Monthly Archives: June 2013

June 28, 2013

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

percyjackson2_130Meet Clarisse and Annabeth from Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters movie!

Hold onto your tridents because the second movie in the Percy Jackson series is coming out on August 7 (just in time for Percy’s birthday on August 18)! Sea of Monsters (rated PG) will continue the adventures of Percy, Grover, and Annabeth as they explore more Ancient Greek legends in our modern world. We got interviews with 2 of the actors in the movie who play Annabeth and Clarisse, so here are Alexandra Daddario and Leven Rambin talking about what it was like to make this movie.

Q: Describe your character in Sea of Monsters.
Alexandra:
I play Annabeth. My character is the daughter of Athena. I came back for the second film in sort of a different character. Same character but a little bit of a different side of her. You see a more vulnerable, sensitive side of Annabeth in this film, whereas in the first film, she was a lot tougher and more of a warrior. In this film you really see what makes her tick, and you see her sweetness and trength as well.
Leven: Clarisse is the daughter of the god of war. And she’s just like a big, fat, ugly bully. (laughter) And so that was something to try to incorporate into my physicality and into my attitude. I think she’s a really good counterpart to Annabeth in this movie. She kind of highlights Percy’s weaknesses. And she learns a lot about teamwork and accepting help from others.

Q: If you could be any of the characters in the Percy movies in real life, which would you pick?
Alexandra: I mean, I love playing Annabeth. I think Percy Jackson has the coolest powers, you know – the ability to control water. I think that some of the shots in the film where he’s controlling these walls of water and controlling the ocean are so epic and cool. I think that’s a really cool power.
Leven: I also like playing Clarisse, just because she’s somewhat of a normal girl, but she has an extraordinary ego and ability to be victorious. She’s just very able. Percy’s physical power with the water is really powerful. And I think that that would be the coolest thing to have.

Percy-Annabeth_PJ2

Q: You filmed part of the movie at an abandoned amusement park in New Orleans. What was that like?
Alexandra: I thought that was insanely cool. I mean, I had never been to New Orleans before we went down to shoot there. It was so devastated by Hurricane Katrina. And it’s this whole amusement park that’s still standing, but it’s completely abandoned. It was filled with alligators before we went; they had to get rid of alligators and armadillos and bugs everywhere. It’s a really cool place to shoot because, you know, you don’t have to build the creepiness level. It’s already there. So you’re shooting a really cinematic, creepy place. There was a lot to explore. It’s going to look amazing on screen. We did some really incredible stunts on the roller coaster there. And it was a really, was a really interesting experience to be able to shoot there.
Leven: Yeah, it was. It had its challenges because it was so old and dingy and felt kind of haunted. But that was kind of good because it’s supposed to be this ominous place where all the action happens. It’s this cool backdrop of this old rickety thing. And then these amazing monsters are there and these epic fights happen against the backdrop of this crazy old, like, abandoned roller coaster. I agree it was, like, super beautiful on screen.  It kind of had its own story, its own life to it. It’s like a big character in the movie.

Q: What was the most difficult scene to shoot in this movie? 
Alexandra: I love making these movies. I think the hardest parts for me were the night shoots in the park because you start late and then you’re sitting in the mud, and getting eaten by bugs. And it’s either too cold or too hot, depending what time of the year you’re shooting.  It’s a great challenge, and I love my job. But I would say that posed the biggest challenge for me – just dealing with the elements.

Q: In what ways are you and your character alike?
Leven: I definitely think I’m a tomboy. I discovered that about myself a lot to play Clarisse. I was able to really transform physically to be something different than I’ve ever been. And I also related a lot to that side of myself. She’s definitely very prideful. I really don’t take myself that seriously. So it was fun playing up this side of myself that I don’t really have, but maybe I got a little bit from playing her.
Alexandra: Annabeth is a combination of strength and weakness like we all are.  During some of my fight scenes, I get to bring out my inner tough girl. I don’t normally have sword fights where I beat people up. But that’s the pretty cool part of myself that I didn’t know I had, this very intense action hero type. And I think also, I’m weak just like anybody else, and I have my vulnerabilities.  It’s interesting to play both her strengths and weaknesses, and find strengths within her weakness.

If you liked this interview, also read our interview with the Sea of Monsters actors, Logan Lerman and Brandon T. Jackson.

