Author Archives: En-Szu

May 25, 2016

9 Books for When You Are 9

Posted by at 1:22 am in Reads | Permalink

9 Books for When You Are 9

9 books for when you are 9Nine is a really rad number, and a really rad age. And here are nine great books that every nine-year-old totally MUST read! From wacky to wild, these books will take you on some seriously awesome adventures. If you are nine years old, take a look at this list and see how many books you have read.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Middle school is full of drama — just ask Greg Heffley. After his mom forces him to keep a diary, he starts writing down all the (really hilarious) misadventures and happenings from his school year. Greg and his BFF Rowley get into all sorts of sticky situations that will keep you laughing until your sides hurt. Middle school may be full of drama, but, man, the drama is funny!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Nine is the BEST time to start reading Harry Potter (though I strongly believe it’s never too late, even if you’re 119). Harry has had a miserable life so far, losing his parents when he was just an infant and being raised by his dreadful aunt and uncle, but things are about to get pretty magical in his world. When he finds out he’s actually a wizard, he is whisked away to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where all kinds of life-changing adventures await him.

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Pippi is the new girl in town, and boy, is she wild! She may have no parents, but she DOES have a pet monkey and a pet horse . . . and a knack for living life freely. The sky’s the limit when it comes to Pippi, and her new neighbors Tommy and Annika are in for a whole lot of wacky surprises!

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
There seems to be nothing the unusual orphan Maniac Magee can’t do: outrun dogs, untie impossible knots, hit a homerun . . . the list is endless. When Maniac Magee arrives in the town of Two Mills, he hopes to find a home, but it’s not that easy. The troubled small town is very divided, and tensions are about to reach a fever pitch. But Maniac Magee might just be the key to helping everyone find peace.

Time Warp Trio: The Knights of the Kitchen Table by Jon Sciezska and Lane Smith
When Joe and his two friends are transported back in time to King Arthur’s court by a magical book, they accidentally defeat the dreaded Black Knight and are mistaken for heroes by King Arthur’s knights. But what will they do when they are confronted with a (really gross) giant and an attacking dragon? And how will they get home?! This super-funny book will keep you guessing — and laughing — as the trio blunder their way from one adventure to the next.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Milo is really bored by everything, but that’s all about to change because a mysterious and magical tollbooth has suddenly appeared in his bedroom. Out of boredom (of course), Milo hops into his dusty old toy car, pays the toll, and finds himself driving directly into a wild, wacky world in which each adventure is even more bizarre than the last!

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Hugo, a young orphan living in the Paris train station, is an expert at staying invisible. But when he meets a most unusual girl and a mysterious toymaker, his life changes. Hugo finds himself thrust headfirst into a mystery that will force him out of hiding for the first time, and reveal more of his own secret past.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
Nine-year-old Peter Hatcher has THE. MOST. ANNOYING. BROTHER. EVER. Little, two-year-old Fudge gets away with everything, including tormenting Peter’s pet turtle, Dribble. But one day Fudge’s antics go too far — will Peter ever be able to forgive him?

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to live in the wild? Sam Gribley is fed up with living in a cramped apartment with his parents and eight (Eight!! Can you imagine?) siblings in New York City, so he runs away to his grandparents’ home upstate. What he’s not ready for is the harsh wilderness living he encounters, but armed with the survival skills preparation and endless curiosity, Sam just might have what it takes to last the winter..

Which books from this list have you read? Which books do you think every nine-year-old should read? Share your thoughts in the Comments below!

May 6, 2016

High School Musical 4 Dream Cast

Posted by at 12:21 pm in Movies & TV | Permalink

HSMWildcats everywhere, wave your hands up in the air!!

If you, like me, are a High School Musical SUPER-FAN, you are probably SUPER-PSYCHED that High School Musical 4 is in the works. That’s right, everyone: we’re going back to East High! While Gabriella and Troy graduated some time ago (from college now, too), the new generation of East High students are just sliding into their seats in time for the first bell. What we can expect: A whirlwind of new musical numbers, wow-worthy dance sequences, and heartwarming moments. What’s still up in the air: Who’s going to be the new girl? Who’s going to be the star athlete? Who’s going to be the diva-in-charge??

Disney is looking for brand-new actors and actresses to star in this latest sequel. (There is an open audition in Anaheim, CA on May 15.) but we thought it couldn’t hurt to come up with the perfect cast based on the stars we already know and love. Behold: our very own dream cast for High School Musical 4!

