Author Archives: En-Szu

July 30, 2014

July Books of the Month

Posted by at 1:45 am in Books of the Month, Reads | Permalink

Recommend me!It’s time for Books of the Month!

WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO! It’s BOOKS OF THE MONTH TIME!!! I know you can’t see me from across the Internet, but I’m doing my little books-of-the-month dance right now. (There’s a lot of wiggling involved.) You guys, I love Books of the Month. I can’t wait to find out your cool new book recommendations!

You STACKS regulars can probably do this in your sleep, but for those of you new to the ~*mAgiC*~ that is Books of the Month, here’s the deal: at the end of June I asked you all what books you were reading. Then I made a word cloud to show which titles are most popular. As he has been for some time now, Percy Jackson leads the pack in popularity, but some other titles have been steadily rising in rank over the months. (Percy had better watch his back! Dork Diaries is sneaking up there!) See for yourself:July books of the month

Summertime Books of the Month posts are the best because summertime means UNLIMITED TIME FOR READING, which is just the greatest thing in the whole wide world. And you get to read in awesome places, like in your backyard or on your roof top or on the beach. Summer reading rocks! Even better, you can read in our super-crazy-cool event at tomorrow’s Harry Potter Readathon!!!

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,

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

July 28, 2014

Harry Potter Theme Parks

Posted by at 1:00 am in Harry Potter | Permalink

Harry Potter StampDiagon Alley in Florida, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Japan

It’s been a crazy month for Muggle fans of Harry Potter! As you may know, Universal Studios recently officially opened Diagon Alley in Florida, and Universal Studios Japan just unveiled its own Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Diagon Alley in Florida is essentially a replica of the film sets from the Harry Potter movies, complete with all the shops and spots like the Leaky Cauldron, Gringotts, Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes, Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor, and more. Guests can get their fill of Nosebleed Nougats, butterbeer ice cream, and other Diagon Alley specialties. The main attraction, of course, is the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride. The other attraction is . . . THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS!

The Hogwarts Express is actually a shuttle between 2 different theme parks inside of Universal Studios. You need a “Park-to-Park” ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express which costs $136. For $96, you can see either Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade (but not both).

This Diagon Alley is the first of its kind in the (Muggle) world, but the first Wizarding World of Harry Potter to open outside of the U.S. is now in Osaka, Japan. It opened on July 14th and it is almost identical to the original one in Florida. Tom Felton (who played Draco Malfoy in the movies) and Evanna Lynch (who played Luna Lovegood in the movies) greeted fans on opening night and led lucky visitors into the new park the following morning!

Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment shop

Universal Studios Japan

Another Wizarding World is set to open at Universal Studios Hollywood in California in 2016.

So much Harry Potter coming to life! It’s so exciting . . . and also kind of overwhelming. What do YOU think? Would you go to Diagon Alley? What other parts of Harry Potter’s world would you like to see made real for us Muggles? (Well, to be honest, Harry Potter has always felt very real to me!) Share your thoughts in the Comments below!

En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

July 25, 2014

Leo Howard Interview

Posted by at 1:55 am in Celebrities | Permalink

Leo HowardIf you love Leo Howard from Kickin’ It, keep reading.

If any television actor has undergone an on-screen transformation, it’s Kickin’ It‘s Leo Howard. Remember what he was like when the show first started? But even if Leo–and his character Jack–has changed a bit on the outside, he’s still the super-chill guy we interviewed a little while back. So it was great to catch up with him again and see what he’s been reading, what his favorite school subject is, and more! Check it out. Continue reading

July 16, 2014

Fantasy Who Would Win?

Posted by at 1:19 am in Percy Jackson, Reads, Who Would Win | Permalink

Fantasy Books FestivalWho would win in a fight between your favorite fantasy characters?

I know what MY favorite thing about fantasy books is: fantasy books often have the most exciting, epic, earth-shattering battles. In worlds where anything is possible, magical creatures, logic-defying supernatural abilities, and even nature itself can turn any old argument into a knock-down, drag-out fight to save the universe. It’s so exciting!

Fight scenes in fantasy books always leave me wondering what I would do if I had the abilities or strengths that the characters have. Would I try to save the world, too? Or would I go on silly adventures instead? Probably a little bit of both!

Today’s Fantasy Books Festival post is all about special abilities. Everyone loves a good collision of fantasy universes, so do a little imagining yourself: who would win in a fight between these fictional characters?

Who are your winners? Why? What are your suggestions for fantasy face-offs? Share in the Comments below!

Till next time,

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

July 11, 2014

Shane Harper Interview

Posted by at 1:11 am in Celebrities | Permalink

Shane Harper Good Luck CharlieInterview with Good Luck Charlie‘s Shane Harper!

We asked. You responded. We listened! Last week, I asked you to vote on which celebrity interview you wanted to read this week. The clear winner? Good Luck Charlie‘s Shane Harper. Go, Shane!

If you are like me, you’re super-sad that Good Luck Charlie is now over (even though you can still catch episodes on the Disney Channel), but we’re happy we could catch up with Shane, who played Spencer Walsh on the show. We talked books, favorite school subjects, and–of course–music! Check it out. Continue reading

July 4, 2014

Vote for Your Favorite Celebrity!

