Monthly Archives: August 2013

August 30, 2013

Dear Dumb Diary Movie!

Emily Alyn Lind in Dear Dumb DiaryEmily Alyn Lind in the Dear Dumb Diary Movie!

You love the books. You’ve been anxiously waiting for September 6th so you can watch the movie. But more than anything, you’ve been wondering who on Earth could bring the awesomely awesome Jamie Kelly to life? Our sentiments exactly! So we sat down recently for a very special interview with Emily Alyn Lind, 11-year-old star of Dear Dumb Diary. Key takeaways? Movie stars like to read the books their movies are based on, too! Meet Emily Alyn Lind, star of Dear Dumb Diary, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie based on the Dear Dumb Diary book series!

Scholastic: What’s it like to bring a popular book character to life?
: I loved reading Jim Benton’s books, knowing that I would be portraying [Jamie]. It was almost like doing a movie based on a real story. The character already existed and it was my job to become Jamie Kelly. I really fell in love with Jamie in the books, so I couldn’t wait to play her.

Scholastic: Are you a lot like Jamie Kelly?
I didn’t think I was much like Jamie until I got to set and started to become her. I can relate to her being a little different than the other kids in school, wanting to fit in, but at the same time wanting even more badly to be herself. I think that’s what a lot of Jr. High kids go through. I think a lot of girls will relate to Jamie, whether they are the popular kids, or the not-so-popular. She’s just trying to figure out who she is.

Scholastic: Do you keep a diary of your own?
I’ve always kept a journal from the time I could write. I love to write ANYTHING, but especially my feelings. It really helps to get your emotions onto a page, then read them back. You learn so much about yourself. Also, when you read about a time that was difficult from a couple years before, sometimes you realize that it really wasn’t that bad, that you got through it! I’m not as crazy as Jamie about hiding my journals or putting padlocks on them. I pretty much tell my family everything anyway, so it’s not a big deal if they want to sit down and read about my life!

Scholastic: What do you think are Jamie’s mom’s worst food-crimes?
I love when Jamie walks into the kitchen and sees something still moving in a boiling pot of water. What I like about Jamie’s mom’s character is that she tries so hard to make her family happy. She’s a really good mom, just not a great cook! It’s OK; my family is usually so busy that we get take-out sushi almost every night. As long as we’re all eating as a family, it doesn’t matter what it is we’re eating!

Scholastic: Do you have any pets? Are they like Stinker at all?
I love when I’m asked about pets because it’s my favorite subject! My dog’s name is Georgie. She’s a 5 lb. blonde Maltipoo, and she is my life! I have so much fun when my characters own pets because it makes me think of Georgie. Georgie isn’t as stinky as Stinker, but she hangs out in my room a lot and I talk to her the same way. Next to my sisters, she’s really my best friend. Because Jamie is an only child, I think Stinker IS her best friend.

Scholastic: Who is the Isabella in your life?
It might sound kind of corny, but I’m really close to my sisters, Natalie and Aly. I tell them everything and we’re so different and alike at the same time . . . just like Isabella. We can disagree about things, but then the next day we’re laughing and best friends again. It’s so important to have a best friend, someone you can share everything with. In Isabella’s case, she may not always do the right thing, but in the end, we have each other’s backs.

Scholastic: When you’re not on set or in school, what are your favorite hobbies?
I love to sing, write music, play guitar, make music videos, anything music related! We also produce our own movies at home. We take turns writing, directing, and starring in them. We just made a horror/comedy that was actually pretty good!
Every week, we have family movie night where we rent an old movie. My mom wants us to know all of the classics. One of my faves is Airplane (rated PG), which was directed by our Executive Producer Jerry Zucker. It’s probably the funniest movie ever made!

Scholastic: What are you reading right now?
I’m actually finishing up the Dear Dumb Diary book series right now! I was given all the books but only got through the first half during production. I love seeing where Jamie is heading. She’s such a funny and unpredictable character. I feel so lucky to be playing her. I can’t wait to see what she’s up to next!

Dear Dumb Diary airs on the Hallmark Channel Friday, September 6th at 8 p.m. Watch the trailer now!

