Author Archives: Nancy T.

April 10, 2009

Naked Brothers Band Members Nat & Alex Wolff Visit!

Posted by at 1:40 pm in Movies & TV | Permalink

Alex and Nat

Some things, just by themselves, are pretty cool. But combine it with something else, and it becomes TOTALLY AWESOME. For instance: Peanut Butter. Jelly. PB+J? TOTALLY AWESOME.

Here’s another example: Nat Wolff=pretty cool. Alex Wolff=pretty cool. Nat+Alex=totally awesome!

Nat and Alex Wolff of Nick’s The Naked Brothers Band paid a visit to Scholastic a few days ago and filmed some videos for The STACKS. Both Nat and Alex were really funny — I LOLed a lot during the taping, and we got plenty of outtakes footage. We’ll be sharing the vids with you soon, so stay tuned to The Splot!

Plus, here’s some more behind-the-scenes scoop:

  • Nat’s cell phone was vibrating nonstop during the shoot, and I heard him mutter, “It’s weird, no one ever calls me.” — Um, I find that hard to believe.
  • Alex recorded a book review of Coraline, and his review was so good that it made his dad want to read the book.
  • Nat came by and introduced himself to me, so I didn’t feel too much like a paparazzi the whole time, snapping photos on my phone.

I’ll be tuning in to watch The Naked Brothers Band movie — I can’t wait to see who Nat takes as his date to the premiere of their movie (within the movie)! And apparently, Alex has discovered he has the ability to predict the future with his hair. Yes, you read that correctly. His hair. I wish I had known before our video session. I should have asked Alex for some hot investment tips . . .

— Nancy, STACKS Staffer

Photo Credit: Lisa Rose/Nickelodeon

March 18, 2009

Book-to-Movie Chat Recap

Posted by at 7:42 am in Live Chats, Movies & TV, Reads | Permalink

Last Saturday, we hosted a lively chat about book-to-movie adaptations. Boy, STACKS users are way passionate about books and movies! We covered a lot in just one hour! (Okay, we ran a teensy bit longer than scheduled.)

Movies/Books Mentioned During the Chat:

  • Call of the Wild
  • Chronicles of Narnia
  • City of Ember
  • Coraline
  • Ella Enchanted
  • The Golden Compass
  • Harry Potter (of course)
  • Holes
  • Howl’s Moving Castle
  • The Hunger Games
  • Inkheart
  • A Little Princess
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Never Ending Story
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians
  • The Secret Garden
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
  • Thief Lord
  • Twilight
  • The Wizard of Oz

Kids also thought these books should be made into movies. (Take note, Hollywood!) Which book or series do you think should be made into a movie first?

Discuss the results in the Comments!

— Nancy, STACKS Staffer

March 12, 2009

Race to Witch Mountain Cast Interviews

Posted by at 6:44 am in Movies & TV | Permalink

Race to witch mountainRace to Witch Mountain Cast Interviews

We caught an exclusive interview with Race to Witch Mountain cast members AnnaSophia Robb and Alexander Ludwig.

First, let me break it down for any Witch Mountain newbies out there:

  • In 1968, Alexander Key wrote a science fiction book called Escape to Witch Mountain and its sequel, Return from Witch Mountain.
  • In 1975, Disney made a movie based on Escape to Witch Mountain.
  • In 1978, Disney made a sequel to that movie based slightly on the sequel to the book, called Return from Witch Mountain also.
  • In 1982, there was a made-for-TV movie called Beyond Witch Mountain, which was actually supposed to be the first episode of what undoubtedly would have been an epic TV series, but then it got canceled. Disney never released Beyond Witch Mountain on video or dvd, so few people have seen it.
  • And NOW, it’s Race to Witch Mountain, which is a re-imagining of the earlier movies.


Q: Did you watch the 1975 Escape to Witch Mountain film? What did you think?
Alexander: Actually, it was one of my favorite movies growing up . . . I had a huge crush on Tia, played by Kim Richards. I can’t believe that I get to be these kids that I’ve idolized my whole life . . . And they’re actually doing cameo appearances in this movie as well. So it’s very cool! There’s sort of a hint that maybe they’re their same characters. There’s actually a scene where they help us out, get out of a really tight situation, and it’s very cool. It’s very mysterious in that way.

AnnaSophia: Andy Fickman, the fabulous director of Race to Witch Mountain, sent me the original two films, Escape to Witch Mountain, and Return to Witch Mountain. They are both definitely ’70s movies, but when I was watching them I could tell how they became such classics; they are just such adventure stories. Knowing me, I probably would have made up a pretend game with my cousins pretending to be the Witch Mountain kids with their special little star compass. It was sooo cool!

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February 23, 2009

Book List: Talking Animals

Posted by at 6:18 am in Reads | Permalink

I'm a big fan of lists. To-Do Lists, Shopping Lists, Friends Lists, Enemies Lists — and of course, Book Lists!  So I'm going to start sharing my book lists with you, Splotters!

