November 18, 2016

Faith Wood-Blagrove as Modesty in Fantastic Beasts Movie

Posted by at 1:48 pm in Harry Potter, Movies & TV | Permalink

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemThe movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (rated PG-13) has found a new star in Faith Wood-Blagrove. The 10-year-old girl will play Modesty, who is described as a “haunted” character with an “inner strength and stillness.” Perhaps thanks to a little magic, the character “has an ability to see deep into people and understand them.”

Modesty Barebone is Mary Lou’s youngest adopted daughter. Mary Lou Barebone is a No-Maj and the outspoken leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society (NSPS), otherwise known as the Second Salemers. Bent on exterminating all magic, Mary Lou fiercely crusades against the wizards and witches she is convinced live among them. She enlists her adopted children, who all live in fear of her wrath.

A bit precocious, Modesty manages to hide her disobedience from her strict mother. Playing her favorite game of hopscotch, she chants anti-witchcraft rhymes. But out of sight of her mother, she rebelliously scatters the Second Salemers leaflets to the four winds instead of passing them out.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling shared that she was excited to find Modesty, signaling that the character may be significant to Fantastic Beasts.

Fantastic Beasts producers held an open casting call in July 2015 to find a girl who could take on the part. Over 10,000 young girls, ages 8-12, showed up to audition for the role. The girls came with their families and waited for hours in line before getting the chance to audition. All of the girls received certificates after their auditions. About 100 girls were invited to move forward with the next round in the audition process. Out of the thousands of young actors who tried out for Modesty, 10-year-old Faith Wood-Blagrove from the UK was chosen for the role. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be her first movie

The career of Rupert Grint was launched in a similar way to Blagrove’s, also at the age of 10. He heard about the role of Ron in the Harry Potter movie, and then got cast from an open casting call. Evanna Lynch, who plays Luna Lovegood in the last four Harry Potter movies, also auditioned for her role through an open casting call after hearing about it on MuggleNet.

Faith will be working alongside Eddie Redmayne, who plays Newt Scamander. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be in theaters on November 18, 2016.

November 11, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie

Posted by at 1:24 am in Harry Potter, Movies & TV | Permalink

Eddie Redmayne as Newt ScamanderFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (rated PG-13) takes us to a new era of the Wizarding World, decades before Harry Potter and half a world away in New York City. The film marks the screenwriting debut of Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling.

It will be the first of five mega-movies set in the magical world about 70 years before the start of the Harry Potter story (so obviously, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were not born yet). The films will follow magizoologist Newton Artemis Fido Scamander (whose grandson Rolf will later marry Luna Lovegood). Newt was a Hufflepuff who graduated from Hogwarts in 1915. From 1918 to 1927, he traveled all over the world researching magical creatures for the book he was writing called . . . Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which we know went on to become a Hogwarts textbook. In his travels, he visited New York, which is where this movie will start.


Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

There are growing dangers in the wizarding world of 1926 New York. Something mysterious is leaving a path of destruction in the streets, threatening to expose the wizarding community to the No-Majs (American for Muggles), including the Second Salemers, a fanatical faction bent on eradicating them. And the powerful, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, after wreaking havoc in Europe, has slipped away…and is now nowhere to be found.

Unaware of the rising tensions, Newt Scamander arrives in the city nearing the end of a global excursion to research and rescue magical creatures, some of which are safeguarded in the magical hidden dimensions of his deceptively nondescript leather case. But potential disaster strikes when unsuspecting No-Maj Jacob Kowalski inadvertently lets some of Newt’s beasts loose in a city already on edge. This is a serious breach of the Statute of Secrecy that former Auror Tina Goldstein jumps on, seeing her chance to regain her post as an investigator. However, things take an ominous turn when Percival Graves, the enigmatic Director of Magical Security at MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), casts his suspicions on both Newt…and Tina.

Now allied, Newt and Tina, together with Tina’s sister, Queenie, and their new No-Maj friend, Jacob, form a band of unlikely heroes, who must recover Newt’s missing beasts before they come to harm. But the stakes are higher than these four outsiders—now branded fugitives—ever imagined, as their mission puts them on a collision course with dark forces that could push the wizarding and No-Maj worlds to the brink of war.


