets angry or excited. Then there’s Monkeyboy, who can hang by his tail and loves to drop stink bombs on his unsuspecting victims. And who can forget Sister Moon, the mysterious ninja who never misses her targets? These three misfits are part of a traveling sideshow, but they take on a side job as detectives when they find out children have been disappearing at the London riverbank!
Read about their exciting adventures in Freaks by Kieran Larwood.
Are YOU a Freak? Take this poll to find out!
March 12, 2013
St. Patrick’s Day Would You Rather
St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner! March 17th to be exact. So whether you plan to wear green, eat Irish soda bread, or press on a fake shamrock tattoo, I hope you’ll have good luck after completing our St. Patrick’s Day Would You Rather!
Would you rather . . .
- Be kissed by a lucky leprechaun OR Irish dreamboat Niall Horan?
- Have to eat a pound of Lucky Charms until you throw up OR a pound of green icing?
- Find a pot of gold OR a million dollars?
- Win a trip to Dublin, Ireland OR Dublin, Ohio?
- Dress up like a leprechaun OR get a green mohawk?
- Carry giant bagpipes uphill for a mile OR a pile of sweaty bagpipers’ socks?
- Have to dance a jig in front of your crush OR have your mom play “You Are My Sunshine” to you on the bagpipes in front of your school?
Leave your answers in the Comments below!
And did you know that in Chicago, they dye the river green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Although the river is colored using an eco-friendly (“green!”) vegetable-based dye, it takes several days for the color to fade away. Cool!
Until next time!
—Ratha, Stacks Writer
March 12, 2013
Personality Quiz Results: Who Is Your Fictional BFF?
Last week, we asked you a bunch of questions in the Fictional BFF Personality Quiz to help you determine which book character would be your best friend. Count your answers and say “Hello” to your new best friend!
March 11, 2013
Book Spine Poetry
Here is a fun Writing Prompt for you to try with the books on your shelf, or you can use the books in your school library and totally impress your school librarian! It’s called Book Spine Poetry because you compose a poem using only the words in the titles of your book. Here is an example using books I have on my STACKS desk.
When Thunder Comes/ The Wolf Princess/ Claws/ A Corner of White
Toads and Diamonds/ Shimmer/ Under Shifting Glass
Now it’s your turn. Look at the book titles you have around. Arrange them into a poem, and write your poem in the Comments.
— Sonja, STACKS Staffer
March 8, 2013
Becky G Interview
This 15-year-old Mexican-American singer, songwriter, and rapper from Los Angeles is definitely on the rise this year. MTV named her as 1 of 13 artists to watch in 2013. (Btw, Austin Mahone made that list too.) She wrote the song “Wish U Were Here” for Cody Simpson, and then he invited her to be in the video, and perform with him on tour! Plus, she has a super-catchy song called “Monster” on the Hotel Transylvania soundtrack. Read on to find out more about this amazing teen.
March 7, 2013
March Madness Basketball Activities
The 2013 NCAA Basketball tournament known as March Madness gets started on March 19. This year is the 75th year of March Madness, so here are some books, games, and activities to get you in the spirit.
Which team do you think is going to win this year? Tell us your picks in the Comments!