Author Archives: Amanda

June 27, 2012

Nancy Drew Readalikes

Posted by at 3:20 am in Reads | Permalink

Book_titleYou 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 classic mystery detective Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene. 18-year-old Nancy Drew is beautiful, bold, intelligent, wealthy, and can pretty much solve any mystery that gets thrown at her. Even though these books were first published in the 1930s, Nancy Drew is still the ultimate teen detective.

There are a bunch of books in that series, as well as the movie Nancy Drew. But once you've finished all those, what to read next? Try these other mysteries with super-smart detectives. Click on the book cover below to see a whole bunch of other Nancy Drew Readalike books you might also love.

Nancy-drew

 Hope you enjoy our Readalikes!

—Amanda, Scholastic Booktalker

May 9, 2012

Beezus and Ramona Readalikes

Posted by at 12:46 am in Reads | Permalink

Book_titleYou 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.

Let's start with the classic story of older sister and younger sister, Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary. 5-year-old Ramona drives her big sister Beezus CRAZY! It is not that Ramona deliberately sets out to make trouble. She simply has more imagination than is healthy for any one person, and it somehow always causes problems.

There are a bunch of books in that series, as well as the movie Ramona and Beezus. But once you've finished all those, what to read next? Try these other books about dealing with sisters, school, and everyday life problems. Click on the book cover below to see a whole bunch of other Beezus and Ramona Readalike books you might also love.

Beezusandramona_130

Hope you enjoy our Readalikes!

—Amanda, Scholastic Booktalker

September 28, 2010

The Crowfield Curse

Posted by at 5:03 pm in Reads | Permalink

Crowfield Welcome to Scholastic Booktalks where we recommend brand new Scholastic books that we think you will love. Today's booktalk is: No Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh.

The Whistling Hollow is a cursed place. Rumors of strange creatures, hauntings and death surround the mist covered pool. No one approaches the Hollow. No one, except William Paynel. . .

Continue reading

August 19, 2009

America’s Next Top Model: Book Series

Posted by at 9:28 am in Reads, Sneak Peek | Permalink

Antm_130 For all you fans of America’s Next Top Model, we’re happy to introduce you to a fabulous new book series inspired by the show, for readers ages 12 and up.

The characters in these books do not have a typical summer vacation. They attend the elite Top Model Prep in New York City where the girls compete to become the next big thing in the world of fashion and beauty. 40 girls have been accepted to the summer program but only one will win the coveted prize: becoming America’s Next Top Model!

Books #1 and #2 are available now and they are packed with stories of high fashion. . . and high drama.

Antm_1     Antm_2

Read this excerpt (PDF) from Book #1: Face Value and get a sneak peek of what happens when the girls move into their chic SoHo apartment.

Get ready for life at the top!

— Whitney, Scholastic Staffer

June 25, 2009

Selena Gomez on the Princess Protection Program

Posted by at 12:22 pm in Celebrities | Permalink

ThumbnailTomorrow (June 26th) is the premiere of Princess Protection Program on the Disney Channel! Here’s the scoop:

Princess Rosalinda is about to become the Queen of Costa Luna when her country was invaded by an evil dictator. In order to protect her, she is placed in the Princess Protection Program to keep her identity hidden. Now known as Rosie, she moves in with Carter’s family in rural Louisiana. Carter teaches Rosie how to act like a normal American teenager, and Rosie teaches Carter how to be a princess.

Did you know that Rosie and Carter are friends in real life, though? Yep, you may recognize these famous BFFs — Demi Lovato (Sunny with a Chance) slips into Rosalinda’s royal slippers, and Carter’s sneakers are filled by Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place). Read our exclusive interview with Selena and see what it’s like to be best friends with your co-star — plus some inside dish on her upcoming album!

