Author Archives: Karen W.

February 7, 2011

Writing Prompt: A Doorway Leading to. . .

Rainbow_pen Recently, a couple of my friends went on vacation, and apparently encountered a magical portal to another world during their trip! At least, that’s what it looked like to me when they showed me this photo after their return:

doorway
As soon as I saw this pic, I envisioned a character pulling the door open to discover a whole new realm beyond. This road looks like it could be next to a castle, a row of country homes, farms, a deserted town, crazy upside-down houses, anything!

What do you think? What’s at the end of that road? What’s behind the hedge? Where do you imagine the doorway leads? Write your ideas in the Comments below!

— Karen, STACKS Staffer

January 21, 2010

Helping Haiti

Posted by at 9:56 am in News | Permalink

Haiti By now, I'm sure you've all heard about the devastating earthquakes in Haiti. After the 7.0 quake last Tuesday, the airwaves have been flooded with scenes of flattened buildings, homeless families, and crying children. But there have also been scenes of hope. And even through numerous aftershocks — including a 6.1 quake yesterday morning — we've witnessed seemingly impossible rescues and joyful reunions.

These are the stories that relief workers focus on to keep them going strong, both in Haiti and in the U.S. And theirs are the stories that Scholastic Kid Reporters around the country bring to you this week.

Across the nation, Kid Reporters have been talking with folks doing their part for the relief effort. Here are their photos from those visits — more visions of hope:

Haiti

For the full articles, information on how you can help, and continuing coverage of the crisis in Haiti, visit the Scholastic Kids Press Corps special report.

— Karen, STACKS Staffer

Photo at top left: Adriana Zehbrauskas/Polaris for Save the Children

December 1, 2009

Trivia Answer: Thanksgiving on Thursday

Posted by at 8:47 am in Trivia | Permalink

Thanksgiving_on_thursday Last week, I asked you all whether you prefer turkey, stuffing, or mashed potatoes. No, wait, let me start over. . .

Last week, I asked you all a trivia question about Thanksgiving on Thursday, one of the books in the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne. The question was: Jack and Annie try to help out with the turkey for the first Thanksgiving, but something goes wrong. What happens?

The answer is: They drop the turkey in the fire. GASP!

Well, it looks like you guys all managed to escape the traditional post-Thanksgiving food coma, because I got lots of correct responses. And the first person to send in the right answer was fallbookgirl. Congratulations, fallbookgirl! Why don't you reward yourself with some pumpkin pie? Oh, man, now I'm hungry. . .

— Karen, STACKS Staffer

November 24, 2009

Trivia: Magic Tree House Thanksgiving on Thursday

Posted by at 11:37 am in Trivia | Permalink

Thanksgiving_on_thursday Yes, it’s true that Thanksgiving is this Thursday — but Thanksgiving on Thursday is ALSO the title of one of the Magic Tree House books by Mary Pope Osborne! (And yes, I HAVE been waiting all year to say that. And no, I DON’T have a life, thanks for pointing that out . . . )

If you’re not familiar with the Magic Tree House series, then before I get to the trivia question, I should tell you a little bit about the books: They’re about a tree house. It’s magic. Got it?

Just kidding! Here are the details: Annie and Jack are a brother and sister who discover that the books in their tree house transport them through time and space. They visit lots of different historical destinations, from Ancient Eygpt to the Ice Age to the Civil War. And — surprise, surprise — in Thanksgiving on Thursday, they travel to Plymouth, Massachusetts during the time of the pilgrims.

So, here’s my question for those of you who are familiar with the book: Jack and Annie try to help out with the turkey for the first Thanksgiving, but something goes wrong. What happens?

Leave a comment with your guess, and then check the answer. Have a very happy Thanksgiving! Or as your dinner would say, “Gobble gobble!”

— Karen, STACKS Staffer

October 19, 2009

YOU Write the Book Blurb: Spooky Edition

Posted by at 8:04 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Writingprompt_bookblurb I totally loved all the descriptions you guys came up with for my first fake book cover, so I thought I'd do another one. [cue applause — thank you, thank you]

This time I went dark and spooky, since Halloween is right around the corner. Any aspiring horror writers out there?

Or, since October is Mystery Month, why not turn this into a case for a master sleuth?

Either way, have fun with this cover for a completely nonexistent book by an absolutely nonexistent author:

Fake_cover

Now it's up to YOU to write the description for the back cover. If this were a real book, what would it be about? Leave a comment with your book blurb — if you dare. . .

— Karen, STACKS Staffer

September 14, 2009

Trivia Answers: Andrew Clements’ School Stories

Posted by at 7:34 am in Reads, Trivia | Permalink

Andrew Clements book fanWow, I had no idea you guys were such dedicated Andrew Clements fans! A whole bunch of you sent in the right answers within 24 hours — and the speediest of all was Candysplash, who posted correctly a mere 20 minutes after my trivia question went up. Congrats, Candysplash!

I also have to mention WallieBitter, who left about a zillion comments. Okay, fine, only four. But she definitely proved herself to be an Andrew Clements devotee because it looks like she beat me to the punch — the day before I posted my trivia question, WallieBitter started an online book club on the Reading Buzz board, and she decided to dedicate the first month to none other than Andrew Clements! Check it out!

So major props to both Candysplash and WallieBitter. You guys, RAWK!

Btw, for the rest of you who aren’t as, say, zealous as Candysplash and WallieBitter, here are the correct answers:

Cover_novel_room_one
1. Room One: A Mystery or Two
D. One day, Ted notices a face at the window of a supposedly abandoned house. What’s up with that?!


