Monthly Archives: May 2013

May 31, 2013

Cymphonique’s Passion CD

Posted by at 4:46 am in Movies & TV, Music | Permalink

Htr_cymphoniqueCymphonique’s Passion CD

You may remember Cymphonique from the TV show How to Rock. Well, now, Cymphonique, daughter of rapper Master P, and sister of Lil’ Romeo talks about her new album titled Passion.

Q: Describe Passion, the type of music, the influences.
Well, its sound is a mix of hip hop, pop, and club music. It’s got a feel-good vibe. And the reason why I called it Passion is because I feel like the entertainment industry can get so caught up in gimmicks sometimes and what’s happening in that person’s personal life, and I just wanted to focus on the art of it and the love of it all. And I really just love what I do. I love to sing and I just wanted to give the listeners good R&B vocals and put a smile on some people’s faces or even just connect with the listener because I feel like when I’m listening to my favorite music the best thing about it is when they can explain the exact way that I feel and I think that’s something really special. And that’s something that I hope to do with Passion, whether that be make them feel good and want to get up and dance or just repeat the song over and over again until they fall asleep.

Q: Did you write any of the songs?
Oh, yes. I’ve been writing ever since I was two years old. I work with a great team of writers, but I work very closely in the writing and to just spread a good message with the music because I’m all into the sound of the music, being up-to-date, being in the now, but I also want it to still have a positive message and to still be me.

Q: Do you have a favorite song from the album?
Cymphonique: Well, there’s actually a new song that hasn’t been heard yet, but it’s called “Independent” and it’s one of my favorites just because of the message. And I think that if you’re ever feeling down or something, if you just are listening to that song, it’s a great song to get pumped to, whether you’re working out or you just need a little encouragement and you just want to dance in your car.

Q: What advice would you would tell a girl whether she wants to be a singer or wants to be a doctor or wants to be a mother?
Cymphonique: Well, I would start off being very honest with them and say it’s not going to be all peaches and cream. You’re definitely going to go through some hardships and there’ll be some problems that you’ll have to go through. But if you love something, it’s worth it. If you love something, it’s worth fighting for. And I would say don’t get so down when those things happen because obstacles, they’re a part of life, and just whatever you do, don’t give up. And just remember that every person has their own flaws, has their own problems, but it’s all about the journey, so don’t get so caught up in the goal. But that’s what so beautiful about being passionate about something is that when you love it you’ll continue to persevere through everything. And if there’s something that you want, just make sure you’re serious about it. You know, with me, when it comes to singing, dancing, acting, the entertainment business, yes, I took classes, but what was most important is what I did when I came home, which was practicing by myself in the mirror, playing my guitar at 2am in the morning even though everybody else was sleeping, typing my own songs on the computer. And I think if you love something, go for it and give your all, give 100%, and don’t let what people say stop you and don’t let the hardships stop you. So keep going and whatever you do, don’t give up. Keep going.

May 29, 2013

British Children’s Author Trivia Quiz

Posted by at 2:01 am in Authors, Reads, Trivia | Permalink

British Children’s Author Trivia Quiz

Did you ever realize how many of your favorite authors were British? Not only did England give us One Direction and Prince George. . . but also awesome literature. Shakespeare, anyone?
So in today’s Tuesday Trivia we’re testing your smarts on how many British authors and books you know. Ready, mate? GO!

  1. Name the author and book this quote is from:
    “The scar had not pained Harry for 19 years. All was well.”
  2. Name the author and book that features a golden ticket, some Oompa Loompas, and lots of chocolate.
  3. Name the author and book series that takes place in Narnia. Hint: Lucy, Edward, Susan and Peter befriend a great lion, and battle the White Witch in one of the books.
  4. Name the author who wrote this line:
    “Edward Bear, known to his friends as Winnie the Pooh, or Pooh for short, was walking through the forest one day humming proudly to himself.”
  5. This famous author lived from 1858-1924 and wrote several classics including The Enchanted Castle, The Railway Children, and The House of Arden. Her first name was Edith but she went by the initial “E” when publishing her first name.
  6. Dick King-Smith is the British author known for his book about a pig (who wants to be a sheepdog). It was made into a movie. Name the book AND the movie if you can. Hint: The movie is one word abbreviated from the title of the book!
  7. Some say this British author paved the way for J.K. Rowling with her exotic worlds of ghosts, wizards, and mermaids in books like Journey to the River Sea and The Secret of Platform 13. Her most recent page-turner was One Dog and His Boy – a must read for dog lovers!
  8. This author is best known for her books featuring those mischievous bunnies Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter.
  9. Name the book series and the author that features Lyra and her daemon, an armored bear, and “dust” sucked out of the sky.
  10. Writer of the Alex Rider series, name this author AND another one of his famous series.

