Monthly Archives: July 2013

July 31, 2013

Harry Potter Final Book Cover is Unveiled!

Posted by at 1:58 pm in Harry Potter | Permalink

Harry Potter Final Book Cover is Unveiled!

Fans, young and old, bristled with excitement as they gathered at the Scholastic Store in New York City on Harry Potter’s birthday for the unveiling of the new cover of The Deathly Hallows, the final cover illustration by Kazu Kibuishi.

Fans draped themselves in costumes and formed a line that ran out the door of the Scholastic Store and onto Broadway. Attire ranged from the traditional robes of a Hogwarts student to a Sirius Black costume with a “Wanted” poster and all.


Fans of all ages lined up early to get a sneak peak at the final cover by Kazu, including a trio dressed as Hermione Granger, Professor Sybill Trelawney, and a Gryffindor student.

While the three friends loved the classic covers, they’re also excited for Kazu’s final illustration. They believe since the books are so well known, the covers can delve deeper into the story of each book. As Jessica put it, who was dressed as Hermione, “It’s just a good excuse to get dressed up.”


Still, many new fans turned out to see the latest Harry Potter cover, including Cameron, a 7-year-old boy from New York. Cameron just finished reading The Sorcerer’s Stone this summer and came dressed as a Slytherin student with the hopes of seeing the latest book cover. His favorite character? Harry Potter, of course.

Before long, the crowd was allowed into the store and gathered around the spot where the book unveiling was to take place. However, those in attendance were greeted with several surprises, including Kazu Kibuishi himself!


Kibuishi spoke to his fans and shared his favorite memory about creating the Harry Potter covers.

“It was actually painting The Goblet of Fire. It was one of the hardest covers to paint actually. I was finishing it right around the time of the Academy Awards and everyone else was at home watching the awards show. I’ve never missed it once, you know, I’m just a film fan. And I was working that night on the cover, and it was a late night and I was on my own, and it was just me and Harry and the world. And it felt really special to be able to be there in that place when the rest of the world was somewhere so far away.”

And then came the big reveal! Here’s Kazu Kibuishi’s final book cover!kazu

Then Kazu spoke about his inspiration for The Deathly Hallows book cover.

“I felt the final cover should be about the main, the core friends within the story and I sort of saw it as the last ride they would have. So I was looking for a moment where it felt kind of felt like that. So that is why I chose the scene that you can see here. And it’s also a tribute to the original cover. I actually wanted to maintain some of the same color palette, the color palette that Mary GrandPré had decided to use and so it was a tribute to her work as well as to the story itself.”

Kazu and the Harry Potter team had one last surprise about the spines of the new book covers. When all seven of the new books are placed side by side, the bindings will reveal the following image.


It’s Hogwarts, as painted by Kazu himself! Kazu then described his inspiration for this amazing painting.

“It’s meant to depict them actually going there for the first time. And I thought if you’re going to look at the books from the spine, then I want to replicate the feeling of being in the boat and journeying out into that world.”

After the unveiling, fans who stuck around could build wands . . .


. . . or spend time with some live magical creatures!


All in all, what a magical day and a beautiful cover for The Deathly Hallows. What do you think? Do you love the latest Harry Potter cover? Leave your thoughts in the Comments below!

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

July 31, 2013

Harry Potter Birthday Activities

Posted by at 1:49 am in Harry Potter | Permalink

Harry Potter Birthday Activities

July 31 is Harry Potter’s birthday, and we are all about celebrating the boy who lived! If you think it is strange to celebrate a fictional character’s birthday, then you obviously have not read the Harry Potter books. Go read them, now! Just kidding. I know you guys totally don’t think this is strange at all! I know you are throwing confetti at this very moment and eating a cupcake in Harry’s honor. Here are some other ways to celebrate the wonderful day of Harry’s (fictional) birth!

