Category Archives: Reads

January 2, 2015

London Book Benches

Posted by at 1:43 am in Reads, Writing Prompt | Permalink

Extra!Next Stop: London’s Book Benches!

A cool thing happened in London last summer. An organization called the National Literacy Trust hired artists to create book-based sculptures called BookBenches. 50 books from Peter Pan to A Bear Called Paddington were painted onto benches all across London. They called it the “Books About Town.”

The BookBench sculptures were on display on the streets of London this summer, and then sold at a public auction. They raised over £250,000. (That’s about $390,000 in U.S. dollars.) All of that money will go to the National Literacy Trust, a charity dedicated to raising the literacy levels of disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

As you can see, these BookBenches are pretty amazing – they look like they belong in an art museum!
The lion, the witch and the wardrobe book bench

Dr. Seuss book bench

Dragon book benchIf you could see one of your favorite books depicted on a bench in your town, what book would it be? Leave your ideas in the Comments below!

Marisa, STACKS Intern

December 31, 2014

A Million Ways Home

Posted by at 1:28 am in Reads | Permalink

millionwayshome130A Million Ways Home (for ages 8 and up) by Dianna Dorisi Winget

When Grandma Beth has a stroke that puts her in the hospital, Poppy Parker has to live in a temporary home for foster kids. Poppy is so unhappy about being unable to see her grandmother each day that she decides to walk to the hospital herself.A Million Ways Home

But when she stops to buy a snack for Grandma, Poppy accidentally becomes a witness to an armed robbery. To keep Poppy safe, Detective Brannigan sends Poppy to stay with his mother so they can look out for Poppy until the suspect is caught.

Poppy begins volunteering at an animal shelter and makes two unexpected friends – Lizzie, the “bad kid,” and Gunner, the German shepherd. No one wants to adopt Gunner because he once bit a little boy. Poppy feels unwanted too, so she decides to try to save Gunner and find him a home.

But what if Grandma Beth never gets better? And what if the police can’t find the robber? Will Poppy ever be able to go home? Will she be able to save Gunner from a terrible fate? You’ll have to read the book to find out how Poppy’s story ends. Then leave your Comments in the section below!

Marisa, STACKS Intern

December 17, 2014

The Badger Knight

Posted by at 1:26 am in Reads | Permalink

The badger knightThe Badger Knight (for ages 8 and up) by Kathryn Erskine

The year is 1346. Adrian is almost 13 years old but he isn’t like most other boys his age. He has Albinism, which means he has very pale skin and light hair and eyes. He has almost always been a small, sickly kid. The bullies in his English village call him “badger” because of the dirt he rubs under his eyes to stop the glare from his paper-white skin.

Adrian has a sharp mind, and all he wants to do is go to war as an archer. This is not his father’s plan. Adrian can write, and Adrian’s father wants him to become a scribe. To Adrian, this sounds like the worst job in the world.The badger knight

The Scottish invade near their home in England, and Adrian’s best friend Hugh joins his father on the battlefield. Adrian follows Hugh, determined to find his friend and participate in his glorious vision of warfare. As Adrian ventures through war-ridden England and Scotland, his voyage becomes a true knight’s tale.

But will Adrian even be able to find Hugh? The perils of war don’t exactly resemble what Adrian had pictured in his head. Will he make it home safely? Read the book to find out how this young knight’s adventure ends. Have you already read The Badger Knight? Leave your Comments in the section below!

Marisa, STACKS Intern

December 16, 2014

Literary Cats

Posted by at 1:13 am in Reads, Trivia | Permalink

Rainbow PenFamous Books Written by Literary Cats

Most people know that cats are smart, but did you know that many famous books were actually written by cats? I had no idea until I discovered these books in my cat’s library (a.k.a. his pile of treasured possessions hidden under the couch).Diary of a Wimpy Cat

Can you identify these literary masterpieces written by cats?

  • Diary of a Wimpy Cat by Jeff Kitty
  • Purrrcy Catson and the Olympians by Rick Rowr-dan
  • Little Kittens by Louisa May Alcat
  • Furry Pawter and the Dog’s Bone by J.K. Meowling
  • Say Meow and Chase that Tiny, Moving Red Dot! by R. L. Feline

Leave your answers in the Comments and let us know what books you would find in your cat library!

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

December 11, 2014

What Kids Want in Books

Posted by at 1:57 am in Reads, Writing Prompt | Permalink

Recommend me!What Do You Want in Books?

I mentioned in a post yesterday that Scholastic just completed a national survey of children aged 6–17 to study their “attitudes and behaviors around reading books for fun.” According to 70% of kids aged 6–17, books that “make me laugh” rank highest on the list across all ages. Here are some more stats for What Kids Want in Books:

  • Children aged 6–8 are more likely than older children to want books with characters that “look like me.”
  • Children aged 9–11 are more likely than younger children to want books that “have a mystery or a problem to solve.”
  • Children aged 12–14 are more likely than older children to want books with “characters I wish I could be like because they are smart, strong or brave.”
  • Children aged 15–17 are more likely than younger children to want books that help them “forget about real life for a while.”

