Author Archives: Scholastic Media

June 13, 2013

Make a BIG Difference in Your Community!

Posted by at 2:39 pm in Kid Power | Permalink

BeBig130Make a BIG difference in your community!

Remember Clifford? Scholastic's favorite big, red dog may be a distant memory (or beloved favorite!), but did you ever think he could inspire to you serve your community? With the BE BIG In You Community Contest, he can!

It’s easy to be inspired by his BIG ideas and incorporate them into your life in big and small ways. Whether it's helping your sister with her homework, sharing your favorite book with a friend, or putting your garbage in the bin instead of on the ground, there are lots of ways to BE BIG. But if you have an even BIGGER idea, the 5th annual Clifford BE BIG In Your Community contest might be just right for you. You can enter for a chance to win a $5,000 grant* to bring your BIG idea to life! We’re looking for ideas, big and small that can make a difference in your community.

Need inspiration? Check out some of our past winners, young people from all over the country just like you who were inspired by our dog to make a big difference. If you love sports, you could create an athletic group like last year's grand prize winner, Zachary did. He established SNAP, a Special Needs Athletic Program offering sports clinics to children with autism and other disabilities.

In 2010, Will used baseball as inspiration for his winning idea, Hits Against Hunger. Will recruited over 100 elementary age kids to participate in the project and found sponsors to pledge $1 to the food bank for every hit made in their baseball season.

Skyler was only 9 years old when he entered and won the 2009 BE BIG In Your Community contest. Through his winning grant, Skyler created Kids Care Packs and gave them to children in homeless shelters and hospitals throughout San Diego. Kids Care Packs are hand-painted knapsacks filled with school supplies, toiletries, a healthy snack, a book, a toy, and a note of care and friendship.

With one week left until the contest closes, we are looking for more BIG ideas! If you have an idea on how to make a difference in your community, we want to hear about it! But hurry! The contest closes on June 23rd! And good luck!

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. One grand prize: $5,000 grant to support winner’s community project. Five first prizes: $1,000 grant to support winner’s community project. Total grants: $10,000. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. Contest ends June 23, 2013. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Subject to all applicable laws. For official rules, go to\cliffordbebig\contestrules.

TM & © 2013 Scholastic Inc. SCHOLASTIC and associated logos are trademarks of Scholastic Inc. CLIFFORD, EMILY ELIZABETH, CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG, CLIFFORD'S PUPPY DAYS, BE BIG!, and logos are trademarks and or registered trademarks of Norman Bridwell. All rights reserved.

April 25, 2013

National Volunteer Week

Posted by at 1:15 am in Kid Power | Permalink

BebigBE BIG during National Volunteer Week!

This week is National Volunteer Week, so what better time to discuss how you can make a BIG impact in your community? Service comes in lots of shapes and sizes, and can be as simple as helping your librarian put books back on the shelf, or as BIG as organizing a camp for young people with disabilities. BIG or small, what matters is that you are helping make your community a better place for everyone — and becoming a good citizen at the same time!

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April 12, 2012

BE BIG for National Volunteer Week!

Posted by at 5:21 am in Kid Power, News | Permalink

BebigBE BIG for National Volunteer Week, April 15-21!

Did you know that next week is National Volunteer Week? For more than 30 years, National Volunteer Week has been a time to celebrate people doing extraordinary things through service.

Service comes in lots of shapes and sizes and can be as simple as helping your librarian put books back on the shelf, or as BIG as organizing a camp for young people who stutter, just as Julie and her team did with the community grant their BIG Idea received in the 2011 Clifford BE BIG in Your Community Contest. Julie and her team put their grant money towards "Camp Shout Out," an overnight camp where young people who stutter can improve their communication skills while having fun in a camp setting. BIG or small, what matters is that you are helping make your community a better place for everyone! Julie Raynor__Camp Shout Out

HandsOn Network, Scholastic’s partner in the BE BIG Campaign, has action centers all over the country that can help you get involved in your community. 

Do you have a BIG Idea? Enter the 2012 Clifford BE BIG In Your Community Contest today for a chance to bring your BIG Idea to life with a $5,000 community grant! 

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United Sates and District of Columbia. Contest ends June 22, 2012. Void where prohibited. Subject to all applicable laws. See Official Rules for details.

October 31, 2011

I SPY Castle Nintendo Game

Posted by at 1:09 am in Games | Permalink

ISPYcastle I SPY Castle Nintendo DS Game (rated E)

Meet Sam, a producer of I SPY Castle Nintendo DS game, as he answers our questions about making this brand new game! Sam will give you a sneak peek at some exciting and unique features of this game, as well as a glimpse into the creativity behind bringing your favorite series to life on the DS screen.

