August 12, 2014
Top 5 things I learned while writing Surrounded by Sharks (for ages 12 and up)
By Michael Northrop
I’ve always been fascinated by sharks and have been a devoted viewer of Shark Week since it first aired in 1987, but even I was surprised by some of the things I discovered when I waded into the research for my latest book.
- Sharks are nature’s true smelling machines. Unlike bloodhounds and the owners of the world’s other notable noses, sharks don’t breathe through their nostrils. They use them for only one thing: finding food (and, okay, the occasional mate).
- Sharks’ senses are all sharp, but the one they use up close is a sort of underwater spider-sense. They can detect even the tiniest electrical charges in the water, as small as five one-billionths of a volt. If a fish swims by, the shark can sense its bioelectric field, each flick of its tail and beat of its heart.
- In the book, Davey stays afloat with the help of a discarded water cooler bottle. About ten million tons of plastic make their way into the ocean each year. And, fictional flotation devices aside, they serve absolutely no purpose other than pollution.
- The cool stripes that give tiger sharks their name fade out as they reach adulthood. As with humans, it’s the young ones that have all the style!
- While sharks get all the attention, riptides are the real killers at the beach. Over the past ten years, rip currents have killed an estimated one hundred people annually in the US alone. That’s more than floods, tornadoes, lightning, or hurricanes. Sharks are responsible for about one fatality every two years, fewer than fireworks, roller coasters, or falling vending machines.
August 11, 2014
Writing Prompt: Fight for Your Reader Rights!
Reading is one of your passions. You could get lost in a good book for hours, or finish a series within days. You are a bona-fide, certified, qualified READER. But sometimes you run into problems . . . like the library is not open on Sundays in the summer . . . or it’s always too noisy with siblings running around your house. Well, we are writing a Reader’s Bill of Rights, so now’s your chance to state your demands to make it easier for you to be a reader.
- Article 1: Quiet time
- Article 2: Free access to any library in the world
- Article 3: Libraries open on Sundays
What rights do you think readers should have? Tell us your list of rights in the Comments below, and we will create a complete STACKS Reader’s Bill of Rights for you.
—Ratha, STACKS Writer
August 5, 2014
Adventure Guess the Books: Answers Revealed!
Your challenge yesterday was to name the book titles just by looking at these little pieces of the book covers. Did you guess them all?
Here are the answers:
- The Kane Chronicles: The Serpent’s Shadow by Rick Riordan
- The 39 Clues: Unstoppable: Nowhere to Run by Jude Watson
- Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
- I Survived the Japanese Tsunami, 2011 by Lauren Tarshis
- Infestation by Timothy J. Bradley
How did you do? Have you read all these books? Then you should totally join us for the rest of the Adventure Books Bash going on all month long!
— Sonja, STACKS Staffer
August 5, 2014
Adventure Guess the Books
We are celebrating books of adventurous action this August. Can you guess the book titles from this tiny sliver of each cover? I’ll give you a hint: They are all really, really action-filled adventure books!
Leave your guesses in the Comments, and check your answers here.
— Sonja, STACKS Staffer
August 1, 2014
Find out what these stars are reading this summer.
We are always curious/nosy to know what people are reading. You never know where your next favorite book will come from. So we asked a few stars of Disney shows to tell us what they are reading this summer. Here’s what they said . . .
Francesca Capaldi from Dog With a Blog is reading Cupcake Cousins by Kate Hannigan.
Calum Worthy from Austin and Ally is reading Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. Really?
Maddy Whitby from Radio Disney’s Morgan & Maddy in the Morning is re-reading the Harry Potter series.
Leave a Comment and let us know what YOU are reading this summer!
Photos courtesy Disney Channel
July 30, 2014
Please join us TODAY for a live readathon to celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday!
Since it will be on Harry Potter’s actual birthday, it will be a combination birthday party/readathon. You can read, eat virtual cake, chat with all your reader friends on STACKS, and participate in some special Harry Potter challenges we have planned.
- When: Thursday, July 31 at noon ET
- Where: Harry Potter Message Board
- How: Sign in to the Message Board at noon with your STACKS screen name. If you don’t have a screen name, it’s easy to get one – and free! Sign up now.
