March 10, 2016
Adventure! Laughter! Rhinoceros Beetles!
Darkus Cuttle’s dad mysteriously goes missing from his job as Director of Science at the Natural History Museum. Vanished without a trace! From a locked room! So Darkus moves in with his eccentric Uncle Max and next door to Humphrey and Pickering, two lunatic cousins with an enormous beetle infestation.
Darkus soon discovers that the beetles are anything but ordinary. They’re an amazing, intelligent super species and they’re in danger of being exterminated. It’s up to Darkus and his friends to save the beetles. But they’re up against an even more terrifying villain–the mad scientist of fashion, haute couture villainess Lucretia Cutter.
Lucretia has an alarming interest in insects and dastardly plans for the bugs. She won’t let anyone or anything stop her, including Darkus’s dad, whom she has locked up in her dungeons! The beetles and kids join forces to rescue Mr. Cuttle and thwart Lucretia.
Beetle Boy is the story of a brilliant boy, his loyal friends, and some amazingly intelligent beetles.
Read an excerpt.
Watch a video with the author.
March 9, 2016
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book Review
Out of the books I picked to be my favorite over time, the very best is the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. I like these books the best because they are really funny, are an easy read, have entertaining artwork, and they relate to the real world and how you are feeling as a middle schooler sometimes.
The books are about a boy named Greg who has a troublesome older brother and an annoying little brother. They are funny because Greg gets blamed for everything his little brother, Manny, does. His older brother, Rodrick, gets in a lot of trouble, but the blame always ends up on Greg.
Those are some reasons why the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series are the books that I enjoy the most.
Leah, Scholastic Kids Council
March 4, 2016
Justin Bieber Trivia Quiz
How well do you know Justin Bieber?
- Which of these songs is NOT a Justin Bieber song? A) “Baby” B) “Boyfriend” C) “Love Me” D) “Hate Me”
- What has Justin Bieber been quoted as saying he suffers from? A) Claustrophobia B) Arachnophobia C) Fear of snakes D) Fear of floods
- Which of these superstar musicians was the first to sign Justin to a record deal? A) Jon Bon Jovi B) Usher C) Kanye West D) Rihanna
- Who was Justin’s girlfriend? A) Selena Gomez B) Miranda Cosgrove C) Miley Cyrus D) Demi Lovato
- Where is Justin from? A) America B) Switzerland C) Canada D) England
- What website was responsible for getting Justin noticed by talent managers? A) YouTube B) Facebook C) Twitter D) Snapchat
- Which of these record labels signed Justin first? A) Def Jam Records B) Universal C) Sony D) Justin Records
- True or False? Justin writes a lot of his own music?
- Which of these instruments does Justin play? A) Trumpet B) Piano C) Guitar D) Drums E) All of the above
- Which of these singers was in a bidding war with Usher to sign Justin when he was just twelve years old? A) Taylor Swift B) Bobby Brown C) Michael Jackson D) Justin Timberlake
Read on for the answers. Continue reading
March 3, 2016
Are you ready for St. Patrick’s Day?
On March 17, everyone wears green and becomes a little bit Irish to celebrate old Saint Patrick. Here are a few other things for you to do to celebrate your Irish heritage (whether real or fake)!
What is your favorite thing about St. Patrick’s Day? Tell us in the Comments.
March 2, 2016
Check out the cover of Captain Underpants creator Dav Pilkey’s new graphic novel!
George and Harold have created a new hero who digs into deception, claws after crooks, and rolls over robbers. He’s half man, half dog, and all cop! This heroic hound has a real nose for justice. But can this crime-biting canine resist the call of the wild to answer the call of duty?
Get ready to howl with laughter. You can read Dog Man on August 30!
March 2, 2016
Best Book Series
I don’t have just one book to recommend. I have several series for kids aged 8-12.
The first: the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane, beginning with So You Want to Be a Wizard (for ages 10 and up). This series is about Nita and Kit, two friends who found copies of a book entitled So You Want to Be a Wizard and were brought together. They must learn to use their wizardry while battling to postpone the universe’s death.
The second: the Unwanteds series (for ages 8 and up) by Lisa McMann. These books tell the story of the land of Quill, where creativity is a crime, and those caught committing it are sentenced to death. But the sentence isn’t exactly what is seems.
The third: the Michael Vey series (for ages 12 and up) by Richard Paul Evans. A prototype imaging machine malfunctioned, and of the 59 people born in that hospital during its test period, only 17 survived. These children acquired electrical powers. A madman makes it his goal to use them to take over the world, and gets all of them except Michael Vey.
The fourth: the Blackwell Pages series (for ages 8 and up) by K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr. This trilogy is about the descendants of the Norse gods and their battle to prevent the world from ending. It begins with Loki’s Wolves.
Julie, Scholastic Kids Council
March 1, 2016
Why Do Feet Stink?
There’s nothing worse than kicking off your shoes after a long day and grossing out your friends with a set of horrible smelling feet. It happens to everyone from time to time. First let’s find out WHY your feet smell. Then we’ll tell you what you can do about it.
The main cause of stinky feet is foot sweat. Although sweat is odorless, when the inside of your shoe becomes hot and moist, it creates the perfect breeding ground for the bacteria that live on your feet (called Brevibacterium) to grow and multiply. This particular bacterium is the same kind that is found in extra-smelly cheeses like Limburger and Muenster.
Now that you know why your feet smell like stinky cheese, here are 3 things you can do about it.
