Author Archives: Elysse F.

February 13, 2013

Shadow Breakers Book Review

Posted by at 1:03 am in Reads | Permalink

ShadowbreakersShadow Breakers
by Daniel Blythe

A year after her father's death, Miranda May finds herself in the tiny coastal town of Firecroft Bay, but things are not going well. Her sleep is disrupted by nightmares of "The Shape," an ominous shadow that calls out to her, "ring around the rosie. . . " Freaky! Her mother is too busy working and taking care of her baby brother to notice Miranda's behavior becoming more erratic. Why Miranda, and why this song?

Then things get really weird. On the way to school, ice appears out of nowhere and coats the interior and exterior of the bus. Then the computers in the lab explode. Miranda thinks she knows where she can get answers. Her science teacher, Miss Bellini, and four of the brightest students at her school, have formed a group that want to figure out the truth just as much as Miranda does. Lyssa, Cal, Josh, and Ollie use a mixture of science and technology to hunt down this mysterious apparition that is causing havoc, dragging Miranda along for the ride.

Is Miranda going crazy, or is something really strange going on in Firecroft Bay? Find out in Daniel Blythe's thrilling new book Shadow Breakers, and leave a Comment to let us know what you think!

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

January 23, 2013

The Encyclopedia of Me Book Review

Posted by at 1:57 am in Reads | Permalink

Encyclopedia2The Encyclopedia of Me
by Karen Rivers

The Encyclopedia of Me is unlike any encyclopedia you've ever read before! . . . that is, if you've ever tried to read one. This is an encyclopedia that never stops entertaining. 

The main character, Tink, is bit of an oddball, but she is totally relatable. Tink is not used to being in the spotlight. Actually, she tends to be on the fringe of all the action (unless it’s the receiving end of a bullying encounter). Her best friend, Freddie Blue, is tall, blonde, funny, and amazing in every way. Tink is short, biracial, and has freckles. She also has twin older brothers, Lex and Seb. Seb is autistic, which she doesn’t want to talk about. But sometimes his disorder prevents Tink's voice from being heard.

Then "Blue-Haired Boy Who Just Moved in Next Door, The" (a.k.a. Kai) skates into her life. That was the day everything changed. Suddenly, Tink and Freddie Blue start drifting apart. Seb's autism starts to have more of an impact on her everyday life, in both positive and negative ways. And why has she become obsessed with boarding all of a sudden?

If you have ever found yourself in a similar situation to Tink's summer saga, tell us about it in the Comments!
Or, write us an encyclopedia entry! ;-)

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

January 16, 2013

The Dogs of Winter Book Review

Posted by at 1:06 am in Reads | Permalink

DogsofwinterThe Dogs of Winter
By Bobbie Pyron

There is a saying that goes, "Dogs are a man's best friend." For 5-year-old Ivan Andreovich, his dogs mean so much more than that.

In the wake of his grandmother's death, his mother's disappearance, and an abusive man's attempt to throw him into an orphanage, Ivan escapes to the streets of Moscow. He quickly joins a gang of children, only to find out that he is the opposite of "street smart." They push and bully him into doing things that he knows are not right, but what choice does he have in order to endure the cold winter?

Then, Ivan comes across a dog named Lucky. Lucky leads him to his pack, and they start to share a mutual relationship of helping each other survive. Why would he leave humans to go live with a pack of dogs? Ivan says, "I was better off with the dogs. They loved and protected me." But is he truly better off with his pack, or at an orphanage among abused and underfed children who are his own kind?

Through the innocent eyes of a child, we learn about love, life, death, and a bond that can never be broken. Based on the true story of Ivan Mishukov, Bobbie Pyron captures both the horrors and rays of sunlight that were the essence of life on the streets of Russia.

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

January 9, 2013

Hideout by Gordan Korman Book Review

Posted by at 1:04 am in Gordon Korman, Reads | Permalink

 by Gordon Korman

Gordon Korman's new book Hideout features the return of the ultimate bad-guy, Wendell Palomino (also known as “Swindle” to Griffin and his gang of friends). In this 5th installment of the Swindle series, Swindle returns for the valuable Doberman Luthor, and threatens to exact revenge on the six teenagers who ran him out of town.

Somehow, the devious Swindle makes the documentation of Luthor’s adoption by Savannah disappear. She’s now faced with a court order to turn her dog over to the low-life man, which will only happen over her dead body! The kids, in an effort to outsmart the court order, shuffle the dog from summer camp to summer camp, only to find new and increasingly more challenging obstacles in their way.

Luthor only behaves for Savannah; which is an issue whenever she’s not around. Also, it’s a little hard to sneak around a 150-pound dog when people are watching your every move. To make matters worse, it’s as if Swindle predicts their every move – and with unknown henchmen sent to do Swindle’s dirty work, the kids must be wary of every adult they meet.

Can Griffin (a.k.a. The Man With The Plan), Ben (his narcoleptic best friend), Logan (the actor), Pitch (the climber), Savannah (the animal whisperer), and Melissa (the computer genius) be able to stop Swindle’s greedy paws from stealing the ferociously loved pooch? Read the book and find out! 

