Category Archives: About Us

March 11, 2010

Look Out, It’s a Book Flashback!

Posted by at 8:06 am in About Us | Permalink

Look Out, It's a Book Flashback! Ink Splot 26 Blog entry If you’re someone who reads a lot—like, a LOT—then it’s probably possible that you’ll read hundreds, if not thousands, of books by the time you’re an adult. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll forget most of the titles and authors that you’ve read, even if vague notions of the story itself still stick with you.

Veronicatheshowoff That’s what happened to me the other day when I found a copy of a familiar book sitting on my bookshelf at work: Veronica the Show-Off by Nancy K. Robinson. I was pretty sure I had read it growing up, but I was also convinced that I wouldn’t remember much about it. Only, it turns out I remembered almost all of it—specific scenes, catchphrases, characters, and even the ending. I couldn’t believe how I knew so much about this old book, even though I thought I had completely forgotten about it. It was a total Book Flashback Moment, or BFM for short!

Sixthgradecanreallykillyou Sixthgradesleepover So I got to thinking about other BFMs I’ve had. Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books, Barthe DeClements’ Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You, and Eve Bunting’s Sixth Grade Sleepover. Each of them is a book I must have read dozens of times, but somewhere in between sixth grade and adulthood, I flat-out forgot they existed.

I once knew a girl who wrote down the name and author of every single book she ever read, just for fun — sort of like her own compilation of mini-book reports. And after my Veronica the Show-Off BFM, I’m wondering, how do you all keep track of the books you read? Do you any of you write them down so you’ll never forget them?

And if you don’t keep track (like me!), are you prepared to have your own BFMs in the future?

— Morgan, Scholastic staffer

December 25, 2009

TBR Books (To Be Read)

Posted by at 8:26 am in About Us, Reads | Permalink

To_be_read Merry Christmas! Scholastic is closed today, obviously, but through the magic of computers, we can still bring you a blog post! The STACKS staffers are all at home today for Christmas vacation. So what do we do when we're not in the office working on the STACKS? We read of course! And since every reader has a TBR pile (a pile of books To Be Read in future when you have time), I asked the STACKS staffers what books they will be reading on their day (or days) off.

Carly M.

  • Catching Fire (for ages 12 and up). I can’t believe I still haven’t read this yet! I loved The Hunger Games, so one would only assume I would’ve run out to read the sequel. Well, before the end of 2009, I will finish Catching Fire.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2: The Sea of Monsters. I just finished reading The Lightning Thief and I loved it. I forgot how interesting Greek Mythology really is. I felt like I actually learned more about the Greek Gods in Riordan’s book than I did while reading the original myths. I can’t wait to find out who Percy encounters in The Sea of Monsters.
  • Eleventh Grade Burns. This is the fourth book in The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series by Heather Brewer. In my case, if I’ve made it through three books in a series, then it must mean I really like it. Plus, it’s one of the only teen vampire series that I know of that doesn’t focus on the romantic aspect of vampires.

Carly H.

  • I’m going to finally sit down and read Ghost in the Machine by Patrick Carman. It’s been sitting on my shelf since it came out and I’m dying to find out what happens to Ryan and Sarah. (Usually I read when I’m not at a computer, but for this book you need to be able to go online and watch the videos.)


  • My TBR book at the moment is Maximum Ride Book 5: Max (for ages 12 and up). I've been wanting to read it for a while, ever since the kids on the Hunger Games message board started recommending it and comparing it to other great books like Percy Jackson and The Hunger Games. Hopefully I'll be able to get to it over Christmas!

Karen: "I have about a gazillion books on my TBR pile, but over the Christmas holiday I’m going to focus on two series.They’ve both been on my TBR pile for years, and I finally read the first book in each series over my Thanksgiving vacation. The problem is, now I’m hooked on both series! Good thing my plane flight home for Christmas is 6 hours long!"

  • Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Morgan: "I have a HUGE TBR pile on two separate nightstands (er, and a pile on the floor next to my favorite bookshelf. And several unread works on my Kindle!). But there are specific books I’m saving for my time off over the holidays."