— Sonja, STACKS Staffer

Interview by Nicole Tocco
Movie Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

June 27, 2013

STACKS Creative Writing Team

Posted by at 9:29 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

novelSTACKS Creative Writing Team

Writing stories is my favorite pastime. I love building my own fictional world, filling it with characters I want to be best friends with, and then creating the most sinister villain for my hero to defeat.

But, why write a story alone, when you can write it with friends! So, I’d like to invite you to join the STACKS Creative Writing Team. This week, I’m posting the first chapter of an original story. After reading this chapter, write what you think will happen next. Include characters of your own and take the story in whatever direction you want. Then, go to The Runaway Chapter 2 thread on the Fan Fiction Message Board and submit your chapter.

Every two weeks, I’ll check the message board thread and incorporate as many of your ideas as possible into one brand new chapter and post it here! Then repeat the steps and submit your next
chapter, and by the end, we’ll have a brand new story!

Now, here’s Chapter 1!


The Runaway

Emily was always a shy girl. Her voice was easily drowned out by the grind of a pencil sharpener. When a teacher asked a question in class, Emily was lost in the sea of raised hands and rarely answered a question. But, she was comfortable not being the most noticeable girl at Beatrice
Vandersloot’s School for Girls.

After a long day at school, she would meet up with her best friend, Penny, in the schoolyard and walk home. Penny was the type of girl who could bounce from wall to wall all day long. Emily was convinced Penny’s black, curly hair matched the springs that Penny kept hidden in her shoes. Penny lived in the apartment next door to Emily and they’d walk home through the big city
together.

Penny was perfect at picking Emily up when she had a rough day, but not even Penny could protect Emily from the school bully. Big Roscoe wore a threatening leather jacket to school each day and her favorite pastime was picking girls up by their feet and dangling them until their lunch money fell out.

Emily had dangled by her feet more times than she cared to remember. So on this day when Big Roscoe took Emily by her sneakers and began to shake her for loose change, Emily was surprised that she began to cry. She was so embarrassed and sad that she ran away. She ran past Penny, out of the school yard, and down city block after city block. She ran until her lungs burned and she felt she couldn’t run anymore.

She stopped and sat on a marble base under a massive iron horse statue. The shade felt nice after her long run and she began to wipe away tears. But then she felt something strange, like someone was watching her. She turned to her left and discovered she was now face to face with the horse statue.

“Why hello, dear,” said the statue. “What’s wrong?”


Want to find out what happens next? Read ahead to Chapter 2!

image from kids.scholastic.comBrian, STACKS Writer (a.k.a. BlackBird268)

June 26, 2013

STACKS Book Club: Dork Diaries

Posted by at 12:26 pm in Reads | Permalink

StacksBookClubSTACKS Book Club: Dork Diaries

Reading is best when shared. While it might be difficult to physically share a book with your best friend, one of my favorite parts about reading is sharing my thoughts about characters with my friends. I love to debate with my friends about alternate ways a story could have ended and discuss out favorite fictional romances.

So, in the spirit of keeping these lively book debates flowing, I’m proud to introduce the STACKS Book Club! This Book Club will meet in the form of weekly posts right here on Ink Splot 26. We will choose a book to read together and then meet back here to discuss our thoughts of the chapters, our favorite characters, and what we think is in store for our heroes. Then, when we finish a book, we’ll choose another and start all over again!Dork Diaries Tales from a Not So Fabulous Life

For our inaugural meeting of the STACKS Book Club,
I’ve chosen Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renee Russell as the first book for us to collectively read
together. This novel is written in the style of a diary and follows Nikki Maxwell as she struggles to fit in at her new middle school, Westchester Country Day. Nikki isn’t the most popular girl in school and this problem is only made worse when she makes an enemy out of MacKenzie Hollister, the most popular girl in school. To make matters worse, MacKenzie is Nikki’s biggest competition in the annual school art show.

So, grab your copy of Dork Diaries and start reading! Since this book is broken up into diary entries rather than chapters, our first meeting will discuss all entries up to September 19th! Happy reading!

image from kids.scholastic.comBrian, STACKS Writer (a.k.a. BlackBird268)

June 26, 2013

Romeo Blue Review

Posted by at 12:20 pm in Reads | Permalink

romeoBlueRomeo Blue by Phoebe Stone

It has been a year since half-American/half-British Felicity Bathburn Budwig was dropped off in Bottlebay, Maine. A lot has happened in that one year.
Eccentric Felicity (dubbed “Flissy”) fits right in with her kooky Bathburn relatives in more ways than one. She’s dramatic like Aunt Miami, practical like The Gram, and loves books just as much as Uncle Gideon. Then there’s her secret crush, Derek, who has been unofficially adopted by the Bathburns.

