Here’s my caption: “I’m so happy to see you, I’m going to give you a million slobbery dog kisses!”
Write YOUR caption in the Comments below!
Megan, STACKS Intern
Are you ready to go BACK to HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA?
Or maybe you’re checking in for the first time? No matter; the good news is that Dracula’s formerly monsters-only hotel policy has finally relaxed. He’s opening his doors to human guests, and considering his grandson isn’t exactly a pureblood vampire, it’s about time!
Coming to theaters on September 25, Hotel Transylvania 2 (rated PG) has Dracula worried about his grandson Dennis’s half-human, half-vampire roots. When Drac’s old-school dad, Vlad, discovers that a change in policy allows for human guests and that his great-grandson isn’t 100% vampire, things get batty!
“There are four generations living under one roof, which obviously will be intense, no matter what the family is,” says actor Andy Samberg, who voices Johnny in the new movie. As Mavis’s human husband and father to Dennis, good ol’ Johnny isn’t only battling your standard in-law gripes.
“Johnny’s not just up against Drac, but now Vlad who is even more old-school in the tradition of being a vampire,” says Samberg. Obviously, Mavis is branching outside of that by marrying a human. So it’s complicated, but it’s also wonderful, and it’s them all getting to know each other and learning to understand each other.”
Actress and singer, Selena Gomez, is the voice of Johnny’s more-than-a-century-old wife, Mavis, in Hotel Transylvania 2. She agrees with her co-star on the fun in packing everyone into the hotel in the new film.
“Dracula brings everyone together,” says Gomez. “I think that’s sweet and endearing because he wants to include everyone.”
What can we learn from this, and from Hotel Transylvania 2, about celebrating our similarities and differences—monster or not? That lesson isn’t lost on Gomez. In fact, it’s somewhat close to home for her.
“Extended family in Hotel Transylvania 2—whether they’re Frankenstein or the Wolf gang —everybody kind of comes together under one roof,” Gomez says. “That’s a cultural thing, in my opinion, because that’s exactly how my dad’s side of the family is. It’s not a good thing [to them] when you move out of the house. It’s almost like [they] want them to stay there forever, and you just pass it along, and I think that’s Drac’s idea. His intention is really good, but that’s something everyone can relate to.”
Q: How many books have you written?
Patterson: I lost count. A little over 100. I write a lot of kids’ books. I write a lot of things that are different — that’s what keeps me excited. The kids’ books range from Maximum Ride, about kids who can fly to I Funny, about a kid who wants to be a stand-up comedian but he can never be a stand-up comedian because he’s in a wheelchair.
Q: Which ones would you like to see as movies on screen?
Patterson: All of them! Maximum Ride is very visual, these flying kids. I hope that will get made. We are shooting Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life at the end of the summer. It’s a cool story about how kids get lost in the education process. This kid in it is bright, brilliant as an artist, but there’s no way for him to express himself in school so he’s looked at as a dummy.
Q: Do you ever get writer’s block?
Patterson: No, I don’t. I’m always working on more than one thing. I have a big imagination and I’ll just go to another project. I have a folder this thick of ideas for novels. Writing stories comes very easily to me.
Q: What first inspired you to write?
Patterson: I was working my way through school at a mental hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts and I had a lot of free time so I started reading like crazy and then I started scribbling stories. Somebody once told me, you’re lucky if you find something you like to do and it’s a miracle if someone will pay you to do it. I love doing it. I love writing stories. As a kid, I grew up in the woods. I used to wander around the woods and make up stories in my head. I think that talent was there, I just wasn’t aware of it.
Q: You often write with co-authors. Why?
Patterson: It allows me to combine strength with strength. I’m a very good storyteller; I’m a little lazy as a stylist. So it allows me to work with a better stylist. Collaboration is OK!
Are you a fan of James Patterson’s books? Tell us which is your favorite in the Comments!
Hippolyte posted this awesome-tastic challenge for you on the Fan Fiction Message Board!
So! This is a thing I saw in a STACKS Message Board a LONG time ago and though I’ve never participated myself, I figured it’s high time someone brings a new writing challenge. Here’s the deal:
You are to write a drabble inspired by the first song that comes up on shuffle. Grab your phones/ipods/mp3s/playlists or anything you have with music stored in it and a shuffle option, and enable said option. Your task is to write a short story (fan fiction or original) inspired by the song, for as long as the song is playing. Once the song is over, you stop writing and completely leave it be.
I hope everyone has fun! I also hope you’re not weak enough to decline the challenge. Mwahaha!
So leave your song title and artist in the Comments, and then go to the Fan Fiction Message Board to share your whole story.
PurpleFashionista86 posted these questions on the Harry Potter Message Board but they could also apply to any characters in any book series.