August 29, 2013

One Direction:This Is Us Movie

Posted by at 1:56 am in Movies & TV, Music, One Direction | Permalink

1DMovieOne Direction: This Is Us Movie

You might probably know this already, but One Direction: This Is Us (rated PG) comes to theaters tomorrow!!!! I am a little bit excited so I wanted to share some beautiful photos from the world premiere of the film in London, and a few behind-the-scenes secrets. First a photo:1D_Premiere1 Global superstars, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson introduce to you their big screen debut: One Direction: This Is Us! YAYYY!!!

World Premiere Of  'One Direction This Is Us'From X-Factor in 2010 to instant smashdom, their debut album, Up All Night, released in October 2011, achieved a feat never before achieved by a British band: entering the U.S. Billboard chart at number one with their debut record. I first fell in love with them in February 2012, when they gave us this awesome and hilarious interview. (Notice how interested Niall and Louis are in Marie’s New York accent. . . . foreshadowing “Best Song Ever.”)

The band’s sophomore album, Take Me Home turned 2012 into World Premiere Of  'One Direction This Is Us'a banner year for the boys. The album’s first single, “Live While We’re Young,” went straight to number one, and Take Me Home topped the charts in “turty-seven” countries (spoken in Niall’s Irish accent).

In July, they released “Best Song Ever,” a track written specifically for the film. The fun and cheeky video for the song broke records on VEVO with 12.4 million views in one day, making it the most viewed debut video ever on the platform.

World Premiere Of  'One Direction This Is Us'The director Morgan Spurlock filmed in various locales for almost six months, including the band’s performance in Mexico City in early June, 2013. The behind-the-scenes footage, which runs the gamut from backstage mischief before the show to touching hometown scenes, like Harry working at the family bakery, amounted to 500 hours of material. The boys were instrumental in helping Spurlock and the editors pick the most choice moments. Says Spurlock, “They’ve given really insightful feedback about things that are very personal to them . . . to things that they remembered that we shot that we have World Premiere Of  'One Direction This Is Us'forgotten about, and to remind us to dig and find. It was like, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re right, that was a great moment.’”

Adds Spurlock, “You feel like you really do get to become a part of this journey and these boys and this band. I think every One Direction fan should take someone who isn’t a One Direction fan, because I think when people see the movie, they’ll see a different side to these boys that they probably didn’t think World Premiere Of  'One Direction This Is Us'existed or they didn’t think they would enjoy. And I bet they’ll convert a lot more fans than they think they will.” (Harry says, That means YOU!”)

Is Spurlock a 1D fan? It’s not enough that they’re “five good looking guys that get put together in a band. That happens all the time. But the fact that, you know, they actually had the talent and the ability and the drive to kind of push it as far as they have, and continue to do, is remarkable. I’ve seen thirty-plus One Direction concerts at this point,” says Spurlock. “I am like a hardcore Directioner now!”1184625 - ONE DIRECTION

You and me both, Spurlock! I hope you all have a lovely time watching the movie. Leave a Comment to tell me if it lives up to your expectations. And PS, happy 20th birthday today, Liam!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

Photos courtesy of Sony Pictures

August 28, 2013

August Books of the Month

Posted by at 1:06 am in Reads | Permalink

August Books of the Month

The Books of the Month series continues! Here’s how it works. You write the titles of the books you are reading right now, and I make a word cloud out of all your recommendations. Remember, the more votes a title gets, the bigger the print. This month it looks like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and The Hunger Games (for ages 12 and up) are in a dead tie. Take a look. Continue reading

August 27, 2013

Tuesday Trivia

Posted by at 3:19 pm in Trivia | Permalink

Did You Know . . .

Today in 1883, Planet Earth suffered the greatest explosion in recorded history when Krakatoa, a volcano in present-day Indonesia, blew up several times in a row. Wonder what that would have looked like from space!

Speaking of space, on this day in 1962, Mariner 2 was launched on its voyage to Venus; it would become the first spacecraft to visit a planet. Which brings up an interesting question. Are there volcanoes on other planets? Yes, there are even some on Venus!

August 27, 2013

Dream Vacation Personality Quiz Results

Posted by at 1:36 am in Personality Quiz | Permalink

vacationDream Vacation Personality Quiz Results

In last week’s Dream Vacation Personality Quiz we asked you questions to find out where you should go for your ultimate dream vacation. Count up your answers and get ready to book your flight!