Leave your answers below, and check here to see if you’re right!

—Ratha, Stacks Writer

May 22, 2013

New Dear America Book Review

Posted by at 1:48 am in Reads | Permalink

Writing_prompt_book_recommendationDear America: A City Tossed and Broken: The Diary of Minnie Bonner, San Francisco, California 1906 by Judy Blundell

“I discovered a change at that moment, diary. If you see enough destruction, if you feel helpless in the face of it, if you’ve been terrified enough times, there does come a moment when you cannot bear one more thing to be lost. I was tired of being afraid.” – Minnie Bonner

It is the spring of 1906. The tavern which has been in her mother’s family for generations was lost due to a horrible gamble made by Minnie’s father. Now, Minnie is being sent away from her home in Philadelphia to San Francisco to work as a lady’s maid of the new owners of the tavern. It is not the way she imagined her life would be, answering to the arrogant and fickle Mrs. Sump, as well as her daydreamer of a daughter Lilly.

Days after their arrival in San Francisco, a horrible earthquake devastates the city, including the brand-new Sump mansion. Shaken and alone, Minnie finds herself among the thousands of homeless residents of San Francisco. She must rely on the kindness of strangers as well as make decisions that challenge her morals in A City Tossed and Broken.

Read Chapter 1. 

Let us know what you think of this new addition to the Dear America series in the Comments!

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

May 21, 2013

Leaning Tower of Pisa Facts

Posted by at 2:51 am in Trivia | Permalink

Leaning Tower of Pisa Facts for Kids!

Did you know these true facts about this tilty tower in the city of Pisa, Italy?

Leaning Tower of Pisa

  • The tower was completed in about 1350. During construction, the ground under the building settled unevenly and caused the building to lean toward the south. Oops!
  • There are other towers in Pisa with the same tilting problem, but not as noticeable.
  • Throughout its history, the tilt of the tower has gradually gotten worse, about 0.25 inch (0.1 cm) every year.
  • It was closed to the public in January 1990, because the structure was dangerously close to collapse.
  • For much of the 1990s the tower was wrapped in steel and anchored by steel suspenders holding it in place. Soil was carefully removed under the tower to even the land underneath.
  • In June 2001, engineers announced that the Leaning Tower was “secure,” and although the lean is still apparent, it is 17 inches (44 cm) less than it has been for 150 years.

Do you trust that the tower is now secure? Would you dare to climb up to the top? Let us know in the Comments!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

“Leaning Tower of Pisa.” Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. Grolier Online, 2013. Web. 1 May. 2013.

May 20, 2013

Create a Caption: Filly Puppy

Posted by at 1:36 am in Create a Caption, Writing Prompt | Permalink

CreateacaptionCreate a Caption: Filly Puppy

Is that a dog or a frog?! Check out the tongue on Filly! It's got to be the longest dog tongue ever! I bet touching her tongue to her nose is no problem (I'm kinda jealous – I’ve always wanted to be able to do that). If I had to come up with a caption for this photo, I think it'd be this:


“Is that the best you've got? You do know that my tongue is a weightlifting superstar, don’t you? Tennis ball? Way too easy. Gimme a basketball. This isn’t Little League. Gimme something I can work with.”

What do YOU think Filly is doing or saying in this photo? Share in the Comments!

En-Szu, STACKS Intern (a.k.a. MidnightMagic5)

May 17, 2013

STACKS Field Day Games

Posted by at 4:34 am in Games | Permalink

Game_on_animatedSTACKS Field Day Games

Does your school have Field Day? It’s a day usually at the end of the school year where everybody in school competes in different activities like kickball, relay races, water balloon toss, and other fun games. Well, we have fun games on the STACKS, too, so I thought we could have a STACKS Field Day!

Here is the schedule of events:

1) Play the Cupcake Switcheroo Game. This game is so addicting, I almost can’t stand it, but I can’t stop playing it either.

2) Play Spyfall! Pretend you’re a spy and you’re skydiving to deliver top-secret documents that will save the world.

4) Dress up Abby in the Whatever After DressUp Game.

5) Pretend you’re Pacman and chomp away in the Smiley Chomp Game.