November 7, 2016

War Books for Veterans Day

Posted by at 1:25 am in Reads | Permalink

militaryanimalsNovember 11 is Veterans Day, a day to celebrate the service of all U.S. military veterans. If you like books about war, these books will help you learn more about the brave soldiers who fought for the United States of America.

Military Animals With Dog Tags By Laurie Calkhoven for Ages 7–10
Everyone knows that soldiers entered battlefields on horseback, but did you know that some warriors rode elephants into combat? You may have heard of bomb-sniffing dogs, but what about bomb-sniffing honeybees? In this book you will learn about animals that have aided the military in the air, on land, and by sea. Discover how dolphins, bears, pigs, penguins, and even glowworms became heroes in times of war. When technology couldn’t help, these amazing animals could!

Brave Like My Brother By Marc Tyler Nobleman for Ages 7-10
When Charlie’s brother, Joe, is called up to fight in World War II, he promises to write Charlie lots of letters. It won’t make up for not being there to help Charlie out with the neighborhood bullies, but it’s all Joe can do.
Life is tough for a soldier, and Joe tells Charlie all about it, from training in endless rain and mud to the stray dog the soldiers adopt. When Joe is sent on a secret mission with the one soldier he can’t stand, Matt, he will have to face risks that place their mission — and their lives — in grave danger.
Charlie knew his brother was strong, but through Joe’s letters he learns what Joe really is: a true hero. Joe’s letters give Charlie the strength to stand up for himself and be brave, just like his brother.

The Holocaust: The Origins, Events, and Remarkable Tales of Survival By Philip Steele for Ages 8-12
During World War II, six million Jewish men, women, and children lost their lives under the Nazis, in one of the darkest events of modern history. This thought-provoking book explores the reasons behind what led to the Holocaust, examines what life was like in concentration camps, and retells incredible stories of heroism.

The Enemy Above: A Novel of World War II By Michael P. Spradlin for Ages 8-12
Anton has nowhere to run. Colonel Karl Van Duesen of the Gestapo has made it his mission to round up every Jew in the Ukrainian countryside, and he’s getting close. A web of underground caves seems like the perfect hiding place for Anton and the rest of his community. If they are discovered, they will be sent off to work camps . . . or worse.
But when a surprise invasion catches them off guard, and his grandmother is captured, Anton makes a radical decision. He won’t hide. He will follow the Gestapo and rescue his grandmother. He will stop being the hunted . . . and start doing some hunting of his own.

Dive! World War II Stories of Sailors & Submarines in the Pacific: The Incredible Story of U.S. Submarines in WWII By Deborah Hopkinson for Ages 8-12 
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the US entered World War II in December 1941 with only 44 Naval submarines — many of them dating from the 1920s. With the Pacific battleship fleet decimated after Pearl Harbor, it was up to the feisty and heroic sailors aboard the US submarines to stop the Japanese invasion across the Pacific.

Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors in World War II Denmark By Deborah Hopkinson for Ages 8–12
When the Nazis invaded Denmark the morning of Tuesday, April 9, 1940, the government of Denmark surrendered quietly, and the Danes were ordered to go about their daily lives as if nothing had changed. But everything had changed. Deborah Hopkinson traces the stories of the heroic men and women who would not stand by as their country was occupied. Instead, they fought back. Some were spies, passing tactical information to the British; some were saboteurs, who aimed to impede Nazi operations in Denmark; and 95% of the Jewish population of Denmark were survivors, rescued by their fellow countrymen, who had the courage and conscience that drove them to act. 

Warriors: The Greatest Fighters in History By Sean Callery for Ages 8–12
This stunning book about the greatest warriors of all time is packed with facts, infographics, expert text, and photography from museums and private collections. Explore collections of weapons, armor, uniforms, medals, everyday equipment, and much more. Find out what these objects can show us about battle tactics, key moments in history, and life as a soldier.

Dogs of War By Sheila Keenan, Illustrated by Nathan Fox for Ages 8-12
This graphic novel tells the stories of the canine military heroes of World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War. The three fictional stories were inspired by historic battles and real military practice. Each story tells the heroic adventures of a soldier and his service dog, bringing to life the faithful dogs who braved bombs, barrages, and battles to save the lives of soldiers.
Based on the real-life roles of military dogs that served as Red Cross rescuers, messengers, scouts, search-and-rescue teams, sentries, and mascots, Dogs of War captures the adventure and the devastation brought on by war.

