Author Archives: scholastickids

May 5, 2016

Baseball Books

Posted by at 1:37 am in Reads | Permalink

Baseball Books for Kids Aged 7-12

The Hero Two Doors Down: A Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend by Sharon Robinson for Ages 8-12
Based on the true story of a boy in Brooklyn who became neighbors and friends with his hero, Jackie Robinson. The year is 1948, and Stephen Satlow, a local Jewish boy, is an avid Brooklyn Dodgers’ fan but a mediocre athlete, at best. When Jackie Robinson moves into his predominantly Jewish neighborhood and befriends Steve, his status changes instantly.
Their bond deepens when Jackie commits a well-intentioned blunder. He mistakenly gives Steve’s family a Christmas tree. As the tension clears, acceptance of Jackie’s gift of the tree becomes symbolic of two families from different religious and cultural backgrounds finding common ground. The friendship between the two families grows over the next few decades, when enormous social changes sweep the nation.

Little Rhino #1: My New Team by Ryan Howard and Krystle Howard; Illustrated by Erwin Madrid for Ages 7–10
From Major League Baseball superstar Ryan Howard and his wife, Krystle, this exciting new series is a fun read for sports and book fans alike.One afternoon, after a long day of second grade, Little Rhino comes home to find out that Grandpa James has signed him up for a baseball league. Little Rhino will finally be a part of a team. But Little Rhino will quickly learn that it is not always so easy to be a good teammate, especially when there’s a bully wearing the same uniform as you. See also the other Little Rhino books.

The Way Home Looks Now by Wendy Wan-Long Shang for Ages 8–12
Twelve-year-old Peter Lee and his family are baseball lovers who bond over back lot games and talk of the Pittsburgh Pirates. But when tragedy strikes, the family flies apart and baseball no longer seems to matter. Is that true? Peter wonders if just maybe the game they love can pull them together and bring them back, safe at home.

Game Changers #3: Heavy Hitters by Mike Lupica for Ages 8-12
Ben and his friends, the Core Four Plus One, are so excited to play in their town’s All-Star Baseball league. But in the first game of the season, Ben gets hit by a pitch. It’s never happened to him before and it shakes him up. Another player on Ben’s team, Justin, is acting really strange. Ben has known Justin for a while and they’re friendly, but he’s not one of Ben’s closest “boys.” Justin is the team’s best hitter, but his behavior on and off the field is erratic.
Ben discovers that Justin’s parents are getting a divorce and Justin is thinking about quitting the team. Like good teammates do, Justin helps Ben deal with his hitting issues while Ben is there for his friend while his family is struggling.

42: The Jackie Robinson Story by Aaron Rosenberg for Ages 8-12
This novel is based on the movie 42—a biopic about Jackie Robinson’s history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers as the first African American Major League Baseball player.

Champ by Marcia Thornton Jones for Ages 7-10
Riley is awful at sports. He wants to quit the baseball team, but his dad won’t let him give up. So when one bad swing brings a three-legged dog into his life, Riley feels like he’s been thrown a curveball. How can he take care of a dog and make his dad proud? Champ is a former champion show dog. But when the accident that leaves him with Riley also leaves him with three legs, this dog has to learn some new tricks. Can Champ show Riley that winning doesn’t always mean coming in first? Together, Riley and Champ make a great team, but not everyone thinks so. Could they be separated?

Down to the Last Out: The Journal of Biddy Owens, The Negro Leagues by Walter Dean Myers for Ages 8-12
Seventeen-year-old Biddy Owens is part of the Birmingham Black Barons baseball team and dreams of becoming a Major League Baseball player. However, in 1948 most black players can only play for the Negro Leagues. Jackie Robinson has just recently integrated and is playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers, but the white owners are reluctant to add too many blacks to their rosters. The Birmingham Black Barons are some of the best players in the league. But as they travel around playing ball, Biddy realizes that not everyone is ready for blacks and whites to play on the same team. Can Biddy prove he’s good enough to be part of the game he loves, no matter what color his skin is?

Plunked by Michael Northrop for Ages 8-12
When a young slugger gets hit by a pitch, he needs more than practice to get back his game.
Jack Mogens thinks he’s got it all figured out: he has his batting routine down, and now that he’s in sixth grade, he has a lock on a starting spot in Little League. (Well, almost. Okay, not really. It’s a two-man race, though, so he has a shot.) And if he can manage to have a not-totally-embarrassing conversation with Katie, his team’s killer shortstop, he’ll be golden. But when a powerful stray pitch turns his world upside down, Jack discovers it’s going to take more than a love of baseball to get back his game.