  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (for ages 12 and up). I inhaled it so quickly when it was released that now I plan to re-read it, slowly!
  • The Luxe series (for ages 12 and up) by Anna Godbersen. I’m in the middle of book 2, but book 3 is ready and waiting!


  • Becoming Naomi Leon. I love Pam Munoz Ryan’s books, and this is one of them that I haven’t read. I know, it’s one of the most popular of hers, but I just never picked it up. I have a copy of the book just waiting for me to open.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Demigod Files. I loved the Percy Jackson series, and I want to know more. I have always been really interested in Greek Mythology. It’s great to hear some of the old stories retold in a new way, and see the Greek gods as they might fit in modern society.
  • The Hunger Games and Catching Fire (for ages 12 and up) (again). I got this book for all of my friends and family, and everyone loved it! I read both books in such a rush to find out what happens, that I feel like I need a refresher. And we just announced that book #3 is coming out August 24th!! I can’t wait.


  • Catching Fire (the second book in The Hunger Games series, for ages 12 and up). My friend promised to get this for me for Christmas – which is the ONLY reason I haven't devoured it yet like I did the first book!
  • Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. One of my friends who is a big reader LOVED this book. The reviews look awesome, so I'm gonna check it out.
  • The Baby-sitters Club books. I used to love this series when I was a kid, and I think it might be time to break back into it. (Plus I love the Ann Martin message boards!)


  • Zoobreak by Gordon Korman. I loved Swindle by Korman and this book looks just as fun.
  • The 39 Clues Book 6: In Too Deep by Jude Watson. Why have I not read this book yet?? There is no excuse.
  • When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. This book is on a lot of people's best of 2009 lists, so I need to read it to see what all the fuss is about.

What about you? When the presents are opened, and you're stuffed with all the food you can eat, what books will you reach for? Let me know in the Comments.

All the STACKS staffers and I wish you a wonderful Christmas and a happy Winter Break full of lots of good books and plenty of time for reading!

image from

— Sonja, STACKS Staffer

December 15, 2009

STACKS Scavenger Hunt Answers

Posted by at 6:29 am in About Us, Trivia | Permalink

Trivia_tuesday Last week I posted this Scavenger Hunt to see how well you know the STACKS.

The first person to comment with all the correct answers was AndysLibrary. Nice job! How did you do? Were you able to find all the answers?

  1. This Ink Splot 26 blogger likes the book The Giver by Lois Lowry.
    Answer: Carly M. You can see all her favorite books in her blogger bio.
  2. College Pizza Delivery is a game about a pizza parlor located on what street?
    Answer: Main Street. Play the game now.
  3. Which beloved illustrator created "A Pancake Love Story" with input from a live audience?
    Answer: Jim Benton. Watch the video. It is pretty funny!
  4. What is the first name of the moderator for the Allie Finkle message boards?
    Answer: Elise. She's awesome! Go say hello to her on Message Boards.
  5. Fill in the blank: You, your friends, your _____!
    Answer: Reads! You’ll find this written all over the STACKS website.
  6. Which profile widget will help you be a better wordsmith?
    Answer: Word of the Day. Log in and add this Profile Widget to your Stack.
  7. What is the name of the new Goosebumps app that lets you monster-fy your photo?
    Answer: Goosebumps PhotoShock. Check out our gruesome pics on Ink Splot 26.
  8. Which lycanthropic actor was interviewed recently for Ink Splot 26?
    Answer: Taylor Lautner. Read the entire New Moon interview.
  9. How many different neckwear option are there for your STACKS avatar?
    Answer: Nine. Log in to your Profile to give your avatar some new accessories.
  10. SUPER CHALLENGE: What book was I referring to when I said, “There are all kinds of stories: some of them with clearly defined outcomes; and others that, in my opinion, are meant to be enjoyed for what they are, with no requisite moral lesson.”?
    Answer: Tales from Outer Suburbia. You can read my review here.

Thanks for playing. Hope you had fun! You guys are STACKS superstars!!

— Nick, STACKS Staffer

December 14, 2009

Bonus Writing Prompt Week!

