August 20, 2013
What is your dream vacation?
Answer these questions to find out what your dream vacation would be!
- For regular family vacations, you like to go: A)to the beach. B) anywhere outside and away from the crowd. C) somewhere cultural like museums, Colonial Williamsburg, or planetariums. D) Sea World, the zoo, or any place with animals. E) to an amusement park.
- You consider yourself to be: A) laid-back. B) an outdoorsy nature-lover. C) a thrill-seeker. D) savvy and sophisticated. E) always up for fun and silliness.
- Your sport is: A) swimming, diving, or any water sport! B) rock climbing! Man against the mountain! C) horseback riding. Giddy-up! D) dance, gymnastics, or anything artistic. E) football, soccer, basketball, baseball. You love team sports.
- If you could be an animal you’d be a: A) Parrot. Beautiful colors, you can talk, and YUM! All those crackers. B) Bear. Roam the wild to your heart’s content, and then sleep all winter. C) Cheetah. Sleek, fast, and dangerous. D) Cat. Fancy grooming, and Fancy Feast meals. E) Dog. Always up for fun and companionship.
- What’s your ideal weather? A) Sunny and hot, but you don’t mind an occasional evening thunderstorm. B) Cool, shady summers and cold, snowy winters. C) Hot, sunny, and dry. D) Unpredictable. You like to be surprised! E) Warm, but not hot.
- If you were stranded on a desert island what one thing would you HAVE to have? A) nothing! This is the life! B) plenty of water! C) your pet, Mr. Cuddles. D) a stylish bathing suit and a good book. E) a DS so you don’t get bored.
- How do you like to travel? A) by airplane. B) on foot. C) by camel. D) by yacht. E) by skateboard.
- Your vacation anthem song would be: A) “Surf’s Up” from Teen Beach Movie. B) “Tonight Tonight” by Hot Chelle Rae. C) “Circle of Life” From The Lion King D) “All Around the World” by Justin Bieber. E) ”Live While We’re Young” by 1D
- You have to do one bizarre activity for 5 hours straight. It would be: A) swimming in a protected box surrounded by jellyfish. B) floating on an iceberg around Antarctica. C) training a lion. D) trying to communicate in another language with people who have absolutely no idea what you’re saying. E) skydiving.
- How do you feel about ghosts? A) Terrified! B) Love to tell stories about them and scare people. C) They live on. . . In animals! D) No such thing. E) Love to go through fun houses and cemeteries, and pretend they exist, even though you know it’s fake.
- When you were little, you loved to go: A) to the kiddie pool in your backyard. B) to the woods. C) to the zoo. D) to the airport and watch the planes take off, dreaming of far away lands! E) to playgrounds… and you still do!
Find out your results here!
—Ratha, STACKS Writer
August 19, 2013
Create a Caption: Teen Beach Pugs
Don’t Mikko and Maxine look beachy perfect in their matching Hawaiian print outfits? They could be extras in Teen Beach Movie!
I think they are saying, “Hang 5! Keep it alive! Hang 10! Hot-dogin’ again! Let’s Goooo! SURF’S UP!”
Write YOUR caption for these cuties in the Comments!
— Sonja, STACKS Staffer
August 17, 2013
Rescue Princesses: The Wishing Pearl
The Rescue Princesses team up in The Wishing Pearl to rescue an injured dolphin. Below, read an exclusive look at what happened after the book ended.
This morning dawned sunny and bright, a perfect day for a swim! I knew if I went down to the beach early, I might get some precious time alone with my dolphin. Now that he was healed, I knew he would be ready to play.
I dashed down the hill and stopped on the edge of the sand. I was suddenly worried that the beach might be full of kings and queens all expecting a princess like me to be prim and proper! But there were only miles of empty golden sand. The beautiful, deep blue sea exactly matched the color of my sapphire ring.
I gazed at the waves hopefully. Would my dolphin be waiting for me? I noticed a glint of gray in the water. Was it just seaweed, or could it be my dolphin’s nose? Then the gray patch moved. It really was my dolphin!
