Author Archives: En-Szu

March 14, 2014

Blake Michael Interview

Posted by at 1:31 am in Celebrities | Permalink

Blake MichaelInterview with Blake Michael from Dog with a Blog

We love, love, LOVE Dog with a Blog! (Did you see our Dog with a Blog Would You Rather Quiz last week?) And we’re super-excited to bring to you this interview with Blake Michael, who plays Tyler James (the older brother of Avery, a.k.a. G Hannelius) on the show. He also played Charlie Delgado in Lemonade Mouth. He talks about music, his favorite subject in school, and . . . gardening?!

Q: Lemonade Mouth has a great soundtrack. Do you really play drums?
Blake: I really play drums and actually have a little recording studio at home, and I have my own setup with my piano and drums. I create tracks all the time. So next year, you can look forward to seeing some new music of mine.

Q: Are they going to use it on Dog with a Blog?
Blake: Dog with a Blog has already incorporated my DJ stuff. I’ve been a DJ for a long time and they actually used it in an episode, so you never know.

Blake Michael in Dog with a Blog

Disney Channel

Q: Is the environment important to you?

Blake: I’ve been buying organic food, and I actually bought some flowers and planted them in my house. I love gardening. I have this little tree that is growing out of a coconut in my room. I love forestry and nature, and gardening!

Q: What’s your favorite school subject?

Blake: My favorite school subject is literature. I’ve being analyzing advance scripts and dramatic roles since I was four years old, so that helped me develop my strong literature base. I’m really good at grammar. I was doing, like, college grammar in seventh grade, which is pretty crazy!

And, if you want to know his favorite book, you can watch this video.
image from kids.scholastic.com— En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

Interview by Sue Schneider

March 13, 2014

March Madness 2014!

Posted by at 1:47 am in Games, News, Reads | Permalink

March Madness BasketballMarch Madness Basketball Activities

March 16th is Selection Sunday for the 2014 NCAA Basketball tournament known as March Madness. For those of you who love basketball, this is obviously the highlight of the year–the next three weeks are all about watching, eating, and breathing basketball! As this 76th season of March Madness kicks off, we’re lacing up our sneakers, dusting off our pom-poms, and rounding up our favorite basketball books, games, and activities at the STACKS.

Which team are you rooting for this year? What are you doing for March Madness? Share in the Comments below!

March 7, 2014

Chloe and Halle Bailey Interview

Posted by at 1:43 am in Celebrities, Music | Permalink

Chloe and Halley BaileyInterview with The Next Big Thing winners Chloe and Halle Bailey

We’re big fans of Radio Disney’s The Next Big Thing winners 15-year-old Chloe and (almost) 14-year-old Halle Bailey! The sister duo have been impressing listeners around the world with their incredible singing abilities, performing on Austin & Ally, and even getting props from Beyoncé (!!!) for their cover of her music. In this interview, the two girls talk about what it was like winning N.B.T., their favorite books, and why it’s important to have great self-esteem. Check it out (and be sure to read our interview with another N.B.T. favorite Becky G)! Continue reading

February 27, 2014

Winter Reading Games Event 4

Posted by at 1:41 am in Book to Big Screen, Celebrities, Reads | Permalink

olympicsbanner130Cast your favorite stars in a movie based on your favorite book!

So many books I love have been turned into movies: Harry Potter, Hunger Games, The Chronicles of Narnia, Percy Jackson . . . The list could go on and on! And while it’s super-exciting to see how different directors and actors interpret the stories and characters I’ve loved on the page, I can’t help but wonder how things would turn out if someone else played Peeta, or Hermione, or even Grover. That’s why our next Winter Reading Games event is . . . drumroll,  please . . . Dream Cast! Which actors would you choose to play the characters in a movie adaptation of YOUR favorite book?

Right now I’m reading The Lost Hero from the Heroes of Olympus series. My dream cast?

rosslynch      zendaya      cameronboyce

What book are YOU reading right now? If it were turned into a movie (or if it already has been), whom would you cast to play the characters? Share in the Comments section below!

PS. Are you coming to the Readathon on Saturday? It’s going to be EPIC!

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

Image credits: Zendaya, Andrew Evans/PR Photos; Ross Lynch, Charles Edwards/PR Photos; Cameron Boyce, Disney Channel

February 26, 2014

Winter Reading Games Event 3

Posted by at 1:33 am in Reads, Writing Prompt | Permalink

olympicsbanner130Choose Your Fictional Character Dream Team!

While it’s awesome to see trained athletes tearing up the ice in a team sport like hockey, here at the STACKS, it is day 3 of the STACKS Winter Reading Games, and we have to wonder: what would it be like to have an Olympic team made up of characters from our favorite books?

Since hockey is probably the team sport on ice that I understand best, I’m creating my dream sports lineup as a hockey team. My picks?

  • 204-4426Percy Jackson, obviously, because he can control water and would therefore be a speed demon on ice.
  • Clarisse La Rue (of the Percy Jackson series) because she’s super-aggressive and would have no problem knocking out an opposing player.
  • Hagrid (of the Harry Potter series) because he’d be an amazing goalie.
  • George and Harold (of Captain Underpants) because they are fast thinkers and you need to be a fast thinker on ice!
  • Harry Potter because he’d probably discover he had the ability to do something awesome halfway through the game and totally take down the opposition.