Posted by at 4:15 pm in About Us, Writing Prompt | Permalink

Writingprompt_bonus We love reading all your comments to Ink Splot 26, but your responses to the Writing Prompts are always especially awesome. Your creativity, intelligence and hilarity never fails to impress us STACKS staffers. So in that spirit, we declare this week Bonus Writing Prompt Week!

To kick off, please take our new STACKS survey. The questions may seem a bit random, but your answers really will help make the STACKS better.

Then starting tomorrow, we will add a bonus writing prompt to the bottom of the daily blog post. So, if you love to write, (or if you just love answering random questions!) be sure to read the blog every day this week to catch the bonus writing prompt! 

— Sonja, STACKS Staffer

December 8, 2009

STACKS Scavenger Hunt

Posted by at 9:53 am in About Us, Trivia | Permalink

Trivia_tuesday How well do you know the STACKS?

Let's find out, shall we? All answers can be found somewhere on the STACKS website.

The first person to comment with the correct answers wins a big round of applause from all the STACKS staffers!

  1. This Ink Splot 26 blogger likes the book The Giver by Lois Lowry. (Hint: Did you know we have blogger bios? Find out all about us!)
  2. College Pizza Delivery is a game about a pizza parlor located on what street? (Hint: Head on over to Puzzle Games to order your pizza.)
  3. Which beloved illustrator created "A Pancake Love Story" with input from a live audience? (Hint: You can find the answer in our Video Hub. We think this video is pretty funny stuff!)
  4. What is the first name of the moderator for the Allie Finkle message boards? (Hint: You’ll have to check out the chatter on the Message Boards.)
  5. Fill in the blank: You, your friends, your _____! (Hint: You’ll find this written all over the STACKS website!)
  6. Which profile widget will help you be a better wordsmith? (Hint: Log in to check out all the Profile Widgets and add some to your Stack.)
  7. What is the name of the new Goosebumps app that lets you monster-fy your photo? (Hint: The answer you seek can be found in two places, the Video Hub and a Halloween post on Ink Splot 26.)
  8. Which lycanthropic actor was interviewed recently for Ink Splot 26? (Hint: He’s in a very very popular movie based on a book by Stephenie Meyer. Look for the answer in Ink Splot 26 Book to Big Screen category.)
  9. How many different neckwear option are there for your STACKS avatar? (Hint: Log in to your Profile to create your avatar.)
  10. SUPER CHALLENGE: What book was I referring to when I said, “There are all kinds of stories: some of them with clearly defined outcomes; and others that, in my opinion, are meant to be enjoyed for what they are, with no requisite moral lesson.”? (Hint: You can find all my blog posts from my bio page.)

Good luck!

— Nick, STACKS Staffer

November 26, 2009

Favorite Thanksgiving Foods

Posted by at 10:34 am in About Us | Permalink

Pie Consume, inhale, gobble, wolf, chomp, devour, gorge, dine, munch. . . the list of words to describe eating goes on and on. And Thanksgiving is here, so get ready to salivate because I’m about to reveal my favorite Thanksgiving foods.

(Warning: Do not read this on an empty stomach.)

Food #1: Honey Butter Rolls
I can just smell the aroma now; that buttery scent sifting through the kitchen initiates the urge to start the feast otherwise known as the “Yum Yum” fest at my house.

Food #2: Herb-Infused Turkey
Ever since moving to New York, I haven’t been able to make it home for Thanksgiving as much as I’d like to, which I must say completely stinks. Besides not being able to see my family, I also miss my mom’s famous Thanksgiving Day turkey. Rather than just throwing some salt and pepper on the turkey and sticking it in the oven for four hours, my mom’s method combines innovation and culinary excellence. She infuses her own mix of juices and herbs into the turkey with this really cool turkey injector. This result is a delectable moist and juicy turkey. Plus she leaves the skin on, which is irresistible!

Food #3: Fruit Compote
While most people have the traditional cranberry sauce with their dinners, my family puts our own twist on the conventional dish. In addition to fresh cranberries, our side dish also includes baked apricots, roasted pecans, and caramelized pears. I’m guessing one tablespoon is probably around five hundred calories, but oh well.

