Author Archives: Ratha M.

December 2, 2013

Book Nerd Writing Prompt

Posted by at 1:30 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

writing_prompt_bookBook Nerd and Proud!

You’d rather finish your book than watch TV. You drop food on your book because reading and eating dinner at the same time is challenging (my sincere apologies to the Pleasant Hills Public Library!). Your mom tells you you’re going to Disney World, but you just look up from your book and say . . . “Huh?” Admit it – you’re a book nerd, and proud of it!

Today’s Writing Prompt is for you. Finish this sentence. . .

booknerd We can’t wait to hear what you guys say in the Comments below! Be proud and read ON!

–Ratha, STACKS Writer

November 21, 2013

Family Volunteer Day

Posted by at 1:52 am in Kid Power | Permalink

make_a_differenceFamily Volunteer Day

The Saturday before Thanksgiving is Family Volunteer Day! It’s a good way to kick off the holiday season with giving and service. It is also a chance for families to spend time together helping their neighborhoods and communities.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to come up with your own ideas for ways your family can volunteer? We know how incredibly connected you are to things you are passionate about. And we know you guys MAKE things happen! So what would you do for Family Volunteer Day, if you were to mobilize your family?

Some ideas (with your parents’ permission, of course)

- Sell Rainbow Loom bracelets, or have a sidewalk bake sale (or hot chocolate stand if it’s wintery where you live). Donate the money to the Philippine Red Cross to help the victims of the devastating typhoon there.

- Have a “closet-cleaning day” and donate clothes and toys to a homeless shelter.

- Clean up a local park by picking up garbage, and recycling recyclables.

- Make cookies or crafts and bring your treats to a home for senior citizens.

- Collect gently used coats to donate to a shelter.

- Rake leaves for an elderly neighbor.

What are other good ideas for Family Volunteer Day? We wanna know!

Weekends are busy, but it only takes an hour or two to volunteer . . . and touch someone’s life or make a mark on our world. Let us know what YOU think in the Comments below!

—Ratha, STACKS Writer

November 18, 2013

Name Your Device Day

Posted by at 12:50 pm in Writing Prompt | Permalink

writing_prompt_rainbow_penName Your Device Day

iTouch, iPhone, iPad, tablet, Mac, PC, Kindle . . . chances are you spend time cozying up to your favorite device (that is when you’re not busy with school, family, sports, and a million other things). Well Wednesday, November 20th is officially known as “Name Your PC Day.” We thought we’d make it fun, and change it to “Name Your Device Day.”

C’mon, take the plunge. Let us know what you’d name your device! Or maybe you already have a nickname for your device? Let us know in the Comments below.

BONUS – what’s the device you use the most? Curious Splotters want to know!

—Ratha, STACKS Writer

November 4, 2013

School Love Writing Prompt

Posted by at 1:46 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

writing_prompt_rainbow_penWhat I Love About My School

Maybe it’s not the cafeteria food. Maybe it’s not that smell of sweaty socks that comes from the locker room after boys’ football practice. But we know there are reasons that live deep in your heart . . . why you love your school!

Every school is awesome in its own way, so tell us what’s cool about your school!

Let us know in the Comments below . . .


—Ratha, Stacks Writer

October 15, 2013

Goosebumps Scavenger Hunt Answers

Posted by at 1:41 am in Goosebumps, Trivia | Permalink

halloweenGoosebumps Scavenger Hunt Answers

Last week, in an attempt to summon the spirits of Halloween, we posted a Goosebumps Scavenger Hunt. How did you do? Did you get some answers, or run away scared out of your pants? See below for the official word.

1. Fill in the blanks: Night of the Living _______ and Say Cheese and ____ are two of R. L. Stine best known titles.
ANSWER: Night of the Living Dummy (total classic!) and Say Cheese and Die.

2. How long does it take R. L. Stine to write a Goosebumps book? Hint: search under “Books & Audio” and “R. L. Stine.”
ANSWER: 10 days! (whoa!!). He says he also spends 2-3 days first outlining each book.

3. The HorrorLand series is set in a creepy ________.
ANSWER: theme park. Where thrills turn to chills, you could say!

4. What does R. L. Stine give out at Halloween in addition to candy? Hint: read the R. L. Stine Q&A!
ANSWER: Copies of his books! Kids come to his apartment in New York City because he has a skeleton, a cupful of eyeballs, and lots of creepy stuff. He gives out candy and copies of his books. How cool is that?

5. Play the Ghost Hotel game. How many ghosts did you get before time ran out??
ANSWER: No wrong answer. . . unless you didn’t play!