How about you? What would YOUR fictional character dream team look like? Share in the Comments below! And come back tomorrow to participate in the next Winter Reading Games event!

image from kids.scholastic.comEn-Szu, STACKS Staffer

February 25, 2014

Winter Reading Games Event 2

Posted by at 1:11 am in Reads | Permalink

olympicsbanner130It’s OK to judge a book by its cover!

There’s a complex system of rules that judges of events like figure skating use to score each performance. Technical skill, creativity, the number of tricks performed—all of these things factor into the number judges come up with in the end.

Now it’s your turn to be the judge. The event? Book Cover Judging! Choose 5 books and rank them from one through five. What makes the Gold Medal book worthy of the number 1 spot? Is it because the cover fits the book best, or because you like the illustration or photo? Do you like the character on the cover?

I picked the five books closest to me, and here’s my ranking:

captain underpants   cityoflightdark   infinityring   horses dawn   spirit animals wild born

  1. The Adventures of Captain Underpants: This is probably the most exciting, colorful, and silly book cover I’ve ever seen. It fits the book perfectly! I mean, it doesn’t get more goofy than a man shaped like an egg wearing a red cape and underpants!
  2.  City of Light, City of Dark: When you first look at this cover, the sunset scene seems pretty calm and serene, but when you look closer, you can see something strange is going on. I love a cover that makes me take a second look!
  3. Infinity Ring: A Mutiny in Time: With this cover, you know you’re in for a very special adventure. It is a little mysterious, and doesn’t give away much about the book, but that makes me think what’s inside is going to be very exciting.
  4. Horses of the Dawn: The Escape: Okay, I love a good horse book. This illustration is absolutely gorgeous. I kind of wish there was more going on, though, so I could find out a little more about the book.
  5. Spirit Animals: Wild Born: A panda, a leopard, and a wolf? I love all three animals, but this cover seems a little too crowded. It still makes me want to read the book, though!

What about YOU? Choose 5 books and rank their covers. Share your rankings in the Comments below! And participate in the other STACKS Winter Reading Games events all week long!
image from kids.scholastic.comEn-Szu, STACKS Staffer

February 21, 2014

Winter Sports Books & Movies

Posted by at 12:13 pm in Olympics, Reads | Permalink

writing_prompt_book_recommendationWinter sports book and movie recommendations!

Are you totally caught up in the excitement of the Winter Olympics? Winter sports are the greatest! But if throwing on a pair of skates and executing flawless flips and spins seems a little out of your range, we bring to you this list of winter sport books and movies (for those of us who are happy to spend our time indoors with a cup of hot cocoa instead). Continue reading

February 10, 2014

Winter Olympics Create a Caption, Part I

Posted by at 1:58 am in Create a Caption, Writing Prompt | Permalink

createacaption2Olympic Ice Skating Photo

We’ve got a fever . . . Winter Olympics fever, that is! There have already been so many amazing photographs of athletes doing cool tricks and performing to the crowds in Sochi that we just knew we had to use one for Create a Caption.

Here’s a photo of Russian skater Evgeny Plyushchenko, competing in the Figure Skating Men’s Short Program. There’s a whole lot of drama going on here, but here’s what I think he’s saying. . .

createacaption1

“Dude, I know the skating competition is fierce, but I’ve got WINNER written all over me. I mean, look at this outfit! LOOK AT IT! Do you know how long it took to BeDazzle this? Do I get points for BeDazzling? I should get points for BeDazzling.”

What do YOU think Evgeny is saying? Share your caption in the Comments below!

–En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

Photo courtesy: XXII Winter Olympic Games

February 10, 2014

Winter Olympics Who Would Win

Posted by at 1:35 am in Olympics, Who Would Win | Permalink

trivia_quiz1It’s Winter Olympics time! I’m so psyched!!!

While we are huge fans of competition between the top athletes in the world, we had to wonder: what would the Olympics look like if, instead of competing athletes, we had competing . . . animals? Great question! We want to know who YOU think would win . . .

  • in figure skating: a walrus or an elephant?
  • in snowboarding: an owl or a gopher?
  • in hockey: a team of geese or a team of turkeys?
  • in skiing: a wombat or a peacock?
  • in speed skating: a moose or a giraffe?
  • in a bobsled race: a team of sharks or a team of dolphins?

whowouldwintake3

Share your answers in the Comments below!

–En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

Image credit Hal Beral VWPics/SuperStock & Travel Pictures Ltd/SuperStock 

February 7, 2014

Freeskier Roz Groenewoud

Posted by at 1:32 am in Olympics | Permalink

Roz GroenewoudFreeskier Roz Groenewoud Interview

The 2014 Winter Olympics are on, and we are really stoked about one of this year’s sports: freeskiing (as you can probably tell from our interview with freeskier Torin Yater-Wallace). Today, we represent the ladies! We have an interview with 25-year-old female Canadian freeskier (and two-time X Games Gold Medalist) Roz Groenwoud. She talks about her training, balancing skiing and school, and the reason why she always wears red lipstick when she competes. (It’s not because it matches the logo of Target, her education sponsor). Check it out! Continue reading