Category Archives: Reads

November 18, 2015

Lincoln's Grave Robbers

Posted by at 1:46 am in Reads | Permalink

lincoln's grave robbersLincoln’s Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin ( for ages 11 and up)

Hi, everyone! EvilGoblin here. I’m going to talk about the main plot of my book Lincoln’s Grave Robbers. If you like suspenseful, real-life spy stories, you will love Lincoln’s Grave Robbers.

A criminal named Big Jim hatches a plan to steal the remains of the dead President Lincoln. Secret service agent Patrick Tyrell finds out and hires a roper (an undercover spy who pretends to be a criminal) Lewis Swegles to figure out what is going on. He figures out that on election night of 1864, Jack Hughes and Terrence Mullen are planning to steal the remains of the dead president.

On election night, Tyrell takes a team of spies to hide in the labyrinth of the monument. When the thieves go to commit the crime, the roper gives the signal and Tyrell’s squad gets in position. Tyrell darts up the stairs and onto the terrace and about 70 feet in front of him, a figure darts back as Tyrell shoots. The thieves take cover and shoot at Tyrell. He dodges the bullets but the thieves escape. It is only a matter of time before they will be found but you have to read the book to find out the rest of the story.

Let me ask you a question: Would you rather be a criminal or a spy? Reply in the Comments and then come talk to me on the Buzz Board.

November 11, 2015

The BFG Readalikes

Posted by at 3:40 pm in Reads | Permalink

The BFG by Roald Dahl book coverThe BFG Readalikes

Excellent news, Roald Dahl fans! The beloved fictional giant, the BFG (Big Friendly Giant), will be coming to big screens in 2016. (There’s a joke on being larger than life in there somewhere . . . ) If you can’t get enough of the silly, sometimes surreal, and always heartwarming world of The BFG, here are some great books for ages 8-12 to read next! Continue reading

November 9, 2015

7 Meanest Children's Book Villains

Posted by at 1:11 am in Reads, Writing Prompt | Permalink

question marks7 Meanest Children’s Book Villains 

Are the villains in children’s books too mean? To help you answer that question, I’ve compiled a list of the top seven most evil children’s book villains. Some of these characters are so deliciously evil, it’s no wonder that they have all made it from books to the big screen.

#7: Jadis, The White Witch from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

jadis-the-white-witch Her character is supposed to be a tall Amazonian woman with pretty features and great strength, but for all that beauty, inside lives a very dark and ice-cold heart. She turns people and animals to stone and then uses them for home décor. Who does that? Also, did you know that the fur collar she wears is actually Aslan’s mane? Yeah, that’s mean! Continue reading

October 28, 2015

Battle Bugs Books

Posted by at 1:30 am in Reads | Permalink

battle bugsBattle Bugs Book Series for Ages 7-10

Have no fear! The Battle Bugs are here! This new series has action-packed adventure, a hilarious friendship between boy and bug, and the most dangerous of villains—a lizard army!

In the newest book, an eerie glow from his insect encyclopedia alerts Max Darwin that the Battle Bugs desperately need his help again. Once Max is transported to Bug Island, he finds himself in immediate peril. He’s dropped into the ocean and lizard forces are headed right for him! Fortunately, Commander Barton and the Battle Bugs are also on the scene.

Once Max is rescued and back on dry land, the Battle Bugs explain their latest problem. As Max experienced, the lizards are now attacking from the sea. The bug forces need some way to spot the enemy before they crawl up on the sand. Max has a fantastic idea: the bugs need to build a giant watchtower so they can survey the entire beach! But can they finish it before the lizards attack again?

Find out how Max and the Battle Bugs fight their way through the attacking lizard forces in the newest BATTLE BUGS book! Start reading Chapter 1: Battle Bugs: The Chameleon Attack!

Can’t get enough Battle Bugs? The first three books in this exciting series are out now!

October 22, 2015

Midnight Gulch Halloween

Posted by at 1:51 pm in Reads | Permalink

snickerofmagic130Hello, STACKS readers!

