Author Archives: Sonja C.

October 7, 2015

Welcome to Mars Buzz Aldrin

Posted by at 1:22 am in Authors, Reads | Permalink

Earth from space photoSpace Pioneer Buzz Aldrin Shares His Vision For Exploring Mars In Welcome to Mars

Could Mars be our future home? Buzz Aldrin thinks so, and he should know! Buzz is one of the first people to walk on the moon, and was a member of the historic Apollo 11 crew. A renowned rocket scientist, he developed a futuristic space transportation system to reach Mars. He chairs his own educational organization, ShareSpace Foundation. And he also has a Toy Story character named after him! (Hint: “To infinity — and beyond!”)

Buzz Aldrin welcome to marsBuzz Aldrin lives, eats, and breathes all things Mars. Buzz has a vision for not only traveling to Mars, but inhabiting it as well. In Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet, Buzz describes what it will take to build a permanent home on this far away planet.

Welcome to Mars reveals the ultimate in space transportation — the Aldrin Cycler Spacecraft – and what the space traveler will encounter upon arrival, including a detailed illustration of the Mars Lander Sequence and an ingenious method for removing the rusty dust stuck to the space suits. The reader is taken on a tour of the Spaceport, learns how dirt bikes and zip lines will be natural forms of red planet entertainment, and discovers how greenhouses will play a vital role in the colonization of Mars. Finally, after months of exploring and living in the rugged Spaceport, it’s moving day – Buzz ups the “wow” factor with high tech and forward-thinking living, eating and recreational quarters aptly named the Founders Dome.

What do you think? Will you sign up to go live on Mars? Tell us in the Comments.

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

October 2, 2015

Yo-Kai Watch

Posted by at 1:40 am in Celebrities, Graphic Novels | Permalink


Ever have a day where nothing goes right? Was it bad luck? Nope! That was the work of the Yo-kai, beings who cause life’s daily annoyances. With the Yo-kai Watch on his wrist, Nate, an average fifth grader, along with his Yo-kai companions Jibanyan and Whisper, can now communicate with the Yo-kai. There’s just one problem – they’re everywhere, and they love to cause mischief!YoKai

The wildly popular Japanese animated comedy series Yo-kai Watch is set to make its U.S. debut on Disney XD. Viewers will be treated to a new episode each day during the premiere week, Monday, October 5 through Friday, October 9, before it begins ongoing weekly debuts on Monday evenings at 5:00 p.m., ET/PT.

Are you an anime fan? Will you be watching? Tell us in the Comments.

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

September 18, 2015

Pan Movie Preview

Posted by at 1:15 am in Celebrities | Permalink

Pan movieActor Levi Miller and Director Joe Wright Introduce the Pan Movie

Levi Miller, the actor who plays Pan and Joe Wright, the director of the new Pan movie (not yet rated) visited New York and shared a sneak peek preview with a group of lucky people, and I was one of them! The cool thing about these special movie previews is sometimes they have fun extras like ice cream sundaes and a candy bar . . . Pan Candy bar

. . . and actual sets and props from the movie, like this tent from the jungle village.Pan Tent

Q: Why did you want to make a movie about Peter Pan?
Joe Wright: The character of Peter reminds me of myself and also of my son, so I made this film for my son.

Q: How did you choose Levi Miller to play Pan?
Joe Wright: We saw thousands and thousands of auditions. Suddenly Levi’s face popped up and we said, “Oh, there he is! That’s him!” When I called him to tell him he got the part, he just started screaming and I had to put the phone down because he was screaming so much.

Pan Tiger Lily costumeQ: There is a lot of action in this movie. How did you like doing the stunts?
Levi Miller: There were a couple of stunts I hated, like falling and being kicked. But flying was fun. At first it was difficult and the wires rubbed my arms, but when I got up in the air it was fun.
Joe Wright: Tiger Lily is the best fighter in the film. The boys are a bit rubbish compared to her! She’s quite tough.

Q: What was your favorite scene to film?
Levi Miller: All the scenes in the jungle village were my favorites.

I have to say from the preview I saw, the village scenes look the coolest to me, too, and Tiger Lily is definitely fierce! This is her actual costume that I got to see up close. Isn’t it amazing?

Are you excited about the Pan movie? Tell us in the Comments!

Sonja, STACKS Staffer



September 11, 2015

The BFG Movie Cast

Posted by at 1:12 am in Book to Big Screen, Celebrities | Permalink

The BFG by Roald Dahl book coverRuby Barnhill Will Be Sophie in The BFG Movie

Roald Dahl was born on September 13 (now known as Roald Dahl Day), and The BFG was actually his favorite story that he wrote. Last year, we announced that Steven Spielberg will be directing the movie version coming out in 2016. Now we can announce that Ruby Barnhill has been cast as the young girl, Sophie. 

The BFG will be 10-year-old Ruby Barnhill’s first feature film role. She has been acting for two years and lives in Cheshire, England with her parents, younger sister, and Tom the cat, and is a member of her local youth theatre.

Ruby Barnhill

Ruby Barnhill

“I feel incredibly lucky and I’m so happy,” she said. “Sophie gets to go on this wonderful adventure and I’m so excited that I get to play her.”

Steven Spielberg said, “After a lengthy search, I feel Roald Dahl himself would have found Ruby every bit as marvelous as we do. We have discovered a wonderful Sophie in Ruby Barnhill.”