- Hot, closed-toe shoes are like a bacteria sauna. Wearing comfortable, well-ventilated shoes will give your feet a chance to air out.
- Before you put your shoes on, always put on a pair of clean socks. If you like the no-sock look, try wearing ankle socks that aren’t visible above your shoe.
- For extra protection, sprinkle some baking soda or baby powder in your socks and shoes to help absorb the odor.
With a little knowledge and prep work, you will never worry about taking your shoes off again. PS. Pass this article along to anyone you think could use a little help with his or her stinky feet.
“Tingling tip toes” Flickr photo by Alex Holzknecht
February 29, 2016
image courtesy of Nintendo
Most Powerful Pokémon
What is the most powerful Pokémon? That’s a question that’s been debated by Pokefans for years. The answer, of course, is that any Pokémon can be powerful with the right training and in the hand of an experienced player. But there are some Pokémon that are extremely powerful right from the get go.
The most powerful Pokémon are the Legendary Pokémon. The Legendary Pokémon are rare (of the over 600 species of Pokémon, only 47 are Legendary) and very powerful with high base stats. And while it may never be possible to say which is the most powerful, here are a few that would vie for the honor any day.
If you want to talk about powerful, it doesn’t get much more awesome than the creator of the universe. Yup, Arceus is said to have created the entire world of Pokémon. He also has the highest base stat total. His signature move is “Judgment” allowing him to change his type depending on the plate he’s holding.
The extraterestrial Deoxys is a fan favorite based on the fact that he can make copies of himself and is the only Pokémon that can freely switch between four different forms: Normal, Attack, Defense, and Speed.
Mew and Mewtwo
Two of the most powerful Pokémon actually share the same DNA. Because Mewtwo is a genetically enhanced Mew clone, they both share many of the same attributes. They are both psychic type Pokémon with high stats and special skills. Mew can turn into any Pokémon at will using “Transform” and Mewtwo uses telekinesis for his special powers.
Special Award: Pikachu
Okay, so maybe Pikachu isn’t Legendary. And he doesn’t have the highest stats. But somehow the little yellow guy always comes out on top. That has to count for something, right?
So which Pokémon is the most powerful? Well that’s up to how you use them. Tell us YOUR favorites in the Comments.
February 25, 2016
Five Ways for Girls to Add Style to Your Outfit
Want to spice up your wardrobe? Here are some very easy fashion tips to turn you into a standout style diva.
If you’re not going to the Academy Awards, let’s start with a basic blue jean and a white tee shirt. Then, pick one or two of these ideas to add to your outfit. Note: You probably shouldn’t add too many of them or you’ll end up looking like a music video from the 80s! Gasp!
Turquoise and gold jewelry always looks great with a white tee shirt. Slip on a turquoise ring or some dangling earrings. Or, go for a long necklace with a large pendant.
The easiest way to work bright colors into your ensemble is by stepping into a colored shoe. Sandals or ballet flats in red, green, or blue will really kick your jeans up a notch.
A perfect way to add dimension to your outfit is to throw on another layer. For the spring and summer months, try a striped cardigan or a scarf. If it’s chilly out, throw on a fuzzy sweater over your tee.
Roll with it!
If you’re bored of your jeans, roll them up and pair them with a trendy sweatshirt and some cool sneakers – try finding sneakers with a cool pattern to add some flair.
Top it off!
Dress up your jeans and tee with a stylish hairdo. An unexpected place to find pretty hair clips is the grocery store. Put on a classic headband or be daring and try a headband/pony tail combination.
What’s your fashion style? How do you add style to YOUR outfits? Tell us your fashion tips in the Comments.
February 24, 2016
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Reading is one of my favorite things to do. I really like stories with interesting characters who go through a real journey, especially ones that have to find courage to face a challenge. I enjoy books with action and adventure like Harry Potter. I also like stories with strong and smart girl characters like Divergent and Fairest (for ages 12 and up). But I also enjoy reading stories that have been told for a long time.
For as long as I can remember, I have grown up hearing about A Christmas Carol. I always loved the story but I never understood its true meaning until I read the book.
A Christmas Carol is about a grumpy, old man named Scrooge, who is cold to the bone and doesn’t care about anyone or anything besides money. He is a cheapskate who doesn’t even pay for electricity in his own home. But the thing Scrooge hates the most is the Christmas spirit. He doesn’t give money to the poor or take the invitation from his nephew to a nice Christmas party. Instead he chooses to work, get money, scare off some Christmas carolers, and lecture his poor apprentice about the unfairness of having to pay him on Christmas Day for not doing any work.
His mood changes, though, when he sees the ghost of his dead friend, Marley. Marley tells Scrooge of three ghosts that will come to help him change his ways. Scrooge is then taken on three journeys by the spirits of Christmas past, present, and future. As Scrooge goes through each journey, you see him change and become more sentimental and loving. You see him change from a miserable person to a person who learns and becomes better. By going through this experience with the ghosts, Scrooge is given a second chance to change his future.
I would recommend this book because it has a great moral. It teaches us all important lessons and allows us to see the world in a different light. Another reason I would recommend this book is that Dickens has a very poetic and beautiful way of writing. It can be very playful in one moment, and be very serious or heartfelt in the next. The way he writes hooks me in and entices me to read more. If you enjoy heart-touching stories with an amazing moral, I would definitely suggest A Christmas Carol.
Cynthia, Scholastic Kids Council