Pack your sunscreen because your dream vacation is to a Tropical Paradise! You love the sun and water, and can’t get enough of hanging out by the pool, the beach, or your little brother or sister’s baby pool. Your dream vacation location would be Hawaii, Bora Bora, Fiji, or the Atlantis resort. You’d love one of those glass cabins that sit on top of the ocean so you can see straight through as the tropical fish swim by. Or you could swim with the dolphins for some exercise, then relax in your cabana as you get spritzed with mineral water. So start saving your money because a Tropical Paradise is where you are meant to be!

Get ready to pitch your tent, because your dream vacation would be a Camping Adventure! Not just any old camping adventure though; we’re talking serious camping like the Grand Canyon, or hiking Mt. Everest, or backpacking across Europe. You love the outdoors, sleeping under the stars, and roughing it. You don’t like to be bored, and consider ziplining, white-water rafting, and mountain climbing all in a day’s work. So get your map and RV ready. You’ll be off on a Camping Adventure soon enough!

Your dream vacation is on the Italian Riviera! Sleek and sophisticated, you long to be a jetsetter off to Rome, Paris, or Madrid at a moment’s notice. You would enjoy relaxing on your yacht, then hanging with the celebrities at the Cannes Film Festival. You might gaze at art in Florence, or take a gondola through the canals of Venice. You can end the day with a plate of delicious pasta and dessert of mouth-watering gelato. Bellisimo!

Your dream vacation is an African Safari! You love animals, and long for adventure, so this is the perfect combination of the two! You will see lions in search of dinner, 12,000-pound elephants (hopefully not charging at you!) and the necks of giraffes popping out of trees. Channel the movie Madagascar (rated PG) as you ride in Land Rovers across wide open plains, and make friends with lemurs, zebras, and rhinos, observing them in their natural habitat. Rest easy as the sun sinks down over the horizon of your dream vacation on safari!

Hold on tight because your dream vacation is Theme Park Madness! You love ‘em all from water parks to Disney to Legoland, to Busch Gardens, to Universal, to the #1 ranked in America: Cedar Point in Ohio. You are a born thrill-seeker and fun-chaser, the more the better. So get your all-access pass. It looks like you’ll be travelling coast to coast and coaster to coaster!

—Ratha, STACKS Writer

August 26, 2013

Top 10 Reasons to Get Excited About Back-to-School

Posted by at 1:30 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

10reasonsback-to-schoolTop 10 Reasons to Get Excited About Back-to-School

You’ve got your pencils sharpened and your new Chuck Taylors ready. Your mom stocked up on your favorite snacks, and your back-to-school outfits are hung up in order.

But you’re still not feelin’ it. Back-to-school panic hits you. Nooooooo!!! The lazy days of summer are still calling your name. Well, to get you in the mood, check out our Top 10 Reasons to Get Excited About Back-to-School, and you’ll remember how much you love school in no time. We hope.

  • 10. Your crush is in your class.
  • 9. Pizza day!
  • 8. You just got your braces off. Your peeps need to check out your new straight teeth.
  • 7. You get to change classes this year!
  • 6. After-school sports and epic football matches during recess. Game on!
  • 5. You have awesome back-to-school clothes and can’t wait to model them on the runway. Err… hallway.
  • 4. You have killer school supplies, including a shag rug and magnetic Kleenex box for your locker.
  • 3. You’ve had kind of a boring summer and you’re really, truly, actually READY to go back!
  • 2. You miss your friends … your backup friends … and the people you talk to that aren’t friends yet, but you could see them as potential future friends.
  • 1. You like to learn new things, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

So this school year, enjoy the things you are interested in and work hard at the not-so-fun or challenging things. That feeling of accomplishment can’t be beat when you finally rise to the top. Take a moment to revel in the pure joy of learning. A quote I loooove by Albert Einstein is:

“Education is what remains after you have forgotten all you have been taught.”

School not only teaches you the academic stuff, but affects how you see the world, how you deal with people, and ultimately, what kind of person you will become. Sure, there are not so great parts, but there are those parts you’ll carry in your mind and heart forever.

So go forth . . .learn much . . and try to make healthy choices for lunch. Let us know in the Comments below your #1 reason to go back to school this fall!