We have a special Halloween treat for you. And no, it’s not a trick! Natalie Lloyd, the author of A Snicker of Magic, has a brand-new story set in Midnight Gulch—a magical town full of mystery, enchanted ice cream . . . and a few ghosts.

If you liked A Snicker of Magic, then you’ll love this “spindiddly” story featuring Felicity Pickle, Jonah Pickett, and many more. If you haven’t read A Snicker of Magic, then you’ll still love this funny, magical, slightly spooky Halloween adventure.

Start reading “When the Ghosts Come Out to Dance!”

Happy reading!

October 21, 2015

The Yeti Files

Posted by at 1:34 am in Reads | Permalink

Yeti Files 2The Yeti Files by Kevin Sherry

Have you ever had a dream where you met someone – or something – that you didn’t even know existed? Did they take you on an adventure around the world and through time in search of other mystical, magical creatures? If you haven’t (or even if you have, because let’s be honest, that dream was awesome and you want to have it again), then you should definitely check out the latest addition to The Yeti Files series, Monsters on the Run, by Kevin Sherry.

Blizz Richards, a yeti living in the snowy mountains of Nepal, is just hanging out with his friends Alexander and Gunthar, when they receive a letter from Vanessa (a.k.a. the Loch Ness monster) saying how lonely she is and how much she needs a friend, someone who understands her. Being the generous, adventurous guy that he is, Blizz decides to set out to find other creatures just like her. With the help of a time-traveling leprechaun, they manage to go 65 million years into the past to find other Nessies, but between dinosaurs and other predators, they may have found more than they expected.yeti files

This book is more than just a fun story, though. The wild illustrations create a whole universe of things you’ve never seen before. A leprechaun workshop, a nation of unicorns, a prehistoric forest. Get a look inside all of these things and more in The Yeti Files: Monsters on the Run.

What would you want to see if you could time travel? What mystical creature have you always wanted to meet? Leave a Comment and let us know!

October 14, 2015

Book Wars: Ever After High vs. Whatever After

Posted by at 1:04 am in Kid Power, Reads | Permalink

Book warsBook Wars: Ever After High vs. Whatever After

I will be doing a comparison between the magical series of Ever After High and the mysterious series of Whatever After. Both series are amazing and involve fantasy, but they are different in many ways.

To start the war off, I will introduce to you the main characters of each book, Raven and Abby. In Ever After High, Raven is daughter of the evil queen from Snow White, and faces the challenge of whether to sign the Storybook of Legends which will seal her fate as the next evil ruler. In Whatever After, Abby is shut out at school most of the time which causes her to be very lonely. One night, she is intrigued by the basement, and she and her brother Jonah get sucked through a magic mirror that came with the house, and transported into the story of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Both characters are shut out at school and are involved in the tale Snow White.

Surprisingly, the two main characters have traits in common, such as a “don’t think, just do” kind of thing. Don’t get them mad because if you do, you had better watch out! They also both have great kindness in their hearts. Finally, Raven and Abby are “chosen” for something of great importance in the world.

What do you think? Similar or not at all? Are you a fan of EAH or WA? Put your opinion in the Comments below.

Rowan, Scholastic Kids Council

October 7, 2015

Welcome to Mars Buzz Aldrin

Posted by at 1:22 am in Authors, Reads | Permalink

Earth from space photoSpace Pioneer Buzz Aldrin Shares His Vision For Exploring Mars In Welcome to Mars

Could Mars be our future home? Buzz Aldrin thinks so, and he should know! Buzz is one of the first people to walk on the moon, and was a member of the historic Apollo 11 crew. A renowned rocket scientist, he developed a futuristic space transportation system to reach Mars. He chairs his own educational organization, ShareSpace Foundation. And he also has a Toy Story character named after him! (Hint: “To infinity — and beyond!”)

Buzz Aldrin welcome to marsBuzz Aldrin lives, eats, and breathes all things Mars. Buzz has a vision for not only traveling to Mars, but inhabiting it as well. In Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet, Buzz describes what it will take to build a permanent home on this far away planet.

