September 23, 2014
It is officially fall!
Yesterday was the September Equinox, when day and night are almost the same length all around the world — about 12 hours. The word “equinox” actually means equal night. So in the Northern Hemisphere, today is officially the first day of autumn. From now until the December Solstice, the days will get shorter and colder.
Would you rather . . .
- Go apple picking OR play in a big pile of leaves?
- Have longer days in summer and shorter days in winter OR have equal days and nights year-round?
- Have 12 hours of sunlight a day OR 20 hours of sunlight a day?
- Live in a place with spectacular fall foliage OR live in a place that is warm year-round?
- Be a cheerleader OR a football player?
- Spend half the year in the Underworld like Persephone OR spend all year in our world?
- Eat mooncakes OR caramel apples?
- Rake leaves for 4 hours OR carry a 10-pound pumpkin across a pumpkin patch?
- Eat a summer-licious ice cream sundae OR a warm, cinnamon-y slice of autumn apple pie?
What are your favorite autumn traditions, or your favorite things about fall? Tell us in the Comments. And take our Autumn Trivia Quiz to test your fall season smarts.
September 17, 2014
A Couple (or More) of My Favorite Things: A Highly Persuasive Article by Maggie B.
I love reading. I also love drawing. This makes graphic novels a combination of two favorites of mine. They are books, but the artwork within ensures that by reading any graphic novel, you are seeing the exact story an author imagined. Every character and event (fictional or otherwise) is portrayed in a way the graphic novelist wanted to show it to you.
Furthermore, art and words cannot always represent everything their creator wants them to. As a duo, however, they are unstoppable! One can give the general idea while the other elaborates, or both words and pictures can work together to become something they couldn’t be on their own, working in tandem to give an idea as well as the meaning behind it.
Most importantly, reading a graphic novel is lots of fun! I can be a reader and a viewer, given a window into someone’s mind. Graphic novels are different from any other type of book because there is a perfect graphic novel for everyone. There are graphic novel biographies, fantasies, romances, science fiction stories, and almost anything else you could think of. There may even be a graphic novel adaptation of your favorite book!
I think everyone should try reading a graphic novel; you might fall in love with them like I did.
Maggie, Scholastic Kids Council
September 4, 2014
I’d like to introduce you to 10 kids who will be special contributors to the STACKS this year. Please welcome the 2014-15 Scholastic Kids Council!
Look for more to come from these kids this year!
September 3, 2014
100% Kid-Approved Book Recommendations
As you probably know, STACKers love to read, so today we are featuring a book recommended by one of YOU! FriendlyMonkey10 recommends “a book that you have to read!!!” It’s Wonder by R.J. Palacio (for ages 8-12). Have you read this book? What did you think?
Read on for FriendlyMonkey’s review. . .
Read Wonder by R.J. Palacio!!!!!!!!!! If you have not read this book, pick it up at the library and read it now!!! It’s a touching story about a boy named Auggie Pullman that was born with a facial deformity. Due to his frequent surgeries, he is homeschooled. For fifth grade though, he won’t be attending homeschool anymore. Because of his face, Auggie faces rudeness, mean comments, etc. . . Can Auggie convince everyone that he is just like them even with his appearance and how will he do that? To figure out the answers, read the book!!!!
Do you agree with FriendlyMonkey10? Leave a Comment or go to the Reading Buzz Message Board to join the discussion about this book.
August 20, 2014
Loot by Jude Watson (for ages 9-12)
LOSERS, WEEPERS. STEALERS, KEEPERS.
When Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series, says a book is “the perfect summer read,” you know it’s got to be good! He loves Loot, an action-packed heist book by The 39 Clues author Jude Watson.
Loot starts when March McQuin’s criminal father, Alfie, falls off a high rooftop in a heist gone wrong. As Alfie speaks his last words, he manages to tell March to “find jewels.” But March soon learns that “jewels” is actually “Jules” — a twin sister he’s never heard of!
After finding each other, March and Jules plan to follow their father’s footsteps and find a new life for themselves. With just one well-planned heist, the two could be living beyond their wildest dreams! The only question is how? It all becomes clear when March begins to discover hints his father left behind…
Watch the video preview.
Would you have the courage to pull off a heist like March and Jules? What friends would you take along the way? Post your answers in the Comments below!
August 17, 2014
The Lowdown on the Secret Kingdom Series (for ages 7-10)
Have you read the Secret Kingdom series? If you haven’t heard about these magical books, here’s everything you need to know to get started:
The girls in charge: Ellie, Summer, and Jasmine! These three best friends find an enchanted box that whisks them away to a place called the Secret Kingdom, where they go on amazing adventures and have to save the day from . . .
the villain, better known as Queen Malice. She lives on a grey thundercloud, so you can imagine how mean she is! She is constantly trying to take over the Secret Kingdom and she makes everyone who lives there simply miserable, especially her brother . . .
the good guy. King Merry is just a happy royal with a knack for inventing magical things. He wants the best for all his loving citizens, but unfortunately, he’s often forgetful and gets confused easily.
