July 22, 2016
Star Wars (rated PG and PG-13): it’s the best movie series in the galaxy. The Star Wars story line is amazing. It is jam-packed with action and it has been one of my favorite movie series ever since Darth Vader said, “Luke . . . ”
One of my favorites out of the whole series is Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (rated PG). It has a lot of interesting characters since it is based a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. There are characters like Luke and Leia who are human, but there are characters like Chewbacca and the Ewoks who make the movie a lot more interesting than just humans fighting with lightsabers and blasters.
courtesy of LucasFilms
These characters have very interesting personalities and they can be very funny. Chewbacca is a Wookie, basically half human, half Bigfoot. I like to think of Ewoks as fluffy teddy bears that can be vicious if you try to take over their territory. It has a lot of action. From lightsaber fights to lightspeed X-Wing battles, Star Wars will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. If you haven’t seen the movie, I tell you, “This is the movie you are looking for.”
Another amazing thing about Star Wars is the music. John Williams wrote the best music ever for these movies. The music makes you feel like you are in an X-Wing or fighting off Stormtroopers.
I think that Star Wars is one of the best movie series ever created. I would recommend these movies to anyone. If you haven’t seen them, you definitely HAVE to see these movies.
Alex, Scholastic Kids Council
July 13, 2016
The Time Patrol (for ages 12 and up) by Poul Anderson. The Time Machine (for ages 12 and up) by H. G. Wells. One is a collection of stories. The other is a short novel. Both are science fiction about time travel, but that is just about the only thing these books have in common.
Both are extremely good reads, though neither is suitable for a very young audience. The Time Machine is dense and takes a while to build up to the action. The Time Patrol deals a lot with time travel-related paradoxes, which can get confusing, and has some violence and some adult language.
The Time Machine is about a man in the late nineteenth century who builds a time machine. He travels to the year Eight Hundred and Two Thousand Seven Hundred and One A.D. (802,701). The book tells the story of his adventures with the people there, who are a greatly evolved version of the human race.
The Time Patrol is about Manse Everard, a man from the mid-twentieth century, who is recruited into the Time Patrol, an organization created to prevent anyone from changing history. The book has tales of his different missions.
If I had to pick which one I liked better, I probably would go with The Time Patrol, but I don’t want to rank them. They’re too different to pick a favorite. Both have excitement, but The Time Patrol has more. It also exercised my logic skills with time travel confusion. The Time Machine is more philosophical.
The Time Patrol and The Time Machine have a bit more in common than I said at first–they are both definitely worth reading.
Julie, Scholastic Kids Council
July 11, 2016
There is a famous poem by Robert Frost called “The Road Not Taken.” Here is a quote:
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,”
Many people interpret the poem to mean that if you see 2 paths, you should take the less common path because it might lead you to new adventures that you would not experience if you just follow the same road as everyone else. You know, be original and follow your own dreams, not someone else’s.
William has a different idea, though. He just wants to take the shortest road. Maybe there is some pizza waiting at the end of his road, or something.
What about you? What road will YOU take? Write your ending to this sentence :
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I . . .
Leave your answers in the Comments!
July 6, 2016
Choose a faction that micromanages your life, or have your whole life planned ahead of you by some old people who spy on you. Which one would you choose? Have you heard of the books The Giver and Divergent (both for ages 12 and up)? Most of you are going to have some of those lazy summer days when time feels so slow. I would totally recommend these books to anyone looking for great summer reads.
These are incredibly good books, full of plot twists and suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat until you finish them. Both of them have been made into movies, but books are (almost) always better than the movies, so make sure you read the books first. Both of these books are first books of series, The Giver is followed by Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son, and Divergent is followed by Insurgent and Allegiant.
The setting in The Giver and in Divergent are dystopian societies where everything is bad or unpleasant and there is something huge about the characters’ lives and their societies that is being kept from them.
Jonas and Tris are the protagonists of The Giver and Divergent. A big day is upon Tris at the start of Divergent. She must take an aptitude test to see which faction she fits into. Then she must choose her faction. Jonas is turning 12, and must receive his future career chosen by the Council of Elders. When both Jonas and Tris find out their society’s secrets, their lives are changed forever and they both try to help fix the rest of their civilization.
Both Jonas and Tris stand out from the others in their societies. Tris is “divergent”, while Jonas doesn’t have the most normal job. Tris is born into the faction Abnegation, which is all about selflessness and caring about others before you think about yourself. Both societies are trying to implement selflessness, but go way too far. For example, if you are a member of Abnegation, you cannot look at yourself in the mirror. Jonas is given lots of power after receiving his job, while Tris finds herself in danger.
So, would you rather read Divergent, The Giver, or both? Leave your thoughts in the Comments!
Alex, Scholastic Kids Council
June 30, 2016
Basketball has had a huge impact on my life since I was in kindergarten. My mother and father told me that, when I was little, I would ask to sleep with my basketball and that I went through a couple of months where I bounced my basketball everywhere I went!
I play for a summer team, a travel team, a school team, and an A.A.U. team. I love all four of them. When I am having a bad day, and I know I have basketball practice later, it makes my day so much better.
One reason why I love basketball so much is because the game never stops. The ball is always moving, and the game moves fast. I play point guard, which means I have to work on my ball handling skills a lot. I have lots of fun practicing, even when I am alone.
