Category Archives: Your Questions Answered

September 26, 2013

Kayla Stockert Answers Your Questions!

Kayla130Kayla Stockert Answers Your Questions!

A few weeks ago, the beautiful and talented 16-year-old songwriter Kayla Stockert checked in to give us some songwriting tips. Many of you left questions for Kayla in the Comments, and here are Kayla’s replies!

DancingLavender38 asks: I am a struggling singer, and I’ve got a big voice, I just don’t know what to do with it.
Kayla: The best advice is to take singing lessons. Learn all the techniques. Even people who professional singers now (like Lady Gaga) still take singing lessons and get coached. I take them and it continues to make my voice stronger. It’s kind of like exercising to keep in shape. Good luck!

Dane says: You look nice.
Kayla: Thank you, Dane!

Victoria says: Amazing!
Kayla: Thank you so much, Victoria! :)

Allie asks: Hi Kayla. You came to my camp but I wanted to ask you what advice you can give about being good at singing and songwriting?
Hey, Allie! I would say that if you really love to sing, just keep practicing every day, and be sure to schedule voice lessons to learn the proper techniques for singing. I still take them, and so do most recording artists. As for songwriting, maybe if you have a feeling one day about something or somebody, write it down right away so you don’t forget. I even sometimes use the voice memo on my phone if I don’t have a pen and I’m thinking of catchy lyrics or a melody. You can ask a friend to help you and you guys can share opinions. Songwriting is hard at first, but like anything else in life, practice makes perfect! Good Luck!

TurquoiseDolphin396 asks: I want to know how to write a good song but I have trouble. Could I have some advice?
Kayla: Hi :) I am going to give you the same advice I gave to Allie in the last question. Songwriting is hard at first, but practice makes perfect! Good luck!

Anonymous asks: When did you know that you wanted to be a singer and follow and achieve your dream?
I have always liked to sing since I was a baby. I started singing at a local street fair when I was 9 and haven’t stopped performing since. I realized very early that I wanted be a singer. I practice every day and have gained so much experience that gets me one step closer to my dream. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!

Samantha asks: What if your experiences aren’t like everyone else’s? Can you still make a song?
Hi, Samantha! Absolutely. Most songs you hear are about love or heartbreaks, but sometimes you hear songs that don’t have to do with any of those things. If you have an idea/experience for a song, put together the words. You can always go back and change the lyrics. There are always going to be people who identify with your song.

Kyle asked: Who do you think writes the best songs?
 Hi, Kyle! I personally love Taylor Swift as a songwriter. Her lyrics are relatable, and I love the music that goes along with it.

Makayla asks: Are you nervous to perform?
Hi, Makayla! I have moments when I get nervous or anxious about performing. For some strange reason, I get more nervous when my family asks me to sing. I think it’s completely normal to have nerves. Once I’m up there singing, the nerves seem to disappear.

Chloee asks: What makes an award-winning song an award-winning song, and how do I write one?
Well, think of your favorite song. What do you like about it? The music or the lyrics can all be factors on what makes it popular and successful. Although award shows in general are subjective, in my opinion, a song that is relatable to people and catchy should be award-winning. Keep listening to other songs, practicing your songs, and constantly ask for opinions. Good Luck!

This is amazing advice! Thank you, Kayla for joining us on the STACKS! We love you!

— Sonja, STACKS Staffer

September 12, 2013

Songwriter Kayla Stockert

Kayla130Songwriter Kayla Stockert

You may not have heard of her yet, but this girl is a teen to watch. Kayla has been performing music since the age of 9 at places like the Highline Ballroom, the Apollo Theater in New York City, and at other large venues. Now at age 16 she is making the transformation from singer to songwriter and musician, recording her own original songs for the first time. Anna Graceman is a fan!

Not only is she beautiful and talented, but Kayla is super-nice, and she has offered to give you, dear STACKS readers, some advice about songwriting. Read on for Kayla’s tips, and if you would like to ask her any questions, leave them in the Comments. Kayla will be joining us soon to answer YOUR questions!

Kayla: The process of writing songs takes a while for me. It’s usually late at night when all my thoughts are jumbling through my head. It’s the easiest time for me to write songs. It could be a word, a simple feeling of what I went through that day. Sometimes, I can write an entire song in minutes, sometimes it takes days. I keep my journal next to my bed to write every single idea.kaylaStockert

For me to write a song, I have to actually experience it, usually friends, boyfriend, family or anything like that. I then show my ideas to my brother, because he also writes. I try to be as realistic as possible so my audience can relate to my normal teenage life. The more you write, the easier it will become. There are some songs that I may never sing because they are so much a part of me, but from there, it helps me get an idea for another song.

Next is the melody. This gets a little trickier for me. I sit down at my piano or guitar. (You don’t have to be that good of a player. Just playing one note to get a melody will work.) I also listen to other songs, making notes of the instruments I like, the beat, and so on.  Next time you listen to a song, don’t listen to the words, but listen to the music. It may inspire you to write your own melody.