I called out as I ran down to the water’s edge and the dolphin squeaked back at me. Then it leaped out of the water, making a huge splash. I laughed and took off the t-shirt covering my bathing suit. I dived right into the water. We played together all morning. We took turns seeing who could splash the hardest, and then we practiced diving down to the sandy sea bed and picking up shells. My dolphin was better at diving, and I was better at picking up the shells. I wish I could do this every day! I never want to go back home!
Want to meet the other Rescue Princesses and their pets? Meet Lulu from The Moonlight Mystery, Jaminta from The Stolen Crystals, and Emily from The Secret Promise.
–Vanessa, Scholastic Staffer
August 17, 2013
Rescue Princesses: The Secret Promise Sneak Peek
In The Secret Promise, Emily and her family are attending the grand Mistberg Ball. While she’s there, Emily teams up with some new friends to rescue an injured deer. With that, the Rescue Princesses are created! Take an exclusive sneak peek below at a scene not included in the original book.
Two days after the ball, I longed to see the deer that my Rescue Princess friends Clarabel, Lulu, Jaminta, and I had rescued. I sneaked out of the castle and over to the garden shed where it was recovering. My heart thudded as I opened the shed door a tiny crack. I wondered if the deer would seem stronger today. Would it be able to stand up on its injured leg?
A rustling noise came from a dark corner at the back. My deer walked right up and looked at me with beautiful brown eyes. It tilted its head a little and one ear twitched. I knelt down to check on its leg and saw that the wound had healed up completely. I was so happy!
The deer nudged my shoulder playfully and trotted to the open doorway. It looked around shyly for a moment and then skipped across the vegetable patch. I was amazed at how gracefully it moved.
I called out, telling it to wait for me as I dashed from the shed. Unluckily, mean Queen Trudy was just coming around the corner. I crashed right into her, sending her tumbling into a row of cabbages.
I said I was sorry and then rushed off after the deer. I just hope Queen Trudy can get the cabbage stains out of her royal robes!
Want to meet the other Rescue Princesses and their pets? Meet Lulu from The Moonlight Mystery, Jaminta from The Stolen Crystals, and Clarabel from The Wishing Pearl.
–Vanessa, Scholastic Staffer
August 16, 2013
China Anne McClain and her Sisters, Sierra and Lauryn
The awesome and amazing China Anne McClain is not only a successful TV actress on A.N.T. Farm, but she is also part of music group with her older sisters (who are both also beautiful like China, as you can see in this video).
Q: You guys are now a group?
China: Yes we are on Hollywood Records.
Q: What was your favorite school subject and why?
China: Probably language arts, English, somewhere I can write.
Sierra: I have graduated, but when I was in school I would have to say Math. I really like Math.
Lauryn: I would have to say English too. I enjoy writing.
Q: What do you guys do to try to save the planet?
China: We try to use less water, but of course I brush my teeth and did all that stuff! (They all laugh.) I don’t leave the water running. I recycle everything I use.
Q: Are you guys really close or do you ever fight?
Lauryn: I would have to say that China and me fight more than anything because we share a room.
China: We fight over clothes. We fight over random stuff. It’s me and my brother that fight.
Aww. They are just like normal sisters!
— Sonja, STACKS Staffer
Interview by Sue Schneider
August 15, 2013
Big, Bad 400
What does the number 400 mean to you? If you’re a math whiz, you know it’s 20 squared. If you’re a chocoholic, you might recognize it as the amount of calories in a small stack of chocolate chip pancakes. If you’re a car-racing fan, it’s the amount of laps in a NASCAR race.
But for those who study climate change, 400 is the amount of parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide that is now in the Earth’s atmosphere. Never before has this much carbon dioxide accumulated in the atmosphere in such a short time. The last time there were 400 ppm of carbon dioxide was 3 million years ago. Back then, the average temperature of the Earth was warmer and the sea level was between 60-80 feet higher than it is today. But back then, it took tens of thousands of years to reach 400 ppm. Now, we’ve reached that number in just over 150 years. And today we’ve got 7 billion people living on the planet.