Leave YOUR answers in the Comments!
I love the Goosebumps series so much because it’s just the right amount of scary and surprising! So it was a dream-come-true when I was invited to an early screening of the Goosebumps movie (rated PG).
Let me tell you, the movie does not disappoint! It is so cool to see all the monsters from R. L. Stine’s stories come together in one action-packed movie. Jack Black does a wonderful job playing R. L. Stine, and the whole cast really brings the Goosebumps series to life on the big screen! The movie features all my favorite Goosebumps monsters and shows Stine’s huge imagination and creativity to the fullest. I was hanging on the edge of my seat and wishing it would never end!
At one point in the movie, the R. L. Stine character says, “A good story has three parts: the beginning, the middle, and the twist!” I think that quote sums up the movie for me because it includes all of my favorite classic Goosebumps moments while also ending with a shocking twist! Sorry, no spoilers! You have to wait until October 16 when the movie comes to theaters.
If you were writing your own Goosebumps story, which monsters would you include? Would you keep all the classic characters or make up your own? And what fun twist would you throw in to take readers on your exciting and spooky journey?
Let us know the details of your Goosebumps story in the Comments below, and remember not to be too graphic or scary for kids younger than you!
Megan, STACKS Intern
Quick Tips for Back-to-School
Ahhhh, so school is just around the corner. I thought I would give some quick tips for those who are starting their first year of high school . . .
Do you think these tips will help you this school year? Whatever grade you are starting this year, tell us your tips in the Comments! Happy new school year!
Sonja, STACKS Staffer
Have you seen STACKS Writer En-Szu’s awesome video for El Deafo by Cece Bell? If you love hilarious graphic novels about unusual superheroes, watch this video!
Tell us what you think in the Comments! Are you already a fan of El Deafo?
Sonja, STACKS Staffer
This month’s STACKS Star is MerryAngel32! She loves to read horror books like Goosebumps and if she could be any fruit in the world, she would be an apple because it’s crunchy, sweet, has small seeds and is so “easy-peasy” to cut. One thing she would love to give every child across the world is access to a free library so that everyone can read books! Read more about MerryAngel32 in our STACKS Blast newsletter!
Now, I have two super-serious questions to ask you:
1. Would YOU like a chance to become the next star?
2. How well do you know Harry Potter?
This month’s questions are all about Harry Potter and I want to see how many of you know, like, really, really know the books, characters, and movies. If you know all the answers to the questions, then you might become the next STACKS Star! I will be picking a random user who answers these questions correctly:
Good luck everyone and leave your answers to these HP questions in the Comments! Don’t forget to update your profile and avatar to make it look your best in case you are the next STACKS Star!
Sandy, STACKS Staffer
Wait! Hold it right there. Have you ever read two completely different books and noticed similarities between the two? If this sounds like you, proceed to read the article below.
On the surface, the two books I’m comparing would seem to have nothing in common. In fact, just by looking at the covers, one would assume them to be polar opposites. The Maze Runner (for ages 12 and up) by James Dashner is a futuristic fantasy. The Selection (for ages 12 and up) by Kiera Cass is a romantic story about a competition for the prince’s hand in marriage. What could these two books possibly have in common?
In The Maze Runner, the main character, Thomas, is sent to the Glade, not necessarily by force but because he thinks it is for “the good of the people.” Same thing goes for America, the main character in The Selection, whose choice ensures her family’s safety. America despises the idea of going to the palace, but goes along with it for her family, just as Thomas goes into the elevator to the Maze. Both want to run away from their surroundings; one desires to leave from a death trap of monsters, the other from frilly dresses. Thomas and America both want to “escape” but not leave the friends they’ve made. Both situations require survival skills as well. Thomas must know how to fight monsters, and America must know how to curtsey in heels. These stories are different, but their underlying plots have similarities.
The Maze Runner and The Selection both have bad guys as well. All the people in the Glade are faced with WICKED, an organization dedicated to making their lives as painful as possible. Thomas’ chances of escaping are in their clenched fists. America is also confronted with challenges herself. In addition to the snooty girls and king determined to send her home, there are rebel groups storming the palace and turning it into a war zone.
Oh, and don’t forget the sidekicks! America’s new best friend is Marlee, whose enthusiasm can light up a room. Her sweetness makes her a very likable companion. This reminds me of Chuck (Thomas’ new best friend), whose personality is always fun to be around. Thomas always seems to smile with happiness when around him. Both are kind and befriend the protagonists on their first day. However, their fates are anything but happy!
As you can see, the similarities are carried throughout both stories. Next time you read two different books, see what’s hidden in the pages.
Emma Rose, Scholastic Kids Council