The year is 1942, right smack in the middle of World War II, and she hasn’t heard from her parents in months. Flissy knows they are up to something dangerous overseas; why else would they leave her behind? Flissy has lots of questions about what her parents are really doing, but no one seems to want to answer them. To make matters worse, Derek seems to be slowly drifting away ever since his biological father got back in touch with him.RomeoAndJulietCode

This book is a good fit for many types of readers: those who love history, those who are fascinated by World War II, and thrill-seekers. Of course, if you loved Flissy and Derek’s adventures in The Romeo and Juliet Code, then Romeo Blue is a must-read.

What do you think of this book? Does it sound like the cat’s pajamas? Or a drag? Leave your thoughts in the Comments!

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

June 25, 2013

Amusement Park Personality Quiz

Posted by at 12:05 pm in Personality Quiz | Permalink

trivia_quiz2Amusement Park Personality Quiz

Now that it’s summer, our minds are on fun! Take this personalty quiz to find out the answer to the age-old question: What Amusement Park Ride Are You?

  1. You just won $1 million! You would:A) invest it in the stock market. Risky, but you might make more money! B) buy a sports car and mansion. C)put it in the bank, safe and sound. D) save for college and donate to a charity.
  2. Movie you like best:A) Oz the Great and Powerful. B) Hotel Transylvania. C) Wreck it Ralph. D) Soul Surfer.
  3. You’d love to go on vacation to:A) Costa Rica. Rainforests, ziplines & surfing! B) Disney World! All around awesome time. C) The Caribbean. Nothing beats a relaxing beach. D) Around the world! You want to experience as many cultures as you can.
  4. Among your friends you are considered the:A) Daredevil B) Class Clown C) Voice of Reason. D) Leader.
  5. Once day your car will be a:A) Space ship. B) Monster truck. C) Mini-van. D) BMW.
  6. Which is your favorite app?A) Temple Run 2 – run, jump, slide, watch out for flying monkeys! B) Minecraft – you’re not scared of those monsters. C) Candy Crush – as addictive as real candy, but better for your teeth! D) Angry Birds – you’d be angry too, if those Bad Piggies stole your eggs.
  7. On Halloween, your favorite thing to do is:A) trick or treat! B) walk through a cemetery at night. C) give out candy from the safety of your own house. D) throw a blowout Halloween party.
  8. It would be cool to marry:A) a racecar driver. B) a Hollywood movie star. C) a banker. D) the President of the United States.
  9. Song you can’t get out of your head:A) “Girl on Fire” – so inspirational. B) “Gangnam Style” – you love to go crazy. C) “Call Me Maybe” – catchy, catchy, catchy! D) “Some Nights” – just plain FUN.
  10. New food you’d be most likely to try:A) Eels – you’ve heard they taste like spaghetti …except slimier! B) Eggplant Parmesan – you like chicken parmesan, so why not? C) Fried Snickers Bars – not exactly healthy, but anything fried is always kind of delish. D) Falafel – a taste of the middle east!

Click here to find out your amusement park ride personality!

–Ratha, STACKS Writer

June 25, 2013

American History Guess the Book Answers

Posted by at 1:01 am in Reads, Trivia | Permalink

guessthebookAmerican History Guess the Book Answers

Here are the answers to last week’s Trivia Tuesday Quiz for you!

The images below are from books that have something to do with American History. Did you guess the titles of all 5 American historical fiction books? If you love books about historical times, you should definitely read all of these!

1) Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
Ten-year-old Bud Caldwell is an orphan growing up in Michigan in the 1930s. But he yearns to find his long-lost father. Come along as he sets off on a search for a famous jazz musician who he believes is his father, dispensing advice and showing plenty of pluck along the way.

2) The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
Growing up with six brothers in rural Texas in 1899, 12-year-old Callie does not like sewing and cooking. She prefers exploring the river, observing animals, and keeping notes on what she sees. Callie’s interest in nature creates a bond with her grandfather, an amateur naturalist. After they discover an unknown species of vetch, he attempts to have it officially recognized.

