Category Archives: Reads

June 18, 2014

Fantasy Books Festival

Fantasy Books FestivalAfter the fun of last month’s Funny Books Fiesta, we are enjoying a new  STACKS summer reading celebration: the Fantasy Books Festival! Have you ever wished for a Hogwarts letter to come to your house? Have you ever looked inside a wardrobe to see if it’s really a door into another world? Have you ever wondered if your real father is a god from Greek mythology? If so, then you should join us for the Fantasy Books Festival in July. We know just how you feel!

Here is the schedule of events:

Favorite Fantasy Books             July 2

Fantasy Guess the Book            July 9

Fantasy Who Would Win            July 16

Harry Potter Week                     July 28- 31

Readathon/Harry Potter birthday celebration! July 31 Noon -4 pm E.T. RSVP here!

To get started, tell us your favorite fantasy book in the Comments.

June 18, 2014

Funny Books Fiesta Challenge #3

Posted by at 1:02 am in Reads | Permalink

Funny Books FiestaSilly Sentence Switch-Up!

Hey y’all! Our Funny Books Fiesta is in full swing now. How’s the reading coming along? I love seeing all the fun—and funny—responses you had to our Silly Word Vocabulary and Make Your Own Mad Libs challenges. You guys are really hysterical! So it is with great excitement that I introduce today’s Funny Books Fiesta challenge: Silly Sentence Switch-Up!

If you’ve been following our Books of the Month posts for the past few months, you know that one of the most highly recommended series by the people of the STACKS is Wings of Fire. So I’ve started reading Book One: The Dragonet Prophecy and I gotta say, it is totally worth the hype! Anyway, I picked the paragraph I’m reading on page 215 to use for my silly sentence switch-up.

How does it work?

Take the sentence you’re reading and pick a few random words (nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc.). Do the same for the following sentence, and the one after. Make sure that you have the same number of each kind of word from each sentence. Now, shuffle them all around!

Here’s the original paragraph:

The roaring of dragons woke them the next morning. The three dragonets barely had time to scramble to their feet before guards began pouring into their cave. The black rocks had burned down to embers, which the SkyWing soldiers swept into the pool easily with their tails.

Remixed sentences? Check it out:

The roaring of embers scrambled them the next cave. The three tails barely had time to burn to their feet before guards began pouring into their dragons. The black rocks had woken down to dragonets, which the SkyWing soldiers swept into the pool easily with their morning.

Pretty wacky, right? Try your own silly sentence switch-up! Share your  new sentences in the Comments below. The weirder the better!

Come back next week for another Funny Books Fiesta book challenge. And don’t forget the LIVE Readathon on June 30! Can’t wait! It’s gonna be amazing.

See ya next time,

image from kids.scholastic.com — En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

June 11, 2014

Funny Books Fiesta Challenge #2

Posted by at 1:40 am in Reads, Writing Prompt | Permalink

Funny Books FiestaSilly Word Vocabulary

Have you ever wondered what a really crazy-looking word meant? I sure have! In fact, I do all the time. Of course, the right thing to do when you encounter a word you don’t know is to whip out the dictionary, but before you get the good ol’ standard definition of that difficult word, why not have a little fun first?

Today’s Funny Books Fiesta challenge is Silly Word Vocabulary! When you read a word you don’t know in your book . . . make up a definition. That’s right! Just make one up, the weirder the better. How does it change the sentence you’re reading?

I’m reading The Hypnotists by Gordon Korman (If you haven’t read it yet, you totally should!)–and I see a few words that I used to struggle with all the time. For example, brashness. Here is the original sentence that Gordon Korman wrote:

The door of the lounge was flung open, and Wilson burst into the room with his customary brashness.

Brashness really means energetic-ness or boldness, but if I were to make up my own silly definition, I’d say it means “having an extremely long, bushy tail.” Here is my new, silly sentence:

The door of the lounge was flung open, and Wilson burst into the room with his customary extremely long, bushy tail. 

This definition of brashness gives the sentence a seriously silly new meaning!

Are you that super-smart kid that knows all the words in the book you’re reading? Fear not, you can still have fun. Simply give a word you already know a new meaning. Example? Coincidence. My new definition? “A statue made of old coins, made in an ancient mine by elves who only wear the color blue.”

Pick a word, any word! Be bold. Share your new, silly definition in the Comments below. Can’t wait to see how creative and gloriously goofy we can get!