  • Click on the links to see the new Harry Potter book covers by illustrator, Kazu Kibuishi: Book 1, Book 2, Books 3-5, Book 6, Book 7
  • Take the Harry Potter Personality Quiz from PurpleWizard50. (The results are at the bottom of this post.)
  • You know you’re a Harry Potter fan when ________. (Fill in the blank.)
  • Take the Harry Potter Birthday Quiz.
  • Test your Harry Potter Movie Trivia.
  • Meet new friends on the Harry Potter Message Boards.
  • Solve these Harry Potter Word Scrambles, courtesy of BubblyBookworm12!
    Easy: 1) RARYH 2) ONR 3) CIAMG
    For the answers, visit the STACK Back Message Board.
  • Solve more Harry Potter Word Scrambles from EpicBookworm16! (For the answers, visit STACK Back Message Board.)
    1. awdizr 2. eriomhen 3. ghwtaosr 4. awdn 5. nseap 6. qiichdtud 7. cgami 8. umdelboedr 9. iussir 10. ardihg
  • And finally, your Harry Potter Personality Quiz Results!
    MOSTLY A’s: You are HARRY POTTER. You are not afraid to stand up for your loved ones’ rights and easily trust people you think are trustworthy. You might not be the smartest wizard, but you sure are the bravest.
    MOSTLY B’s: You are RONALD WEASLEY. Most people may not realize it, but you are very loyal. You have a good sense of humor, but are also very stubborn sometimes. You don’t have a very short temper, but when you do lose it, no one really knows what you’ll do!
    MOSTLY C’s: You are HERMIONE GRANGER. You are smart, practical, and quick to think of ideas even in dangerous situations. Sometimes, though, you can get a little full of yourself and bossy.
    MOSTLY D’s: You are FRED/GEORGE WEASLEY. You are funny, and a troublemaker. You love playing pranks on your enemies… and friends. You are very clever, but if only you would use it in studies and not always make trouble!

Happy birthday, Harry!! We love you!!!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

July 30, 2013

Harry Potter Personality Quiz

Harry Potter Personality Quiz

Today’s Personality Quiz comes from PurpleWizard50, and it’s just in time to celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday tomorrow! Answer these questions to find out which character from the series you are most like. Then come back tomorrow to find your results and to join in Harry’s birthday bash!

  1. You had a huge fight with your best friend last night. Today, you are walking down the hall when you see him/her getting bullied. You… a) Stand up for him/her. b) Walk on and pretend that you didn’t notice. c) Start reading about defense strategies so that you are never in that situation. d) Play a wicked prank on the bully but never acknowledge it.
  2. Voldemort gives you a choice: Either you are hurt and he lets your loved ones be safe, or all your loved ones are hurt and you are safe. What do you do? a) You fight him. b) You get hurt. c) You cry and cry and let your loved ones get hurt. d) Use that darkness powder, escape and change your identity.
  3. If your best friend got hypnotized and is trying to hurt you, what would you do? a) Find out who did it and punish them. b) Try to make him/her snap out of it. c) Use a spell to make your best friend stop. d) Review your favorite pranks so that s/he remembers that she was your best friend.
  4. Favorite spell? a) Expelliarmus! b) I don’t really know that many. c) All of them!!! d) All that are associated with pranks and tricks!

HOPE YOU GUYS LIKED THE QUIZ! Click here to celebrate Harry’s birthday and find out your results!


July 30, 2013

City Personality Quiz Results

Posted by at 1:54 am in Personality Quiz | Permalink

City Personality Quiz Results

Last week, we gave you a City Personality Quiz to find out which city you should live in when you grow up. Are you ready for your results? Count up your answers and read on. . . .

Saddle up, partner; the city you should live in is Dallas, Texas! You’re a down home country guy or gal, and while you like having a city near you, you also enjoy a small town feel. The comfort food, lifestyle, and entertainment of Texas will put you at ease. Head on down to the rodeo, or take in a football game, then BBQ with family. People who live in Texas take pride in their state, which is maybe why they say, “Don’t mess with Texas.”