Luckily, Ellie, Summer, and Jasmine don’t have to save the Secret Kingdom alone – they have Trixi the Pixie to cast spells and help them defeat Queen Malice!
To read an exclusive excerpt from their first adventure in the Secret Kingdom, click here.
If you love it as much as we think you will, you’ll be happy to know there are LOTS more books in the series! Look for Book 2: Unicorn Valley, and help Ellie, Summer, and Jasmine save the Secret Kingdom yet again!
August 14, 2014
100% Kid-Approved Book Recommendations
As you probably know, STACKers love to read, so today we are featuring a book recommended by one of YOU! DolphinRed228 recommends The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney (for ages 7-10). Have you read this book? Have you read the other books in the Humphrey series? What did you think?
Read on for DolphinRed’s review. . .
Hi. I am writing to tell you about the book The World According to Humphrey. The book is about a hamster that a teacher adopted. The hamster is very smart and he talks, but not to the characters that are in the story. When he talks, they just hear squeak-squeak-squeak, or something like that. The book is really cool because the hamster talks about his life. There is a lock on his cage, but what the other characters don’t know is that it really doesn’t lock. He meets a lot of friends on the way and some of them are pretty funny. I think you should read this book because it is really funny, and it’s just a really good book.
Do you agree with DolphinRed228? Leave a Comment or go to the Reading Buzz Message Board to join the discussion about this book.
August 12, 2014
Top 5 things I learned while writing Surrounded by Sharks (for ages 12 and up)
By Michael Northrop
I’ve always been fascinated by sharks and have been a devoted viewer of Shark Week since it first aired in 1987, but even I was surprised by some of the things I discovered when I waded into the research for my latest book.
- Sharks are nature’s true smelling machines. Unlike bloodhounds and the owners of the world’s other notable noses, sharks don’t breathe through their nostrils. They use them for only one thing: finding food (and, okay, the occasional mate).
- Sharks’ senses are all sharp, but the one they use up close is a sort of underwater spider-sense. They can detect even the tiniest electrical charges in the water, as small as five one-billionths of a volt. If a fish swims by, the shark can sense its bioelectric field, each flick of its tail and beat of its heart.
- In the book, Davey stays afloat with the help of a discarded water cooler bottle. About ten million tons of plastic make their way into the ocean each year. And, fictional flotation devices aside, they serve absolutely no purpose other than pollution.
- The cool stripes that give tiger sharks their name fade out as they reach adulthood. As with humans, it’s the young ones that have all the style!
- While sharks get all the attention, riptides are the real killers at the beach. Over the past ten years, rip currents have killed an estimated one hundred people annually in the US alone. That’s more than floods, tornadoes, lightning, or hurricanes. Sharks are responsible for about one fatality every two years, fewer than fireworks, roller coasters, or falling vending machines.
August 6, 2014
What’s the Big Deal About Summer Reading?
You have probably heard over and over again how important it is to keep reading during the summer while you’re not in school. If you haven’t heard this before, well then let me be the first person to tell you summer reading is important, people! You SHOULD read over the summer while you’re not in school!
We asked 2 very special Scholastic authors why this is true. Gordon Korman is the author of the Swindle series, a few books in The 39 Clues series, and, like, a million other books. He published his first book when he was 14 years old! David Shannon is the author of picture books such as Alice the Fairy, A Bad Case of Stripes, and No, David!
Q: What is the top reason kids should read over the summer?
Gordon Korman: I think reading is kind of a self-feeding cycle — the more you read, the more you WANT to read. But when I write, my goal is primarily to entertain my readers. So my top reason kids should read over the summer is for fun.
David Shannon: To keep from becoming a slug! Reading keeps your imagination running in a way that TV and video games can’t. It works out your brain but relaxes your body, and those are both good things. There’s more down time in the summer, too, and you can read whatever you want.
So there you have it. Have fun and don’t be a slug! READ! When you do, you can log your minutes and be eligible for prizes in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. Leave a Comment to tell us why YOU love summer reading, and whether or not you agree with these authors’ advice.
August 1, 2014
Find out what these stars are reading this summer.
We are always curious/nosy to know what people are reading. You never know where your next favorite book will come from. So we asked a few stars of Disney shows to tell us what they are reading this summer. Here’s what they said . . .
Francesca Capaldi from Dog With a Blog is reading Cupcake Cousins by Kate Hannigan.
Calum Worthy from Austin and Ally is reading Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. Really?
Maddy Whitby from Radio Disney’s Morgan & Maddy in the Morning is re-reading the Harry Potter series.
Leave a Comment and let us know what YOU are reading this summer!
Photos courtesy Disney Channel