Olivia B. is only 12 years old, but she has already gotten the attention of a presidential candidate. Last month, she wrote a letter to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton about the importance of a good education for children with learning disabilities. Olivia’s letter went viral after Secretary Clinton posted it on Twitter. Olivia even got to go to Clinton’s birthday party and take a selfie with her. Continue reading
Scholastic and Taylor Swift are excited to announce a donation of 25,000 new books from the Scholastic Possible Fund to 25 New York City schools that need more books for their students! These 25 schools will each receive 1,000 new children’s books.
As a long-time literacy advocate, Taylor hosted a webcast for classrooms during which she shared how books, reading, and writing have influenced her and opened her world. Since it first aired in October 2014, the webcast has been viewed by more than 4.5 million students from around the country! Watch it here.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Children all over the world dream of the future, what they will do, and what jobs they will have. Now, these dreams can become a reality at KidZania (kid-ZAH-nee-ya). Opened last August in Manila, the interactive kid-sized city combines role-playing activities and real-life experiences to simulate the real world for children ages four to fourteen. Continue reading
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be on the set where your favorite book-turned-movie was filmed? I recently got the chance to visit the forest whereThe Hunger Games movie (rated PG-13) was filmed. I got to see the very place where Jennifer Lawrence acted as Katniss Everdeen and ran from the fireballs in the Arena. I acted out the scene where Josh Hutcherson portrayed Peeta Mellark, who was using camouflage to hide from the other tributes. It wasn’t on a set in Hollywood or New York City, but instead, in DuPont State Recreational Forest in North Carolina. Continue reading
Students Rory Danieluk, Dylan Kalina, Zoe Kitson, and Emma Smith with their teacher Sarah Lindbloom and State Senator Shirley Turner (center) at the New Jersey State House. New Jersey may soon follow Massachusetts’ lead in naming an Official State Inventor. Four students from Stony Brook Elementary School in Hopewell, New Jersey, are behind a bill that would name Thomas Alva Edison as their State Inventor.
The odyssey started last year with a class assignment from Sarah Lindbloom, the students’ fourth-grade teacher. Lindbloom asked, “If you were to create a state symbol, what would it be?” Rory Danieluk, Dylan Kalina, Zoe Kitson, and Emma Smith chose Edison.
Emma, now a fifth-grader, said, “We all simply agreed on Thomas Edison.” Her group, she added, “really didn’t think of anyone else.” But they did have a backup plan. If their teacher denied Edison as a symbol, the girls “would have chosen a state animal.”
Dylan said that Edison deserved to be the state inventor “because he has done incredible things for our state.” Born in 1847, Edison helped change the world by developing the first electric light bulb and movie camera, among many other inventions.
KIDS CAN BE HEARD
Lindbloom thought that the girls’ proposal was so impressive, she encouraged them to send it to New Jersey State Senator Shirley Turner. Zoe, like her classmates, was thrilled when Turner responded. “It was exciting because I didn’t expect a reply,” Zoe said.
Turner, for her part, was delighted to see students get involved in government at a young age. “I believe that the students’ participation in our legislative process will have a lasting impact on them,” she said.
Rory agreed. She thinks that kids can be heard by government officials on an ongoing basis, “if they have provided a fair argument.”
Time will tell if the students’ argument was strong enough. The fate of the bill (S2771) is still pending. Hurdles include approval by both the state legislature and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Supporters of the bill are optimistic that it will pass and increase New Jersey tourism, as well as appreciation for an amazing inventor.
What does it mean to be a superstar? For many people, it’s about being great at one thing, whether it’s sports, music, or something else. When this reporter interviewed Frank Lampard at Yankee Stadium recently, a different definition emerged. Lampard excels at both sports and writing. Not only does he score goals for New York City FC (a professional soccer team), he also writes children’s books.
Joshua in the press room at Yankee Stadium
Lampard has written three books for a series called Frankie’s Magic Soccer Ball (Scholastic), with more titles on the way. Before a match between New York City FC and the San Jose Earthquakes at Yankee Stadium, the superstar took time to share his story.
