Monthly Archives: June 2013

June 18, 2013

Ancient Egypt Trivia Quiz Answers

Posted by at 1:39 am in Trivia | Permalink

Ancient Egypt Trivia Quiz Answers

Last week, our Trivia Quiz took us back to Ancient Egypt. It’s amazing how advanced they were, and how many things they invented. Did you guess some of them? Check out the answers below.

  1. Ancient Egyptians used papyrus plants, which were stiff, reed-like plants that grew along the Nile River, to make THIS item for writing on.
    ANSWER: Paper. Which comes from the papyrus plant! Their process was a carefully guarded secret. They traded the papyrus sheets throughout the region, and used it to write everything from religious texts to stories to music.
  2. Name the women’s makeup that Ancient Egyptians invented.
    ANSWER: A. Eyeliner. They combined minerals to create kohl, which is still used today. Both men and women wore eyeliner, and the more the better. It was seen as a sign of status!
  3. To create a mummy, you first had to remove all of the body’s what?
    ANSWER: All its organs! Organs were removed and placed in jars. The body was dried out for 40 days. Oil was applied, and then the body was wrapped in linen and plaster. Viola – instant mummy!
  4. In the classic mummy pose, the mummy’s hands are placed over which part of its body?
    ANSWER: Its heart, or chest.
  5. How many large pyramids are there at the Pyramids of Giza?
    ANSWER: Three.
  6. Which of these did Ancient Egyptians invent?
    ANSWER: Wigs. Due to the heat, many Egyptians shaved their heads to keep cool. But they preferred the look of “hair” so they created wigs, which they sealed to their heads with beeswax. Ouch!
  7. What is the name of the coffin a mummy sits in?
    ANSWER: A sarcophagus.
  8. What was the ancient form of Egyptian writing called?
    ANSWER: Hieroglyphics.
  9. True or False? Women were kind of equal to men in Ancient Egypt.
    ANSWER: True. Compared to other ancient societies like Greece and Rome, in Egypt, women could own property, decide who they wanted to marry, and have a job. Today this is a given in America, but in ancient societies, it was pretty cool that Egypt was so fair!
  10. Who was the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt? Hint – it was a woman.
    ANSWER: Cleopatra.

I remember traveling to Egypt in college, seeing the pyramids, taking a camel ride, bargaining in the bazaar. I even went dancing in a dance club, and saw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in a movie theater! It was in English, and subtitled in Arabic. Although worlds away, we’re not so different. And those Ancient Egyptians sure were ahead of their time!

–Ratha, STACKS Writer

June 17, 2013

Writing Prompt: Ways to Make Me Happy

Posted by at 4:11 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Writing Prompt: Ways to Make Me Ridiculously Happy

Last month we did an Irritation Writing Prompt, and you guys posted the things that really got under your skin. Now we’re turning the tables and we want to know the things that make you ridiculously happy!

Maybe it’s the littlest thing, or maybe there have been epic surprises that made you feel on top of the world. Whatever the case, for this week’s Writing Prompt, tell all the . . .


Can’t wait to hear what you guys say. Leave your answers in the Comments below!

—Ratha, STACKS Writer

June 14, 2013

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets New Cover

Posted by at 4:21 am in Authors, Harry Potter | Permalink

Do you guys remember when I showed you the new cover for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone? All 7 books are coming out with new covers for the 15th anniversary of Harry Potter in September 2013, but I now have a sneak peek at book #2!

Do you love it??? I think it’s pretty amazing. I also got to interview the illustrator, Kazu Kibuishi, last week when he was in New York and asked him all my burning questions. Read on for the interview. . .

Sonja: Most people can remember everything about the first time they read Harry Potter. Can you describe your first Harry Potter encounter?
KAZU: After college, I had to help my parents pay for their house. They couldn’t afford their mortgage, so what I did was go and get a job, make money. I sent them everything I made and I just kept as much as I needed to survive. Very stressful time. I remember it was a Friday and I had to go back to work. Even though I was young, I felt really old at that point so I really didn’t have time for any entertainment. I was just working; that’s all I did. So the way I actually read the book was I listened to the Jim Dale audiobook on my commute to work. That’s how I experienced the books. But it was like I was in a closet too. I was like Harry in the broom closet, very much trapped in the Muggle world. I thought I was supposed to draw and write for a living, and I just I couldn’t get there, and I was kind of trapped.