In addition, 73% of children aged 6–17 agree with the statement, “I would read more if I could find more books that I like.”

Do these statistics represent YOU? Leave a Comment to tell us your favorite book with a character who looks like you, or with a mystery, or with smart, strong characters. Tell us what you really want in books!

December 10, 2014

Favorite Funny Books

Posted by at 1:21 am in Reads | Permalink

Funny Books FiestaScholastic wants to know . . . What are your favorite funny books?

Scholastic just completed a national survey of children aged 6–17 to study their “attitudes and behaviors around reading books for fun.” According to 70% of kids aged 6–17, books that “make me laugh” rank highest on the list across all ages.

Here at the STACKS, we already know you love funny books, but we want to know which funny book is your favorite and why?

Please tell us in the Comments! And if you are among the 30% of kids who did not pick funny books as your favorite, tell us what is YOUR favorite kind of book to read for fun?

 

December 3, 2014

The Madman of Piney Woods

Posted by at 1:37 am in Reads | Permalink

The Madman of Piney Woods (for ages 8 and up) by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Madman of Piney Woods book coverAt first glance, Benji and Red couldn’t seem more different. It’s 1901, and Benji is a descendent of African-American slaves who escaped to freedom in Canada by way of the Underground Railroad. He is 12 years old, works for the local newspaper, and hopes to be a journalist. Red, on the other hand, is a fiery-haired Irish boy who is interested in science.

Benji and Red have both heard stories of a madman who lives in the woods, but those were just that – stories. But they have actually noticed a strange presence in the woods. It seems like someone is always watching them, tracking their every move. When they realize they’ve both experienced the same funny feeling, the boys decide to take a closer look at what’s going on under the cover of the woods.

There’s no way the Madman of Piney Woods could be real . . . is there?

You’ll have to read to find out whether the madman is fact or fiction!

Did you read Elijah of Buxton? Several of the characters make cameo appearances in The Madman of Piney Woods. Let us know what you think in the Comments section below!

Marisa, STACKS Intern

November 26, 2014

November Books of the Month

Posted by at 10:04 am in Books of the Month, Reads | Permalink

I asked you all what books you were reading, and you responded with some really awesome book recommendations! I made a word cloud so you call can see which titles are most popular. Percy Jackson is still leading the pack! Check it out:Books of the Month nov 2014

Now that it’s wintertime, we’re looking at a lot of time spent indoors out of the cold . . . and that means more time for reading! See a title here that you haven’t read yet? Now’s a great time to check it out!

Let’s keep this going. What books are you reading right now? What are your favorite books of all time? What’s the one book you think everyone should read at least once in their lifetime? Leave the title (or titles) in the Comments below. Can’t wait to see what new books you recommend!

En-Szu, STACKS Writer

November 25, 2014

Gallagher Girls Readalikes

Posted by at 1:09 am in Reads | Permalink

Gallagher Girls book coverFor Gallagher Girls Fans!

If you like the Gallagher Girls series (for ages 12 and up) by Ally Carter about the Gallagher Academy for Exception Young Women, here are some more books for ages 11-13 about “exceptional” young detectives and spies.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Four children are selected for a secret undercover mission while attending the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened. See also the other books in the Mysterious Benedict Society series.

Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison
Since her father’s death, Gilda Joyce is determined to hone her psychic skills to communicate with the other side, and become an investigator of mysteries of chilling proportions. See also the other books in the Gilda Joyce series.

Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams
13-year-old Ingrid adores Sherlock Holmes and channels his skills while trying to solve a murder in her hometown. See also the other books in the Echo Falls Mystery series.

The Ring of Five by Eoin McNamee
After a cab driver drops Danny off at the wrong boarding school, he learns that he is destined to be the only spy that can prevent an evil world from conquering the good world. See also the other books in the Ring of Five series.

I, Q Book #1: Independence Hall by Roland Smith
Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the good guys from the bad guys, as Quest and his stepsister Angela find out. See also the other books in the I, Q series.

Nancy Drew Mystery Stories Book #1: The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene
Meet the original spy girl, teenager Nancy Drew!

The Red Blazer Girls Book #1: The Ring of Rocamadour by Michael D. Bell
Follow seventh graders Sophie, Margaret, and Rebecca as they help a ghostly neighbor solve a puzzle left more than 20 years ago. See also the other books in the Red Blazer Girls series.

Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin Van Draanen
Sammy never minds her own business, which is why she’s the best tween detective in California! See also the other books in the Sammy Keyes series.

Spies by Clive Gifford
Do you want to learn about real spies, techniques and secret weapons? If so, this is the perfect book for you!

Jen, STACKS Booktalker