Author Archives: Carly M.

April 1, 2011

New Disney Movie: Lemonade Mouth

Posted by at 3:22 am in Movies & TV, Reads | Permalink

Lemonade3 What do you think of when you think of school? Popularity? Cliques? Bullies? Looking forward to the end of the school day? Well, duh! But what if for just a moment you could hope for school to be more than a popularity contest, a clique-fest, and a place where bullying occurred? What if it were a place where the non-popular groups gained control, where diversity reigned, and where your voice could be heard by not only the other students, but also by the school faculty?

Get ready to find a school like this because in the book and the new Disney movie, Lemonade Mouth, school is about banding together, fighting for what you believe in, and more!

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February 21, 2011

Create a Caption: Spring Training

Posted by at 1:46 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Createacaption Batter up!

Now that the football season has come to an end and Superbowl XLV has finished with a tremendous victory by the Wisconsin Bay Packers, you know what comes next. . .

The NBA Finals? Well yes, but that's not what I am thinking of. I'm talking about MLB (Major League Baseball) spring training. And what comes after that? Baseball season!

So to celebrate the upcoming season of Major League Baseball. . . I give you . . . my aunt posing in a glove!? Yes, you heard right. Just check out the photo below and add your own caption.

Carly's caption: "Steeerike three! You're out!"


— Carly M., Ink Splot 26 Blogger

January 24, 2011

Create a Caption: A Rose Is a Rose

Posted by at 11:47 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

CreateacaptionAs you may or may not know, the Scholastic headquarters are in New York City. A couple months ago, I went to one of my most favorite places in New York – an art museum. Here she is a sculpture of a giant rose. What do you guess this person is thinking?

Carly’s Create-a-Caption comment: “Hmm. . . I can’t tell if this statue smells like a rose or hand sweat?”

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February 8, 2010

Create a Caption: Dude! Who are you?

Posted by at 8:11 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Create a caption: Dude! Who are you?Halloween Costume Create a Caption

Where do I even BEGIN with this picture? As you can see by the date on the lower right hand side, it’s Halloween and not any other day; otherwise this would just be weird! So in taking this awesome picture, I pose the following challenges below.

First challenge: Guess the costumes!
I’m thinking maybe a really laid back version of Jesus with some sort of Samurai soldier holding a Star Wars light saber?

Second challenge: Fill in the bubbles!
Guy in bathrobe: “Right on, little soldier dude.”
Boy in warrior costume: “This is Luke Skywalker’s sword and I’m not afraid to use it.”


Time for you to accept the challenges!

— Carly M., STACKS Staffer

February 1, 2010

Create a Caption: Serenity Now!

Posted by at 7:49 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

CreateacaptionThis is a sight I certainly never thought I would see. My brother. . . meditating!

So you’re probably wondering why this strikes me as odd; everyone takes time to be one with her or himself every once in a while, right? Well, if you knew my brother, you’d know that he is. . . umm, how I do I put it nicely? . . . a total spaz. He’s constantly on the go. Whether he’s traveling around another country or going to some crazy festival, my brother is not the type who meditates. That’s why this image makes the perfect “Create-a-Caption.”


What do you imagine my brother is thinking?

— Carly M., STACKS Staffer

January 28, 2010

Book Review: Flipped

Posted by at 7:53 am in Reads | Permalink

Flipped I know this is going to sound completely dorky, but I had a flippin’ good time reading Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen. Bryce and Julianna (aka Juli), the main characters in the book, brought me back to the days of junior high and elementary school, when boys were scared of girls, popularity was everything, and everyone started becoming totally embarrassed by their families.

What I loved most about Van Draanen’s book was the accuracy of her depictions and voices of girls and boys from age 6 up to age 14. While reading, I could picture both Juli and Bryce interacting with each other, as well as how they felt and what they were thinking about each other. In addition, since I have a brother, I could almost picture him reacting the same way as Bryce — which also made my experience reading this book very enjoyable.

Flipped is also a movie! Here’s a look at the actors playing Juli and Bryce:FD-06388r

I give this book 4.8 out of 5 stars:


— Carly M., STACKS Staffer

Move photo: MADELINE CARROLL as Juli and CALLAN McAULIFFE as Bryce. Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Ben Glass

January 26, 2010

Trivia Answers: Pictogram Part Deux!