April 27, 2016

Twisted Fairy Tales

Posted by at 1:13 am in Reads | Permalink

I love all fairy tales whether they are books, movies, plays, or even ballets! From Frozen to Sisters Grimm, to Swan Lake, I love it all. The fairy tales in this list are a bit . . . twisted. They are based on the original stories, but then there is some kind of twist to make it different and interesting.

Big Bad Detective Agency by Bruce Hale for Ages 7–10
The houses of all Three (not-so-) Little Pigs were broken into and ransacked, and the Pigs are squealing for justice. So Prince Tyrone, ruler of Fairylandia, drags in the obvious suspect: Wolfgang.

The lone wolf has big teeth, sharp claws, no alibi—and a single day to find the real culprit and clear his big bad name. When Wolf (reluctantly) teams up with the fourth Little Pig to crack the case, the Big Bad Detective Agency—and an adventure way funnier than your average fairy tale—is born!

Tyme #1: Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel by Megan Morrison for Ages 8–12
In all of Tyme, from the Redlands to the Grey, no one is as lucky as Rapunzel. She lives in a magic tower that obeys her every wish; she reads wonderful books starring herself as the heroine; her hair is the longest, most glorious thing in the world. And she knows this because Witch tells her so—her beloved Witch, who protects her from evil princes, the dangerous ground under the tower, even unhappy thoughts. Rapunzel can’t imagine any other life.

Then a thief named Jack climbs into her room to steal one of her enchanted roses. He’s the first person Rapunzel’s ever met who isn’t completely charmed by her (well, the first person she’s met at all, really), and he is infuriating—especially when he hints that Witch isn’t telling her the whole truth. Driven by anger at Jack and her own nameless fears, Rapunzel descends to the ground for the first time, and finds a world filled with more peril than Witch promised . . . and more beauty, wonder, and adventure than she could have dreamed.

Whatever After: Beauty Queen by Sarah Mlynowski for Ages 8-12
This time, the magic mirror sucks Abby and Jonah into the story of Beauty and the Beast. When the siblings accidentally mess up this enchanting and magical tale, hijinks and hilarity ensue . . . and things get pretty ugly! See also the other books in the Whatever After series.

Grimmtastic Girls #6: Goldilocks Breaks In by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams for Ages 8–12
Goldilocks wants everything in her life to be just right, but sometimes at Grimm Academy, there are too many choices. When she sneaks into Grimmstone Library after hours, she’ll have to make a tough decision if she wants to discover her magic charm! See also the other Grimmtastic books.

Twice Upon a Time #1: Rapunzel, the One With All the Hair by Wendy Mass for Ages 8-12
Rapunzel is having the ultimate bad day. She’s been stolen from home by an evil witch, locked in an incredibly high tower, and doesn’t even have a decent brush for her hair. Prince Benjamin is in a pretty uncomfortable situation himself. His father wants him to be more kingly, his mother wants him to never leave her sight, and his cousin wants to get him into as much trouble as possible. Plus, there’s the little matter of prearranged marriages. . . . Both Rapunzel and Prince Benjamin are trapped—in very different ways. It’s only when their paths cross, that things really start to change. Also available: Twice Upon a Time #2: Sleeping Beauty, The One Who Took the Really Long Nap. Twice Upon a Time #3: Beauty and the Beast, the Only One Who Didn’t Run Away

If you love fairy tales like I do, try these books and tell me what you think in the Comments.

Sonja

April 19, 2016

Mythical Monsters Trivia Quiz

Posted by at 1:34 pm in Trivia | Permalink

percyjackson2_130Quiz: How well do you know mythical monsters?

Percy Jackson fans should get all of these right!

1. According to Greek Mythology, this creature is half-man, half-horse: A) Centaur B) Minotaur C) Griffin D) Satyr

2. This creature is a giant with only one eye in the middle of its forehead: A) Troll B) Medusa C) Goblin D) Cyclops

3. A half-woman, half-fish is called a mermaid. The male version is known as a: A) Siren B) Merman C) Fishman D) Waterman

4. Which of these monsters can be stopped with a silver bullet? A) Werewolves B) Zombies C) Creepers D) None of the above

5. Which of these items won’t help you keep away vampires? A) Garlic B) A cross C) Gold D) A wooden stake

6. This creature has multiple heads, and if one is cut off, two will grow in its place: A) Ogre B) Cerebus C) The Chimera D) The Hydra

7. Which of these cultures has myths about dragons? A) Chinese B) European C) Indian D) All of the above

8. Bram Stoker is the author of which classic monster novel? A) Dracula B) Frankenstein C) War of the Worlds D) The Invisible Man

9. If you looked Medusa directly in the eyes, you would . . .  A) melt. B) explode. C) turn to stone. D) turn into a snake.

