Author Archives: Sonja C.

January 21, 2016

Winter Weather Weekends

Posted by at 4:07 pm in Games, News | Permalink

Winter Weather Weekends

Are you ready for the winter weather? Winter Storm Jonas is coming to the East Coast! I am ready with a nice, big pile of books to read, some hot cocoa mix, and all the ingredients needed to bake something yummy.The forecast calls for fun!

Here are some other ideas for things to do on a snowy weekend.

What do you have planned for this snowy weekend? Tell us in the Comments. Whatever you do, please stay safe and warm!

January 8, 2016

Best Friends Whenever

Posted by at 1:55 am in Movies & TV | Permalink

Best Friends WheneverBest Friends Whenever

Best friends Cyd Ripley (played by Landry Bender) and Shelby Marcus gain the power to leap forward and backward in time whenever they want – and sometimes when they don’t. Now they experience the twists and turns of friendship and high school and must decide between fixing mistakes in the past or catching a glimpse of the future, all while their friends, aspiring scientist Barry and his assistant, Renaldo (aka Naldo), scramble to figure out how Barry’s time travel invention went awry in the first place.

Friends since elementary school, the girls’ high school years begin as Cyd’s parents depart for an archaeological dig in Peru, and Shelby’s family agrees to let Cyd and her feisty dog, Diesel, live with them. While Shelby and Cyd are worlds apart in personalities, becoming roommates is a dream come true for the teens whose differences, quirks and all, ultimately benefit their friendship.

Shelby is an enthusiastic dreamer who’s hyper-organized and thrives on making nearly every moment a big, special occasion. Cyd is laid back and carefree and mostly driven by her immediate needs – sleep and food, especially extra guacamole whenever and wherever possible.

When the girls are not in school, they can be found in the family attic, which has been transformed into Shelby’s bohemian-chic haven and Cyd’s edgy, urban hangout space. There they can avoid Shelby’s pesky younger twin brothers, Bret and Chet. The twins, who both have a crush on Cyd, try to impress her with their assorted hobbies that usually leave the brothers at odds with each other, and near-miss disasters in their wake.

Best Friends Whenever

Photo courtesy of Disney Channel

Cyd and Shelby spend their off-school hours hanging out with their good friends, the socially awkward Barry and his fun-loving buddy Naldo, in Barry’s home science lab, which is his family’s converted motor home. It’s there that Barry’s invention accidentally zaps Cyd and Shelby with the power to time travel. Now whenever Cyd and Shelby simultaneously think of a specific time frame in the past or in the future, and somehow make even the slightest physical contact with each other, they are immediately transported to that era or point of time. The budding scientists Barry and Naldo are the only people who know Cyd and Shelby can time travel.

As Shelby and Cyd travel back in forth time, each experience – past, present or future – leads the girls to new adventures. Through it all, they know they can count on each other, and they discover how friendship can make every moment in life special.

Are you a fan of Best Friends Whenever? Leave a Comment!

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

January 4, 2016

Make It Pop Season 2

Posted by at 1:12 am in Movies & TV, Music | Permalink

Make It Pop Returns for Season 2

Nickelodeon’s music-infused series, Make It Pop, returns for a 20-episode second season starting Monday, January 4, at 7 p.m. (ET/PT). With all new songs and performances, heightened drama, and lots of laughs, season two will continue to follow social-media maven Sun Hi (Megan Lee), bookish Corki (Erika Tham), fashion-forward Jodi (Louriza Tronco), and DJ Caleb (Dale Whibley) at Mackendrick Prep, who, out of their love of music, formed the band XO-IQ.

MAKE IT POP SEASON 2 Faced with bigger challenges and higher stakes in season two, XO-IQ has yet to reunite after a number of setbacks. Corki is in danger of being removed from Mackendrick Prep by her father, Jodi is deciding if she should pursue her love of fashion, and now that Sun Hi is clashing with hotshot guitarist Linc, it looks like XO-IQ might be over, until a new band competition and rival boy band emerge and change everything.

Will you be watching? Leave a Comment!

Sonja, STACKS Staffer


December 25, 2015

Most Popular Names

Posted by at 1:05 am in Personality Quiz | Permalink

Just because a name is popular doesn’t mean it’s better than any other name. Your name is one of the things that says who you are. It can show your personality or uniqueness. It is such a part of you, it’s hard to imagine yourself with a different name, but today’s Would You Rather quiz does just that.

Girls, would you rather have the name . . .

  1. Sophia (#1 most popular name in 2015) OR Kinsley (#90)?
  2. Emma (#2) OR Mila (#37)?
  3. Olivia (#3) OR Jordyn (#96)?
  4. Ava (#4) OR Isla (#94)?
  5. Mia (#5) OR Emery (#99)?
  6. Isabella (#6) OR Eleanor (#80)
  7. Zoe (#7) OR Jocelyn (#77)
  8. Lily (#8) OR Hazel (#89)?
  9. Emily (#9) OR Camilla (#65)?
  10. Madison (#10) OR Makayla (#48)?
  11. Riley (#12) OR Juliana (#86)?
  12. Maria (#54) OR Violet (#59)?
  13. Eliana (#62) OR Paisley (#64)?
  14. Stella (#68) OR Alice (#70)?