What does 400 mean for the Earth? What does this mean for you?
400 ppm means the average temperature of the Earth is guaranteed to get 3.5 degrees hotter. This means more heat waves, longer lasting droughts, stronger hurricanes, and heavier flooding.
But 400 also means that if we drastically limit the burning of fossil fuels all over the world, we can stop this number from going up to even more dangerous levels.
Here’s what you can do:
- Create a Kids-Stop-at-400 club at your school. Gather signatures to send to your congressional representative.
- Carpool, ride the subway or bus, or walk as much as possible. If your family is in the market for a new car, talk to your parents about making it a hybrid or an electric one.
- Ask your school about signing up for a solar lease program. In some cities, it doesn’t cost a dime to put solar panels on the roof.
- Use recycled paper products to keep more trees alive and absorbing carbon dioxide.
- Write to President Obama and tell him that you want to reduce the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal, and stop exporting coal to other countries.
Imagine a future in the next 50 to 100 years when we completely move away from burning fossil fuels to get energy. You have the ability to help make that future a reality. 400 is definitely big and bad. But the power of our voices and our actions can be even bigger and badder. Join the Save Planet Message Board to talk to other kids about the Big, Bad 400.
— Laurie David and Cambria Gordon, authors of The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming
August 14, 2013
STACKS Book Club: The Invention of Hugo Cabret
It’s that time again to grab a book and snuggle up on the couch or maybe outside in a hammock, because the STACKS Book Club is meeting again. The STACKS Book Club is a chance for you to read a book along with your fellow Stackers and discuss the breathtaking developments right here on Ink Splot 26.
Our next book will be The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. This fantastic tale of mystery and adventure, which is also accompanied by beautiful illustrations, follows a young boy named Hugo, who lives in the walls of a Paris train station. Hugo lives a life of mystery and depends on keeping secrets to stay alive. But when he’s caught stealing from a toy maker, his life is turned upside down and he must rely on some new friends to survive and solve some amazing mysteries.
So, grab a copy of The Invention of Hugo Cabret and read the first half of the book. Then come back and join the discussion in the Comments section. Here are some questions to help get the discussion rolling.
- What did you think of Brian Selznick’s illustrations?
- How hard do you think it is to be Hugo, who runs all the clocks in a train station and steals to survive when he’s still just a young boy?
- It’s so difficult to know whom to trust. Did you believe Papa Georges when he said he destroyed the notebook or Isabelle when she said it wasn’t?
- Hugo is so talented at fixing the automaton. What special skills do you have?
- When the automaton began working, what did you think it would write?
Feel free to answer any or all the questions in the Comments below. Or pose your own questions to the STACKS Book Club. Also, don’t forget to stop back on August 21 to discuss the thrilling ending of The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
— Brian, STACKS Writer (a.k.a. BlackBird268)
August 14, 2013
A Message from Guardians of Ga’Hoole Author, Kathryn Lasky
Dear STACKS Readers,
It’s my great pleasure to introduce you to my latest Guardians of Ga’Hoole book, The Rise of a Legend, the story of Ezylryb, the legendary whiskered screech of the Great Ga’Hoole tree. This prequel reveals how this owl from the ice-choked Northern Kingdoms rose through the ranks to become the commander of the Glauxspeed Division and why he gave it all up and flew to the Great Ga’Hoole Tree where he became the greatest scholar in its history as well as a mentor to the great owl Soren.
Why, for my first owl book in five years, did I choose to write about Ezylryb? It all began with a boy named Evan who sent me an email. “So what do you plan on doing after finishing the wolves series?” he asked. Would I ever go back to owls? “You told us about Ezylryb as a grown up, but why not go into detail about his childhood and years as a commander? You have endless possibilities.”