Welcome to Mars reveals the ultimate in space transportation — the Aldrin Cycler Spacecraft – and what the space traveler will encounter upon arrival, including a detailed illustration of the Mars Lander Sequence and an ingenious method for removing the rusty dust stuck to the space suits. The reader is taken on a tour of the Spaceport, learns how dirt bikes and zip lines will be natural forms of red planet entertainment, and discovers how greenhouses will play a vital role in the colonization of Mars. Finally, after months of exploring and living in the rugged Spaceport, it’s moving day – Buzz ups the “wow” factor with high tech and forward-thinking living, eating and recreational quarters aptly named the Founders Dome.

What do you think? Will you sign up to go live on Mars? Tell us in the Comments.

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

September 30, 2015

Book Wars: Origami Yoda vs. Jedi Academy

Posted by at 1:59 am in Kid Power, Reads | Permalink

jedi academy vs. origami yodaSTAR BOOK WARS: ORIGAMI YODA VS. JEDI ACADEMY

(We regret to inform you that no lightsabers will be used.)

Navigating the twists and turns of middle school is hard. You have tough classes, (Sith-like) bullies, friends, and more coming your way. It is hard to know what to do, and there seems to be a rule for almost everything. You need a Jedi Master to help you not mess up.

The Origami Yoda books take place at McQuarrie Middle School, where an oddball named Dwight shows up with an origami puppet in the form of Yoda himself! Dwight (or should I say Yoda?) gives Jedi-quality advice in all sorts of situations. His friends Tommy, Kellen, and others are making a case file to decide if Origami Yoda uses the mysterious “force,” or if Dwight is not who they thought he was. Filled with Harvey’s “scientific explanations for what happened” and Kellen’s drawings, this realistic fiction book is great for anyone who is looking for a quick laugh.

In the Jedi Academy books, however, Roan Novachez of Tatooine doesn’t need a puppet for advice. He has our little green friend (Yoda) as a teacher! Roan is rejected from pilot school, his only dream in life. Things aren’t looking too good. Then a letter arrives from the elusive Jedi Academy on Coroscant, accepting Roan into Jedi training. All the other kids have been in Jedi Academy since they were younger, so Roan gets made fun of by the class bullies. He has a hard time with classes, doesn’t really fit in at first, and is just kind of lost.

Overall . . .

Origami Yoda is easy to read, extremely funny, and talks about realistic kids. I immensely enjoy this series and read it over and over again. The plot follows the episodes of Star Wars a little more. Jedi Academy more accurately describes bullies, tough classes, and fitting in with others kids. Actually set in the Star Wars galaxy, this series depicts the creatures and customs of movies.

What do you think: Does a puppet sound good, or does having Yoda as a teacher appeal more?

Beata, Scholastic Kids Council

September 29, 2015

Magic Tree House Would You Rather

Posted by at 1:01 am in Reads, Would You Rather | Permalink

magictreehouse_thanksgivingMagic Tree House Would You Rather

Ketchup and mustard. Batman and Robin. Some things just go together. Like Jack and Annie from The Magic Tree House series. With their time-travelling historical adventures, this series can get you hooked on reading for life!

Book #53 Shadow of the Shark came out this summer, and #54 Balto of the Blue Dawn (about a Siberian husky in 1925 Alaska) is coming out in Jan. 2016. So if you love this dynamic duo, let us know, Would You Rather . . .

1. Be Jack OR Annie?

2. Go to the Amazon rainforest OR ancient Egypt?

3. Be attacked by a dinosaur OR a mummy?

4. Be a passenger on board the Titanic OR a Viking ship?

5. Survive an earthquake in San Francisco OR a tidal wave in Hawaii?

6. Fight in the Revolutionary War OR the Civil War?

7. Pet-sit a cobra OR an emperor penguin?

8. Battle a ninja OR a dragon?

Let us know what YOU guys would rather in the Comments below. And tell us if you have a favorite Magic Tree House book!

-Ratha, STACKS Writer