The Star Athlete – Blake Michael. If you’ve ever seen Dog with a Blog or Lemonade Mouth, you already know that Blake is incredibly likeable and charming . . . and he can definitely sing! He’d be perfect to play the role of the fun-loving, all-around popular dude, and Troy would be proud to pass the baton to this (really handsome) star on the rise.

The New Girl – China Anne McClain! If you were a fan of A.N.T. Farm, you KNOW this girl can sing (and dance, and play a lot of musical instruments. Is there anything she CAN’T do?). Of course, she was meant to star in a musical! And while she’s more outgoing than Gabriella from the originals, China has her sweetness and a really fun, exciting attitude that would bring fresh energy to the role.

The Queen Bee – Sabrina Carpenter of Girl Meets World. This talented singer-songwriter is already on her way to musical stardom, and she totally has that star quality pizzazz—a lot like Sharpay from the original movies! She’d bring loads of humor and fun, with a healthy dose of heart.

The Shy Genius – Louriza Tronco of Make it Pop. It would be really cool to see Louriza take on a role like Ryan’s from the original High School Musical movies, since she’s a great dancer and is passionate about style—much like Ryan was!

The Loyal Bestie – Jordan Fisher from Teen Beach 2. In addition to wowing us in Teen Beach 2, Jordan also did an AMAZING job in Grease: Live! He can definitely take on a role like Chad’s: a high-energy, super-passionate bestie who can motivate anyone, from his buddy to an entire stadium of basketball fans.

The Supergirl – Sofia Carson from Descendants. While her character Evie in Descendants was not exactly the biggest fan of following the rules, Sofia definitely has the great sense of humor it takes to play the part of the driven, super-smart yearbook editor/scholastic decathlon team captain/class president/BFF the new girl needs to keep her grounded—just like Taylor!

What do you think? Who would be in YOUR dream cast of High School Musical 4? Let us know your thoughts and picks in the Comments below.

Yours in singing High School Musical songs all day, every day, until the new movie comes out,

En-Szu

April 26, 2016

Sweet Treat Picture Puzzle

Posted by at 1:52 am in Games | Permalink

Who Wants a Sweet Treat?

Okay, my fellow puzzle-lovers, we’re back with ANOTHER picture puzzle! This time, you’ll be hunting for words instead of objects (because hey, we’re kind of obsessed with words). Can you find the following words in the old stamp design?

Air mail picture puzzle

Click on the picture to see a larger version.

  • WAFFLE
  • CHOCOLATE
  • COOKIE
  • PIE
  • PANCAKE
  • ICE CREAM
  • CAKE

Okay, there was a theme here. What? Who doesn’t love yummy, sugary foods? We’re off to snack on some cupcakes, but let us know what words you were able to find (and which ones you couldn’t) in the Comments!

See ya,

En-Szu

March 29, 2016

Air Mail Picture Puzzle

Posted by at 1:15 am in Games | Permalink

Find the Objects in This Air Mail Stamp Picture Puzzle!

We love a good I SPY puzzle! That’s why I’m bringing you this FIND THE HIDDEN OBJECT picture puzzle that I drew myself! Can you find the following items in this old stamp design?

Air mail stamp puzzle

  • A musical note
  • A paper clip
  • A key
  • A watermelon slice
  • A necktie
  • A bone
  • A pair of glasses

Did you find them all? Let us know which ones you found (and which ones you couldn’t) in the Comments!

Toodles,

En-Szu

March 23, 2016

Books About Magical Kids

Posted by at 1:16 am in Reads | Permalink

HermioneGrangerJimKayBooks about MAGICAL KIDS!

Do you ever wish you could wake up with magical powers? It would be so cool to make myself invisible, or move objects just by waving my hands, or eat endless amounts of chocolate without getting sick . . . Well, that last one is more of a superpower, but you get my point. If you love the idea of being able to do magic, here are some awesome books about kids with magical powers.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Of course Harry Potter is on this list. What’s not to love about this amazing series? After a pretty rough start in life, young orphan Harry Potter is surprised to discover that he’s actually a wizard. At Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he learns to master his abilities, makes some incredible fellow wizard and witch friends, goes on wild adventures, and finds himself at the center of an epic battle between good and evil!