Q: One unique feature of I SPY Castle is the castle environment. How did you come up with the ideas for the setting?
Sam: The setting for any I SPY game has to be immediately interesting. And it has to have cool rooms with lots of stuff in them so that you have places to hide things. A castle obviously has both of these things. Of course, creating a new setting meant that we didn’t have the I SPY book pages to give us direction, which was both a tremendous opportunity and a challenge.Story Riddle 3

Q: How did you come up with the ideas for the game narrative and story?
Sam: We started with the question, “What do kids want to do in a castle?” We imagined kids on vacation at a castle with their parents in modern times. What do they wish would happen? They want to find hidden rooms and ancient secrets. We thought about finding a lost treasure, but that felt too much like our I SPY Treasure Hunt game. We finally settled on a story about dragons where kids get to do something very, very cool at the end.

Q: Where did you get the inspiration for what the castle and each of the rooms would look like?
Sam: We looked at lots of web sites about castles, lots of floor plans, lots of castle books, and made a list of all the places that a kid would like to visit: an armory, a throne room, a princess’s bedroom, a dungeon, the top of the tower, the moat. Once we had the list, our lead designer created a floor plan.


Q: What was the most challenging part of working on I SPY Castle?
Sam: The art is almost always the most challenging part of an I SPY game because the books set such a high standard, and this is what sets I SPY games apart from other hidden object games. I’m proud of all the various, beautiful, clever scenes that the art team created.Shield Door Puzzle 5

Q: What makes I SPY Castle different from the other I SPY DS games?
Sam: I SPY Castle is the most story-intensive I SPY game that we’ve done. Most of the castle is closed at the beginning and you have to figure out how to open doors to hidden places, so the world of the game keeps getting bigger. There are really two storylines. You have a quest that you’re trying to complete in the present, and at the same time you’re finding out what happened in the castle a thousand years in the past.

Q: Do you have a favorite part of the I SPY Castle?
Sam: My favorite part is the mini-games that are hidden in every scene. You get to do things like shoot an arrow, train a falcon, mix a potion, and lots more.

–Amabel, Scholastic Media

UPDATE: The new I SPY Castle game will be one of the prizes in the STACKS Blast Sweepstakes! Sign up now so you can enter for a chance to win!

October 26, 2011

R.L. Stine Answers Your Questions!

Posted by at 3:00 am in Authors, Goosebumps | Permalink


A few weeks ago we asked you to write in your questions for the Master of Fright, Goosebumps author, R.L. Stine. He answered questions from 10 lucky readers, so read on to see if yours was chosen!

Q from SilverSnake: Which character do you think is most like you? Which character is most unlike you?
R.L. Stine: I like to think I’m like all my crazy characters—Slappy the dummy, who’s so rude and awful; Dr. Maniac; The Ooze; The Menace, the evil villain from HorrorLand. But in real life, I’m more like Evan, the poor kid who lets the Monster Blood loose and doesn’t have a clue how to defeat it.

Q from Raggweed: Since Goosebumps creeps me out, how can you not be scared, and keep making them? They freak even my older relatives out, so are you afraid of your own creations too?
R.L. Stine: Scary stuff NEVER scares me. Horror always makes me laugh instead. When I go to a scary movie, I don’t get scared—I just laugh. Same for writing Goosebumps books.

Q from Mysterygirl123: If you could be a monster for a day, what monster would you choose? Why? R.L. Stine: I would be a giant jellyfish from Deep Trouble because I like to swim a lot.

Q from ArtAthena13: What would you say to a kid who wants to be an author?
R.L. Stine: Write something every day. Keep a journal or a diary. And make sure you read a LOT!

Q from cnahk: Do you ever want to write something less scary?
R.L. Stine: I love writing funny books, too. That’s why I wrote the Rotten School book series. I also try to put a lot of funny stuff in Goosebumps.

Q from Niki: Who’s your favorite character? Why?
R.L. Stine: Slappy the evil dummy. I like writing all the insults and rude things he says to people.

Q from AstronomyAble3: Who is your inspiration and icon?
R.L. Stine: Many writers have inspired me. I think the sci-fi author Ray Bradbury was a big influence. Also, Rod Serling, who wrote The Twilight Zone.

Q from Lexi: Are you a prankster with scaring people?
R.L. Stine: No. Maybe I scared my little brother a few times when we were kids. But I’m not really into pranks and jokes. Too busy writing!

Q from CheerfulHeart15: What’s your favorite book of Goosebumps that you wrote? Were you good at telling ghost stories when you were young?
R.L. Stine: My favorite Goosebumps book is The Haunted Mask. I was too shy to tell ghost stories when I was a kid. I was a very quiet kid.

Q from OreoPie09: How do you come up with such creepy stuff and do you believe in ghosts?
R.L. Stine: I don’t know where the ideas come from. I’ve never seen a ghost—but I keep looking!