Art copyright Kazu Kibuishi
Hope to see you at the readathon!
Sonja, STACKS Staffer
July 30, 2014
2 word puzzles for Harry Potter fans
Harry Potter Week continues, leading up to the big day: July 31. It is the birthday of the Boy Who Lived . . . and also (not coincidentally) the day of the STACKS live readathon. Are you coming? It will be a great chance to chat with other book-lovers and celebrate Harry’s birthday together. You might not know this, but there are a LOT of Harry Potter fans on the STACKS! For example . . .
CatGymnastics173 created this acrostic puzzle. You have to figure out what the letters stand for and complete the sentence. Your only clue is that they are all from the 4th Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
- D P F is the P to the P B.
- B C disguises himself as A (M E) M.
- H fights a H H.
- There are F T C.
- V comes back to P.
Your next puzzle is a Harry Potter Word Scramble brought to you by HappyUnicorn108.
- K.J. wolRnig
Leave your guesses in the Comments and if you liked these puzzles, go friend CatGymnastics173 and HappyUnicorn108!
AND, please come to the live readathon! It won’t be the same without you!
July 30, 2014
It’s time for Books of the Month!
WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO! It’s BOOKS OF THE MONTH TIME!!! I know you can’t see me from across the Internet, but I’m doing my little books-of-the-month dance right now. (There’s a lot of wiggling involved.) You guys, I love Books of the Month. I can’t wait to find out your cool new book recommendations!
You STACKS regulars can probably do this in your sleep, but for those of you new to the ~*mAgiC*~ that is Books of the Month, here’s the deal: at the end of June I asked you all what books you were reading. Then I made a word cloud to show which titles are most popular. As he has been for some time now, Percy Jackson leads the pack in popularity, but some other titles have been steadily rising in rank over the months. (Percy had better watch his back! Dork Diaries is sneaking up there!) See for yourself:
Summertime Books of the Month posts are the best because summertime means UNLIMITED TIME FOR READING, which is just the greatest thing in the whole wide world. And you get to read in awesome places, like in your backyard or on your roof top or on the beach. Summer reading rocks! Even better, you can read in our super-crazy-cool event at tomorrow’s Harry Potter Readathon!!!
Let’s keep this going. What books are you reading now? What books do you absolutely, positively love and think everyone in the whole wide world should read? Leave the title (or titles!) in the Comments below. I can’t wait to see what new books you recommend!
— En-Szu, STACKS Staffer
July 25, 2014
August Is the Month for Adventure!
STACKS has some new activities lined up for your August reading adventure. If you like adventure books, you are going to love our Adventure Books Bash. Here’s what we have planned. . .
August 5: Adventure Guess the Books
Can you guess the book titles just from seeing tiny slivers of their covers?
August 12: Shark Week Who Would Win
If you have read I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916, then you understand my terror of sharks. Guys, an actual shark attacked actual people swimming at the actual Jersey shore. I ask you, what is scarier than that?
August 13: Choose Your Own Adventure Part 1
STACKS Staffer En-Szu is writing an adventure story where YOU get to choose what path to take. At the end of the story, your choices will reveal which adventure hero you are most like.
August 20: Choose Your Own Adventure Part 2
En-Szu’s story continues with a new twist!
August 26: National Dog Day
Well, this might not have anything to do with adventure books, but how awesome is a whole day when we get to celebrate dogs?
August 27: Which Adventure Hero Are You? Find out!
August 28: Readathon 12-4 p.m. ET
Join us on the STACKS for a live 4-hour readathon!
I hope you can join us for 1 or all of these STACKS events this August!
Sonja, STACKS Staffer
July 24, 2014
When You’re Not Old Enough for The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
If you’ve seen a movie or visited a book store in the past few months, you’ve probably heard about a movie based on a book called The Fault in Our Stars (rated PG-13). I bet you can practically hear your older sister gushing about it. Here’s the bottom line: TFIOS is about two teenagers with cancer who fall in love, and by the end of the book, one of them dies. The falling in love part is sappy, and the dying part is downright depressing, so this book is definitely not for kids under 13. But if the fact that the book has been glued to big sis’s hands has made you curious, what are some similar books for kids your age? Continue reading