Come back next week for another Funny Books Fiesta book challenge. And don’t forget the LIVE Readathon on June 30! You’re coming, right? See ya later,

image from kids.scholastic.com — En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

June 4, 2014

The Great Greene Heist

Posted by at 1:55 am in Reads | Permalink

The Great Greene Heist book coverThe Great Greene Heist (for ages 10-14) by Varian Johnson

“I know exactly who you are,” the boy said as he clamped onto Jackson’s hand. “There are whole websites dedicated to the Infamous Jackson Greene.”

Hacking the computer system and scheduling a four-hour lunch period. Stealing the goat mascot and selling it on eBay. The “Mid-Day PDA “and the “Blitz at the Fitz.” Jackson Greene is known around the school for being able to get into and out of sticky situations, but he is also the kind of cool, funny kid that you would want to hang out with.

Jackson’s ex-best friend/ former almost-girlfriend, Gaby is running for class president. She wants new computers for classrooms and organic options in the cafeteria, among other things. But Jackson’s sworn enemy, Keith Sinclair is Gaby’s political opponent. Keith wants to cut funding for clubs so that he can get more money for the Gamer Club. Unfortunately for Maplewood Middle School, Keith might just get his way because of his insider connection to Principal Kelsey.

It’s time for Jackson to pull out his bag of tricks so he can outsmart Keith and Dr. Kelsey, secure Gaby’s presidency. . . and possibly change his personal status with Gaby.

Can he do it? OK. Disclaimer: There is no way any student in a real school could pull off half the things Jackson does in this book, so don’t even think about trying them yourself! But, if you like fast-paced books that are full of laughs, twists, and turns, books like Swindle and The Fourth Stall, then you will definitely want to read The Great Greene Heist to find out if he manages to succeed in his insane caper.

 

June 4, 2014

Funny Books Fiesta Challenge #1

Posted by at 1:19 am in Reads, Writing Prompt | Permalink

Funny Books FiestaMake your own Mad Libs!

Welcome to the Funny Books Fiesta! To keep you reading (and giggling) all month long, we’ve got some seriously silly games going on. You ready to get your giggle on? Check out today’s activity!

Everyone loves Mad Libs. So why not make your own? The more original, the better! Here’s how this game works: substitute random nouns on the page you are reading with another, super-random noun.

For example, I’m currently reading Goosebumps Horrorland: Welcome to Camp Slither. I’m on page 73. My super-random word? Tofu. Check out my new first paragraphs:

Sid grabbed the tofu and studied it. “The head tofu is someone named Uncle Jerry? Why haven’t we seen him?”

“Don’t you get it? This means Dr. Crawler isn’t the real head tofu,” I said, my heart suddenly pounding. “Dr. Crawler is some kind of fake.”

The tofu all started talking at once…

To inspire you, here’s a list of great, goofy words for you to use:

  • PANTS
  • TEAKETTLE
  • BEANS
  • BLANKIE
  • CHAPSTICK
  • FOOTBALL
  • CROUTON

Of course, you can always pick your own word!

Share your new favorite, silliest sentence (or sentences) in the Comments below. The sillier and more random, the better!

Come back next week for another Funny Books Fiesta book challenge. And it’s not too early to start getting ready for the LIVE Readathon on June 30! Till next time,

image from kids.scholastic.com — En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

May 28, 2014

May Books of the Month

Posted by at 10:35 am in Books of the Month, Reads | Permalink

writing_prompt_book_recommendationKids’ Favorite Books this Month!

Do y’all know what time it is? Oh yeah! It’s BOOKS OF THE MONTH time!!! Not gonna lie: this is easily my favorite post every month. I can’t wait to find out what books you guys are reading and to get your recommendations!

At the end of April we asked you to share what books you were reading. Then we made a word cloud so we could see which titles were most popular. This month saw some surprising new contenders for the top spot. You Wings of Fire fans really came out in support! Check out the results below:

May Books of the Month

We’ll be doing this again for next month, so show your favorite new (or not-so-new!) book title some love and tell us what you’re reading right now. Leave the name of the book (or books!) in the Comments section below. Can’t wait to see which title reigns supreme in June!

Till next month,

image from kids.scholastic.com — En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

May 28, 2014

Rescue Princess Basics

Posted by at 1:42 am in Reads | Permalink

Rescue Princesses book 5Ever wonder what it’s like to be a Rescue Princess? Here are the basics you need to know!

To be a Rescue Princess . . .  Make a secret promise with your fellow princesses to always help animals in trouble. Animal lovers and good secret keepers are the two most important qualities in a Rescue Princess!