Food #4: Dessert!
Honestly, does it really matter what kind of dessert it is? Though my family isn’t a huge fan of pie, we certainly make up for it with chocolate chip cookies, an apple crisp, boxes of chocolates, and homemade biscotti.

After all those delicious foods, I’m really surprised we can even get out of our chairs without toppling over! And what’s even more shocking is the fact that the next day, we eat leftovers!

Needless to say, Thanksgiving rocks! Have a happy holiday.

Carly M., STACKS Staffer

October 31, 2009

Halloween Greetings from Your Fiends at THE STACKS!

Posted by at 9:22 am in About Us, Goosebumps | Permalink

130 Happy Halloween from the Ink Splot 26 bloggers! To celebrate we thought we would show you our faces, Goosebumps PhotoShock style! If you missed our behind-the-scenes look at the making of Goosebumps PhotoShock, let me fill you in. Goosebumps PhotoShock is an app for the iPhoneTM and iPod touch® that lets you take a regular, boring old photo and Goosebumps-ify it! Trade out those teeth for fangs, your brown eyes for some creepy, yellow ones, dose yourself with some slime, and . . .Voila!

Carly H., STACKS Staffer:

IMG3_0054 (4)

Karen, STACKS Staffer:

IMG2_0075 (4)

Morgan, Scholastic Staffer:


Nick, STACKS Staffer


Ratha, STACKS Writer:

IMG4_0132 (3)

Sonja, STACKS Staffer:

IMG4_0132 (2)

September 16, 2009

Reading Meme: Ink Splot 26 Reads!

Posted by at 9:51 am in About Us | Permalink

Book Blogger Meme on Ink Splot 26 - Get to know the Ink Splot 26 Bloggers!
Hey Splotters! We have something different for you today. It’s called a Meme. If you’ve never done this before, you should try it – it’s really fun. A Meme is when you write a bunch of questions and send them to all your friends to see how your answers compare. Since this week is Book Blogger Appreciation Week, a bunch of book blogger friends are doing this Meme about (what else?) reading. (Also in honor of BBAW, check out this video of our own Karen talking about Ink Splot 26. Isn’t she bee-you-tee-ful?)


Read on to find out how Karen and your other favorite Ink Splot 26 bloggers weigh in on different reading topics. . .

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?

Karen: Not usually, although this summer I did spend some time in front of my air conditioner with a book and a pint of ice cream.

Morgan: I tend to read while I’m eating dinner (to make up for all the years my parents made me put down my books during dinner!), so yes.

Ratha: YES! Pretzels with a small bowl of melted chocolate chips for dipping in. YUM.

BookgreaterthanchocolateSonja: I eat dark chocolate while doing just about everything, but I rarely snack while reading. Wow! A good book can even make me forget about chocolate!

Do you mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?


Morgan: I marked school books in college, for sure. But books I read for fun? I never mark them up, but I don’t object to people who do!

Sonja: I NEVER write in my books! It almost even bothers me when authors sign them.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?

Carly M: Magnetic bookmark

Karen: A small Post-It note. Boring, but effective.

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?

Morgan: Fiction all the way. I can’t remember the last non-fiction title I read!

Ratha: Both! I go through phases. If I’m reading a lot of fluff, then my next book has to have some substance so my brain doesn’t get mushy. And I’m reading a sad or heavy non-fiction book, then my next book has to be a fun read. I like to change it up!

Hard copy, paperback, e-books or audiobooks?

Carly H: Hard copy or paperback (or e-book if someone wants to buy me a Kindle but for now I don’t have one.)

Ratha: Hmmm. I prefer the weight of hard copies (it’s also easier to prop them open to eat snacks) but paperbacks are easier for reading on the go. I’m not trendy enough for e-books or audio books yet.

Sonja: No preference, although I do love a good audiobook.

Are you a person who HAS to finish chapters, or can you put a book down at any point?

Carly H: I’m a person who HAS to finish the whole book. I’ll stay up all night if it’s that good.