Roald Dahl’s grandson said, “The character of Sophie is one of the most endearing young heroes in Roald Dahl’s stories. She is as brave as she is curious and has an innate sense of wonder. Many congratulations to Ruby on landing the role. We hope that making The BFG proves an utterly magical adventure for her.”

Well, how could it NOT be a magical experience? I am totally jealous of her! What do you think? Does she look like Sophie to you? Leave your thoughts in the Comments.

–Sonja, STACKS Staffer


September 1, 2015

Harry Potter Name Generator

Posted by at 1:06 am in Harry Potter | Permalink

Harry Potter name generatorThe Hogwarts Express Leaves Today!

If you received your Hogwarts letter this year, you are probably just now getting ready to board the Hogwarts Express to start your wizarding education. Congratulations! To help you get ready for your new life at Hogwarts, I created this Harry Potter name generator so you can invent yourself as a character in the wizarding world.

I tried not to include any actual character name combos. So you can be Ginny Wizangamot, but you can’t be Ginny Weasley. (But oh my goodness, how awesome would it be to actually BE Ginny Weasley???) For first name, you have the option to choose either a boy’s name or a girl’s name that starts with the first letter of your Muggle name. There’s nothing that says you have to choose the boy’s name of you’re a boy or the girl’s name if you’re a girl, but you have the choice. I tried not to choose any evil character names, but for some letters, it was impossible. (Sorry Yaxley Umbridge! I’m sure you’re very nice in real life.)

First name choices:  Continue reading

August 14, 2015

Bunk'd, Jessie Spin-Off Show

Posted by at 1:27 am in Celebrities | Permalink

BUNK'D - Disney Channel's "Bunk'd" stars Karan Brar as Ravi, Skai Jackson as Zuri and Peyton List as Emma. Bunk’d: Disney Channel’s New Jessie Spin-Off Show

Emma, Ravi, and Zuri Ross leave their extravagant New York City penthouse and head off to Camp Kikiwaka, a rustic summer camp in Maine where their parents met as teenagers. The Ross kids are complete fish out of water in their new setting and must band together for support.

Emma and Ravi step into new roles as CIT’s (Counselor in Training), learning how to be resourceful, responsible role models to their campers. Lou, the cheerful head counselor, and Xander, the camp heartthrob, step in to show them the ropes. Meanwhile, Zuri makes new friends with her fellow campers.


Photo credit Disney Channel/Greg Gayne

Together the Ross kids and their friends must navigate the hijinks and curveballs thrown by the owner of the camp, Gladys, who with the help of her sneaky niece, Hazel, is out to get them because of her decades-old rivalry with their mom. Nevertheless, along with their new friends, Emma, Ravi, and Zuri adapt to their new “home away from home” and settle into their exciting new lives at Camp Kikiwaka.

Have you seen this show yet? Are you a fan? Is it as good as Jessie? Leave a Comment and tell us what you think.

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

August 5, 2015

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 10 News

Posted by at 1:58 am in Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Reads | Permalink

Diary of a Wimpy KidBook 10 Is Coming Out November 3, 2015!Diary of a Wimpy Kid Old School

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney

Life was better in the old days. Or was it? That’s the question Greg Heffley is asking as his town voluntarily unplugs and goes electronics-free. But modern life has its conveniences, and Greg isn’t cut out for an old-fashioned world.

With tension building inside and outside the Heffley home, will Greg find a way to survive? Or is going “old school” just too hard for a kid like Greg?

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 10

illustrations and text copyright Jeff Kinney

Are you excited for the new Wimpy Kid book coming out in November? Leave a Comment! And while you’re waiting for November, read our Wimpy Kid readalikes!

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

July 29, 2015

New Magnus Chase Series from Rick Riordan

Posted by at 1:58 am in Percy Jackson, Reads | Permalink

the sword of summerThe First Book in the New Magnus Chase Series Comes Out October 6, 2015!

If you are a Percy Jackson fan wondering what to read next, then Rick Riordan has just solved your problem! He is the author of the Percy Jackson series, and he is writing a NEW series about a NEW demi-god. Get ready to meet Magnus Chase!

Book #1: The Sword of Summer

Magnus Chase has seen his share of trouble. Ever since that terrible night two years ago when his mother told him to run, he has lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, staying one step ahead of the police and truant officers.

One day, someone else tracks him down—his uncle Randolph, a man his mother had always warned him about. Randolph starts rambling about Norse history and Magnus’s birthright: a weapon that has been lost for thousands years. And also, Magnus’ father was a Norse god.

But he doesn’t have time to consider it all before a fire giant attacks the city, forcing him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents . . .

DUN DUN DUUUUNN! *dramatic sound effect*

Will you be reading this new series by the author of Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, and Kane Chronicles? Leave a Comment!

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

July 22, 2015

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

Posted by at 1:33 am in Reads | Permalink

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's LibraryNew Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Book Trailer!

Have you seen STACKS Writer En-Szu’s awesome video for Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein? If you have ever thought about being trapped overnight in the coolest library in the world, watch this video!

Escape from Mr. Lemoncell's Library Video

Tell us what you think in the Comments! Are you already a fan of Mr. Lemoncello’s Library?

Sonja, STACKS Staffer