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Poor dyslexic Percy’s life changes once he learns he is the son of the Greed god Poseidon. As if this news doesn’t make his world complicated enough, he also discovers that his life is in danger! At Camp Half-Blood, he meets other demigods (half-god, half-humans) and is tasked with the responsibility of preventing an all-out war from erupting between the gods . . . which is no easy task for someone just learning of his magical abilities!

Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo
Charlie is less than happy when he discovers that he can suddenly hear people speaking to him through photographs. (I mean, it is pretty creepy! And probably totally annoying.) Once his special talent is discovered, though, he is shipped off by his scheming aunts to the dreary Bloor Academy. But what is the history behind his talent, and why is he being kept at this horrid school with all these other gifted children?

The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling
Isn’t chocolate amazing? John Midas certainly thinks so, and he gets really mad when he’s told by the doctor to eat more healthy food and less chocolate. But a seemingly chance encounter with a mysterious candy man leaves John with an even stranger magical power: everything he touches turns into chocolate! That may seem like a very awesome (maybe the awesomest?) magical power to have, but things start to get messy really, really fast!

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
For everyone who ever thought, “By golly, having ANY magical power sure beats having NO magical power,” meet Ella. Given the “gift” of obedience at birth by a fairy, Ella is unable to disobey any direct order. After her mother passes away, Ella finds herself at the mercy of her truly terrible stepsisters and equally horrid stepmother who have learned to make her their slave. But with a little creativity and some wonderful friends, Ella may just find a way out from under her “gift”—and even find true love.

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
Felicity Pickle has a very unusual ability: she can SEE words, and the words tell her an awful lot about people and places. In the town of Midnight Gulch, she sees “home.” But there’s also a terrible spell hanging over Midnight Gulch, and unless Felicity can return magic back into the once magical town, she may never get to call this place her home.

The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler
Emily lives on a boat with her mom, but weirdly enough, she’s always been told to stay away from the water. It turns out, she’s actually a mermaid! Emily embarks on a journey to find her real mer-father and the truth behind her birth (and tail!). Along the way, she discovers some incredible and heartbreaking things about the magical creatures she is beginning to understand are her family.

The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas
Living in a city that runs on magic would be pretty cool . . . unless that magic started running out. Conn, a young boy living in such a city, accidentally comes in contact with a powerful stone while trying to pickpocket a wizard. When he doesn’t die, he’s taken in as the wizard’s apprentice. While learning his own magical abilities and searching for his own stone, he begins to discover exactly that is draining his city’s magic.

Savvy by Ingrid Law
What if you knew you had a magical power, but you had to wait until you turned thirteen to find out what it was? Welcome to Mibs’ world! In her family, everyone possesses an ability (known as a “savvy”) that reveals itself to them on their thirteenth birthday. But on the days leading up to her big day, Mibs’ world is suddenly turned upside down. Can her power—whatever it is—save a loved one who needs it the most?

Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda
Rowan is shy and likes to spend his time caring for animals, unlike the rest of the people in his village who are bold and brave. But when the river running through the village runs dry, Rowan is the only one able to read a magical map that can lead a band of villagers up a mountain and to the river’s source . . . and whatever mystery has stopped it from flowing.

Well now, that’s some list! Did I miss any of your favorites? Which ones are you most excited to read, and which ones have you read and loved? Share your picks in the Comments below!

Happy magical adventuring,

En-Szu

Hermione Granger illustration by Jim Kay © 2015 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

March 7, 2016

Teen Actress Personality Quiz

Posted by at 1:05 am in Movies & TV, Personality Quiz | Permalink

Which Teen Actress Are You?

There are SO many cool teen celebrities nowadays, it’s hard to pick a favorite!  So here is a star-studded, teen actress personality quiz.  Are you sunny and upbeat like Dove Cameron? Smart and funny like Rowan Blanchard? Super-cool like Zendaya? Take our quiz to find out!