Don’t ever get stressed that you can’t complete an entire song. Just take a break from that one and maybe move on to something else. I personally have about 20 uncompleted songs, and I’m in no rush.

I currently have about 5 songs that I’m set to record. All of these songs were from my own personal feelings (about a boy). The next person I will go see is a producer, who asks me the type of sound I want and feel, and hopefully we both agree and my new songs will be ready.

I honestly think everybody has the ability to write down feelings and turn it into a song. If you can’t do it alone, find a friend and collaborate.

–Kayla Stockert, Songwriter

Do you have questions for Kayla? Leave them in the Comments, and check back soon for Kayla’s answers!

April 3, 2013

Jessie Star Answers Your Questions!

Karan130Karan Brar from Jessie Answers Your Questions!

You know Karan as Ravi, one of the newly adopted children into the ultra-rich Ross family on Jessie with Debby Ryan, and as Chirag Gupta in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies. (“Stop! Good God, man, you almost got the CHEESE TOUCH!”)

Jessie_600wKaran grew up in Redmond, Washington, but his family is originally from Punjab, India. What he loves most about portraying the first ever regular Indian character on a Disney show is the ability to incorporate what he has learned from his own family, and from his visits to the country back into his role as Ravi.

Karan loves collecting comic books, hiking, free running, and watching old movies with his dad. He also raps for fun, and listens to 21 Pilots, and Andy Grammer.

AND, he answers fan questions! Click here to read his answers to STACKS fan questions.

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

November 4, 2011

Puss in Boots Answers YOUR Questions

Posted by at 1:07 pm in SPONSORED, Your Questions Answered | Permalink

Pussinboots2 If you have seen the Puss in Boots movie (rated PG) then you know that Puss can be a bad kitty, but we forgive him because he visited the STACKS to answer YOUR questions. Read on to find out about his boots, his favorite dance move, and working with Shrek.

Do you know who your real parents are?
Puss: Sadly, we were separated shortly after my birth, but rumor has it that my father was a hurricane and my mother a volcano. . .it makes sense to me.

Would you rather be called “adorable” or “enormously fluffy?”
Puss: I would prefer a new term. . . “adora-normous-fluff-able!!!”

What is the worst thing someone called you?
Puss: Dog.

Who is your worst enemy?
Puss: Puss in Boots has no enemies! But I do not care much for bath tubs.

Since you’re a criminal, what is one place you’ve always wanted to rob?
Puss: First of all, I am no criminal. . . I just like to borrow things sometimes, and have a tendency to never give them back.

What is your favorite food/drink BESIDES warm milk?
Puss: There is nothing like a warm bowl of Friskies on a cold rainy day.

How much whole milk can you drink?
Puss: How many cows roam the earth?

Do you like ice cream?
Puss: I like the cream. . . ice, not so much.

Do you have a favorite dance move?
Puss: A little jig I like to call. . .”The Forbidden Gato!”

What size are your boots? And what’s your favorite type of boot? Cowboy boots? Rain boots?
Puss: My favorite type of boot is located on my little feets at all times. They are comfortable for any occasion. And the size is purrrrrfect.

Do like the song, “These Boots Are Made for Walking?”
Puss: Do I like it? I live it!!

How does it feel to star in a movie about you? Is it better than working with Shrek?
Puss: The green ogre will always be my great friend, but I must admit a close-up on me is much more flattering, baby.

What was your reaction when you heard you were starring in a movie about yourself?
Puss: Meow?

Who do you like better, Shrek or Donkey?
Puss: I know whose bread needs buttering. . . give me the ogre, baby!

How did Shrek and Donkey mess up during filming? Were there any funny bloopers?
Puss: The burro is constantly falling down and forgetting his lines, and the Shrek is always burping and farting. Both of them incredibly unprofessional, but quite funny.

Puss, you’re amazing! But why are you so epic? Is it genetic?
Puss: What can I say? It is a Puss thing. . .

This entry is sponsored by DreamWorks Animation.

Image courtesy of DreamWorks Animation

October 26, 2011

R.L. Stine Answers Your Questions!


A few weeks ago we asked you to write in your questions for the Master of Fright, Goosebumps author, R.L. Stine. He answered questions from 10 lucky readers, so read on to see if yours was chosen!

Q from SilverSnake: Which character do you think is most like you? Which character is most unlike you?
R.L. Stine: I like to think I’m like all my crazy characters—Slappy the dummy, who’s so rude and awful; Dr. Maniac; The Ooze; The Menace, the evil villain from HorrorLand. But in real life, I’m more like Evan, the poor kid who lets the Monster Blood loose and doesn’t have a clue how to defeat it.

Q from Raggweed: Since Goosebumps creeps me out, how can you not be scared, and keep making them? They freak even my older relatives out, so are you afraid of your own creations too?
R.L. Stine: Scary stuff NEVER scares me. Horror always makes me laugh instead. When I go to a scary movie, I don’t get scared—I just laugh. Same for writing Goosebumps books.