Sonja: Why are you a Harry Potter fan? What do you love most about the books?
KAZU: Just they’re good. (laughs) What’s not to love? The list would be so long, but probably more than anything, it’s that sense of place. It feels like a place and I try to do that in my own books too. It was like a landscape painting, and I felt like I was there. I could sense the people, and I can feel what it’s like to be there every time I would read a Harry Potter book. That’s the thing I like the most about it is that imaginary space just feels so real.

Sonja: Were you nervous about redoing the original covers?
KAZU: I felt that the Harry Potter fans were so enthusiastic and giving, and they’re just sweet (laughs), so I didn’t really think there was going to be that much of a backlash. So that didn’t really worry me, but I wanted J.K. Rowling to be happy with the covers. That was my main concern. So once I heard from her and she said they were good, and she approved of them, I felt like I was home free.

Sonja: In the original cover to book 1, Harry is front and center catching the snitch. In yours, Harry looks tiny and lost in the busy world of Diagon Alley. Why did you choose to make Harry look so vulnerable, rather than focus on his heroic qualities?
KAZU: I wanted it to reflect how the reader is probably going to feel when he or she picks up the book for very first time. I felt like the scene in Diagon Alley embodied that experience better than anything else. It was the entry into, like, all of the potential of what can be. And you’re just seeing the first window and then it’s going to get bigger and bigger. So when I drew it, I didn’t necessarily think of him as being tiny and overwhelmed. I think he looks at it and he thinks, “WOW!” I think he’s really drinking it in, and that’s what I was trying to go for. I feel also in the first book that he isn’t the assertive Harry we know, so to see him in an action scene would, I think, be counter to how he is in the book. He’s still like a child discovering things. It’s more like the legend of Harry Potter is actually taking him along for a ride, and then he becomes the legend as the books go on.

Sonja: Did seeing the movies influence you at all when creating the covers?
KAZU: Well of course because the movies exist, and we know them and I love them. Actually Prisoner of Azkaban is probably one of my favorite movies. I actually think Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban might very well be the very best fantasy movie ever made. The end sequence in Prisoner of Azkaban in the movie is so amazing. (laughs) That moment is so incredible for me. I just cry thinking about it.

Sonja: Can you give us a hint of what will be on the Prisoner of Azkaban cover?
KAZU: You guys will like the cover because it’s very emotional. (laughter) There was NO question about #3. I’ll just say that. No question. It was that cover that everybody responded to the most when I did a really quick sketch. I did that one in 5 minutes. There was, like, no question. And I sent that [to Scholastic] and they’re like, “Can all the other ones be like that one?” They really bought into what I was trying to do emotionally more than as an illustration. It means so much; it HAS to be this, so . . . Yeah, I love that cover.

Sonja: Were you concerned about spoilers on the covers?
KAZU: Yes, yes, and I was really careful not to spoil too much. A lot of the suggestions for the front covers were too “spoiler-y” so actually I decided to do covers that were less of a spoiler. You guys will see the Chamber of Secrets cover does not spoil actually anything at all. But it is exactly the feeling I got from reading the second book, which was I felt it was a cup of tea. I thought it was the break before the crazy battles. We’re putting this kid through the ringer; let him have a break. I think the break was number 2. And that’s how I wanted to approach that cover.

Sonja: Thanks for answering our questions.
KAZU: Hope you guys like the covers.

UPDATE: See the new covers for Books #3-5, Book #6, and Book #7!

June 13, 2013

Make a BIG Difference in Your Community!

Posted by at 2:39 pm in Kid Power | Permalink

BeBig130Make a BIG difference in your community!

Remember Clifford? Scholastic's favorite big, red dog may be a distant memory (or beloved favorite!), but did you ever think he could inspire to you serve your community? With the BE BIG In You Community Contest, he can!