I love to watch basketball too. It is so entertaining to watch. My favorite team is the Golden State Warriors. I love to watch Stephen Curry play, and try to imitate his moves. So make sure that you try out basketball soon because I know you will have lots of fun.
Leah, Scholastic Kids Council
June 9, 2016
Start Your Own Coins for Cancer Campaign
Cancer is a pressing issue around the world right now, and we need to do something to stop it. All cancers are a problem, but there are some that are more lethal than others. Brain Cancer is one of these cancers that are very harmful and lethal. Researchers and scientists are doing everything they can to find a cure, but even with over 60 years of time, we haven’t made enough progress.
A lot of people hear stories about young people being diagnosed with cancer, and they fight through it and survive, but that isn’t everyone. Most patients diagnosed with cancer end up succumbing to it. This is why we need to find a cure. Researchers and scientists can help exterminate this horrible disease by receiving increased funds that help them conduct more research, increase clinical trial studies, and upgrade their equipment to assist with developing a cure.
Citizens like you can help this cause by donating money to researchers, scientists, non-profit groups and proton therapy centers. You can also help by raising awareness about this disease around your community, and by supporting patients that have been diagnosed with this disease. I think that everyone needs to play a part in this fight against cancer. Even if it is something small, like having a bake sale where funds go to cancer research, everything counts.
Ask your parents and teachers to help you start your own campaign to help raise money and donate it to a research organization!
Alex, Scholastic Kids Council
June 2, 2016
Littering Is Awful!
One way you can stop littering is by not throwing garbage and recycling everywhere. Every time I go on the highway, I see items such as soda cans and wrappers on the ground. Why can’t people just use a bag? Get a recyclable bag, and keep it in your car. Then you can just put your garbage or recycling into the bag instead of onto a highway. Or better yet, why don’t you wait until you get to your destination to throw out or recycle things?
Another way you can prevent littering is by picking up after others. You can organize or join an expedition to pick up garbage from places where people have littered near you. All you need to organize an expedition is volunteers, bags, and gloves. Or, you can use trash grabbers, if you don’t want to use gloves.
There are simple things that you can do to help stop littering. Find the right one for you. Start a club at your school or join the Save the Planet Message Board to talk about ways you can help make the world a better place!
Kayla, Scholastic Kids Council
May 31, 2016
Summer Social Goals
Happy summer, everyone! As far as I am concerned, the best thing about summer is all the free, unlimited READING TIME! After a long school year of assignments and homework, it is finally time to read whatever you want for as long as you want, but sometimes summer can feel a bit . . . unsocial since you don’t see always your friends every day. How can you celebrate the joys of unlimited reading time and still be social? Join the Message Boards in June for your summer social goals!
Here are a few challenges to get you started meeting new online friends, chatting, and supporting your fellow readers! Choose one or choose them all and go get social!
Tell us your June social goals in the Comments. Then sign in to the Message Boards and start being social!
May 26, 2016
Make Your Own Art Bot!
An art bot is a thing that uses a motor to in some way create art with drawing implements attached to it. There are many different possible designs. This is a guide to make the one I made, which does not require any expensive or hard-to-get materials. Make sure you read the entire procedure before attempting.
You will need:
- A large paper or plastic cup that you can cut
- At least three markers or colored pencils (markers work a lot better because colored pencils don’t have enough pressure to draw well and need to be sharpened)
- An electric toothbrush (you can get really cheap ones at the dollar store)
- If they’re not included in the toothbrush, batteries
- Remove the motor from the toothbrush. I’m not sure what brand I used, but the motor came out easily. If there aren’t any, put in batteries.
- Cut a hole in the bottom of the cup that the motor can fit halfway into. Turn it over so the hole is on top, and tape the motor in halfway so that the end with a button on it is sticking halfway out. If the button is in a different place, find a way to arrange it so it is reachable from outside.
- Tape your pencils or markers around the outside of the cup, drawing ends down (away from the motor end). Make sure they are evenly spaced and the drawing ends are the same distance away from the rim of the cup.
- Place the art bot on a piece of paper with the motor on top, and turn it on! If not every marker/pencil is drawing, adjust them so that they are all touching the paper.
- If you used markers, make sure to cap them when you are done.
Julie, Scholastic Kids Council
May 12, 2016
Many people know Stephen Curry for his amazing shots, but if you really pay attention to him, he is also an amazing dribbler. I have always admired Stephen Curry, and I think he is one of the best basketball players to play in the NBA. He was the 1st round, 7th pick by the Golden State Warriors in 2009.
He is 6’3″ and 190 pounds, which is pretty small to be playing against some guys that can be up to seven feet tall and weigh close to 300 pounds. Even with his height disadvantage, Curry was still the NBA MVP last year, and his team also won the NBA championship. He has changed the way people think about the NBA because he is a normal-sized guy, but he can play with the best of them, including LeBron James. I’m sure he has inspired some athletes who are not necessarily big or tall to consider playing in the NBA.
Stephen Curry started playing basketball when he was a young boy. His brother, Seth, helped him practice a lot. I believe that Stephen Curry is a phenomenal basketball player, a great athlete, and a great influence for a lot of people. I may never be even close to as tall as he is, but Stephen Curry has influenced me to live my dream, to play basketball.
Leah, Scholastic Kids Council