Duke By Kirby Larson for Ages 8-12
With World War II raging and his father fighting overseas in Europe, 11-year-old Hobie Hanson is determined to do his part to help his country, even if it means giving up his beloved German shepherd, Duke. Hoping to help end the war and bring his dad home faster, Hobie decides to donate Duke to Dogs for Defense, an organization that urges Americans to “loan” their pets to the military to act as sentries, mine sniffers, and patrol dogs. Hobie immediately regrets his decision and tries everything he can to get Duke back, even jeopardizing his friendship with the new boy at school. But when his father is taken prisoner by the Germans, Hobie realizes he must let Duke go and be brave. Will Hobie ever see Duke, or his father, again?

Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting By Jim Murphy for Ages 8-12
On July 29th 1914, the world’s peace was shattered as the Austria-Hungary Empire began shelling the troops of the country to its south. What followed was like a row of falling dominoes as one European country after another rushed into World War I. Soon most of Europe was fighting in this calamitous war that could have been avoided. But who could have guessed that on December 25 the troops would openly defy their commanding officers by stopping the fighting and having a spontaneous celebration of Christmas with their enemies? In what is described as a Christmas Miracle, this beautiful narrative will remind everyone how brotherhood and love for one another reaches far beyond war and politics.

Dog Tags #1: Semper Fido By C. Alexander London for Ages 10-14
When Gus Dempsey joins the US Marine Corps, he knows that he will make a great dog handler. He’s always been good with dogs. In fact, he’s often better with dogs than he is with people. But Loki is not the dog that Gus was expecting. Fun-loving and playful, Loki acts more like a pet than the well-trained, bomb-sniffing Marine that he’s supposed to be. When Gus and Loki deploy to Afghanistan, though, they have no choice but to learn to work together. Because in war, getting along is a matter of life and death.

Profiles #5: The Vietnam War By Daniel Polansky for Ages 10-14
Kids will learn biographical information (background, family, education, accomplishments) about: Ho Chi Minh (Prime Minister of Democratic Republic of Vietnam), John F. Kennedy (U.S. President 1961-1963), Lyndon B. Johnson (U.S. President (1963-1969), Ngo Dinh Diem (President of South Vietnam), Henry Kissinger (U.S. National Security Advisor), and William Westmoreland (U.S. Army General). This book will help illuminate one of the most controversial wars in American history.

Scholastic Discover More: World War II By Sean Callery for Ages 10-14
Nicknamed the Deadliest Conflict in History, World war II claimed at least 50 million lives. It was the backdrop to atrocities like the Holocaust and the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan. This book charts the course of the war, from the rise of Nazism to Hitler’s suicide in April 1945. Firsthand accounts show how individuals experienced the war, be they military or civilian, adult or child. In addition to photographs, there are detailed cutaway artworks that reveal the inner workings of vehicles that defined the war: the German U-boat, Sherman tank, and Liberator bomber.

Tides of War #1: Blood in the Water By C. Alexander London for Ages 10-14
Navy SEALs are trained to operate in sea, land, and air, they work under cover of night to carry out the US military’s most sensitive and difficult missions. Cory McNab wanted to be a Navy SEAL, but he washed out of the program. Now he is a member of the Navy’s Marine Mammals Program, where he is partnered with a search-and-recovery dolphin named Kaj. Together, Cory and Kaj are the Navy’s best hope when a US spy submarine is lost in enemy waters. With the help of Kaj’s bio-sonar, they should be able to locate the submarine before its secrets fall into the wrong hands. But the mission gets complicated when a team of Navy SEALs runs into trouble. Can Cory succeed where his heroes have failed…or is he in too deep?

Vietnam #1: I Pledge Allegiance By Chris Lynch for Ages 10-14
Morris, Rudi, Ivan, and Beck are best friends for life. So when one of them is drafted into the Vietnam War, the others sign up, too—each with a different branch of the US military. Morris joins the US Navy, and he makes it his personal mission to watch over his friends from the USS Boston. But the Boston itself isn’t safe from attack. And although Morris means to keep his friends safe, he may have his hands full just watching out for himself.