6. Name you favorite episode from the Goosebumps TV show.
ANSWER: No wrong answer. You’re entitled to your own opinion!

7. What’s the newest Goosebumps book out?
ANSWER: Goosebumps Most Wanted #5: Dr. Maniac Will See You Now. (Uhh . . . I think I’ll go to my regular doctor instead!)

8. Watch “The Ghost Next Door” trailer clip in the TV/DVD section. (Click on the fuzzy TV screen.) What happens at the very last moment?
ANSWER: Something comes crashing through the window!

Look for tons of great Halloween episodes of Goosebumps and R. L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour on The Hub network all October long. With a bucket of popcorn and some orange soda, nothing could be creepier. Happy Halloween!

—Ratha, Stacks Writer

October 14, 2013

October 15: National Grouch Day

Posted by at 1:10 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

writing_prompt_genericGet in a bad mood. It’s National Grouch Day!

According to Sesame Street Magazine, October 15th is National Grouch Day. Finally, an excuse to be grouchy!  If you’re tired of always seeing the bright side of things, then this (kind-of-sort-of) official holiday is for you.

Legend has it that Jim Henson (creator of The Muppets) used to go to a restaurant where the waiter was so grumpy that it was almost comical. He kept going back because he was so interested in the waiter, and he eventually developed Oscar the Grouch after him. The name of the restaurant was Oscar’s Tavern! See? Grouches can be inspiring!

How does one celebrate National Grouch Day, you might ask? Well, according to Oscar the Grouch’s recent Internet posting (yes, Oscar the Grouch posts online!) you should do the following:

  • When someone says, “Good morning!” respond with, “What’s good about it?!”
  • If asked, “How are you feeling?” reply with, “None of your business.”
  • When someone inquires, “What time is it?” tell them to go buy a watch.

Wait. What? That’s kind of mean! I know most of you are not naturally grouchy so celebrating this day might be tough. But everybody, even the nicest person in the world, gets grouchy sometimes. For today’s Writing Prompt, we want to know. . . .

GrouchyLet us know in the Comments below. And have a rotten day! Just kidding!

—Ratha, Stacks Writer

October 7, 2013

Goosebumps Scavenger Hunt

Posted by at 7:16 pm in Goosebumps, Trivia | Permalink

halloweenWith Halloween creeping up around the corner, we thought we’d summon up the spirit of spookiness by turning to the master of spookiness himself, R. L. Stine. We love his sinister site on the STACKS, so all the answers to this Scavenger Hunt can be uncovered on the Goosebumps site.  Ready? Dare ya!

1. Fill in the blanks: Night of the Living _______ and Say Cheese and ____ are two of R. L. Stine’s best-known titles.

2. How long does it take R. L. Stine to write a Goosebumps book? Hint: search under “Books & Audio” and “R. L. Stine.”

3. The HorrorLand series is set in a creepy _____________.

4. What does R. L. Stine give out at Halloween in addition to candy? Hint: read the R. L. Stine Q&A!

5. Play the Ghost Hotel game. How many ghosts did you get before time ran out?

6. Name your favorite episode from the Goosebumps TV show.

7. What’s the newest Goosebumps book out? Hint: There will be a Sneak Peek in Ink Splot 26 on Wednesday!

8. Watch “The Ghost Next Door” trailer clip in the TV/DVD section. (Click on the fuzzy TV screen). What happens at the very last moment?

Now scavenge through the Goosebumps site and leave your answers in the Comments below. Click here for the alarming answers!

—Ratha, Stacks Writer

October 4, 2013

2013 Halloween TV Specials

Posted by at 7:14 pm in Celebrities | Permalink

halloweenBOO! Halloween TV Specials to Scare Your Pants Off!

Ready for a fang-tastic Halloween? Whether you like to get the chills for Halloween . . . or just chill out, get in the mood by checking out this year’s wicked Halloween TV specials. Just so you know, the scarier ones are rated PG, so don’t watch those without your parents! Read on – if you dare.

Let’s start off the scary with Disney Channel’s “Monstober.” A few of the highlights:

A new series, which I am totally psyched for, Wolfblood (rated TV-PG)(every Tues/Wed/Thurs 8pm in October) about a high school teenage werewolf!

A.N.T. Farm, Dog with a Blog, Wander Over Yonder, and Phineas & Ferb all have Halloween episodes on Friday October 4th.

A new Jessie (October 5) has Jessie starting to see ghosts, and Emma and Luke taken over by spirits.

Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man (October 5) has Spidey and his friends attacked by evil vampires, led by Dracula.