You should live in sunny Los Angeles, California! A beach guy or gal at heart, you love being in the sun and close to the ocean. Your style is casual and trendy, but part of you also has an aim for fame! You like to celebrity-watch, and who knows? Maybe one day you will even become a celebrity yourself! Los Angeles is the perfect place to go on all those auditions and try to live your dreams.

Start spreadin’ the news; the city you should live in is the Big Apple, New York City!
You love being where the action is with a cool job, all different types of people, and non-stop entertainment. Since you love a busy pace and don’t mind crowds, America’s biggest city is the place you want to be. You will love all the different experiences from riding the subway to work, to taking in a Broadway show, to eating hot dogs on Coney Island.

Fasten your seatbelts, and prepare for takeoff to London, England! With its rich history and hip, current day atmosphere, England is the place to be. Ride a double-decker bus over the Thames River and past Buckingham Palace on your way to meet your mates for tea. Watch the changing of the guard, or visit Charles Dickens’ grave at Westminster Abbey. Study at Oxford University, one of the most prestigious colleges in the world. At the end of the day, retire to your flat in Notting Hill, and phone back home to America where it will still be the afternoon (since England is 5 hours ahead of the East Coast, and 8 hours ahead of the West Coast!). Cheers!

“Ni hao,” will be your greeting each day because the city you should live in is Shanghai, China! A rich, exotic world where the old meets new, Shanghai is the place for you. Slurp noodles with your friends as you sit by the Bund, or the famous waterfront area to hang out and shop in. Ride your bicycle or motor scooter through the crowds to navigate to school. Take a ride outside of town to a peaceful Buddhist temple for some Zen time. See an acrobatic show, or get lost wandering the Yu Yuan Gardens. And if you miss home, don’t worry; Disneyland Shanghai is set to open in 2015!

What do you think? Can you see yourself in this city? Leave a Comment!

—Ratha, STACKS Writer

July 29, 2013

Writing Prompt: That’s So True!

Posted by at 1:12 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Writing Prompt: That’s so true!

Don’t you love it when you hear a phrase and it’s totally what’s been in your brain all along?? For today’s Writing Prompt, we want to compile a list of quotes that make you say, “That’s so true!”

For example:

  • You don’t get dessert at home, but you get double dessert at grandma’s.
  • Hard work beats talent . . when talent doesn’t work hard. (The best natural athlete/student/performer won’t win if s/he is lazy!)
  • Don’t you hate it when you finish an amazing book, and realize you were lost in its world . . .then you look around and see life carries on as normal? Major letdown!
  • Why is it you always have to go to the bathroom as soon as you get into the pool, or start a long car trip?
  • Love the people God gave you because He will need them back one day.

Serious or silly, what’s something that makes you say. . .

SoTrueCan’t wait to see how many different things we get, so leave your words in the Comments below.

—Ratha, Stacks Writer

July 26, 2013

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Actors

Posted by at 1:56 am in Movies & TV, Percy Jackson | Permalink

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Actors

A few weeks ago, we gave you the inside story on the new Percy Jackson movie Sea of Monsters (rated PG) in an interview with Annabeth and Clarisse. Now we have the guys’ point of view in an interview with Logan Lerman who plays Percy, and Brandon T. Jackson who plays Grover.

Q: Did you ever read Greek mythology before filming the movies?pj2movie
LOGAN: I did read Greek mythology in 7th or 8th grade in school and I always liked it. The one that I really liked, thought was really clever, was the myth about how Athens was named after Athena and the battles she had, and then how she used her wisdom to lure the people of Athens into naming the city after her. I always thought that was cool.
BRANDON: I like The Iliad. I’m a big fan of that. I like the Achilles story. I think that’s a really cool story, you know, the fact that he was dipped in the water by the gods up to his ankles, I mean up to his Achilles heel, and that was his weak point. Yeah, that’s one of my favorite ones. By the way, I hate the word “myths” because I can’t say it with the “s.”  I don’t know why.