Was it fun working with Demi on Princess Protection Program?
Selena: 
I really don’t think I could find anything that was wrong with working with Demi. We’ve known each other for almost 10 years now, so there isn’t really anything we can surprise each other with. It is kind of odd trying to pretend like I don’t know who this person is in the movie, in the beginning, so that was fun. Being able to work with someone you’re comfortable with is always nice because it’s not the awkward, “Hi, nice to meet you. We have to pretend to be best friends.” So all the stuff that’s genuine in the movie is actual.

Does the friendship in the movie mirror real life?
Selena:
Yeah, I think the parts where we’re laughing and being goofballs is absolutely one hundred percent us. Half the time, they’d keep the cameras rolling because we’d keep going and going and sit there and talk and laugh until we couldn’t breathe anymore. It was pretty much all genuine.

Are you similar to Carter and was Demi similar to Rosalinda?
Selena:
Yes. Demi grew up in pageants, so back home in Texas, she was always poised and grew up that way. And I was a tomboy growing up. So it was back to our childhoods just for a little bit while we were shooting the movie.

How did you guys first meet?
Selena:
In line, auditioning for Barney. We were in line with 1,400 kids, and she asked me to color with her, and I sat down on the ground and colored with her. We ended up booking the series together. Ten years later, we’re working for the same network, and we’re getting to grow and go through all of this together. Not being able to see each other can get really frustrating. But the one thing that I do admire about our friendship is, even if we’re separated for two years straight, we can’t forget our friendship and we can’t forget what it means to us, so I think distance does make the heart grow fonder.
PppWhich scene in the movie did you like the best?
Selena:
My favorite scene has to be the scene where Demi and I finally are friends in the movie, because it was really fun to shoot. After we’d shot all the scenes where we don’t like each other, it was refreshing to just be friends like we normally are.

And the hardest scene?
Selena:
Acting like I didn’t know her. There’s a scene where we first meet, and it’s very weird and awkward because I’m not supposed to have any idea who this girl is and I’ve known her for 10 years, so that was a little weird.

Any funny stories?
Selena:
Me and Demi would get really bored sometimes and throw food, but only at each other. (laughs) We cleaned it up after we were done, I promise.

What do you guys like to do when you’re just being yourselves off the set?
Selena:
 We like to just be normal 16-year-olds, because we can’t be every day. We’re obviously working. So it’s nice to be able to go to her house, listen to music, do each other’s hair and make-up, and talk about boys and gossip. That’s what normal 16-year-olds do, and that’s when that inner 16-year-old comes out.

What music do you listen to now?
Selena:
I like Kelly Clarkson’s new record. I’m listening to Jason Mraz and Demi’s new record — it hasn’t come out yet, but I’ve heard it. It’s amazing.

What about you and records?
Selena: 
My first CD comes out in September. I’m excited. I wanted to make sure my music was fun and energetic. I didn’t want it to be too serious, because I’m not Christina Aguilera and have no intention to be. I think I just wanted to make sure it was fun.

How do you and Demi support each other if one of you is down?
Selena:
We have a lot of inside jokes. Whenever we’re kind of stressed about everything going on in the business now, with rumors or with people hurting us or doing things like that, I say, “Hey, remember when we were, like, 12 at your house in Texas and we were barbecuing . . . ” And then we remember the good times. It’s nice to say, “Remember when . . . ” just to know that we have each other.

What would Demi say that she likes best about you?
Selena:
That I don’t judge her. I feel like sometimes she gets afraid that people don’t like her if she wears too much eyeliner or she likes to listen to rock music, and I think she gets a little nervous because she doesn’t ever want people to not like her. I never judge anything she does. I always support her.

And what do you like best about her?
Selena:
I like that she’s honest. I like that she can tell me anything, whether it’s an outfit she absolutely hates or it’s something about my music.