10. The Egyptian statue of this mythical creature is famously missing its nose: A) The Leviathan B) The Great Sphinx C) The Behemoth D) A Dragon

Read on for the answers! Continue reading

April 14, 2016

At-Home Science Experiments

Posted by at 12:55 pm in Games | Permalink

Science Experiments Kids Can Do at Home

If you’re looking for something fun to do, here are some very cool (and very messy) science experiments you can do at home!

Make Slime!
There are two ways to get slimed. One is to become a teen sensation and get slimed on the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. The other (and much easier) way is to just make it at home. If your parents ask why you want to make slime, you can say it’s because you’re researching polymers, which you technically are. Polymers are substances that behave like both a solid and a liquid simultaneous, a characteristic that gives Slime its gooeyness.

Here’s how you do it: In a small bowl drop a big glop of Elmer’s glue (about 1 inch worth). Then add three tablespoons to the bowl and stir it up. Add food coloring until you get the color you want. Then take a small glass, fill it with water, and mix in a tablespoon of Borax powder. (If you can’t find Borax at your local store, you can order it online.) Now stir the Borax mixture into the bowl and in a few seconds you’ll have slime!

The Diet Soda/Mentos Trick!
Want to make soda explode and tell people you’re studying chemistry at the same time? If you don’t mind making a bit of a mess, you can!

First, go outside with one bottle of diet soda. Then drop in a Mint Mentos candy and wait a few moments. Suddenly, you’ll have a geyser of soda shooting up to the sky.

Now it’s time to get science-y. The reason this works is because the carbon dioxide in carbonated soda is slightly unstable. When a Mentos dissolves, it causes a chemical reaction that makes the C02 want to separate from the soda, forcing it to shoot violently out of the bottle. For this experiment to work you have to use diet soda because regular sugary soda doesn’t react this way.

Now you know a couple of cool science experiments to perform. Wow! Science is messy!

April 14, 2016

Extreme Sports Trivia Quiz

Posted by at 1:48 am in Games, Trivia | Permalink

Quiz: How well do you know extreme sports?

1. Which of these events is NOT in the Summer X  Games? A) Motorcross Best Trick B) Rally Car Racing C) BMX Freestyle Big Air D) Monoski

2. Which of these athletes made history when he became the first person to pull of a “double backflip in freestyle motorcross” at the X Games? A) Tony Hawk B) Travis Pastrana C) Torstein Horgmo D) Shaun White

3. The first Winter X Games took place in which of these California locations. Remember, for the winter games, there must be snow and mountains! A) Los Angeles B) Palm Springs C) Santa Barbara D) Big Bear

4. B.A.S.E. jumping is an extremely dangerous sport where adventure-seekers jump from very high objects while wearing a parachute or wingsuit. What do you think B.A.S.E. stands for? A) Building, Antenna, Span, Earth B) Broken Ankle, Sore Everything C) Be Adventurous, Seek Excitement D) Bold And Somewhat Extreme

5. Which of these weird words is actually a term used in the world of skateboarding? A) Fakie B) Blorg C) Pring D) Norno

6. Which of these is NOT a competitive snowboarding event? A) Slope Style B) Rail Jam C) Slalom D) Slide Rule

7. Which of these forms of surfing does not require any additional equipment? A) Wind Surfing B) Kite Surfing C) Body Surfing D) Surfing the Net

8. From approximately what altitude does a skydiver usually jump? A) 12,500 feet B) 50,000 feet C) 102,000 feet D) 80,000 feet

9. Which of these extreme athletes has broken over 50 bones in his lifetime? A) Mat Hoffman B) Shaun White C) Tony Hawk D) Kelly Slater

10. True or False? “Smearing” is when a climber uses his foot to press down on a foothold.

Read on for the answers! Continue reading

April 13, 2016

Anime Trivia Quiz

Posted by at 1:37 am in Movies & TV, Trivia | Permalink

My Neighbor TortoroQuiz: How well do you know anime?

1. In 2002, this became the first full-length anime movie to win an Oscar: A) My Neighbor Totoro (rated G) B) Kiki’s Delivery Service (rated G) C) Spirited Away (rated PG) D) Howl’s Moving Castle (rated PG)

2. Which anime artist is often referred to as the “Walt Disney of Japan?” A) Hayao Miyazaki B) Rumiko Takahashi C) Toshio Suzuki D) Satoshi Kon

3. This classic TV series is credited for starting the anime craze in the 1960s: A) Scooby Doo B) Astro Boy C) Voltron D) Dragon Ball

4. Which of these animated series was created by Nintendo and based on a video game? A) Bakugan B) Digimon C) Sailor Moon D) Pokémon