It’s easy to be inspired by his BIG ideas and incorporate them into your life in big and small ways. Whether it's helping your sister with her homework, sharing your favorite book with a friend, or putting your garbage in the bin instead of on the ground, there are lots of ways to BE BIG. But if you have an even BIGGER idea, the 5th annual Clifford BE BIG In Your Community contest might be just right for you. You can enter for a chance to win a $5,000 grant* to bring your BIG idea to life! We’re looking for ideas, big and small that can make a difference in your community.

Need inspiration? Check out some of our past winners, young people from all over the country just like you who were inspired by our dog to make a big difference. If you love sports, you could create an athletic group like last year's grand prize winner, Zachary did. He established SNAP, a Special Needs Athletic Program offering sports clinics to children with autism and other disabilities.

In 2010, Will used baseball as inspiration for his winning idea, Hits Against Hunger. Will recruited over 100 elementary age kids to participate in the project and found sponsors to pledge $1 to the food bank for every hit made in their baseball season.

Skyler was only 9 years old when he entered and won the 2009 BE BIG In Your Community contest. Through his winning grant, Skyler created Kids Care Packs and gave them to children in homeless shelters and hospitals throughout San Diego. Kids Care Packs are hand-painted knapsacks filled with school supplies, toiletries, a healthy snack, a book, a toy, and a note of care and friendship.

With one week left until the contest closes, we are looking for more BIG ideas! If you have an idea on how to make a difference in your community, we want to hear about it! But hurry! The contest closes on June 23rd! And good luck!

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. One grand prize: $5,000 grant to support winner’s community project. Five first prizes: $1,000 grant to support winner’s community project. Total grants: $10,000. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. Contest ends June 23, 2013. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Subject to all applicable laws. For official rules, go to\cliffordbebig\contestrules.

TM & © 2013 Scholastic Inc. SCHOLASTIC and associated logos are trademarks of Scholastic Inc. CLIFFORD, EMILY ELIZABETH, CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG, CLIFFORD'S PUPPY DAYS, BE BIG!, and logos are trademarks and or registered trademarks of Norman Bridwell. All rights reserved.

June 12, 2013

Inheritance Readalikes

Posted by at 4:24 am in Reads | Permalink

Eragon130Inheritance Readalikes

You 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 Inheritance Cycle series by Chistopher Paolini. Eragon is 15 years old when he discovers that he is not just a farm boy. He is a Dragon Rider who is about to be swept into a dangerous adventure that could save or destroy the Empire!

Continue reading

June 11, 2013

Ancient Egypt Trivia Quiz

Posted by at 1:38 am in Trivia | Permalink

When you think of Ancient Egypt, you may think of pyramids and mummies. But did you also know a lot of today’s modern-day conveniences were invented in Ancient Egypt? For instance, Ancient Egyptians invented the first toothbrushes (fine twigs tied together into soft brushes) and toothpaste (the powder of ox hooves, ashes, and pumice)! From mummies to makeup and more, see how much you know – or can guess! – about Ancient Egypt.

  1. Ancient Egyptians used papyrus plants, which were stiff, reed-like plants that grew along the Nile River, to make THIS item for writing on.
  2. Name the women’s makeup that Ancient Egyptians invented:
    A. Eyeliner
    B. Lip gloss
    C. Blush
    D. Bronzer
  3. To create a mummy, Egyptians first had to remove all of the body’s what?
  4. In the classic mummy pose, the mummy’s hands are placed over which part of the body?
  5. How many large pyramids are there at the Pyramids of Giza?
  6. Which of these did Ancient Egyptians invent?
    A. Sporks
    B. Wigs
    C. Fishing nets
    D. iPads
  7. What is the name of the coffin a mummy sits in?
  8. What was the ancient form of Egyptian writing called?
  9. True or False? Women were kind of equal to men in Ancient Egypt.
  10. Who was the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt? Hint: she was a woman.