—Ratha, STACKS Writer

August 23, 2013


Posted by at 12:10 pm in Gordon Korman, Movies & TV, Reads | Permalink

Swindle book cover by Gordon KormanSwindle Series and Movie

In Swindle by Gordon Korman, an evil collector cons Griffin out of a million-dollar baseball card so he unites a ragtag group of his classmates to take down the swindler. It’s a valiant adventure that will take them through a daring heist, a vicious dog, crazy inventions, and a superb acting performance, but throughout it all, the kids have to bring their skills together as a team to get justice. Swindle is the perfect combination of action and adventure, but it is also funny and true-to-life at the same time.

There are 5 other books in the Swindle series: ZoobreakFramed, ShowoffHideout, and Jackpot. And . . .did you know there is a movie version, too? Look’s who’s in it: Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande from Sam & Cat; Noah Crawford and Chris O’Neal from How to Rock; Ciara Bravo from Big Time Rush; and iCarly’s Noah MunckSwindle movie cast photo

Ariana Grande in Swindle

And to get even more psyched, play the Swindle Spot the Difference Game. (I only got 3 out of 9. This game is IMPOSSIBLE!)

Are you a Swindle fan? Have you seen the movie? Let us know in the Comments.
image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

August 22, 2013

STACKS Creative Writing Team: The Runaway Chapter 5

Posted by at 1:45 pm in Writing Prompt | Permalink

novelSTACKS Creative Writing Team

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our story. Thank you to Camelotgirl, who wrote the beginning of this chapter and Baseballdownpour13 who helped write the twist ending! If you missed the beginning of the story, check out Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, and Chapter 4. If you’d like to contribute to our next chapter, please post your writing on The Runaway thread on the Fan Fiction Board. And now, without further ado, here’s Chapter 5! Continue reading

August 21, 2013

Claws, a Book for Cat Lovers

Posted by at 10:51 am in Reads | Permalink

Claws by Mike and Rachel Grinti

“Emma only knew a little about cats, but what she knew wasn’t exactly comforting. They could talk, but they rarely bothered to talk to humans. They could change their size and become huge, the size of lions or bigger. And they’d been known to hunt humans, though there hadn’t been any incidents in a long time. That anyone knew about.”

When Emma’s sister Helena went missing, Emma had no idea how much it would turn her world clawsupside-down. Emma’s parents spent all of their savings, leaving no stone unturned in the search for their oldest daughter. After losing their restaurant, Emma and her parents moved into a trailer park in a dangerous neighborhood filled with crags, a.k.a. magical beings. Coatl, dwarves, trolls, fairies, hags, harpies, ratters, and centaurs are just a few of the creatures that moved into Emma’s world at the same time as the forest magically grew over Old Downtown. Oh yeah, and then there’s the cats.

Jack is the cat who lives in Emma’s trailer because he has been kicked out his pride. Emma would do anything to find her sister, so when Jack offers her the “Pride-Heart,” Emma accepts the cat magic even though it’s dangerous. Although nearly unheard of, this human turned Pride-Heart must trust that Jack will guide and protect her on this perilous journey.

Cat lovers, this book is a must-read! Actually, anyone who likes fantasy should read this book. Are you excited to read this book? Tell us in the Comments below.

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

August 21, 2013

STACKS Book Club: Hugo Cabret Meeting 2

Posted by at 1:57 am in Reads | Permalink

StacksBookClubSTACKS Book Club: The Invention of Hugo Cabret

What excitement! What a thrill! What an ending! Did you love the ending to The Invention of Hugo Cabret as much as I did? This book was packed full of adventure and suspense. I can’t wait to discuss the ending with my fellow Stackers.

Invention of Hugo CabretIf you missed the first discussion, click here and see what we discussed in Meeting 1. And now, without further ado, here are the official discussion questions for this week’s STACKS Book Club meeting.

  • What did you think it meant when Papa Georges’ signature was on the bottom of the drawing?
  • Where you more scared or excited when Hugo discovered the hidden drawings?
  • What did you think would result from Etienne and Rene Tabard’s visit at Papa Georges’ house?
  • Did you think that Hugo would escape the Station Master during the big chase scene?
  • Were you satisfied by the ending with Papa Georges at the film academy and the big revelation about Hugo?
  • How would you compare the book to the movie Hugo (rated PG), which is based on Brian Selznick’s story?

Feel free to answer any or all the questions in the Comments below. Or pose your own questions to the STACKS Book Club. Also, if you loved The Invention of Hugo Cabret, learn more about Brian Selznick’s other amazing book, Wonderstruck.
image from kids.scholastic.comBrian, STACKS Writer (a.k.a. BlackBird268)