3) The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages
It’s 1943, and 11-year-old Dewey Kerrigan is en route to New Mexico to live with her mathematician father. Soon she arrives at a town that, officially, doesn’t exist. It is called Los Alamos, and it is abuzz with activity, as scientists and mathematicians from all over America and Europe work on the biggest secret of all–”the gadget.” None of them know how much “the gadget” is about to change their lives.

4) Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Laura Ingalls and her family leave their little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin and set out for Kansas. They travel for many days in their covered wagon until they find the best spot to build their little house on the prairie. Soon they are planting and plowing, hunting wild ducks and turkeys, and gathering grass for their cows. Sometimes pioneer life is hard, but Laura and her folks are always busy and happy in their new little house.

5) Dear America: Winter of Red Snow by Kristiana Gregory
In her beloved diary, 11-year-old Abigail Jane Stewart chronicles the despair and the hope of the winter of 1777 and 1778, when she witnesses the struggles of George Washington and his soldiers on the fields of Valley Forge in the war for American independence.

Some people noticed that if you roll your mouse over the pictures in the quiz, the image title gives you a clue, but it did not give away the whole title! Did you get the real titles or just the clue? Tell us what you think of these books in the Comments!

— Sonja, STACKS Staffer

June 24, 2013

Writing Prompt: Stop Everything And

Posted by at 12:00 pm in Writing Prompt | Permalink

writing_prompt_rainbow_penSTOP. EVERYTHING. AND. . .

Continue this thought! What are you passionate about? What do you feel silly about? What do you want to philosophize about? Or what do you just want to blurt out loud?

For today’s Writing Prompt, finish this sentence:StopEverything

We just want to throw it out to you guys, and see what YOU think is so important that you would stop everything to do it. So do it. We dare you. We can’t wait to hear what’s on your mind.
Ready? Go! Leave your words in the Comments below.

—Ratha, STACKS Writer

June 21, 2013

Asa Butterfield

Posted by at 11:51 am in Book to Big Screen, Celebrities | Permalink

AsaAsa Butterfield

If you saw the Hugo movie (rated PG) based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret, then you will recognize the British actor Asa Butterfield. He is only 16-years-old but already, he has made a bunch of movies that were once books, like The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (rated PG-13) and Ender’s Game (coming next November). Not only is he a great actor and a big reader, he’s got some other interests too. Read on.

Q: If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Asa: Oh, this is a tough question. If I could change one thing in the world, I mean, the obvious thing is probably to end poverty. That would be the top of my list.

Q: I found out about Red Nose Day because of One Direction. Did you participate in that?
Asa: Yeah. I think pretty much everyone in the U.K. does that. My school, we have Non-School Uniform Day and everyone has to come in wearing something red and then you donate. So that was fun.

Q: I also read that you’re into writing music.
Asa: Music is such a big part of my life. I couldn’t live without it. I’m almost constantly listening to music when I’m not in school. When I’m doing work, I listen to music as well. But I like all sorts. I like dance music. I like hip hop. I like funk. I like jazz. It’s a really wide range of genres. I use Logic [software]. I really enjoy making house music, like old school house and garage, that sort of thing.

Just a typical British teenager – who happens to be a movie star!

June 19, 2013

Hide and Seek Book Review

Posted by at 1:51 am in Reads | Permalink

Hideandseek130Hide and Seek by Kate Messner

José, Anna, and Henry’s parents are in the Silver Jaguar Society, a group dedicated to finding, preserving, and protecting world artifacts. So when they discover that the prized golden Jaguar Cup has been swapped for a fake, they hop onto an airplane headed straight for Costa Rica.

Upon their arrival, the families are informed that a Society member named Alejandro planted the fake in the Washington, D.C. display on purpose to keep the artifact protected. The problem is, before Alejandro can whisk the cup to safety, someone stole it from him. Now the artifact is truly lost.
Hideandseek

The adults are in San José, while the children get stranded in the rainforest after an earthquake. José, Anna, and Henry, along with their family friend’s daughter Sofia, decide to search in their neck of the forest for the missing artifact. But with danger at every turn, new mysteries emerge. Who can they trust? Is there a traitor in their midst? Could the Serpentine Princes be behind this?

The smart-thinking trio from Capture the Flag reunites in this sequel, using their problem solving and spying skills to crack the case. Are they successful? Read the book and find out!
If you enjoyed this wild adventure, drop us a vine . . . ahem . . .I mean line in the Comments below!

—Elysse, STACKS Writer