Why had I never thought of this! Evan was right. I felt a thrill in my gizzard. There were endless possibilities. The story of Ezylryb’s youth was so dramatic. Before he was known as Ezylryb, he was called Lyze of Kiel. Lyze never wanted to fight, but the death of his beloved sister drove him to pick up his battle claws. He became a great strategist. He knew weapons and he knew how to bring together animals as different as Kielian snakes and snow leopards and turn them into crack fighting teams and espionage units. In The Rise of a Legend, you will meet other characters from the Guardians of Ga’Hoole books, such as Octavia the blind snake and the Great Snowy owl Moss. You’ll see them when they were young, sometimes foolish, and often scared. You’ll see them grow, gather courage and begin to question why and if there must always be war.
I had so much fun revisiting Ga’Hoole and the hero owls there, and hope you enjoy reading The Rise of a Legend as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Read an excerpt and visit the new Ga’Hoole Website to play the brand new Rise of a Legend Game.
—Kathryn Lasky, Guardians of Ga’Hoole Author
August 13, 2013
Back to School!
I know some kids get really sad when summer vacation is over and it’s time to go back to school, but I was never one of them. I LOVED back-to-school time! Who’s with me? Yay, school!!!! Woo hoo!! No? Um. . . . anyway. . . Whether you are happy or sad, here are some activities to help you celebrate (or mourn) the first day of school.
Happy Back-to-School, everyone! Hope you have an excellent school year!
— Sonja, STACKS Staffer
August 13, 2013
Record-Breaking Trivia Quiz Answers
Biggest, smallest, tallest, fastest! Last week, we posted a Record-Breaking Trivia Quiz. Tallest building, oldest living man, longest river . . . you get the picture! How many did you get correct? Check out the answers below.
- The tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa. What country is it in?
ANSWER: United Arab Emirates. Dubai is the U.A.E. city that boasts the tallest habitable building in the world. It climbed to the top of the charts when it was completed in 2010. It has 160 stories, is 2716.5 ft., and includes a hotel, apartments, restaurants, office space, and a viewing deck.
- The world’s oldest living man is how old?
ANSWER: 112 years old. According to Guinness World Records, Salustiano Sanchez Blazquez was born in 1901, and currently lives in Grand Island, New York. His hobbies include vegetable gardening and crossword puzzles. Incidentally, he is not the world’s oldest living person. SHE is 115-year-old Misao Okawa of Japan.
- What’s the fastest someone has ever run 1 mile?
ANSWER: 3 minutes and 43 seconds! The record was set in 1999 by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco. Yikes, I run a mile in 11 minutes. He’d run laps around me!
- Which is the longest river in the world?
ANSWER: The Nile. Running through Africa, the Nile is over 4,000 miles long. #2 is the Amazon, #3 is the Yangtze in China, and #4 the Mississippi.
- The world’s shortest person is about how tall?
ANSWER: 54.6 cm. According to Guinness World Records, the world’s shortest man (72-year-old Chandra Bahadur who is 54.6 cm) and world’s shortest woman (18-year-old Iyoti Amage who is 62.8 cm) met for the first time for the production of the 2013 Guinness Book of World Records
- Where is the world’s largest swimming pool?
ANSWER: Chile. It’s called The San Alfonso del Mar sea water pool. Lying beside the Pacific Ocean, special machines draw sea water from the Pacific Ocean in at one end of the pool, filter and treat it, and pump it back out the other end!
- Where is the world’s tallest roller coaster?
ANSWER: Six Flags, NJ. According to the Scholastic Book of World Records, “Kingda Ka” has been the world’s tallest coaster since opening in 2005 at 456 feet high. It reaches a top speed of 128 scream-filled miles per hour!
- Which city has the most skyscrapers?
ANSWER: New York City. The Big Apple has 210 buildings over 500 feet tall. The newest and tallest skyscraper in New York is One World Trade Center, a.k.a. the Freedom Tower.
If you’re in the mood for more, check out The 2013 Guinness Book of World Records. I could get lost in there for hours! See you next Trivia Tuesday.
—Ratha, STACKS Writer