Watch the Hideout trailer.
Read chapter 1 of Hideout.

Are you a fan of the Swindle series? Don’t forget to let us know what you think of the gang’s latest adventure in the Comments.

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

October 8, 2012

Goosebumps You Know You’re Obsessed When

Posted by at 4:14 am in Goosebumps, Reads, Writing Prompt | Permalink

Goosebumps_tvYou know you’re obsessed with Goosebumps when. . . 

You don’t even have to open a Goosebumps book to know that it’s going to be scary. The cover of You Can’t Scare Me creeps me out so much I don’t want to read it! You can expect a twist and turn on every page of a Goosebumps book, but if you are a real Goosebumps fan, there are certain tell-tale signs that you share with other people who live and breathe the horror-filled world of Goosebumps.

You know you’re a truly obsessed fan of Goosebumps when . . .

  • you won’t buy a Halloween mask because you are afraid it won’t come off once you put it on.
  • if anything strange happens during play rehearsal, you automatically blame it on the new boy in town.
  • vacation to Egypt is totally out of the question; no way you’re going ANYWHERE near mummies!
  • on the full moon, you look for signs that your new friend might be a werewolf.
  • you won’t go near dummies or dolls because you’re afraid they’ll come to life!!!
  • it seems quite possible that your boarding school is hiding aliens.
  • you are SURE the plants in the backyard are talking to you.
  • you know better than to mess with a cuckoo clock.
  • the words “Yohhhhhhh Spirits!” send shivers up your spine.

So, are you obsessed with Goosebumps? Tell us how you recognize another Goosebumps fan in the Comments below!!!

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

September 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, Hermione!

Posted by at 12:46 am in Harry Potter, Reads, Trivia | Permalink

Hermione130Hermione Granger Trivia Quiz

Hello, Harry Potter lovers! Did you drink a glass of butterbeer in honor of Hermione’s birthday on September 19? Or maybe it would have been more appropriate to, like, do some extra homework, or read a 4,000-page book in your spare time. Anyway, we love Hermione and we celebrated her with a Hermione Trivia Quiz last week. Here are the answers. Let’s see how much you know about the brightest witch of her age.

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September 24, 2012

Characters’ Fave Books Writing Prompt

Posted by at 4:55 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Writing_prompt_bookCharacters' Fave Books Writing Prompt

Imagine visiting your local library and finding Evan Ross from Goosebumps checking out the Ripley's Believe It Or Not Encyclopedia. On the other side of the room, Hugo Cabret from The Invention of Hugo Cabret is pouring over his father's notebook.
Ron Weasley wanted to learn about the ancient broomstick games, so he is reading Quidditch Through the Ages. Hermione thinks it’s probably the only book he’s ever read from back to front, but if he keeps spending time at the library, he may prove her wrong!

So, if you ran into your favorite character at the library, what book would s/he be checking out? What do you think is his/her favorite book of all time? Let us know what you think in the Comments!

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

September 18, 2012

Hermione Granger Trivia Quiz

Posted by at 6:46 am in Harry Potter, Reads, Trivia | Permalink

Hermione130Hermione Granger Trivia Quiz

Hello, Harry Potter lovers!
In July, we gave you a Harry Potter Trivia Quiz in honor of good old Harry for his birthday on July 31, and now that Hermione’s birthday is coming up on September 19, we thought, “Why not have one for Hermione’s birthday?” So here it is! If you need a hint, we have included the books where you can find the answers. Put on your thinking caps (or Sorting Hat if you are lucky enough to have one) and enjoy!

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September 10, 2012

You Know You’re Back to School When. . .

Posted by at 2:26 pm in Writing Prompt | Permalink

BackToSchoolBack-to-School Writing Prompt

The school bell, a sound that inspires boredom at the beginning of the day or joy at the end of one. Still, the extremely loud sound that echoes through hallways and classrooms is one of many sure signs that you’re back in school. And then there’s the freezing cold wait at the bus stop to remind you of a long day of learning.

But you really know you’re back to school when. . .

  • the alarm goes off before the sun is even up!
  • you spend days decorating binders and books with brand-new highlighters and Sharpie markers.
  • your mom says you’re not allowed to play video games on school nights.
  • you can’t identify the hot lunch on your plate. What *is* that?? Yuck.
  • epic recess basketball games carry over for days!
  • you are reading a book not for fun but for a book report. (If you’re lucky, it’ll be on a book you can choose by yourself!)
  • you start to break your day down by periods instead of hours.

What reminds you that you’re back in school? Jot your thoughts down in the Comments!

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

July 31, 2012

Harry Potter Birthday Quiz Answers

Posted by at 11:37 am in Harry Potter, Reads, Trivia | Permalink

Hp7_130Welcome to Harry Potter's birthday party! *throws confetti as balloons fall from the ceiling* Now let's all sing.

Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday, dear HAAARRRYYY!
Happy birthday to you!

How well do you know the birthday boy? Did you answer every question correctly in our Trivia Quiz last week? Here are the answers.

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