When I was growing up, I didn't have very many pets, so I was always really jealous of my friends who did.* I was also really into animals. (I know you guys are too, based on this heavy dogs versus cats debate). So, without further ado, here's a list of a few books I've enjoyed which include talking animals:

Dr. Dolittle _16036400
Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting

Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

Charlotte's Web by E. B. White

Bunnicula- A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery11593482
Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery by James Howe and Deborah Howe

Sam the Cat- Detective 511QRV98NBL._SS500_
Sam the Cat: Detective by Linda Stewart

Redwall by Brian Jacques

Ralph S. Mouse10245573
Ralph S. Mouse by Beverly Cleary

Cricket in Times Square _27403060

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

But seriously, wouldn't you just FREAK OUT if your golden retriever or gray tuxedo cat (like the one that lives with me, below) suddenly said, "what's up?" (or said, "what's up, dawg?" hee hee.)

Which talking animal books have left an impression on you?

— Nancy, STACKS Staffer

*Turns out I'm quite allergic and I don't like slobbery things, so it's
probably for the best that I didn't have a pet. I might be dead from
an allergic reaction or drowned in a pool of dog spit.

Photo Credit: Waldemar Dabrowski/Shutterstock

February 17, 2009

Beezus and Ramona Movie

Posted by at 6:42 am in Movies & TV, Reads | Permalink

Beezus and Ramona to become a movie staring Joey King as Ramona and Selena Gomez as BeezusBeverly Cleary’s novel Beezus and Ramona is a movie. Ramona is played by Joey King from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Selena Gomez from Wizards of Waverly Place plays Ramona’s older sister, Beezus.

Some of you may be thinking “Beezus? What the heck kind of name is that?” — Well, it’s short for “Beatrice.” And if you didn’t know that, you might want to pick up Beezus and Ramona ASAP!

Beezus and Ramona is the first in the “Ramona” series, and Ramona is 4 years old. Beverly Cleary wrote eight “Ramona” books total (in the last one, Ramona’s World, Ramona is in 4th grade). But Ramona actually appears in many more of Beverly Cleary’s books — do you know which other books Ramona guest stars in?

— Nancy, STACKS Staffer

February 10, 2009

AnnaSophia Robb on Obama Inauguration

Posted by at 5:55 pm in Movies & TV | Permalink

Scholastic got a chance to ask some celebrities questions about (now) President Barack Obama and his inauguration:

Tiffany_thornton Robb_ludwig
Tiffany Thornton, from Sonny with a Chance AnnaSophia Robb and Alexander Ludwig, from Race to Witch Mountain

(We interviewed AnnaSophia, Alexander, and Tiffany separately, so they weren’t actually in the room together, btw.)

Q: Did you watch the inauguration?

Alexander LudwigAlexander: I did. And it was incredible.

AnnaSophia RobbAnnaSophia: I did! I was so jealous of my mom, though, because she was there. I wanted to go so badly. I was in the school cafeteria and school library. They pulled down some screens and played it over the projectors. It was cool to be watching with my whole school.

Tiffany ThorntonTiffany: There were parts of it I missed, but I did watch part of it. I think my favorite part of it was when he wrapped it up by saying, “God bless you and God bless America.” I don’t know — it just gave me a real tingle.

Q: Would you ever like to live in the White House? Continue reading

January 24, 2009

Cats, Dogs, and Emma Roberts, Oh My!

Posted by at 8:21 am in Movies & TV | Permalink

Emma Roberts, star of Hotel for DogsIt’s an age-old question that defines friendships and divides nations; romances live or die by the answer: are you a CAT or DOG person?

Last week, Hotel for Dogs opened in theaters, so Scholastic and THE STACKS caught this exclusive interview with one of the stars, Emma Roberts. Get the DL on what it’s like to film a movie with animals and learn all about Emma, directly from Emma herself!

Emma on Hotel for Dogs:

Had you read the book it was based on?
Book_cvr_hotel_for_dogs_lois_duncanI hadn’t. But it was funny because the author [Lois Duncan] actually came to set, and she said to me, “You’re much prettier and much skinnier than the Andi I imagined in the book.” I was like, “Oh, okay, thank you.” She was just so sweet; she was the sweetest woman . . . I was really glad because she wrote it; it’s really personal to her, so I’m glad she liked what she saw.

[Nancy] The movie is based on a novel written by Lois Duncan in 1971. Yes, that young adult author Lois Duncan, who up until this point I only knew as the author of thrillers for teens. And this April (38 years after the original!), the first sequel , News for Dogs is being published. You learn something everyday . . . By the way, I did some sleuthing on the web, and Lois Duncan cameos in one of the crowd scenes in the movie — look out for her! If you don’t know what she looks like, here’s a picture of her at the movie premiere:


Do you identify with Andi at all?
I definitely identify with her in some scenes. She kind of felt awkward in social settings sometimes, and I think we all feel like that at some point. You know, in high school, you go to a party and you don’t really know anyone and you feel uncomfortable. I could definitely relate to her in that way.

