Author Archives: Vanessa G.

May 3, 2013

The 39 Clues Cahill Files

Posted by at 1:51 am in Reads, The 39 Clues | Permalink

39C Cahills Blog Pic- v2 130x130The 39 Clues: Cahill Files

As a relatively new clue hunter, I've spent a lot of time reading up on Amy and Dan's adventures. So it didn't take me long to realize that they are ALL THAT. Here are a few reasons why I can't get enough of the Cahills:

When they miss school, it's because they're saving the world. I don't know about you, but I remember spending most of my sick days watching bad TV, trying to fall asleep, and just waiting to feel better. Every now and then, I'd get a burst of energy and make my way to the kitchen for a snack. And sometimes (maybe), I'd do homework. All in all, I think we can agree that I've just described a less than thrilling Monday. But when Amy and Dan take the day off, they're out fighting Vespers, traveling the world, and hunting for capital-C Clues. So yeah, while I was watching America's Funniest Home Videos with a fever of 101, Dan was escaping a deadly yakuza in Japan…NOT fair!

Even when they hate each other, they, you know, love each other. Like all siblings, Amy and Dan may resist the urge to smack each other every chance they get, but they're always looking out for the other. And after their grandmother, Grace, leaves them to embark on the Clue hunt, they realize just how important family truly is. Even through the hiccups—like, for instance, their own relatives' attempts to KILL them–Amy and Dan never lose faith in family. And take it from me (the annoying little sister to two brothers) when I say that’s admirable.

Girl power. Have you ever played that game in which you have to pick the cartoon character that best resembles your personality? It can take a while to find your perfect TV match, but that’s half the fun of it. Long ago, after much deliberation, I chose Kimpossible, the ultimate symbol of girl power . . . UNTIL, that is, Amy Cahill rocked the world with her awesome moves and no-fuss style. Over the course of The 39 Clues, Amy transforms from this shy and frightened kid into the charismatic, brave leader of the Cahills. She voluntarily (VOLUNTARILY!) undergoes INTENSE physical and mental training and leads her entire family through the worst of times—all with a flick of her hair and words that leave boys drooling. Sorry, guys, but Amy’s my homegirl.

For all these reasons and more, I’m beyond excited for the newest Cahill Files book in hardcover. I’m pretty old-fashioned when it comes to e-readers, so I can’t wait to get my hands on SPYMASTERS. It’s a collection of THREE previously published e-book adventures that explore the secret lives and histories of Cahill members you might be surprised you already know . . . And if these people paved the way for Amy and Dan, then I’m game.

Click here for an explosive excerpt.
Find out more about the Cahill Files.

Leave a Comment tellling us why YOU love the Cahills.

—Vanessa, Scholastic Staffer

May 1, 2013

The Loser List

Posted by at 12:55 am in Reads | Permalink

Loser List cover for InksplotThe Loser List

While it's never true, most of us feel like a loser at one point or another. For Danny Shine, the main character in The Loser List series by H.N. Kowitt, it's when he discovers his name on a "geek list" in the girls' bathroom.

But in Book #3: Jinx of the Loser, he feels like more than a loser; he feels like a jinx, too! After being in the wrong place at the wrong time – when the baseball team loses the big game and then when the roller coaster breaks down at a school trip to the amusement park – Danny just can't catch a break.

Play the brand-new Loser List Cafeteria Showdown game.

Have you ever done anything that made you feel like a jinx? Let us know in the Comments! 

–Vanessa, Scholastic Staffer

April 19, 2013

Whatever After Name the Book

Posted by at 12:51 am in Reads, Whatever After, Writing Prompt | Permalink

Whatever After cover_smallWhatever After: YOU Name the Book

Have you ever wanted to name a book? Well, now’s your chance! Sarah Mlynowski, the author of the Whatever After series, wants YOU to pick the title for the fifth book in the series!

If you haven’t read Whatever After, the books are about a girl named Abby who gets transported into fairy tales through her basement mirror. The only problem is, she accidentally changes the way the stories come out! She and her brother have to fix everything in order for the characters to have their happy endings.

Learn more about the Whatever After series, and play the Dress-Up Game!

In Book #5, Abby and her brother visit the story of Rapunzel. Click on one of the choices below, and the title with the most votes will officially be the name of the fifth Whatever After book! How cool would it be to know that your vote helped decide the title of a published book?!?

UPDATE: The poll is now closed. Thank you to everyone who voted. The winning title is BAD HAIR DAY!

March 27, 2013

The 39 Clues: Day of Doom

Posted by at 1:12 am in The 39 Clues | Permalink

COLL012524_39Clues-InkspotThe 39 Clues: Day of Doom

Greetings, Clue-hunters!

I’m writing to you from the Command Center, the secret stronghold hidden inside the Scholastic headquarters. At least, that’s what I call it. Some of my non-Cahill colleagues might refer to it as a “desk,” but I know better. They have no idea that I have poison antidotes hidden in my pencil sharpener, or that my stapler is protected by fingerprint recognition. (That’ll teach Peter Lerangis to hide my office supplies . . .)

Continue reading

March 22, 2013

LEGO City: Detective Chase McCain

Posted by at 1:14 am in Games, Reads | Permalink

LegocityLEGO® City: Detective Chase McCain: Stop That Heist! 

Have you met Detective Chase McCain yet? If you’ve played LEGO® City Undercover (rated E10+) on Wii U or LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins (rated E10+) on Nintendo 3DS, then you already know about Chase. You can read about his hilarious adventures in LEGO City: Detective Chase McCain: Stop that Heist!