Q from Megan: Would you ever consider doing like a Nancy Drew type of book series for girls?
Q from Georgia: When you do your next book why not call it Zombieland?!
Q from NinjaCobra1: Why don’t you make a Goosebumps book about a boy who likes scary movies, and finds out that all the monsters are coming to life?
Nice ideas. Thanks for the suggestions.
– R.L.

October 19, 2011

Create a Caption: Goosebumps

Thrills & Chills! With the weather getting chilly and daylight hours getting shorter, it’s almost that time of year again. . . Halloween! From all the talk in the hallways about what costumes to wear, to the snarling jack-o-lanterns guarding the neighbors’ front porches, Halloween preparations are well under way!

For those of you who are looking for more frightful fun than “trick-or-treat,” October is the perfect month to pick up your favorite scary stories, or sink your teeth into some new ones for an added chill factor! Leave it to Goosebumps to get you in the mood for the thrills and chills of the season.

Get your terrifying creative hats on and write a caption for the Goosebumps picture below of Slappy, the trouble-making ventriloquist dummy.

Dare to get Goosebumps? Post your caption in the Comments below.

—Amabel, Scholastic Media

October 15, 2011

Magic School Bus 25th Anniversary

Posted by at 10:47 am in News | Permalink

MagicSchoolBus Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of The Magic School Bus at Scholastic makes me think a lot about how much Ms. Frizzle and the bus influenced me growing up. In school, my favorite teachers always reminded me of Ms. Frizzle. OK — sometimes it was because of their really crazy hair — but usually it was the way they got me excited about learning, or even special field trips they would plan just for my class (the BEST kinds of field trips).

Even hearing a bus honk now takes me back to 5th grade science when we would watch the show or read the book in class and then talk about what the Friz and her class found inside of Ralphie, why our school bus couldn’t take us to outer space, or the importance of preserving ecosystems. The Magic School Bus made science so much easier to learn because it made everything so fun.

Seeing or reading The Magic School Bus makes me remember about my favorite classes and teachers. What does The Magic School Bus make YOU think of? Leave a Comment with your favorite Magic School Bus memories.

— Caitlin, Scholastic Media Staffer

October 12, 2011

Hall of Horrors: Why I Quit Zombie School

Posted by at 10:31 am in Goosebumps, Reads | Permalink

Zombie Great news for fans of R.L. Stine! Book #4 of his new series, Hall of Horrors, is out.

Why I Quit Zombie School
Matt was never a superstar in school, but he’s definitely the most energetic and quick-witted student here. But what’s up with the others? His suspicions are finally confirmed when Franny, his new friend, asks, “How long have you been dead?” To his horror, Matt realizes his parents have unknowingly enrolled him in a zombie school. When Matt overhears the zombie plans to march and claim the whole city for the undead, he has to make a frightening choice: protect himself and continue his charade, or reveal his aliveness and try to save the unsuspecting alive people in the town.

Here are the other books in the new series so far:
Book 1: Claws
Mickey and Amanda are put in charge of their vacationing neighbors’ cat, Bella. But Bella escapes from the house and disappears. Amanda has an idea to replace the cat with a look-alike from the local pet store, Cat Heaven. They find a cat that looks exactly like Bella, but the clerk won’t sell it to them, so they decide to steal it. Big mistake! These cats are more than they seem to be.

Book 2: Night of the Giant Everything
When 11-year-old Steven Sweeney is tricked into drinking a strange mixture of chemicals by his classmates, things begin to get strange. Either his toothbrush is growing, or he is shrinking! Will he be able to make it through the day and return to his original size?

Book 3: The Five Masks of Dr. Screem
It’s Halloween and Monica Anderson is out Trick-or-Treating with her younger brother. They knock on the door of an old, creepy house and are met by a strange woman who pleads for their help. Every year she must battle for the control of five sacred masks with the evil Dr. Screem. These artifacts have the power to manipulate the world around them. Monica doesn’t want to help at first but then Screem bursts in and steals the masks. This sets her and her brother off on a Halloween mission that will change their lives forever!

What do you think of R.L. Stine’s new Hall of Horrors series? Let us know in the Comments!

October 3, 2011

Magic School Bus: Dinosaurs iPad App

Posted by at 1:54 am in Games | Permalink


The Magic School Bus 25th Anniversary!

The Magic School Bus: In the Time of Dinosaurs was one of my favorite books growing up, combining my love for some Frizzle Sizzle and absolute obsession with dinosaurs (Is there anything cooler?). So imagine how excited I was when I found out that Scholastic was turning it into an interactive book app for the iPad, The Magic School Bus: Dinosaurs

But what goes into turning a beloved book into an app?

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