[Nancy] Whoa, I can’t imagine Emma feeling awkward in a social setting (but she does act it wonderfully). Also, make sure not to confuse Andi with Annie, played by Shenae Grimes on the new 90210. I did for a sec — I think they look alike. What do you guys think?


Andi is really responsible and loves and takes care of her little brother. Do you tend to do that or are you more of a loner?
She’s definitely responsible. I’m responsible too. She’s more responsible than me, though, I think. I’m very forgetful. She’s not. I have a little sister that I try to look after, but she’s very mature for her age and doesn’t need much looking after from me. [My sister is] 7, almost 8.

[Nancy] In Duncan’s original story, Andi is actually 10 years old, and Bruce (played in the movie by Wizards of Waverly Place actor Jake T. Austin) is supposed to be 12 — in the movie, Andi is 16. They updated this just so Emma could star.

Hotel_For_DogsWhat was the most fun part of the movie?
The cast was really fun, the dogs were great to work with, and the other kids in the movie were so much fun. For me, that’s great to be able to go to work and get along with people and hang out during breaks and on lunch. That’s really important ’cause it keeps the mood up on set.

What was the highlight of working with Don [Cheadle]?
He was great. He has such a great sense of humor, and he’s really fun. He’s a sweet guy. He has kids, and he knows how to work with kids.

What do you hope kids take away from this?
I hope they go out of the movie with a smile, having enjoyed it . . . There are so many messages in it . . . just be comfortable with yourself, and it’s important to look after other people and not just think about yourself and be selfish. That’s what I really liked about the movie.

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December 19, 2008

Don’t Call Emma Watson “Hermione”

Posted by at 9:47 am in Harry Potter, Movies & TV | Permalink

Emma Watson Interview with Scholastic Staff Hermione Granger Emma Watson gave an interview to Scholastic and gabbed about The Tale of Despereaux (and more, of course), which I thought was pretty cool considering I recently posted my 3 Questions for Hermione. And, while Emma isn’t Hermione, she’s still just as interesting!

Marie (Scholastic’s resident celeb schmoozer) managed to score a pretty cool interview with her, just like she did with Harry Treadaway (from the City of Ember movie) and the cast of High School Musical 3.

Note to self: Find out how to get Marie’s job. Interviewing movie stars all day? Awesome!

Regarding The Tale of Despereaux, her animated movie based on Kate DiCamillo’s book:
Q: This was your first animation experience. Were you nervous the first time you recorded?
A little bit, yeah, I was. I’d never done it before. I was a bit nervous. I felt a bit unprepared. But it was fun, really.

Q: You got to record with Matthew Broderick. Did that help?
Emma: Yes, it was lovely. You realize how important it is to have other actors to play off. It was really nice to have that.

[Nancy] I’ve noticed that the use of the word “lovely” is much more common with British people. How quaint! Me, I would have said, “Yes, it was AWESOME!” Anyone who reads my blog entries will notice I overuse that word, though. Not awesome.

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December 11, 2008

Character Confidential: 3 Questions for Hermione

Posted by at 9:34 am in Harry Potter, Reads | Permalink

Hermione_GrangerIf I had a chance to sit down with Hermione Granger, my favorite character from the Harry Potter series, I don’t think I could limit myself to just three questions. If I met Gryffindor’s class braniac, I’d probably ask her a billion
questions about magic, her friends (most of all, her good friend and celebrity wizard, Harry Potter), and growing up between the magical and non-magical worlds. And after those hours and hours of conversation, I’d probably follow up with these three “fluff” questions:

  1. What classes did you feel were missing from Hogwarts?
  2. Who would you like to play you in a movie (besides Emma Watson, pictured above)?
  3. When did you first admit to yourself that you liked Ron?

I would never be able to limit myself to three questions if I were interviewing Hermione. But seriously, could you? What would YOU ask Hermione if you had the chance?

— Nancy, STACKS Staffer

EMMA WATSON as Hermione Granger in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Harry Potter
and the Goblet of Fire.” Photo Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment

December 4, 2008

Character Confidential: 3 Questions for Charlie Bucket

Posted by at 9:35 am in Reads | Permalink

6a00e55007a31488340105361b7eab970b-800wi In Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the main character Charlie Bucket's only vice is that he loves chocolate. Charlie is the kind of book character I admired when I grew up — he endured hardships but never became bitter. I thought Charlie was so cool that I started liking cold cabbage soup. And chocolate, of course.

Three Questions I'd Ask Charlie Bucket:

1. What was your first order of business after you won the Chocolate Factory? (I totally would have filled an entire room with Eatable Marshmallow Pillows and jumped around.)

2. Did you get a stomachache from eating that first candy bar so quickly, after nearly starving all winter?

3. Given how the other children left the factory, what would you do if you passed one of them in the street?

Now, if YOU were a kid passing Charlie on the street — what would you ask him?

— Nancy, STACKS Staffer