Q: If you could be any character in the Percy movies in real life, who would you be?
LOGAN: I would probably be Poseidon or Zeus. I think they’re pretty cool.

Q: Could you talk about the satyr costume?
BRANDON: I had to wear a beard. Have you looked at the horns? And the beard is not real; it’s definitely fake. With the goat, it was like tight pants with little socks on them and I had to create a walk that resembled hind legs.

Q: What was the most fun scene to shoot during the movie?
LOGAN: With a big adventure film, you really can’t go wrong with any day you’re working. It’s a pretty fun set all the time. One of the things I had a lot of fun in particularly, just to name one, was Polyphemus’ Island. We had this cool heist scene, trying to get the fleece from Polyphemus. And we had a really good time shooting that. And it was a character I was really excited for the fans to see. So we had a lot of fun with it.

Q: You filmed at an amusement park in New Orleans. How was that experience, especially during the night shoots?
LOGAN: Alligators. Mosquitoes.
BRANDON: We had to move 25 alligators before the shoot. It was kind of scary. I like outside stuff, but I don’t deal with alligators.
LOGAN: It was pretty grueling and we were shooting at basically a swamp. They pumped out all the water, took out the alligators, laid down a little bit of dirt and said, “Let’s shoot.” And we were shooting night shoots five days a week, basically, from 7 pm to 7 am, and it was like 90 degrees with humidity. At 3 in the morning. It was pretty grueling, but at the same time, fun. It’s epic. It’s huge, huge setups and end of the world, epic battle scenes. So we had a good time.

Interview by Samantha McCann
Movie image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

July 25, 2013

STACKS Creative Writing Team: The Runaway Chapter 3

Posted by at 9:30 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

novelSTACKS Creative Writing Team

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the STACKS Creative Writing Team. A special shout out to technologygirl for submitting a great chapter this week and creating both a new character in Emily’s older brother Mark and part of the monster’s description.

If you missed the beginning of the story, check out Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. If you’d like to contribute to the next chapter, please post your writing on The Runaway Chapter 4 thread on the Fan Fiction board. And now, without further ado, here’s Chapter 3.

Continue reading

July 24, 2013

SPONSORED POST: Scholastic TV Shows

Posted by at 3:06 pm in Goosebumps, Movies & TV | Permalink

Netflix_130THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY Scholastic Media
Shows Based on Your Favorite Scholastic Books!

Aside from enjoying time at the beach or poolside, you may be catching up on your favorite TV shows on your summer vacation. If so, we have some exciting news for you. TV episodes inspired by your favorite Scholastic book series are now available for streaming on Netflix. If you’re a fan of Goosebumps, The Baby-sitters Club, Dear America or Horrible Histories and your family has a Netflix streaming subscription, you’ll definitely want to watch on-screen adaptations of your favorite characters and stories.

Check out our guide to the shows based on your favorite book series.

  • Get Goosebumps watching R.L. Stine’s frightful tales such as “It Came from Beneath the Sink,” “Piano Lessons Can Be Murder,” “Say Cheese and Die,” “Night of the Living Dummy,” “Welcome to Camp Nightmare,” and more.
  • Catch up with Kristy, Claudia, Dawn, Mary Anne, and Stacey and their adventures in friendship and baby-sitting with The Baby-sitters Club. Join the girls as they uncover an ancient feud, help Stacey break into modeling, explore a mysterious haunted house, challenge the boys in baby-sitting, and more.
  • Be enthralled with the fictional, yet inspirational stories of young women at different points in American history with Dear America. Watch your favorite stories come to life including “A Picture of Freedom,” “A Journey to the New World,” “The Winter in Red Snow,” “When Will This Cruel War Be Over?” and more.
  • Want to learn the unusual, gory-yet-true facts about history? If so, you’ll love Horrible Histories! Join Stitch, Mo, and Darren as they are taught valuable lessons with the help of some of the most famous characters from the past such as Elizabeth I, Louis XIV, Julius Caesar, and Montezuma. Welcome to history the way they don’t teach you in school!