Any obstacles you’ve had to overcome in your career?
Selena:
Yes. The Disney Channel flew me out when I was 12, and I had to audition in a huge room with probably 15 executives staring at a 12-year-old asking her to sing and perform in front of them. I was very shy. Once I realized this is what I want to do and I should just focus on that, my passion, and I shouldn’t focus on all these people wearing fancy suits — I overcame that and I ended up booking my own series. So I’m very, very happy. My mom helped me overcome that.

ramonaWhat books would you recommend to a friend?
Selena:
Ramona! [Editor's Note: Selena plays Beezus in the upcoming film adaptation of Beverly Cleary's book Beezus and Ramona]

So there you have it! Let me know if you will be watching the premiere of Princess Protection Program tomorrow!

— Alyssa, STACKS Intern

Interview conducted by Marie Morreale

Photo of Demi and Selena in party dresses © ROMAN FRANCISCO / American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. (Disney Channel)
Photo of Demi and Selena on the dock © BOB D’AMICO / American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. (Disney Channel)

 

 

March 30, 2009

Game (Almost) Over

Posted by at 6:58 am in Games | Permalink

Game_on_animatedAttention, Gamers! For the last month, we’re been bringing you a series of blog entries to guide you through the process of inventing your own video game. If you missed any of them, check out our roster below:

March 11: Intro to the Game On! Program

March 13: The Steps of Inventing

March 16: Review Your Favorite Games

March 20: The Different Types of Video Games

March 23: Designing Your Game

March 27: Naming Your Game

— The Game On! Team

February 24, 2009

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Author Jeff Kinney at NY Comic Con

Posted by at 6:43 am in Authors, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Reads | Permalink

Diaryofawimpykid_130There was certainly nothing wimpy about the crowd that turned out to see bestselling author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Jeff Kinney, recently. The New York Comic Convention (called Comic Con) is always packed with thousands of comic book fans, many dressed like their favorite comic book characters. So many came to hear Kinney speak at the convention on February 8, his presentation had to be moved to a bigger room. ”This is the largest crowd I’ve ever presented to!” said Kinney, who came to Comic Con to release his latest book in the Wimpy series.

Comic Con is a convention dedicated to showcasing new video games, books, comics, and cartoons. It is one of the largest comic conventions in the U.S. This year more than 77,000 people attended!

Comicconsign This convention of all things comic is held in the Jacob Javits Center, a humongous building with transparent glass-like walls supported by giant metal beams. The convention features computers and game systems you can interact with, as well as the creators and characters from your favorite books and comics. However, since it is such a fun place, it is really hard to get into. In fact, tickets for Kids Day, when Kinney launched his book, sold out in an hour!

It was certainly the perfect place for Kinney to begin his nationwide tour promoting his newest book in the series, The Last Straw— especially since he began his career as a cartoonist. In fact, the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid began as an online cartoon.

Signing Now popular with kids, Kinney told Scholastic News that his first version of the series was written for adults. ”I wrote it as a reflection on their childhood,” he said.

Diaryofawimpykid What IS a Wimpy Kid? Interesting words: wimpy and diary. They are not words commonly used by middle school boys. Kinney said he likes the word wimpy because it is a funny word and right away the reader knows Greg, the “wimpy” kid, is not a perfect character.

In the series, Greg’s mother buys him a red diary. Greg is quite embarrassed by it, which is why Kinney decided to use that as the book title.

Kinney said none of the characters are based on real people, but some parts of the book are related to real incidents. ”I pull the material from my childhood—funny things other people have done,” he said. “Some I just make up.”

If he had to choose, Kinney’s favorite character would be Rowley, Greg’s best friend. Rowley acts a bit young for his age and is sometimes slow to catch on to what’s happening. Readers love him for his honesty. ”He is a pure, good kid,” Kinney said.

Both girls and boys relate to the characters and are big fans, even though the main characters are boys. ”I know boys well enough, how they act and behave, so that makes it easier to write a book about a boy, rather than a girl,” Kinney said. He includes girls as characters, but he writes about them from Greg’s point of view.