World War II Book 1: The Right Fight By Chris Lynch for Ages 10-14
There are few things Roman loves as much as baseball, but his country is at the top of the list. So when the United States is swept up into World War II, he turns his back on baseball and joins the US Army. As it turns out, he is far more talented with a tank than he ever was with a baseball. And he is eager to drive his tank right into the field of battle, where the Army is up against the fearsome Nazis of the Afrika Korps. The North African terrain is like nothing Roman has ever known, and desert warfare proves brutal. As Roman drives his team deeper into disputed territory, one thing becomes very clear: Life in wartime is a whole new ball game.

November 3, 2016

Scholastic Character Emojis

Posted by at 12:50 pm in Goosebumps | Permalink

Goosebumps ScholasticIntroducing Scholastic character emojis!

If you send texts, you can download the Scholastic Goosebumps sticker pack from the App Store and drag and drop Scholastic characters into your messages on iOS devices.

Our first pack was released last weekend and features Goosebumps spooky monsters. Look at all the emojis you can get!

Goosebumps Stickers

If there are other Scholastic characters that you would like to see, we’d love to know about it! Tell us in the Comments which characters you would like new emojis for!

November 1, 2016

Trivia: Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Posted by at 1:13 am in Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Reads, Trivia | Permalink

Diaryofawimpykid_130Book #11 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down comes out on November 1, 2016, so I’d like to throw some vintage Diary of a Wimpy Kid trivia at you! Do you remember these facts from the first book?

  1. What did Uncle Charlie get Greg for Christmas?
  2. What game do Greg and Rowley play with Greg’s Big Wheel?
  3. How does Greg improvise a weightlifting set?
  4. What does Fregley say when he needs to go to the bathroom?
  5. What does Barry Palmer owe Bryan Little?

Good luck! Props if you know these off the top of your head, and if you don’t, you can thank me later for making you go back to that hilarious book. Here are the answers. Continue reading

October 28, 2016

Bizaardvark Would You Rather

Posted by at 1:21 am in Movies & TV, Would You Rather | Permalink

MADISON HU, OLIVIA RODRIGOWhen coming up with a name for your smash internet sensation band, what better formula than: Bizarre + Aardvark = Bizaardvark. And a Disney Channel show is born!

Bizaardvark is about two teen best friends, Frankie and Paige, who post funny songs and videos online. They get a deal to make their videos at “Vuuugle” studios (sounding suspiciously similar to “Google”) and share office space with other online video-creators.

Click below to answer our Would You Rather Bizaardvark style and let us know . . .

Would You Rather…

1. Be humiliated by Bernie’s crazy gramdma OR have a crazy stalker superfan?

2. Watch TV or YouTube?

3. Have a slow motion dance party OR a staring contest with adorable kittens?

4. Make fashion videos like Amelia OR take dare requests like Dirk?

5. Have to do an unboxing video of superhero toys OR My Little Ponies?

6. Do a video of you performing Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” OR slam dunking in your driveway?

7. Eat dirt on a dare OR jump over a pond of snapping turtles on a dare?

8. Watch people playing video games online OR post artsy pictures of your lunch?

Your answers are trending … in the Comments below! So let us know your answers!


photo courtesy of Disney Channel

October 27, 2016

Book Review: Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Posted by at 1:10 am in Reads | Permalink

Found_130 Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix

I just FOUND the best fantasy series! It’s called Missing, and it’s by Margaret Peterson Haddix, the author of the Shadow Children series, Running Out of Time, and one of the authors of The 39 Clues series. I don’t want to give away the entire story, but if you like time travel, history, mystery, and action, then you’ll love this book.

At the start of Found, Angela DuPre, an airline worker, finds 36 abandoned children on a plane. The weird thing is, there are no adults, no pilots, and no one knows how the plane got there in the first place. Weird . . .

Meet Jonah and Chip 13 years later — they’re two of the surviving kids from plane. Both were adopted into wonderful families, and both strangely end up in the same town. Is this a coincidence or pre-determined fate? One may think it’s just some bizarre occurrence, but when Jonah and Chip both start receiving the same strange, unmarked letters, they begin seeing things that are unexplainable to the human eye. And then both end up at an adoption convention, along with the other 34 children from the mysterious flight! At this point, questions will be raised not only by Jonah and Chip, but the readers as well.

Found will leave you asking: what would happen if I were to go back in time and change one little event, or if I were to affect the actions of a prominent figure? How would that change the future? Would how we live today be any different if one person’s life were changed in any way?