Posted by at 1:49 am in Celebrities | Permalink

PopcornIt’s time for more celebrities!

Last month, I asked you to vote on which interviews you wanted to see featured on the STACKS. The response was almost overwhelming! I guess you guys like all things celebrity as much as I do. So for July, we’re bringing the vote system back. Woo hoo!

Here are your options for this round:

Which celebrity do YOU want to hear from? Cast your vote by posting your top pick in the Comments below. Don’t forget to get your friends to vote, too. Can’t wait to see which interview wins!

See ya around,

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

June 27, 2014

Zendaya in Zapped

Posted by at 10:13 am in Book to Big Screen, Celebrities | Permalink

zendayaZendaya’s new movie Zapped!

Everybody loves Zendaya Coleman. That’s a given. She’s so talented at everything! She sings; she dances, and she acts. It’s kind of unreal since she is only 17 years old! Even if you didn’t watch Shake it Up, you’ve probably heard her music. (I’m a super-fan of “Replay.”) Her new movie Zapped (based on the book Boys Are Dogs) is about a girl named Zoey who discovers that the dog-training app she downloaded onto her phone gives her the ability to give commands to . . . boys!

Zendaya surprised fans by showing up at a special screening of the movie. I’d say they were pretty thrilled to meet her! (I would be, too!) How awesome is that? She seems like the nicest person, like, ever.

Zendaya Coleman meets fans at Zapped screening

Image credit DISNEY CHANNEL/ Heidi Gutman

We caught up with Zendaya to talk about her new movie, her favorite book, where she’d like to be in five years, and more. Check it out! Continue reading

June 27, 2014

Rowan Blanchard in Girl Meets World

Posted by at 1:43 am in Celebrities | Permalink

Rowan Blanchard in Girl Meets WorldRowan Blanchard talks about her new Disney show.

Have you ever seen Boy Meets World? I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that show. I have since I was really little! I am so excited now because Disney will bring back Cory and Topanga in a new show, Girl Meets World, premiering tonight on Disney Channel at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT. The show will follow the funny and thought-provoking adventures of their daughter, Riley. We’ve got an interview with 12-year-old Rowan Blanchard, who plays Riley, and we got to ask her about her character, her favorite authors, and her most embarrassing moment! Check it out. Continue reading

June 25, 2014

June Books of the Month

Posted by at 1:47 am in Books of the Month, Reads | Permalink

writing_prompt_book_recommendationIt’s Books of the Month time again!

By now, you all know the drill. It’s the end of June. Obviously, that means it’s time for the most exciting (okay, okay, I’m biased) post of the month . . . BOOKS OF THE MONTH!!! I feel like this post should be celebrated with an ice cream cake and confetti every month. I know I’m not the only person who gets really happy every time this post goes up, though! Last month you guys really came out in support of your favorite books. There were so many!

At the end of May we asked you to share what books you were reading. Then we made a word cloud to show which titles were most popular. I think it’s pretty obvious which series the people of the STACKS are loving this month: Percy Jackson!

June Books of the MonthLet’s keep this going! What books are you reading now? What books do you love and recommend? Leave the title (or titles!) in the Comments section below. I’m about to dive headfirst into Kingdom Keepers now, and I can’t wait to see which new series pop up next time around!

See ya later,

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

 

June 20, 2014

Dylan Riley Snyder Interview

Posted by at 1:18 am in Celebrities | Permalink

dylan riley snyderDylan Riley Snyder in Kickin’ It

Are you a fan of Kickin’ It? Well, have we got a treat for you! We were lucky enough to get an interview with Dylan Riley Snyder, who plays Milton on the show. We talked about karate, his character, what kind of pet he wants, and more. Check it out!

Q: Let’s talk about your character, Milton.

Dylan: My character is probably the most well-meaning character on the show, but every time he tries to do something he gets shot down. It drives him more than a little wild. But it’s fun.

Q: Do you guys take karate lessons?

Dylan: Leo [Howard] does karate. I don’t do karate, but we take classes. The instructors are always on set and we learn the moves on set, mostly basic kicks and punches that we learn and piece together into a fight sequence.

Q: If you could have any pet in the world, what pet would you choose?

Dylan: I would have a fox—a red fox. I think they are beautiful! I think it would be great to show up at a party with a fox on a leash. Or I’d pick a Savannah cat…they’re the cats that look like cheetahs. But I’m allergic to cats!

Dylan Riley Snyder and Leo Howard in Kickin' It

image courtesy Disney Channel

Q: What’s something about you that most people don’t know?

Dylan: I like science a lot. I like looking at things in different ways, solving puzzles, and doing things with my hands…fixing stuff.

Q: What should people do to make the world a better place?

Dylan: Take a look in the mirror and fix what you can. Think about how you can make the people around you happy! And speak up! The world would be a much better place if more people would say what makes them happy.

Be sure to also check out Dylan’s book recommendation video for the STACKS, and catch our interviews with his castmates Leo Howard and Olivia Holt!

See ya next time,

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

Interview by Sue Schneider
Image credit: Disney Channel