Boys, would you rather have the name . . . Continue reading

December 15, 2015

Christmas Kitten Create a Caption

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

Create a Caption: Holiday Kitten

What do you think this playful Christmas kitten is saying all cozy in its Christmas stocking?

Christmas Kitten

“Merry Christmas” Flickr photo by Bill and Vicki T

I think it is saying, “The stockings were hung by the chimney with care . . . until I jumped in and made Christmas way cuter!”

Leave YOUR captions in the Comments. Happy Holidays!

— Sonja, STACKS Staffer

December 11, 2015

American Word for Muggle

Posted by at 1:24 am in Harry Potter, Movies & TV | Permalink

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemWhat? Americans Don’t Say Muggle?!


Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander. 2015 Warner Bros Entertainment inc.

You know that the new wizarding movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them written by J.K. Rowling is coming out in November, 2016. (Watch the trailer here!) The movie will be set in New York in 1926, and here is a surprising fact I learned about the word Muggle: American wizards don’t use the word “Muggle” to describe non-magical people!

If you are a wizard from America, then you already know this, and I’m sorry to be boring you, but for the rest of us, this might come as a surprise: American wizards call us “No-Maj” like an abbreviation of “no magic.”

What?? All this time I’ve been referring to myself as a Muggle while all the American wizards were calling me No-Maj!

What do you think of the American word for Muggle? Tell us in the Comments.

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

December 9, 2015

Books to Read in 2016

Posted by at 1:53 am in Reads | Permalink

Books_to_Read 2016Your 2016 Books Hotlist

Here is a list of the newest book releases that you might want to add to your 2016 wishlist!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney
Greg is as hilarious as ever in Book #10 of the Wimpy Kid series.

Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Perfect Pet Sitter by Rachel Renee Russell
Nikki and her friends Brandon, Chloe, and Zoey are teamed up on an important mission in Book #10 of the Dork Diaries series.

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
If you are a Percy Jackson fan wondering what to read next, Rick Riordan has just solved your problem!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
If you haven’t read the Harry Potter series yet, let this be your year! It will change your life!

Auggie and Me: Three Wonder Stories by R.J. Palacio
Palacio says she will never write a sequel to Wonder, but this book tells the back stories of Julian, Christopher, and Charlotte.

Descendants Junior Novel
If you were obsessed with Disney’s Descendants, look no further for your next read.

Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-a-Lot by Dav Pilkey
Read an excerpt here!

Crenshaw by Katharine Applegate
Jackson’s imaginary friend Crenshaw helps him deal with the tough stuff his family is going through. If you loved Newbery Medal-winning The One and Only Ivan, try this new book by the same author.

Minecraft: The Complete Handbook Collection
This ultimate updated collection includes the Essential Handbook, Redstone Handbook, Combat Handbook, and Construction Handbook.

What books are on your wishlist this year?

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

December 8, 2015

Too Much Homework?

Posted by at 1:38 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Do You Get Too Much Homework?

Kids today spend a lot of time doing homelike, like, A LOT, up to 2 hours a night sometimes! Even Kindergarteners and 1st graders get homework! What’s the deal?

According to the Center for Public Education, teachers assign homework because they believe that homework builds character, work habits, and study skills. Parents and teachers are also afraid that without homework, kids will spend all their time “watching television, instant-messaging, or playing video games.”

But too much homework can actually be harmful. The 2013 American Psychological Association survey found that 45 percent of U.S. schoolchildren were stressed-out by homework. The Center for Public Education says that for middle schoolers, the perfect amount of homework per night is 1 hour. More than that and it could start getting too stressful to really help you academically.

Some parents and school districts are starting to realize that maybe kids are doing too much. An elementary school in Gaithersburg, Md. banned homework in favor of 30 minutes of nightly reading. And some parents of younger kids are asking teachers if they can opt-out of homework altogether.

What do YOU think about homework? Tell us how much time you spend every night on homework and if you think it helps you to be a better student. Be honest!

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

December 4, 2015

Make It Pop Interview and Would You Rather

Make It Pop Interview and Would You Rather

Nickelodeon’s Make It Pop is super-POPular right now. The show features three friends Sun-Hi (pop diva), Jodi (fashionista), and Corki (super-smart) who form a band in boarding school. They balance school and friendships . . . and spontaneously break out into song and dance numbers! The next episode titled “The Gift” airs Saturday, December 5th at 9:00 p.m. It is holiday season at MacKendrick Prep! When a blizzard traps everyone inside the school, Sun Hi, Jodi, and Corki learn the true meaning of the holidays. Meanwhile, the teens meet a mysterious new student.

I met the cast of Make It Pop and they are soooo sweet! Megan Lee, age 20, plays Sun Hi. Louriza Tronco, age 18, plays Jodi. Erika Tham, age 18, plays Corki. Dale Whibley, age 18, plays Caleb. Here are their answers to my questions . . .

Continue reading