Necessary Bling: Heart-Shaped Rings
Invented by Princess Jaminta when the Rescue Princesses were founded, each Rescue Princess wears a sparkling jewel that enables her to call another princess for help! Jaminta shaped the jewels perfectly to bring out the magic inside them. Here’s a quick guide to who wears each stone from the start:

Now Announcing, The Mistberg Grand Ball! Continue reading

May 23, 2014

Funny Books Fiesta

Posted by at 1:54 am in Reads | Permalink

Funny Books FiestaHappy 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.  Along with the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, we will be celebrating all the joys of summer reading with different activities on the STACKS each month.

Let’s kick off June with a month-long Funny Books Fiesta celebrating the books that make us laugh! What is the funniest book you ever read? Or who is the funniest character in a book you have read? Have you ever actually rolled on the floor laughing or fallen off your chair laughing while reading a book? Then the Funny Books Fiesta is for you!

Here is the schedule of events in June:

Funny Book challenge #1: Make your own Mad Libs

Funny Book challenge #2:  Silly Word Vocabulary

Funny Book challenge #3:  Silly Sentence Switch-Up

Readathon                          June 30 Noon -4 pm E.T.

To get started, tell us your June reading goals in the Comments. It could be to start a new book you’ve been wanting to read. It could be to finish a book that you started. It could be to discover some new funny books you haven’t read yet. It could be to read for a certain amount of time every day. Anything you want. Let us know YOUR reading goal for June, and then come back on June 4 for the first Funny Books Fiesta challenge!

May 21, 2014

Zane and the Hurricane

Posted by at 1:49 am in Reads | Permalink

Zane and the Hurricane by Rodman PhilbrickZane and the Hurricane: A Story of Katrina (for ages 9-14) by Rodman Philbrick

Zane Dupree is against the trip to New Orleans (a.k.a Smellyville). Zane’s father died before he was born, so he doesn’t know much about his past. It isn’t until Zane is twelve that his mom finds Miss Trissy, the woman who raised his dad. Zane’s mom wants him to go back to his roots for a week. He only agrees to go if he can bring his best friend, his dog Bandit.

Zane and the Hurricane by Rodman PhilbrickSurprisingly, once he arrives in New Orleans, Zane takes an immediate liking to Miss Trissy. Despite being ancient and not having a working television or air conditioning, Miss Trissy does what she can to make Zane happy. She tells him stories of his dad growing up; they look through old pictures, and they eat ice cream on the porch. The week passes by quickly until word of a hurricane heading their way changes it all.

Once the storm hits, things happen quickly. The whole city becomes flooded and Zane finds himself separated from Miss Trissy and stranded in an attic with Bandit, to be rescued by Mr. Tru and Malvina in a green canoe. They scour the city, hoping to find a place to survive the flooded aftermath of a devastating storm.

Will Zane be able to survive the storm? Will he be reunited with his mom and Miss Trissy? Read and find out! Then leave a comment with your thoughts and feelings below!

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

May 14, 2014

The Titanic Locket

Posted by at 1:33 am in Reads | Permalink

The Haunted Museum: The Titanic Locket book coverThe Haunted Museum: The Titanic Locket (for ages 8-12) by Suzanne Weyn

It is spring break and Samantha and Jessica are not entirely looking forward to their family vacation. On a replica of the Titanic, the girls will follow the original Titanic’s journey from England, Ireland, and France to New York; that is, without the hitting-an-iceberg-and-sinking part. With no Internet or cell phone access, it will be like stepping into a time capsule.

Each guest is assigned a passenger from the original Titanic passenger list. Samantha and Jessica The Haunted Museum: The Titanic Locket book coverare given twins Alice and Matilda Littlefield. Although Jessica is actually 18 months older than Samantha, they look like twins, and strangely, they bear a close resemblance to the Littlefield twins.

Before boarding the ship, Sam and Jess go to a museum where they look at Titanic memorabilia. Despite the “DO NOT TOUCH” signs everywhere, Jess picks up a pretty locket. But soon after, strange things start happening to the girls.

The numbers on their room mysteriously change from 266 to 299. The locket begins showing up in their room, and even around their necks! Something sinister is at work. There are ghosts who are out to get Samantha and Jessica, and who will make this a vacation the girls will never forget – if they get out alive.

This is a good story for those who are fascinated by the Titanic, or for anyone who loves a good ghost story.

–Elysse, STACKS Writer