Cover_novel_lunchmoney
2.
Lunch Money
C.
When Greg decides to draw comic books and sell them to his classmates, they’re a hit! But not everyone agrees. . .

Cover_novel_frindle
3. Frindle
A. In this student vs. teacher showdown, Nick and Mrs. Granger face off when Nick invents a new word for “pen.”

Cover_novel_lost_and_found
4. Lost and Found
E. Ray and Jay are twins in a new town, and happy to have each other to
rely on. But soon they discover that the school only has records for
one of them! Can you say, “Double Trouble”?

Cover_novels_schoolstory
5. The School Story

B. Natalie and her best friend, Zoe, set out to get Natalie’s short novel published.

— Karen, STACKS Staffer

PS. Now that I know there are tons of Andrew Clements fans on THE STACKS, I have a couple follow-up questions that I’m dying to hear your thoughts on:

1) After reading his books, do you feel any more sympathetic towards your teachers? Since Andrew Clements is a former teacher, I can’t help but wonder if that’s his secret plan . . .

2) Do you ever cry when you read his books? Personally, I’ve bawled at quite a few of them, especially The School Story. I’ve heard from other adults that they also get a little weepy, but I don’t know about kids! Then again, I’m also a total sucker for tearjerkers. I pretty much sobbed through all three hours of the movie Titanic too. And don’t even get me started on holiday commercials! (Maybe you’re wondering which holiday commercials I’m referring to? ALL of them!)

September 10, 2009

YOU Write the Book Blurb!

Posted by at 7:33 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Writingprompt_bookblurb You guys have been totally cracking me up with your hilarious suggestions for our Create a Caption series, and I really wanted to get in on the action — but I couldn't find any good photos to use! So I thought I'd try something a little different and post a fake book cover for you instead!

So, here's the cover for a completely nonexistent book by an absolutely nonexistent author:

Fake_cover2  

Now it's up to YOU to write the description for the back cover! If this were a real book (instead of the product of my warped imagination), what would it be about? Leave a comment with your book blurb!

— Karen, STACKS Staffer

September 8, 2009

Trivia: Andrew Clements’ School Stories

Posted by at 2:24 pm in Reads, Trivia | Permalink

Andrew Clements book fan for School Stories Trivia including The School Story, Frindle, Lunch Money, Lost and Found, and Room One: A Mystery of Two Well, there’s no denying it. Now that Labor Day has come and gone, I must acknowledge that summer truly is over. *weep* *sob* [insert dramatic nose-blowing here]

But going back to school isn’t all bad! As Morgan mentioned in her recent blog entry (Cool Books About Back-to-School), there’s always a wonderful sense of hope and expectation during the first few days of school. Anything is possible, and the year is as full of promise as the cafeteria garbage can will be full of tuna surprise by the end of lunch period.

In honor of the new school year, I’ve devised a trivia challenge that highlights books known as “school stories” in the publishing world. And they’re all by one author! I guess it’s because he used to be a teacher, but Andrew Clements pretty much owns the “school stories” category. He’s written over a dozen novels, almost all of which focus on the drama that happens during the hours that your parents think you’re just sitting quietly and taking notes (HA!).

So, here’s my challenge to you: can you match these Andrew Clements book descriptions to the right titles? (I was going to include the covers, but then I realized that would make things way too easy on you — now you’ll just have to rely on Google! Just kidding — no cheating!)

The Books:

1. Room One: A Mystery or Two
2. Lunch Money
3. Frindle
4. Lost and Found
5. The School Story

The Descriptions:

A. In this student vs. teacher showdown, Nick and Mrs. Granger face off when Nick invents a new word for “pen.”

B. Natalie and her best friend, Zoe, set out to get Natalie’s short novel published.

C. When Greg decides to draw comic books and sell them to his classmates, they’re a hit! But not everyone agrees…

D. One day, Ted notices a face at the window of a supposedly abandoned house. What’s up with that?!

E. Ray and Jay are twins in a new town, and happy to have each other to rely on. But soon they discover that the school only has records for one of them! Can you say, “Double Trouble”?

Alright, if you can stop crying about the end of summer long enough, leave a comment with your guesses!

— Karen, STACKS Staffer

July 10, 2009

Celebrating a Softer Side of Harry

Posted by at 12:56 pm in Harry Potter, Reads | Permalink

Hp7_130 What were you doing July 21, 2007? Even though it was two years ago, I can tell you exactly what I was doing: reading my copy of the just-released Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Since then I’ve read the book all over again, cover-to-cover, plus listened to the audio book twice. So, do you think I was excited when the book came out in paperback earlier this week? Even a troll would know the answer to that question: YES!

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July 8, 2009

ZEKE AND LUTHER’s Adam Hicks

Posted by at 6:24 am in Celebrities | Permalink

Adam_hicks_130 I am not a morning person. So a few weeks ago when I realized I had to get to the office by 8:30 a.m. for a celebrity video shoot, I was not happy. Not happy at all. But then I met Adam Hicks, and all was forgiven.

If you’ve been watching Zeke and Luther, you know Adam as the sometimes awkward, often zany, always irrepressible Luther. So I was kind of expecting the Tasmanian Devil to show up for the video shoot. But it turns out that Adam is totally calm, down-to-earth, and cool. AND he loves to read.

In addition to the video shoot, Adam also sat down for an interview with Marie (the same goddess who connects THE STACKS with all our celeb coverage — we bow to Marie). They chatted about the show, plus everything else from books to music to cheetahs (yes, cheetahs). Read on for a sneak peek, not to mention more videos with Adam!

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