  1. It’s SPRING BREAK! You can’t wait to . . . a) hit the beach! b) scope out the new boutique that opened downtown. c) make a dent in your reading list. d) finish the creative project you’ve been working on since the holidays. e) explore a new place.
  2. Your favorite TV show is . . . a) a funny sitcom. b) a nature show. c) the news! d) full of musical numbers. e) a cool anime.
  3. Your friends would describe you as . . . a) friendly. b) classy. c) smart. d) creative. e) edgy.
  4. Your favorite breakfast food is . . . a) Cheerios. b) a yogurt parfait. c) eggs. d) waffles. e) a smoothie.
  5. You would describe your personal style as: a) peppy, colorful, and bright. b) classic with a twist. c) casual and comfortable. d) low-key but creative. e) too cool for school.
  6. You are most likely to get into trouble for . . . a) being too chatty. b) being too controlling. c) staging a protest. d) getting distracted. e) being yourself. (Too bad some people just can’t handle ya!)
  7. Your pet peeve is . . . a) bullying. b) bad manners. c) ignorance. d) unoriginality. e) playing it safe.
  8. Your dream career is . . . a) actress. b) President of the United States. c) scientist. d) artist or author. e) You can’t pick just one; you want to do everything!
  9. Your fantasy BFF is: a) Cinderella. b) Elsa. c) Hermione Granger. d) Luna Lovegood. e) Katniss Everdeen.
  10. You would describe yourself as the color: a) yellow. b) red. c) green. d) blue. e) silver (because glitter’s not a color, right?) Continue reading
February 10, 2016

Top 10 Luna Lovegood Quotes

Posted by at 1:48 am in Harry Potter, Writing Prompt | Permalink

Luna lovegoodBest Luna Lovegood Quotes

Since her first appearance in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Luna Lovegood has been one of my favorite characters in the Harry Potter series. She’s super-smart but kind of spacey, and has a very unusual sense of style. I’d like to imagine that if I went to Hogwarts, Luna and I would be BFFs. She’s really rad! Unfortunately, a lot of her peers (*cough, cough* Ron!) were quick to judge her for her strangeness, but eventually everyone came to realize how special and brave she really is. So just in time for Luna’s birthday on February 13, we’re bringing you our top ten Luna Lovegood quotes.

  1.  ”I’ve been able to see them ever since my first year here. Don’t worry. You’re just as sane as I am.” (Order of the Phoenix)
  2. “You can laugh! But people used to believe there were no such things as the Blibbering Humdinger or Crumple-Horned Snorkack!” (Order of the Phoenix)
  3. “Mistletoe,” said Luna dreamily, pointing at a large clump of white berries placed almost over Harry’s head. He jumped out from under it. “Good thinking,” said Luna very seriously. “It’s often infested with nargles.” (Order of the Phoenix)
  4. “I think they think I’m a bit odd, you know. Some people call me ‘Loony’ Lovegood, actually.” (Order of the Phoenix)
  5. “When you say ‘Sirius,’ are you talking about Stubby Boardman?” (Order of the Phoenix)
  6. “Oh, no, I’d love to go with you as friends! Nobody’s ever asked me to a party before, as a friend! Is that why you dyed your eyebrow, for the party? Should I do mine too? (Half-Blood Prince)
  7. “I don’t think you should be an Auror, Harry. The Aurors are a part of the Rotfang Conspiracy. I thought everyone knew that. They’re working from within to bring down the Ministry of Magic using a combination of Dark Magic and gum disease.” (Half-Blood Prince)
  8. “I’ve never been to this part of the castle. Well, not awake. I sleepwalk, you see. That’s why I wear shoes to bed.” (Half-Blood Prince)
  9. “Hello, Harry! Oh, I’ve interrupted a deep thought, haven’t I? I can see it growing smaller in your eyes.” (Deathly Hallows)
  10.  “Oooh, look, a Blibbering Humdinger!  (Deathly Hallows)

Oh, Luna! There is no one quite like her. Here’s to you, Loony Lovegood! Happy Birthday! Do YOU have any other favorite Luna Lovegood quotes or moments? Share your thoughts in the Comments!

En-Szu

January 29, 2016

Star Wars Personality Quiz

Posted by at 1:50 am in Movies & TV, Personality Quiz | Permalink

star wars the force awakensWhich Star Wars Character Are You?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Red Carpet

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

The greatest gift I got this holiday season? Star Wars: The Force Awakens (rated PG-13)! While I’m not as hardcore about it as my good friend who went to see the movie every day for 30 days in a row (not kidding), I still consider myself a pretty big Star Wars fan. And with all the new characters, there’s never been a better time for a STAR WARS PERSONALITY QUIZ! Are you a passionate and whip-smart leader like Padme Amidala? Are you a brave but hesitant rebel like Finn? Take the Star Wars Personality Quiz to find out!