Good Luck, Charlie and Liv & Maddie have new Halloween episodes (October 6). Shake It Up has CeCe and Rocky decide they’re too old for trick-or-treating, so they have a “Mature-o’ween” with more adult activities, such as knitting and watching tear-jerking movies. Let’s just say that doesn’t go so well, and they get back on track!

If you miss anything, there’s a marathon on October 31 from 4-10pm.

Looking for a nightmare on Nickelodeon? It all starts with their spooky new series Deadtime Stories (rated TV-PG)(Thursdays). Based on the popular book series, a bewitching babysitter reads kids bedtime tales that take a turn for terror. One episode features an antique mirror that makes your deepest wishes become your worst nightmare. Another one tells of an overnight camping trip where all the campers start disappearing one by one.

Sam & Cat (October 19) has the girls hired to babysit a doll . . . with creepy results.

The Haunted Hathaways (October 19) have a haunted Halloween party.

On the cartoon side, there’s SpongeBob SCAREPants (October 14) where SpongeBob and Patrick go to a horror film, only to be stalked by the villain.

And top your treats with a Fairly OddParents special (October 19) and Monster High: 13 Wishes movie premiere (October 25)

Woody and Buzz are back in Toy Story of Terror! (October 25). What starts out as a fun road trip for the toys turns terrifying when the trip detours to a roadside motel. Toys start disappearing, and the gang has to figure out what’s going on before they all suffer the same fate. If you miss it, it’ll be on Disney Channel too (October 25).

Need more chills? This year The Hub once again transforms into . . . The Haunted Hub. Look for the new cartoon series Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch (October 12) starring Ashley Tisdale as a half witch, half human. She goes to high school by day and sorcery school by night.

R. L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour (rated TV-PG)(October 12) also returns with episodes “Séance” bringing the dead back to life, and “Detention” where strange things happen to kids in school detention. New episodes all month!

Also Spooksville (rated TV-PG)(October 26) is a new series based on morbidly marvelous author Christopher Pike’s books. The new kid in town discovers he plays a part in the battle between good and evil, in the town’s supernatural occurrences.

AND – this is pretty cool – The Hub is having their first ever Halloween Bash Costume Contest (October 26). It’s kind of like Miss America, except with Halloween costumes!

ABC Family
October 19-31 is officially “The 13 Nights of Halloween” with movies like The Nightmare Before Christmas (rated PG), Teen Wolf (rated PG), Beetlejuice (rated PG), Scooby Doo/Scooby Doo 2 (rated PG).

Also specials like The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hallow and Dr. Seuss’ Halloween Is Grinch Night (both October 27).

Whew! And that’s a bag full of treats. Let us know what you’ll be watching. Happy Haunting!

—Ratha, Stacks Writer

October 1, 2013

Locker Personality Quiz Results

Posted by at 1:40 am in Personality Quiz | Permalink

trivia_quiz2Locker Personality Quiz Results

In last week’s Locker Personality Quiz we asked you questions to find out what kind of locker style you rock. Count up your answers and find out what your locker says about you!

Mostly A’s: Neat ‘N Tidy
You like your locker like your life – as organized as possible! You’re always on the go and you need to keep your schedule straight. If people call you a neat freak, you take it as a compliment! Your friends can always depend on you to know when homework is due, what time practice is, and what’s on the cafeteria menu. You study hard, get good grades, and are a great student. Your neat habits help you stay on top of things at school. A+!

Mostly B’s: Artistic Touch
Your locker is a work of art! You are creative and artsy, and you like to decorate it and fill it with style and memories. You might have photos of friends, magazine clippings, art you made, a magnetic Kleenex box – everything is arranged with thought. You might toss in clothes, books, and random food wrappers, but you make sure things don’t get too out of hand. You like to keep things fun at school, hang out at your locker with your friends, and your locker makes you happy. A+!

Mostly C’s: Athletic ‘N Sporty
You are a certified gym rat. You love sports and this carries over to your locker. Hanging inside might be posters of your favorite players and teams. You work hard and play hard. You balance school and sports, but being neat is not a priority for you. There are more important things in life, and sometimes the days go too fast to keep a totally neat locker! Between homework, practice, sports, friends, who has time? You still manage to get good grades and balance everything. A+!

Mostly D’s: Tech Wizard
You are a technology pro, and love your gadgets! You are obsessed with your iDevices, tablets, and computers. You may store your gadgets in your locker, but otherwise keep it neat and tidy. You might also have mini-posters of your favorite apps hung up: Angry Birds, Temple Run, Minecraft. Your friends text you (when allowed!) to meet up at your locker. You are good at figuring things out, building things, and have a mathematical mind. Your tech-savvy nature has you programmed for success. A+!

–Ratha, STACKS Staffer