— Carly M.

October 26, 2016

Halloween Books from Scholastic

Posted by at 1:06 am in Reads | Permalink

Get ready for Halloween with these new scary books from Scholastic!

Creepella von Cracklefur: A Suitcase Full of Ghosts By Geronimo Stilton for Ages 7–10
Creepella is about to interview the famouse Hector Spector, who has come to Mysterious Valley with his Galloping Ghost Circus. But before she can, she has a mystery on her paws—someone is playing tricks and making messes all over Cacklefur Castle! Can she put a stop to these ghastly gags?

Ghosts By Raina Telgemeier for Ages 8-12
Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake — and her own.

The Gathering (Shadow House, Book 1) By Dan Poblocki for Ages 8–12
You don’t just read this ghost story. You step into it. Some houses are more than just haunted . . . they’re hungry. Dash, Dylan, Poppy, Marcus, and Azumi don’t know this at first. They each think they’ve been summoned to Shadow House for innocent reasons. But there’s nothing innocent about Shadow House. Something within its walls is wickedly wrong. Nothing–and nobody–can be trusted. Hallways move. Doors vanish. Ghosts appear. Children disappear. And the way out? That’s disappeared, too. . . . Enter Shadow House . . . if you dare.

Goosebumps Most Wanted #10: Lizard of Oz By R.L. Stine for Ages 8–12
The infamous Most Wanted Goosebumps characters are out on the loose and after you!
Kate Orton loves animals, especially unusual ones. So when she sees a pop-up ad on her computer for an amazing lizard from Australia, she has to have it. The ad says the lizard is actually a kind of chameleon-it can change its color to blend in with its surroundings. But what makes this lizard really strange is that it’s a copycat-the ad says it can even change its shape.
Kate’s parents don’t believe all the claims in the ad, but they tell her to go ahead and order it. They tell her not to be disappointed if it’s just a plain old lizard. After anxiously checking the mail every day for two weeks, the package finally arrives from Australia. Kate can’t wait to open it. But when she does-there’s no lizard inside. Instead, she finds an egg with a warning:
You MUST let the egg hatch by itself. Do NOT hurry it and do NOT open the egg early-no matter how much noise it makes.

Goosebumps Most Wanted Special Edition #4:The Haunter By R.L. Stine for Ages 8–12
Sammy Baker, twelve, is a quiet kid who wishes he wasn’t so shy and timid. He is frightened but eager to prove he can be brave. On Halloween night, he follows his friends to the Barlow House, an abandoned mansion on the edge of the woods. It’s rumored a whole family died in the house many years before, and everyone knows there are ghosts there.
Just past midnight, he feels a cold tingle at the back of his neck. The cold seeps down, a heavy chill he has never felt before. Soon, his whole head feels like a block of ice. He’s about to scream — but the cold feeling vanishes. He realizes the others are watching him — because he’s panting so frantically.
Sammy doesn’t realize that his body has been invaded by a ghost known as The Haunter. The Haunter takes over Sammy’s brain and gives him instructions that he has to obey. But The Haunter’s commands become more and more dangerous. And then life-threatening. And to his horror, Sammy realizes The Haunter’s goal — to turn Sammy into a ghost, too!

October 25, 2016

10 Things Only Athletes Understand

Posted by at 1:56 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Basketball. Soccer. Dance. Swimming. Tennis. Hockey. Baseball. Karate. Running. Lacrosse. Gymnastics. What’s your sport? Or maybe you just love exercise and fitness in general. Well then this one’s for you. On your mark. Get Set. Go!

10 Things Only Athletes Understand

10. Your dad forgot to wash your uniform and your game is in 10 minutes.
9. Your friends are on the OTHER team.
8. How gross your socks smell after a game. We’re talking bad. Really bad.
7. You are EXHAUSTED after practice!
6. That feeling when you first see your new uniform. With your number. And your name. Glorious.
5. Pre-game superstitions.
4. You still want to go to practice the day after you fracture your wrist.
3. Your best friend wants a playdate, but you can’t because you have practice.
2. Losing sometimes. Ughh!
1. Even if you lose, you still LOVE your sport and would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Let us know your sport or sports, and the problems you battle – in the Comments below!

- Ratha