Ratha: I definitely HAVE to finish chapters. My personal sense of completion would be off without it. However . . . I did draw out the last Harry Potter book over a period of weeks so I could make it last longer. I like to savor a good book!

Sonja: I pretty much have to finish the chapter, which gets me stuck when the chapter ends with a cliffhanger and then I have to read the next chapter to find out what happens. Before I know it, it’s midnight, and well, there are only a few more chapters left. I might as well keep reading and finish the whole book!

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?

Karen: I know I should probably set a good example and say, “Yes, I always look up unfamiliar words in the dictionary as soon as I read them!” But I totally don’t. Just being honest.

Ratha: No, is that bad? I usually try to infer what it means by how it’s used in a sentence. If I really don’t get it and I’m near the computer I’ll it. But I rarely do that!

Sonja: I don’t even stop reading for meals. No way am I going to stop to look up a word!

What are you currently reading?

Karen: Just finished the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid installment this morning. About to start on The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

Morgan: I am re-reading Wuthering Heights (no, NOT because it has a new Twilight-esque cover. . . but because I disliked it the first time and a friend convinced me to give it another chance!)

IMG00133What is the last book you bought or checked out from the Library?

Carly H: Bought Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (for ages 12 and up) as a (22nd) birthday present for my brother.

Ratha: The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley. I checked it out from the library and then had to buy it to keep on my shelf!

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?

Carly M: Can read more than one book – one fun and one serious.

Ratha: Definitely one book at a time. I like to get invested in a good book and stay the course. Although if I’m reading a heavy book, I’ll read my gossip magazines at the same time. Or if I’m reading a fluffy book, I’ll read the newspaper. It’s all about balance!

Sonja: I read lots at a time. I wish I could just stick to one but every time I see a new book, it calls to me and I have to start reading that one too! It’s a problem.

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?

Karen: I rarely get to do this, but I love to dedicate an entire Sunday afternoon to devouring one good read. When the weather’s nice, there’s no better way to end a weekend than sitting in Central Park with a great children’s book.

Morgan: On the rare day that I sleep in late – say, a Sunday – I’ll hang out in bed for hours, catching up on my reading. Heaven!

Ratha: On my commute into the city if I’m on a job, or late at night in my cozy jammies.

Sonja: Any time, anywhere! I always have a book with me.

Do you prefer series books or stand-alone books?

Carly H: Series, assuming all of the books are good. But, a lot of times I feel like authors have enough content for one great book. Then, when that book becomes really successful they write more books even though the story is over, and then the rest of the books in the series are just pale imitations of the first.

Karen: It’s hard to say. Series are great because you can return to a beloved world over and over again, but some of my favorite books are stand-alones. Please, don’t make me choose!

Morgan: I’ve been a love of series since my first Baby-sitter’s Club book, and that love has stood the test of time.

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?

Carly H: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (for ages 12 and up)

Karen: YES! Buffalo Brenda by Jill Pinkwater and Secret Letters from 0 to 10 by Susie Morgenstern. They’re both relatively unknown, and I think they deserve to be as popular as Harry Potter!


How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)

Carly H: Sort of by genre, sort of by how they look prettiest on the shelf. I spend a lot of time thinking about how I want to re-sort them by color.

Carly M: Yeah I don’t. . . I just throw them up on my bookshelf.

Morgan: What is this “organize” term you speak of? I have four large bookshelves that have no real rhyme or reason to them, except that I do try to keep authors together, though not in any particular order.

Do you always finish the books that you start, or can you give up midway through?

Carly M: Depends on the book; if I get bored with it or can’t get into the book, then I can put it down.

Karen: I hardly ever give up on a book midway through. But that’s because I never pick up a book that hasn’t already been highly recommended or reviewed. Hey, I’m not being snobby, but I’ve got limited time in my life and a lot of books to get through! No time-wasters here!

Morgan: There are exactly three books in my life that I have never been able to finish. I only recently forgave myself for that.

Ratha: I usually finish all the books I start. I HAVE to know what happens in the end. If it’s boring though, I’ll cheat and skim through it to find out what happens in the end.