Q from Mysterygirl123: If you could be a monster for a day, what monster would you choose? Why? R.L. Stine: I would be a giant jellyfish from Deep Trouble because I like to swim a lot.

Q from ArtAthena13: What would you say to a kid who wants to be an author?
R.L. Stine: Write something every day. Keep a journal or a diary. And make sure you read a LOT!

Q from cnahk: Do you ever want to write something less scary?
R.L. Stine: I love writing funny books, too. That’s why I wrote the Rotten School book series. I also try to put a lot of funny stuff in Goosebumps.

Q from Niki: Who’s your favorite character? Why?
R.L. Stine: Slappy the evil dummy. I like writing all the insults and rude things he says to people.

Q from AstronomyAble3: Who is your inspiration and icon?
R.L. Stine: Many writers have inspired me. I think the sci-fi author Ray Bradbury was a big influence. Also, Rod Serling, who wrote The Twilight Zone.

Q from Lexi: Are you a prankster with scaring people?
R.L. Stine: No. Maybe I scared my little brother a few times when we were kids. But I’m not really into pranks and jokes. Too busy writing!

Q from CheerfulHeart15: What’s your favorite book of Goosebumps that you wrote? Were you good at telling ghost stories when you were young?
R.L. Stine: My favorite Goosebumps book is The Haunted Mask. I was too shy to tell ghost stories when I was a kid. I was a very quiet kid.

Q from OreoPie09: How do you come up with such creepy stuff and do you believe in ghosts?
R.L. Stine: I don’t know where the ideas come from. I’ve never seen a ghost—but I keep looking!

Q from Megan: Would you ever consider doing like a Nancy Drew type of book series for girls?
Q from Georgia: When you do your next book why not call it Zombieland?!
Q from NinjaCobra1: Why don’t you make a Goosebumps book about a boy who likes scary movies, and finds out that all the monsters are coming to life?
Nice ideas. Thanks for the suggestions.
– R.L.

September 30, 2011

Goosebumps Questions? Ask R.L. Stine

Rlstine Have you read all the Goosebumps books, watched all the TV shows, and wondered infinitely what goes on in the mind of Goosebumps creator, R.L. Stine? Well, here’s your chance to find out!

R.L. Stine, author of the Goosebumps HorrorLand and the new Hall of Horrors book series, is ready to answer your burning questions. Submit your questions in the Comments below and we’ll choose 10 of the most creative and terrifyingly ghoulish questions to pass on to R.L. Stine.

Check back here on October 26 to read the answers and see if your question was chosen.

— Amabel, Scholastic Media

September 15, 2011



This blog post is sponsored by Dolphin Tale.

The Dolphin Tale movie (rated PG) about the dolphin named Winter with a prosthetic tail, comes out in theaters on September 23. To prepare you for the movie, Abby Stone, Winter’s actual trainer from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA), has answered some of YOUR questions. Read on to find out more about Winter, the amazing dolphin with a fake tail, and what the life of a dolphin trainer is like.

Q: How did Winter feel about the tail and what was her reaction?

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September 2, 2011

The Cartoon Network Dudes Reply!

DWWH10 Last week we asked you to fill in the blank to this age-old question: Dude, what would happen if___? Well, CJ, Jackson, and Ali from the show Dude, What Would Happen have read your questions and they each chose 2 to answer! Read on for their answers and a super nice compliment from Jackson.

But. . .um. . . a public service announcement first. . . I know you are all smart enough not to try these dangerous stunts at home, but I just have to say this. PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!!

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August 22, 2011

Dude, What Would Happen

DWWH10 UPDATE: The Dudes replied! Read their answers to your questions here.

Have you ever asked yourself, “Dude, what would happen if you tied 375 helium balloons to a sumo wrestler?” Or, “What would happen if you filled a camper with popcorn kernels and torched it with 3 flame-throwers?” If you have, then you are very random and would fit right in on the Message Boards. Also, you would love the show Dude, What Would Happen (rated TV-PG). It’s on the Cartoon Network Wednesdays at 8pm and it asks these kinds of random yet thought-provoking questions AND finds the answers each week. Armed with unlimited access to anything and everything, 3 dudes, CJ, Ali, and Jackson conduct extreme experiments that take sheer randomness to the next level.

Exhibit A: The Dudes pit the Snowman and Scarecrow against their most feared enemy, FIRE!


Is there something random that you have always wondered about? If you could ask the dudes your wackiest question, what would you ask? Finish this question in the Comments. . .

Dude, what would happen if ___________________? (Fill in the blank.)

The dudes themselves– CJ, Ali, and Jackson– will be reading your questions this week and responding to them! Leave your question in the Comments and check back here on September 2 to see if the dudes respond to YOUR question!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

Images courtesy of Cartoon Network