Posted by at 7:26 am in Trivia | Permalink

Trivia_tuesdayWell . . . so much for trying to stump all of you. My attempt to trick you failed due to all of your book knowledge. I thought for sure that it would take at least 20 comments until someone got all of the correct answers. However, I tip my hat, bow down, and give a round of applause to Abby, who posted the 15th comment — and defeated my effort to make these pictograms as challenging as possible.

Thanks to all of you for participating in Pictogram Part Deux!

Here are the correct answers (though many of you already solved them):

1.) The Book of Time
2.) Breaking Dawn (for ages 12 and up)
3.) Candy Apple
4.) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
5.) Lady Friday

— Carly M., STACKS Staffer

January 12, 2010

Trivia Tuesday: Pictogram Part Deux!

Posted by at 2:32 pm in Trivia | Permalink

Trivia_tuesdayDue to the overwhelming response that the previous pictogram trivia received and the amazing number of correct answers there were, I’ve decided to throw another pictogram challenge your way. So put your thinking caps on and start deciphering!
Good Luck!






Stay tuned for the answers!

—Carly M., STACKS Staffer

December 24, 2009

Book Review: Al Capone Shines My Shoes

Posted by at 7:24 am in Reads | Permalink

Al_capone_shines_my_shoes_130 After the first book Al Capone Does My Shirts won a Newbery Honor, I figured I'd check out Gennifer Choldenko's sequel, Al Capone Shines My Shoes and see what all the rave reviews were about. Fortunately, all the hype surrounding the second book did not disappoint.

I haven't read the first book, so when I first heard the title Al Capone Shines My Shoes, I assumed it was a metaphor of some sort. Then as I started reading, I soon found out that the book does take place in the 1930s during the time of the gangster crime organization, known as the Chicago Outfit. Choldenko sets the book on Alcatraz, an infamous island prison facility which housed some of the most dangerous criminals of all time. Not only do criminals live on the island, but also prison guards and their families as well. This book is about a boy named Moose whose father is a prison guard, so the whole family lives on Alcatraz. Just the idea of living on an island full of America's most violent and aggressive criminals makes for an interesting story.

Choldenko goes beyond just telling about the criminals on the island. She also presents a depiction of the kids' inner feelings towards their friends, family, and own self reflection.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a quick and fun read. Though the dialogue mimics the fast-paced speak of a 1930s film, Choldenko describes the characters in such a precise and detailed way that it is easy to relate to the specific characters.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

—Carly M., STACKS Staffer

December 17, 2009

Book Review: Loser

Posted by at 9:04 am in Reads, Writing Prompt | Permalink

Loser_130 After reading Loser by Jerry Spinelli, I realized two things:

  1. Kids can be so cruel.
  2. I admire Donald Zinkoff.

Newbery Medal-winning author Jerry Spinelli brings readers a thought-provoking and inspiring story of Donald Zinkoff as he travels from first through sixth grade.
However, Zinkoff is not a normal child. He's slower at learning than the other kids, he's disheveled, and his lack of athletic skills prevents him from ever being picked to participate in activities. In every way, he's different from the other kids.

But . . . Zinkoff is unaware of all of this. He is too busy thinking about himself to notice what others are thinking. He is busy growing up. He is busy growing out. (p.111)

Zinkoff is really nice, and he's totally happy just being who he is, whether other people like him or not. While many of us strive so hard to fit in, I really admire Zinkoff's ability to keep on being himself even though the other kids are mean to him.

I think Spinelli does amazing job at narrating the story, truly getting at the heart of Zinkoff's innocence and naiveté so that readers can relate to what Zinkoff is going through. In a way, Zinkoff reminds me of Forrest Gump from the film, Forrest Gump (rated PG-13), who is man with low IQ, but who has good intentions and accomplishes great things in life.

I give Loser by Jerry Spinelli 4.1 out of 5 stars.

—Carly M., STACKS Staffer

BONUS WRITING PROMPT: In the Middle School Survival series, the popular kids are called “pops.” What would your group of friends be called? Leave your answer in the Comments.