5. Which of these anime-styled cartoons is actually made in the U.S., not Japan? A) Avatar: The Last Airbender B) Pokémon C) Yu-Gi-Oh! D) Dragon Ball Z

6. The act of dressing up as your favorite anime characters is called: A) Animate Me B) Fan Wear C) Cosplay D) Anime Style

7. This movie made more money in the U.S. than any other anime: A) Pokémon: The Movie (rated G) B) Ponyo (rated G) C) The Secret World of Arrietty (rated G) D) Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie (rated PG)

8. Pokémon’s trio of bungling baddies, Team Rocket, is made up of Jessie, James, and A) Mew B) Meowth B) Mewtwo C) Squirtle

9. In Bakugan Battle Brawlers, Dan’s friend Drago has which attribute? A) Aquos B) Darkus C) Haos D) Pyrus

10. Which of these anime did not first start out as a manga (a Japanese comic book)? A) Yu Gi Oh! B) Dragon Ball C) Princess Mononoke (for ages 12 and up) D) Sailor Moon

Read on for the answers! Continue reading

April 12, 2016

Reverse Graffiti

Posted by at 1:45 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

reverse graffitiWhat Is Reverse Graffiti?

You have probably seen traditional graffiti where artists use spray paint to draw a picture or write words on a public space. Reverse graffiti is a method of creating temporary images by removing dirt from a space. You know how you can use your finger to write “Wash me” on a dirty window? That’s reverse graffiti, and some artists have taken it to a whole other level by using a cloth or a power washer to remove dirt on a larger scale and create some incredible artwork.

Because reverse graffiti is temporary, biodegradable, and no toxic ink or paints are used to create it, reverse graffiti is considered more environmentally friendly than spray paint graffiti. Although, that is debatable especially if the artist uses chemical cleaners to create the image. It may also be a waste of water since it takes a lot of water to clean off the dirt.

Spray paint graffiti is considered vandalism, and is definitely illegal if you don’t have permission, but it’s not clear whether reverse graffiti is illegal. Is it vandalism to clean a wall? Some people think so, especially if they don’t like the image created on the wall.

While there are still environmental and legal questions about reverse graffiti, there is no question that some of the artwork being created is amazing! What do you think of reverse graffiti? Tell us in the Comments.

Flickr photo by KylaBorg

April 10, 2016

SPONSORED POST The BFG Movie

Posted by at 3:44 pm in Movies & TV | Permalink

BFGHow Whoopsey-Splunkers! It’s the BFG!

On July 1, 2016, Disney’s The BFG opens in theaters across the United States. From the world’s greatest storytellers—Roald Dahl, Walt Disney, and Steven Spielberg—Dahl’s beloved novel The BFG comes to life. Watch the spellbinding trailer.

bfg trailer

Directed by Spielberg from a screenplay by Melissa Mathison, The BFG tells the story of a young orphaned girl from London named Sophie (played by Ruby Barnhill) who learns about the wonders and perils of Giant Country after she starts hanging out with—what else—a big friendly giant (the BFG!). Sophie is a bit freaked out at first because, well, it’s a giant.

But the BFG is a gentle soul! He’s just a really TALL gentle soul.

Like more than 20 feet tall.

The BFG teaches Sophie all about dreams and a land called Dream Country. In fact, in Dream Country he collects dreams, stores them in jars, and sends them to children just like her so that they can enjoy them at bedtime. And they’re good dreams—far less frightening than the nine human-hunting other giants who roam Giant Country. YIKES.

The BFG author Roald Dahl is also the writer behind classics such as Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And in the book that’s coming to the big screen, Dahl uses his very own made-up language—built of words like “catasterous,” “hopscotchy,” and more—that we call “Gobblefunk.” It’s named after the BFG’s instruction to Sophie: “Don’t gobblefunk around with words.” This year, we celebrate 100 years of masterful storytelling from Roald Dahl!

Dahl came up with his big, friendly character for a short story before writing the novel. He told the story of his giant to his own children long before he’d begun to write drafts of it on a big yellow legal pad. Dahl carried a notebook or pad with him at all times and called it an “Ideas Book.” He scribbled down ideas and sometimes would not revisit them for many years. When he got around to it, he’d return to those ideas, polishing draft after draft before coming up with an exciting finished story like The BFG!

Do you like to write stories? Have any writing tips to share? Share your Comments below.

This blog post is sponsored by Disney.

April 7, 2016

Children's Choice Book Awards

Posted by at 12:39 pm in Kid Power | Permalink

childrens choice book awardsVoting for the Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards is now open!

The Children’s Book Council and Every Child A Reader launched the Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards program in 2008 to provide YOU a chance to voice your opinions about the books you love. It’s the only national book awards program where the winning titles are chosen by kids and teens!

Voting is open until April 25!