Compete in 1 or all of these events and let us know your high scores in the Comments. Go, team!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

May 15, 2013

Dragon Run Book Review

Posted by at 4:06 pm in Reads | Permalink

Dragonrun_2Dragon Run by Patrick Matthews

Testing Day doesn’t go as 12-year-old Al Pilgrommor expects. Born into a wealthy family, he expects to follow in his successful father's footsteps. Of course, that all depends on the rank number Al receives at the testing. On a scale of one to seven, Al scores a zero, and the number is permanently tattooed on the back of his neck. Not good.

Now, instead of celebrating with his friends and family, Al needs to run away from the Cullers, men who hunt down zeroes . . . and put them to death. Left with a little bit of money and a sword he barely knows how to use, Al must use his wits to evade these ruthless assassins.

Surrounded by enemies, Al doesn’t know whom to trust. But as he meets other outcasts, he begins to suspect that he is a pawn in a larger game — and that he might have the power to tip the scales in a high-stakes struggle between man and dragon. Could the fate of the world rest in his hands? Can a zero become a hero?

This gripping book is a must-read for all fantasy and magic lovers. Filled with adventure, humor, and loveable characters, I could not put this book down! You cannot help but root for Al as he travels throughout the land, and while you’re reading, it feels like you are along for the ride.

Don’t you want to read this book? Let us know what you think in the Comments.

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

May 13, 2013

Niagara Falls Fun Facts and Anagram

Posted by at 2:44 am in Trivia | Permalink

Ssc130Niagara Falls Fun Facts and Anagram

The Scholastic Summer Challenge continues. Have you logged your minutes for this week yet?

This week’s reading milestone is Niagara Falls! Did you know these true facts about Niagara Falls?

  • More than 10 million people visit the falls every year.
  • Niagara Falls consists of three waterfalls—the Horseshoe (or Canadian) Falls, the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil (or Luna) Falls.
  • Niagara’s waters are one of the world’s greatest sources of hydroelectric power. Power plants on both sides of the falls harness the falls’ power to produce nearly 4.5 million kilowatts of electricity.
  • 41 million gallons of water flows over the Horseshoe Falls every minute. These falls are about 175 feet (53 meters) high and about 2,500 feet (762 meters) wide.
  • You can spell the words flan, grain, and Niall from the letters in N I A G A R A  F A L L S.

What other words can you find? Leave them in the Comments!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

Matthai, James P. “Niagara Falls.” Reviewed by Paul Gromosiak. The New Book of Knowledge. Grolier Online, 2013. Web. 29 Apr. 2013.

May 10, 2013

May Pop-Corn

Posted by at 2:52 am in Movies & TV | Permalink

BLOG_POP-CORNTV, Movies, and Music you won’t want to miss this May!

Switched at Birth stars Katie LeClerc and Vanessa Marano were at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books to read to kids. Vanessa read aloud and Katie signed in American Sign Language. Afterward, we asked them which children’s book they loved most. Vanessa picked Dr. Seuss’ One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, and Katie chose The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. In case you didn’t know it already, Katie pointed out that reading is essential “so that you can drive, function in life, and be a normal human!”

At another recent event, we also asked Oscar-nominated nine-year-old actress Quvenzhané Wallis what she likes to read. “I like to read all kinds of books. I like Judy Moody and Judy Blume books,” she said, adding that she most recently read Pinkalicious by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann.

Bindi Irwin is following in her father’s footsteps as the host of a new wildlife series on Starz Kids & Family. The daughter of the late Australian animal expert Steve Irwin, Bindi will take kids up close and personal with all kinds of animals in Bindi’s Bootcamp, which airs Wednesdays at 6 p.m. ET/PT beginning May 1. Shot on location at the Australia Zoo, the series puts three teams of kids through races and challenges as they learn about wildlife and compete to win a trip with Bindi to participate in an Irwin Family conservation program.

Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and One Direction were among the winners at the Radio Disney Music Awards, which will be available on May 5 at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT on Radio Disney. Disney Channel will show highlights from the event during the weekend of May 10-12 every night starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Speaking of Selena, her “Come and Get It” video will have its world premiere on MTV on May 7 at 7:53 p.m. ET/4:53 p.m. PT.

Noah Munck from iCarly stars in the Nickelodeon movie Nicky Deuce as an over-protected teen who transforms into a tough guy when he spends the summer with his uncle in Brooklyn, New York. It premieres May 27 on Nick at Nite at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

A.N.T Farm comes back for a third season with a special one-hour episode on May 31 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon. This time around, the series about talented teens will be set in a boarding school. Star China Anne McClain sings a new song called “Stars Aligning” in the episode.

—Gerri, STACKS Writer