1. This weekend, you can’t wait to: a) learn how to juggle, do a cool new skateboard trick, or recreate your favorite dish from scratch. b) hang out with your best friend, listening to cool new music together. c) volunteer at your local animal shelter. d) visit your grandparents. e) construct the world’s stinkiest stink bomb ever!

2. Your favorite snack is: a) a granola bar. b) something you can share, like goldfish crackers. c) anything healthy. d) an apple. e) gummy bears.

3. You’d love to go to this kind of music concert: a) hip-hop. b) singer-songwriter. c) pop. d) classical. e) anything loud, loud, loud!

4. People describe you as: a) talented. b) easy-going. c) generous. d) wise. e) wild.

5. Your favorite color is: a) red. b) blue. c) white. d) green. e) Is glitter a color?

6. If you could have any superpower, you would most like to have: a) the ability to learn anything by watching someone else do it. b) invisibility. c) the ability to read other people’s minds. d) the ability to fly. e) the ability to transform into other animals or objects.

7. The career you would most like to have: a) inventor. b) singer. c) political leader. d) writer. e) actor.

8. Your favorite book genre is: a) action and adventure! b) sci-fi/fantasy. c) historical fiction or biography. d) realistic fiction. e) funny fiction.

9. Your personal style is: a) sporty casual. b) comfy and cool. c) classic and polished. d) very practical. If it’s cold out, you zip your jacket right up! e) outrageous.

10. You are happiest when you are: a) out in the wild and surrounded by nature. b) in a small, friendly town that feels like one big family. c) in the heart of a busy city, right where all the action is. d) by the sea, where everyone is very calm and laid-back. e) anywhere you have room to practice extreme sports. Continue reading

January 26, 2016

10 Problems Only People With Braces Understand

Posted by at 1:12 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Yes, I know it’s hard to believe (and believe me, I’d much rather forget!), but I used to be a brace-face. Those were the longest years of my LIFE. Braces are uncomfortable, painful, awkward, and so annoying. I was so excited when I finally got mine off! To show sympathy and solidarity for those of you currently experiencing the struggle, I’m bringing you a list of Ten Problems Only People With Braces Understand:

  1. Apples are the enemy. Apple skins are the WORST.
  2. Flossing takes FOREVER! It’s practically the next day when you finally finish!
  3. You’re always nervous about smiling because you never know what food might be stuck in there.
  4. Getting them tightened HURTS A LOT!
  5. Switching out band colors is cool, but you’re stuck with that color for a whole month. Who wants to wear the same color ANYTHING for that long?
  6. After eating a sandwich, at least 45% of the sandwich is stuck in your braces.
  7. No gum, caramel, or hard candy! Like I said . . . those were the LONGEST years of my life!
  8. Getting scratched and cut by stray wires on the inside of your mouth—ouch!
  9. That awful feeling when the orthodontist tells you it’s going to take longer to be braces-free than you were initially told. (Absolutely devastating.)
  10. Finally getting your braces off, but then wearing a retainer for what feels like the rest of forever.

Oh yes, the braces struggle is very, very real! Do you, or did you, wear braces? Are you going to need braces soon? Share your thoughts in the Comments below!

Yours in pain,

En-Szu

January 12, 2016

2016 Would You Rather

Posted by at 1:33 am in Polls, Would You Rather | Permalink

The new year is here! A time for new opportunities and new beginnings. Of course, a fresh start doesn’t always mean everything is going to be hunky-dory . . . and because we love the opportunity for a WOULD YOU RATHER, we are giving you an ultra-tough one for the new year! In the upcoming year, would you rather . . .

1.     Make the sports team, but break your leg and spend the season on the bench OR make the sports team but lose every game of the season?

2.     Find out your favorite celebrity couple is breaking up OR that your favorite musical group is breaking up? (ZAYN! I can forgive but never forget!)

3.     Find out your crush likes you back, but is moving to another country OR find out that YOU are moving to another country?

4.     Go on an epic summer vacation only to find out your worst enemy is also there OR show up at a school dance wearing the same outfit as your worst enemy?

5.     Find out your favorite TV show is ending OR that the movie you’ve been looking forward to won’t be released for another year?

6.     Have more rainy days than sunny days OR have snow half the year?

7.     Outgrow all your favorite clothes OR have your computer crash?

8.     Find out your favorite book is being turned into a movie, but the lead actor is not someone you would have picked OR find out a book you really disliked is being turned into a movie instead?

Whew! Those were tough ones. Share your answers in the Comments.

Happy New Year!

En-Szu