Sonja: I will give any book a chance, but if I don’t like it, I move on to the next book right away. I don’t waste a single minute with a book I don’t like! This makes it hard to pack for vacation because I have to bring LOTS of different reading options.

OK. Now that you have read our responses to the Meme, it’s your turn. Jump in with YOUR answers in the comments!

— C, C, K, M, R and S

Celebrate Books graphic courtesy of Amy Riley and Monica Miller, BBAW website

February 13, 2009

The FIVE: Favorite Things About Valentine’s Day!

Posted by at 7:45 am in About Us | Permalink

There's a lot to like about Valentine's Day, whether you're single or coupled, young or old. I'm celebrating my top five favorite things — grab some chocolate hearts and join me!

5. Clifford the Big Red Dog
February 14th is Clifford's birthday, and that alone makes Valentine's Day much more fun. This year, you can send Clifford e-Valentines to your friends and loved ones, and for each one you send, Scholastic will donate $1 to the Clifford BE BIG Fund (the BE BIG Fund supports local volunteer programs)! 

4. Classroom Valentines
The sweetest part of the holiday is getting messages from your friends and family (and the occasional secret admirer) telling you that you're loved. I used to receive awesome Valentine's cards from my classmates featuring everything from Scooby-Doo characters to New Kids on the Block members. They're an easy way to express your personality, and they definitely brighten up a friend's day.

3. The extra credit
In high school, some teachers would give us extra credit just for showing up in something red on Valentine's Day. They tried to keep it secret but word would always spread, so by the time 8th period rolled around, students had borrowed other students' red sweaters and scarves just to lock in those extra credit points. And that, my friends, is how I got an A in calculus.

2. The candy
This one's a no-brainer. From candy hearts to chocolate roses and everything in between, Valentine's Day rivals Halloween and Easter as the biggest candy-giving day of the year. I even like how drugstores turn their Christmas-themed aisles into bright red and pink monstrosities the day after New Year's. Embrace the sugar, because it only comes once a year!

1. The books
Okay, the real reason I did this post was to talk about a new book I just read, and I ended up getting carried away with the holiday! Sabrina James' Be Mine was released in January, and it's the perfect Valentine's Day read. In it, main character Jennifer is plotting a way to win her high school's most romantic couple contest — even though she has no one willing to enter it with her! With her arch-enemy Claudia a shoo-in to be nominated, Jennifer enlists help from her best friend, Violet, in finding the coolest guy in school to pose as her boyfriend. But Cupid ends up taking aim in the most unexpected ways . . . and Jennifer learns what's important when it comes to the holiday. A fun and inspiring read for sure!

What are your favorite — or least favorite! — things about Valentine's Day? Let me know in the comments!

— Morgan, Scholastic staffer

January 22, 2009

THE FIVE: Best Places to Read

Posted by at 7:30 pm in About Us | Permalink

THE FIVE: Best Places to ReadI was recently thinking about my favorite places to read a good book, so I thought I'd share them with you:

5. Anywhere with good light makes a great place to read, so I always enjoy having the free time in the summer to sit underneath a large tree and read in the sun.

4. I love reading on the subway. I always have at least an hour a day to read on the subway, and I find a good book makes the ride go by quickly. I usually read nonfiction books on the subway because if I get caught up in a good story I sometimes miss my stop.

3. I've always found the floor to be a great reading place. As a kid, I used to lie down next to the dog and read for hours on end, propped up on my elbows. If the book was good enough, I'd read until my arms fell asleep and I had to shift positions.

2. The library at my school had a room with an armchair surrounded by bookshelves. The chair was positioned next to a window that could be opened when it was sunny and warm, letting in a nice cool breeze. I loved reading a good book in the chair, but usually I'd fall asleep after a few chapters.

1. The absolute best place to read books from a long series is in an armchair with a warm blanket next to a large window in the middle of a driving rainstorm. I used to have a corduroy armchair, and I'd read while storms from the Oregon coast beat against my house.

Do you have any places that you go to read? Where do you like to curl up with a book? Are there any types of books you like to read in a certain place?

— Rob, STACKS Staffer