July 24, 2013

Spirit Animals Book 1: Wild Born Sneak Peek

Posted by at 11:25 am in Reads | Permalink

SAnimals_1_3D (2)RESIZED[2]Hi, STACKS Readers!

I’m Zack, the lucky editor of Scholastic’s fantastic new multiplatform series, Spirit Animals, launching this September with the first book, Wild Born, by superstar fantasy author Brandon Mull.

This new series is a totally different kind of storytelling from our previous two hit multiplatform series, The 39 Clues and Infinity Ring, in a couple of ways. One, it’s an action-packed fantasy, set in a world that’s very different from our own, the world of Erdas. And two, these books pair kids with spirit animals, a rare bond between human and animal that gives some incredible powers to both.

Spirit Animals isn’t just a book series; it’s also a super-cool action role-playing game, where players can create their own customized heroes and choose their spirit animals. In the game, you’ll be able to train and bond with your animal, equip it with all kinds of cool armor, decorate your room however you want, and go on quests to help the book characters save the world.

Now, I’m a big fantasy fan myself, but the beauty of Spirit Animals is that you don’t have to be to get into these books. Brandon Mull has created a rich and detailed story that all kids are going to want to dive into, both in the books and the game.

Still skeptical? Just to prove what a great world this is, we’re including the first two chapters of Spirit Animals Book 1: Wild Born for you to read. Meet the characters, learn all about the mysterious spirit-animal bond, and come face to face with the dark threat looming over the world of Erdas. You’ll be hooked before you know it.

The series officially launches September 10, 2013 with Brandon Mull’s Wild Born, and subsequent books will be by an all-star team of adventure and fantasy legends, including Maggie Stiefvater, Garth Nix and Sean Williams, Shannon Hale, Tui T. Sutherland, Eliot Schrefer, and Marie Lu.

It’s going to feel like a long wait until September, but don’t worry, the game launches earlier! On August 13, visit to get your spirit animal and start the quest.  In the meantime, I want you to be thinking about this very important question: What’s your spirit animal?

–Zack, Scholastic Editor

July 24, 2013

Creepella von Cacklefur’s Summer

Posted by at 1:31 am in Reads | Permalink

ReturnOfTheVampCreepella’s Summer Adventure by Geronimo Stilton

Hello, mouse friends! I hope you’re all enjoying the summer! I wanted to share with you a spooky little story that my friend Creepella wrote. Her pet bat Bitewing just dropped it in my lap insisting that I post it. So here it is!

“The Slimy Swamp Ghost” by Creepella von Cacklefur

It was a humid summer day. “What perfect weather for the beach!” Creepella exclaimed to her niece, Shivereen. Shivereen cheered and leapt into Creepella’s hearse, and they sped off toward the Slimy Swamp. On the way, they picked up their friend Billy Squeakspeare.

“Do we have to go to the Slimy Swamp? I hear it’s haunted by an angry ghost!” Billy said.

“Don’t worry so much, silly Billy!” Creepella replied.

They got to the green, muddy Slimy Swamp. Creepella ran down to the water, and the muck oozed around her paws. “Summer is mouse-tastic!” she cried.

Billy was just about to dive in the water when he heard an eerie moan. He shrieked and leapt backward.

“It’s the ghost!” Shivereen exclaimed. At that, Billy started running away, but Creepella caught him.

“Ghostie, why are you moaning?” Creepella asked.

A slow, eerie voice answered, “I’m just so lonely out here. And when I try to make friends, everyone runs away!”

“We’ll be your friends!” Creepella and Shivereen cried. They spent the rest of the afternoon chatting with their new ghost pal. Even Billy had a race with the ghost through the swamp . . . which he lost, of course.

At the end of the day, the mice said goodbye to the Slimy Swamp ghost. They would be back to visit soon!


Find out more about Creepella’s adventures.