During his interview with Scholastic News, Kinney offered some advice from Greg Heffley for kids going into middle school. ”It won’t last long; life will get a lot better!” he said. “Try to have fun. Middle school is tough for everyone; luckily it will be quick.”

— Matthew S., Kid Reporter

Photos Courtesy of Matthew Spana

November 28, 2008

Book Games I’m Thankful For

Posted by at 9:42 am in Games | Permalink

Now, I know THE STACKS is chock full of fab games that let you experience your favorite books in a shiny, new way. You’ve probably already got your favorites, and I’d love to know what those are.

But there are SO MANY GAMES, it’s possible you’ve missed one or two. So, in the spirit of giving and being thankful and all that stuff, here are my top five book games on THE STACKS:

Holesgame

Holes: Treasure Hunt
Don’t expect to make it all the way through on your first try. There’s a lot to this game and it’s worth the effort. Definitely don’t forget audio — Madame Zeroni is hilarious!

Inkheartquiz

Inkheart: Quiz
What qualities fit your outlook today? Watch your true character morph and emerge as you answer personality questions.

Patternpuzzle

Chasing Vermeer: Pattern Puzzles
Follow this funky puzzle to reveal a secret message from the characters. Play it again; it won’t be the same.

Bonegame

A Dog’s Life: Bone Travels On
Ever read a great story and then wonder, what if? Try this “choose your own adventure” trail and see where you’d be if you were Bone the dog.

Charlotteswebgame

Charlotte’s Web: Make Your Own Comics
How cool! Drag in adorable Wilbur — and don’t forget Charlotte! Add settings right from the movie. Pull in speech bubbles and print out your own comic. Most creative alternative to a holiday card, maybe?

That’s my five. Give them a try! Then tell me your top five book games. I’m ready to play.

— Amy, Scholastic.com Editor

October 11, 2008

Book Review: The Night Tourist

Posted by at 3:57 pm in Reads | Permalink

The story line for The Night Tourist is one that has been told over and over — the living visiting the land of the dead and coming back to the land of the living. It may not be an original story line, but I did like Katherine Marsh’s book — especially all the references to Greek Mythology — about a 14-year-old who goes below Grand Central Terminal in New York City and discovers a ghost world.

Except for the part where I would have to be dead, I love the idea of being a ghost. And being a native New Yorker, I especially love the idea of being a ghost in New York City. In Katherine Marsh’s book, ghosts can fly, are invisible, and can move through any object. Ghosts spend every night haunting the City, and the book’s hero (Jack) and heroine (Euri) definitely have their fun exploring both known places like the Guggenheim and less-known places like Roosevelt’s secret tunnel in Grand Central.

Overall, I give The Night Tourist two thumbs up. It is a fun, fast read with good imagery and room for the reader’s imagination to run wild. I liked the two main characters and felt for them and their dilemmas. My only criticism is that I wanted more — I wanted it to be more of a mystery with better clues and a scarier bad guy. I wanted to know more about Jack and especially Euri, and I wanted to know more about New York City, especially the ghost secrets. Nevertheless, I recommend the book. If you like the idea of being a ghost and if you love the romance of New York City and if you like history and a mystery, you’ll like this book.

— Stav, Scholastic.com Writer

September 8, 2008

Scholastic Author Wants You to Help Save the Gorillas!

Posted by at 10:29 am in Kid Power, Reads | Permalink

Blackback_sentry_bageniDid you know the African mountain gorillas are critically endangered? There are estimated to be only 720 left in the entire world! And Scholastic author Craig Hatkoff decided he wanted to do something about it.

You may know Craig Hatkoff as the co-author of the Owen & Mzee books and Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated The World. He’s also the Founder of the Owen & Mzee Foundation. Craig, along with the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation and Dr. Richard Leakey (Founder of Wildlife Direct), sponsored an Action Commitment at the 2007 Clinton Global Initiative to help save the mountain gorillas (President Bill Clinton launched the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in 2005, bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges) — and they are asking kids everywhere to help!

Continue reading