Lampard began his soccer career in his native England, where the sport is called football. A midfielder for Chelsea Football Club for 13 years, he has scored more goals than anyone in the team’s history. Whether winning or losing, Lampard said, “good sportsmanship and respecting your opponent” are essential.
Last summer, Lampard moved to the United States to play for New York City FC, a Major League Soccer (MLS) team. He loves the city, saying, “I enjoy how friendly everybody is.” Having long watched MLS games, he often dreamed of coming to the U.S. and “was quite inspired when David Beckham came here and did so well.”
WRITING CHILDREN’S BOOKS
But a star athletic career was not enough for Lampard. So he turned to writing children’s books. “I wanted to do something constructive, fun, and different from football,” he said. In the popular series that Lampard created, a magic soccer ball helps Frankie, the main character, and his friends journey back in time. They play soccer matches against ancient Romans, pirates, and even cowboys. Can you imagine playing soccer at the Roman Colosseum?
The series combines sports, history, and friendship—plus a talking dog. Thirteen books have been published in England, where the series is called Frankie’s Magic Football. As for the secret to Lampard’s own success, this reporter found no magic. “To be successful in anything,” Lampard said, “the idea is the same for everything you do—hard work and practice.”
Our Kid Reporter talks with author R.L. Stine and the cast of the new Goosebumps movie (rated PG).
The spookiest day of the year is coming on October 31. Here are a few Halloween activities and links to get you ready. If you need costume ideas, we got ‘em; scary books, we got ‘em. We even have a personality quiz to find out what monster you are most like!
- Halloween Book Challenge
- Book-Inspired Halloween Candy
- Halloween Costume Personality Quiz
- Haunted House Word Find
- Create a Caption for Oliver the Halloween Cat
- Harry Potter Halloween
- Halloween Kitten
- DIY Halloween Costumes
- Book Character Halloween Costumes
- Halloween Poll
- Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF
- The Best Scary Books
- Monster Personality Quiz
- Goosebumps Create a Caption
- Halloween Trivia Quiz and a Spooky Halloween Trivia Quiz
- You know you are obsessed with Goosebumps when. . .
- Scary Would You Rather
This just in . . . these Halloween Would You Rather questions from PurpleWizard50:
Would you rather . . . .
- Dress up as a pink princess OR a yellow bumblebee?
- Get one small yummy candy bar OR a giant bar of yucky candy?
- Turn into a werewolf OR a vampire?
- Eat 2000 candy bars in a minute OR eat 30 old pieces of licorice in one minute?
- Meet a mummy OR Frankenstein?
If you have ideas for blog posts, go to the STACK Back Message Board and submit them! Have a safe and fun Halloween!
To celebrate, go play the Jedi Trainer Game!
I don’t know why May 4th is Star Wars Day. It seems like such a random date. Nevertheless, I speak for Yoda and all the Jedi knights when I say, “May the 4th be with you!”
What do YOU think Yoda is saying on this book cover? Leave your caption in the Comments.
Sonja, STACKS Staffer
It’s true. THIS IS NOT A JOKE! After five years Zayn Malik has decided to leave One Direction. Niall, Harry, Liam and Louis will continue as a four-piece group in the forthcoming concerts of their world tour, and will record their fifth album, due to be released later this year, without Zayn.
On the official One Direction Family website, Zayn says:
“My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I’d like to apologise to the fans if I’ve let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight. I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world.”
“We’re really sad to see Zayn go, but we totally respect his decision and send him all our love for the future. The past five years have been beyond amazing, we’ve gone through so much together, so we will always be friends. The four of us will now continue. We’re looking forward to recording the new album and seeing all the fans on the next stage of the world tour.”
You know you’re a Directioner when . . . you wish this was just a bad dream. I remember when I was first introduced to Zayn (not in real life, but you know what I mean!) when I read this crazy, hilarious interview. And remember this One Direction trivia quiz? And who could forget when Sam abducted him on iCarly? Oh, the memories!
What are your best Zayn memories? Leave your tributes in the Comments. We will miss you, Zayn! *sniff*
Sonja, STACKS Staffer
Zayn Malik photo courtesy of Sony Pictures, iCarly photo courtesy of Nickelodeon