Scroll down for the answers! Continue reading

June 10, 2013

Best Books Writing Prompt

Posted by at 4:20 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Writing Prompt: Books I wish I could read again for the first time

Did you ever read a book that was so good, you almost wish you hadn’t finished it . . . so you could read it again for the first time? Only a few books are that special. Harry Potter, The Giver, or The Hunger Games (for ages 12 and up) come to my mind. Not only were they great while I read them, but they had crazy endings, so it would be good not to know before starting to read them!

What about you guys? What are the books YOU think are so good you wish you could read them again for the first time? Let us know in the Comments below!

—Ratha, Stacks Writer

June 7, 2013

June Pop-Corn

Posted by at 12:57 am in Movies & TV | Permalink

TV, Movies, and Music you won’t want to miss this June!

If you loved Jennette MCurdy in iCarly and Ariana Grande in Victorious, here’s some good news. They’re teaming up in a new Nickelodeon comedy series called Sam & Cat, playing the same characters that made them so popular! The spinoff, premiering June 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, follows the girls as they start a babysitting service.

PBS KIDS is heating up summer with special theme weeks of their shows. First up is Bug Week on Wild Kratts beginning June 3, with everything you want to know about insects.

Big Time Rush is set to release their 3rd album, 24/seven, on June 11. The release will feature “Like Nobody’s Around,” as well as brand-new music which will appear on the current season of the show. The band will perform tracks from 24/seven when they hit the road on their “Summer Break Tour” with Victoria Justice. The tour kicks off June 21 in Los Angeles and will stop in over 38 cities across the U.S.

Get up early and catch some of your favorite music artists on Good Morning America‘s Summer Concert Series on ABC. Carly Rae Jepsen will sing on the June 14 show and Demi Lovato will perform on June 28.

Did the animated antics of Monsters Inc. have you in hysterics? Then get ready for more. Monsters University is a prequel that tells the story of how Mike and Sully first met and became BFFs when they were students. It’s in theaters June 21.

If you like superheroes, you can catch a special 1-hour preview of a new animated series featuring Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow and newcomer Falcon. Sunday, May 26 at 11:00 a.m., ET/PT on Disney XD, Marvel’s Avengers Assemble follows the action-packed adventures of the Avengers superheroes as they defend the planet from threats no single Super Hero could withstand.

Kelly Osbourne will host the special event Phineas and Ferb Musical Cliptastic Countdown, featuring favorite music videos chosen by fans, and airing on Disney Channel June 29 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.

—Gerri, STACKS Writer

Image courtesy Nickelodeon

June 5, 2013

The Kane Chronicles Readalikes

Posted by at 12:56 am in Reads | Permalink

KaneChronicles130The Kane Chronicles Readalikes

You know when you find an amazing book that you never want 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 Kane Chronicles series by Rick Riordan. These books follow Sadie and Carter Kane as they discover that Set, the Egyptian god of chaos and destruction, is alive and kicking in the modern world, and he’s out to destroy them!  Continue reading

June 4, 2013

Last Day of School!

Posted by at 1:33 pm in News | Permalink

Ssc130End of School Activities

Summer officially starts on June 21, but we all know the real start of summer is the last day of school. Whether you are off already or still counting down the days, try these activities to get your summer started right.

Finally, here are some more Would You Rather questions submitted by STACKers on the STACK Back Message Board. If you have ideas for blog posts, go to the Message Board and submit yours too!

From WitchPixie2 and AmberBlack111: Would you rather . . .

  1. Go to summer school OR spend an hour every day studying?
  2. Have hot weather OR snowy weather?
  3. Go on a free cruise OR a trip to Paris, London, and New York that costs money?
  4. Got to the beach every day OR be on vacation every day?
  5. Go to a summer school that’s fun OR have boring sleepovers and playdates every day?
  6. Have a longer summer vacation but fewer days off during the school year OR have a short summer vacation but have more days off during the school year?
  7. Swim in a pool of Nutella OR ice cream?
  8. Swim with sharks OR race with cheetahs?
  9. Drink lemonade OR fruit punch?

Thanks for the awesome questions! I hope everyone has an epic summer!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer