Author Archives: En-Szu

September 3, 2014

September Books of the Month

Posted by at 1:24 am in Books of the Month, Reads | Permalink

Recommend me!It’s Books of the Month Time!

At the end of July, I asked you all what books you were reading. You responded with some great recommendations! I made a word cloud to show which titles were most popular. Once again, Percy Jackson is stealing the spotlight, but the competition is definitely heating up. Heroes of Olympus and Harry Potter are putting up a valiant fight! Take a look:

september_booksofthemonth

I know, I know, I know–it’s back-to-school time, so that means less time for reading for fun. But I know you guys are finding time to read wherever and whenever you can, and that’s awesome! Let’s keep this going. What books are you reading now? What books do you absolutely, positively love and think everyone in the whole wide world should read? Leave the title (or titles) in the Comments below. I can’t wait to see what new books you recommend!

See ya next time,

image from kids.scholastic.com — En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

Find out what other kids are reading right now with these videos from Open a World of Possible, Scholastic’s new mission about the power of books and reading.

August 29, 2014

Mackenzie Bourg Interview

Posted by at 10:22 am in Celebrities, Music | Permalink

Mackenzie_BourgSinger Mackenzie Bourg

Are you a fan of the show The Voice? If you are, you’re probably familiar with Mackenzie Bourg. Mackenzie has a very impressive story–before competing on the show, he spent two months in the hospital due to a heart condition. He went on to make it all the way to the last round of the show! Right now, the 21-year-old singer/songwriter from Louisiana is making waves with his catchy pop music. Have you heard his song ”Impossible Things?” Click on the title to take a listen!

We were able to ask the rising star some questions about what he does, and more. Check it out! Continue reading

August 27, 2014

Your Adventure Personality Revealed

Posted by at 1:49 am in Personality Quiz, Reads | Permalink

Adventure Books BashChoose Your Own Adventure Personality Quiz Results!

Hey, y’all! Have you been participating in our Choose Your Own Adventure series this month? At the end of each chapter, you had a few choices of what the character should do next. The answers you chose at the end of each segment were really part of a larger personality quiz. Read Part 1Part 2 Part 3, and Part 4 and then find out your results below!

If you picked mostly A’s: You are THE LEADER.
You are Percy Jackson. Even in the absolute worst scenarios, you’ve got the strength to not only keep your own chin up but also encourage everyone else on your team! You are balanced, trustworthy, and dependable. Even if you sometimes behave impulsively, you take full responsibility for your actions. You’re an excellent listener, a real people-person, and are up for almost any kind of adventure . . . even the super-bizarre!

If you picked mostly B’s: You are THE FAITHFUL SIDEKICK.
You are Fred or George Weasley from Harry Potter. You’re a bit of a troublemaker, and you just want everyone to lighten up and stop taking everything so seriously! Even if you sometimes cause more problems than you help solve, you’re a key part of the group. Your heart is in the right place and you’re loyal to the very end, which is really all that matters!

If you picked mostly C’s: You are THE MASTERMIND.
You are Amy Cahill from The 39 Clues. You’d like to avoid the spotlight at all costs and you’re the brain of the group. You like to look before you leap, and you are a wizard at digging up information on just about anything. You’re a bit of a bookworm and while you prefer to leave risk-taking to other people, if someone you care about is really in danger, you’re not afraid to jump to his or her defense!

If you picked mostly D’s: You are THE LIFESAVER.
You are a character from the I Survived series. Whatever mishap comes your way, you can handle it! If you’re on a group adventure, you’re definitely the practical problem solver and can be counted on to have extra snacks and a first aid kit in your backpack. You’re also probably the only one carrying a backpack.

If you picked mostly E’s: You are THE DAREDEVIL.
You are Sadie Kane from the Kane Chronicles. When you’ve set your mind to a task, there is absolutely no stopping you, no matter what! You’re a real risk-taker and your bravery inspires everyone around you, even if they are a little worried that you’ll end up injured. Because of your adventurous spirit, you often find yourself discovering cool new things and making friends in the strangest of places.

Well, who’d you get?? Share your result in the Comments below! And join the Readathon tomorrow, too!

Thanks for playing, guys. Till next time,

image from kids.scholastic.com — En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

August 27, 2014

Mostly Ghostly R. L. Stine

R. L. Stine, Goosebumps authorMeet Goosebumps author R. L. Stine

Are you a fan of the spooky and silly? Then you’re going to love the new movie Mostly Ghostly: Have You Met My Ghoulfriend? (rated PG). It’s based on the book series of the same name, written by Goosebumps author R. L. Stine. The movie, out on Blu-ray and DVD on September 2nd, stars Bella Thorne (from Shake It Up), Calum Worthy (from Austin & Ally), Madison Pettis, Roshon Fegan, and Ryan Ochoa.  Ryan plays Max, a boy who’s finally gotten his crush Cammy (played by Bella) to go with him on a date. What could possibly go wrong? Well, when evil ghosts, ghouls, and other sinister creatures get involved, a LOT does. It’s up to Max and his ghostly friends Tara (played by Madison) and Nicky (played by Roshon) to set things right in time for Max’s big date on Halloween!

Read what R. L. Stine has to say . . . Continue reading

August 23, 2014

Choose Your Own Adventure, Part 4

Posted by at 1:23 am in Personality Quiz, Reads | Permalink

Adventure Books BashWelcome back to Choose Your Own Adventure! In a choose-your-own-adventure story, you read a chapter and then you get a few choices of what the character should do next. Have you read Part 1Part 2, and Part 3 yet? Pay attention to your answer choices because when the story is done, your answers will reveal the adventure hero you are most like.

Part 4

The door bursts open, sending a blinding light everywhere. You skid to a stop. The rain seems to stop, too. You can’t see anything so you squint your eyes, but you still can’t make out anything.  A second later, you hear a deafening BOOM and feel a gust of wind so strong it literally sweeps you off your feet. You’re knocked backwards and land on your back in the mud, which does not feel good at all.

You cough and blink the dirt out of your eyes, groaning and rolling over onto your stomach. You roll over onto something hard that pokes you in the rib painfully.

“Ouch!” you holler. Sitting up, you see that you rolled onto a giant leather-bound book. On the cover, in giant letters, are the words OPEN ME. You scramble away and stand up. You look up and the sky is clear again. You look towards the spot where the door was and see nothing. The tree that you just watched explode is standing tall and whole.

You . . .

A) can’t deal with this situation alone. You take the book back home, planning to take it to a librarian who might know more about it.

B) are totally excited by this new development! You hide the book in a safe spot and will come back for it tomorrow. Right now, you’re pretty hungry. Dinner first, adventure later!

C) know that books that come out of nowhere are dangerous. You learned how to start a fire at summer camp last year, so you build one and throw the book into the flames. Good riddance!

D) study the outside of the book before deciding what to do next. You’re so curious, but you want to play it safe. You want to do more research on the make of the book and find out who made it.

E) open the book!

What would YOU do? Share your answer in the Comments below! Click here for your personality quiz results and links to new installments of the story.

See ya next time,

image from kids.scholastic.com — En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

August 22, 2014

Madison Beer Interview

Posted by at 1:26 am in Celebrities, Music | Permalink

Madison BeerMeet Madison Beer, Internet singing star!

15-year-old Madison Beer got her first big break when Justin Bieber tweeted one of her videos to his millions of followers, and since then she has been working on her first studio album (oh, yeah, and she also recorded “Valentine” with Cody Simpson. Whaaaaat?!). We chatted with Madison about singing, books, her most embarrassing moment, and more.

Q: What advice would you give to young artists if they wanted to get into the music business? Continue reading

August 20, 2014

Choose Your Own Adventure, Part 3

Posted by at 3:20 pm in Personality Quiz, Reads | Permalink

Adventure Books BashWelcome back to Choose Your Own Adventure! In a choose-your-own-adventure story, you read a chapter and then you get a few choices of what the character should do next. For the STACKS Adventure Books Bash, we’re celebrating adventure with a choose-your-own-adventure story written by me! Have you read Part 1 and Part 2 yet? Pay attention to your answer choices because when the story is done, your answers will reveal the adventure hero you are most like. Are you ready???

Part 3

You know it’s going to be dark soon, and also time for dinner, but you are mesmerized by your new discovery. Curiosity gets the best of you, and you reach out and pull on the knob.

Nothing budges.

You try twisting and pushing, but nothing happens. The door is totally stuck. Frustrated, you plop down on the grass and watch the last rays of the sun as it slides behind the horizon.

After a while, you start to feel chilly and kind of hungry, so you decide to go home. As you stand up, though, the ground beneath you starts to tremble. As the trembling intensifies, you hear a loud rattling noise. You look over and see that the door is shaking and bright light is seeping out from the edges.

Scared, you start crawling backwards. The sky, which was completely clear only a moment ago, is full of dark clouds. With a loud CRACK, rain begins pouring from the sky. The wind picks up and intensifies until you feel like you’re being battered by rain on all sides.

You start running towards a large tree in the middle of the field, thinking you can hide in it, when suddenly a bolt of lightning slices through the air and strikes the tree, exploding it. Screaming, you start running back towards the woods and your house. The ground is getting muddy and you are slipping and sliding, so it’s taking you a long time to cover the last twenty yards. Before you can process what’s happening, another bolt of lightning strikes a small shrub only a few yards to your left.  You keep running and lightning strikes another patch of grass to your right. You’re about a foot away from the door, which is still shaking violently like someone—or something—is trying to escape.

You . . .

A) knock and see if anyone answers.

B) keep running for a place to hide!

C) try to remember everything you learned in wilderness safety class. You remember something about lying face down on the ground. That might not be the most accurate memory, but it’ll do—so you do it.

D) know that metal conducts electricity in a thunderstorm so you do NOT touch that metal doorknob.

E) pull on the knob! You need to get indoors and you need to get indoors NOW!

What would YOU do? Share your answer in the Comments below! Click here for your personality quiz results and links to new installments of the story.

See ya next time,

image from kids.scholastic.com — En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

August 16, 2014

Choose Your Own Adventure, Part 2

Posted by at 1:49 am in Personality Quiz, Reads | Permalink

Adventure Books BashWelcome back to Choose Your Own Adventure! In a choose-your-own-adventure story, you read a chapter and then you get a few choices of what the character should do next. For the STACKS Adventure Books Bash, we’re celebrating adventure with a choose-your-own-adventure story written by me! Have you read Part 1 yet? Pay attention to your answer choices because when the story is done, your answers will reveal the adventure hero you are most like. Are you ready???

Part 2

“Alfie!” you say. You don’t want to be left alone, and he’s acting weird. “Come back!” He looks back a few times and barks, but soon his fluffy, yellow tail is out of sight. You sigh and think, “So much for loyalty.”

You start walking deeper into the field. You’re still mad at Kyle and don’t want to go home just yet. You’re distractedly wondering why Alfie was behaving so strangely when you trip and nearly fall on your face.

At first you think you tripped over a large rock or piece of garbage. After all, the grass is pretty unruly and tall, and sometimes rowdy teenagers leave trash here. But when you look back, you see something glinting in the light of the setting sun — a shiny, metal doorknob covered in strange symbols.

Curious, you lean in closer and can see that it is attached to a wooden door in the ground. The door isn’t very big and it looks old, but the knob looks very new.

You . . .

a) call a friend and tell him/her to come take a look before deciding what to do next.

b) think it looks pretty cool and you want to look at it later, but for now it’s more important to find gross bugs to stick in your brother’s bed.

c) wonder out loud, “Is it safe?” Probably not. Who knows what’s down there! Go about your business and ignore it. It’s probably just a musty, old cellar anyway.

d) take a picture of the doorknob with your phone. Then go home to do some research on the meaning of the symbols.

e) don’t waste any time and open that door! There could be all kinds of cool stuff in there.

What would YOU do? Share your answer in the Comments below! Click here for your personality quiz results and links to new installments of the story.

See ya next time,

image from kids.scholastic.com — En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

August 15, 2014

Kelli Berglund in How to Build a Better Boy

Posted by at 1:11 am in Celebrities | Permalink

Kelli Berglund in How to Build a Better BoyHow to Build a Better Boy

Get ready for a new Disney Channel movie starring Kelli Berglund, China Anne McClain, and Marshal Williams. How to Build a Better Boy premieres at 8 p.m. on Friday, August 15. In the movie, best friends Mae and Gabby are super-smart tech whizzes but not very popular in school. When mean-girl Neveah (played by Ashley Argota) teases Mae about not having a date to the Homecoming Dance, the friends use a computer to program the perfect boy. What could possibly go wrong? Umm. . . lots.

First let’s meet the boy, played by Marshall Williams. Check out this video.

KELLI BERGLUND, MARSHALL WILLIAMS

Photo credit Disney Channel/Rick Rowell

Now, let’s hear from Kelli.

Q: What’s the most embarrassing that’s happened to you?
Kelli: One time I was filming a scene, and I slipped and I fell right on my face. Billy [who plays her brother Chase on Lab Rats] and I tripped over each other and we just landed face-down in opposite directions. It was really funny! It was on camera, but we just got up and laughed it off.

Q: Can you tell me one thing that you think would help to make the world a better place?
Kelli: I think everyone should stop being so judgmental of everybody. I think if we started loving more–I honestly think that would definitely help make the world a better place.

Q: What’s the best book you ever read (besides this one)?
Kelli: The Maze Runner (for ages 12 and up) and they are actually turning it into a movie, which I am really excited about. It was so good. It’s kind of similar to The Hunger Games (for ages 12 and up) but the storyline is completely different. It involves a lot of action and character development. I actually auditioned to be in the movie! And I was like, “I read the book and I’m prepared,” but I ended up not booking it. But it was cool just to audition for it.

Watch Kelli talking about The Maze Runner in this brand new video.

Are you excited for Kelli’s new movie? Share your thoughts in the comments below! And don’t forget to read our earlier interview with Kelli and her Lab Rats castmates, as well as our interview with Kelli’s new costar, China Anne McClain!

Interview by Sue Schneider
Images courtesy of Disney XD

August 13, 2014

Choose Your Own Adventure, Part I

Posted by at 1:59 am in Personality Quiz, Reads | Permalink

Adventure Books BashIn a choose-your-own-adventure story, you read a chapter and then you get a few choices of what the character should do next. For the STACKS Adventure Books Bash, let’s celebrate adventure with a choose-your-own-adventure story written by me! Pay attention to your answer choices because when the story is done, your answers will reveal the adventure hero you are most like. WHAAAAT?

Part 1

Your brother Kyle is driving you nuts. He tapes cling wrap to your toilet seat in the morning, hides the television remote, and cries so much when he sees you on your skateboard that Mom makes you let him try it—and he breaks it. You storm out the back door with your golden retriever, Alfie, hot on your heels. You head into the woods that border your back yard. It is a pretty warm evening, and Alfie is panting so loudly you’re sure he can be heard from the house. He looks happy to be out exploring instead of lying around, though, so you don’t send him back home. Besides, you’re happy to have a companion. Even though you’re mad, you don’t really feel like being alone. You make your way further into the woods until you reach the field on the other side.

It’s a great place to blow off steam. The world seems to stretch on forever from here, and the sunset casts everything in a brilliant orange glow.

Suddenly, Alfie stops at the edge of the trees.

“C’mon, boy!” you say. Alfie looks torn. He takes a few tentative steps forward before retreating and barking a few times.

“Shh!” you say. “C’mon, Alfie!” But Alfie just barks again and walks in circles a few times before barking some more. He looks nervous. He stares at you quizzically, tongue hanging out and slobbering everywhere. After a few moments, he turns around and starts trotting back towards the house.

You . . .

A) pull a treat out of your pocket to persuade Alfie to stay.

B) are spooked, so you just start running home.

C) realize that Aflie’s usually a pretty reasonable dog. If he’s acting up, there’s something wrong. You follow him back into the woods. You can hang out there instead.

D) decide to search for whatever it is that’s making him act strange. Is there a wild animal nearby?

E) continue on without Alfie. Whatever! 

What would YOU do? Vote for your answer choice in the Comments below! Click here for your personality quiz results and links to new installments of the story.

See ya around,

image from kids.scholastic.com — En-Szu, STACKS Staffer