Chase McCain is not only LEGO City’s most distinguished detective, but he’s also a master of disguise. You should know something else. Chase always gets the bad guy; he always does so in style, and he always has a few laughs along the way.

LEGO City: Stop that Heist! is just the first of many adventures. When the smartest crooks in LEGO City plot to rob the museum of its priceless blue diamond, it is up to Detective Chase McCain and the Elite Police to save the day!

Want a sneak peak? You got it! Check out Chase here.

March 13, 2013


Posted by at 1:43 am in Reads | Permalink

FreaksFreaks by Kieran Larwood

These freaks aren’t your ordinary crime fighters. First there’s Sheba the Wolfgirl, whose eyes flash orange, whose nose puckers into a snout, and hands strongly resemble claws whenever she gets angry or excited. Then there’s Monkeyboy, who can hang by his tail and loves to drop stink bombs on his unsuspecting victims. And who can forget Sister Moon, the mysterious ninja who never misses her targets? These three misfits are part of a traveling sideshow, but they take on a side job as detectives when they find out children have been disappearing at the London riverbank!

Read about their exciting adventures in Freaks by Kieran Larwood.

Are YOU a Freak? Take this poll to find out!

March 6, 2013

The False Prince Sequel

Posted by at 1:28 am in Reads | Permalink

Runaway KingThe False Prince
Sequel: The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

If you've read The False Prince, you will be excited to know that the sequel, The Runaway King, is now available!
If you haven’t read The False Prince, what are you waiting for? In this thrilling story, Sage and three other orphans are recruited for a strange competition: to pose as the king’s long-lost son and fool the entire kingdom into thinking he’s the prince. But the competition is not so simple. And along the way, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold.
Trust me; you’ll be clinging to the edge of your seat as you read about Sage’s adventures.

But maybe YOU’RE the False Prince? Take the quiz and find out!

—Vanessa, Scholastic Staffer

March 1, 2013

Meet Jules!

Posted by at 12:20 pm in Reads | Permalink

Meet Jules: Hollywood’s Next Little-Big Star!

Dear Everyone in the Whole Entire World,

Usually my lists are for my eyes only, which means they usually end up in a recycling bin or sitting underneath my bulldog, Ugly Otis, catching his drool. But since someone asked me to write one of my lists to introduce myself to you, I am already feeling distracted picturing all of you all over everywhere reading it. So, I am going to pretend this is a regular old list for my teacher Ms. Leon’s free-writing time and NOT a list for the whole entire world to see.

Now, should it be a list of ways I will get the new girl at my school, Elinor of London, to be my new best friend? Or maybe a list of the different smells that make me giggle? (And yes, one of them is my ex-best friend Charlotte Stinkytown’s rosemary anti-lice conditioner.)

Oh, wait, I have it:
Things I mostly do NOT worry about (this will be short)
by Jules Bloom

  1. I do not worry about my little brother, Big Henry, since he can handle anything as long as he’s got a scooter and some dinosaurs rain boots.
  2. I do not worry about my parents because they have reasonable explanations for EVERYTHING, even astrology.
  3. I do not worry about Ms. Leon because, as second-grade teachers go, she just plain wins—best accent, nicest, smartest, most fashionable.

That’s it. The list of things I maybe do worry about are covered in drool right now, but they include pretty much everything else—especially whether or not you’ll like me, because maybe unlike me, you LOVE orange-flavored things, and you HATE worms, and maybe you think Teddy Lichtenstein and I really are meant to be. I forgive you for that one, because I like you so much already! So fingers-triple-crossed, you will like me, too. (And Big Henry and Elinor and my parents and Grandma Gilda and yes, even Stinkytown…)

Read a review of Starring Jules (As Herself).

If you’ve read the first book, see also the sequels: Starring Jules (in Drama-rama)Starring Jules (Super-Secret Spy Girl), and Starring Jules (Third Grade Debut).

February 26, 2013

Just a Dog

Posted by at 11:31 pm in Reads | Permalink

Just a dog 130X130 option 2Just a Dog by Michael Gerard Bauer

He’s more than just a dog! Mister Mosely is a special dog. Not just because he’s so big or because he has a heart-shaped splotch on his chest. It’s because he seems to know exactly what everyone in Corey’s family needs, even when they don’t know themselves. If you have a dog, you know how a dog can become the glue that holds a family together. That’s exactly what happens with Mister Mosely and Corey’s family!

Read chapter one
and find out how Mister Mosely isn’t “just a dog.”

Does your family have a pet? If so, do you consider it part of the family? Let us know in the Comments! And if you don’t have a pet, what animal would you want?

—Vanessa, Scholastic Staffer

February 6, 2013

Game Changers Book #2 by Mike Lupica

Posted by at 9:01 am in Games, Reads | Permalink

Game Changers_Cover_130x130Game Changers Book #2: Play Makers by Mike Lupica

Attention, sports fans! For those of you who love a good sports story, the latest book in Mike Lupica's Game Changers series is out now! It's called Play Makers.

Ben McBain and his friends are still riding high after winning their football championship, but basketball season isn’t going as smoothly, especially when their cross-town rival, Chase Braggs, starts causing trouble on AND off the court.

Read an excerpt.

Head over to the STACKS Sports site to play the new Game Changers basketball game! How many shots can you make?  

– Vanessa, Scholastic Staffer