February 2, 2015
2015 Newbery Medal Winner
The Newbery Medal is awarded every year by a committee of librarians to recognize “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” Past winners have included The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis, The Giver by Lois Lowry, and Holes by Louis Sachar. Last year’s winner was Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo (who also wrote Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux).
This year’s winner was just announced today, and the 2015 Newbery Medal goes to . . .
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Have you read The Crossover yet? Do YOU think it was the best American children’s book published in 2014? Two Honor books were also chosen this year: El Deafo by Cece Bell, and Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson.
If you were on the committee voting for the 2015 Newbery Medal, which book would YOU have chosen? (Remember, only books published in 2014 by writers in America are eligible.) Let us know in the Comments.
— Sonja, STACKS Staffer
January 30, 2015
Are You a Bella Fan?
Bella is a head cheerleader at her middle school until her life takes an unexpected twist. Her rifle-like throwing arm takes her from the sidelines to becoming the starting quarterback in Nickelodeon’s newest live-action comedy series, Bella and the Bulldogs. Bella Dawson (played by Brec Bassinger) is a confident, caring, and talented teenager who suddenly finds herself fulfilling a lifelong dream. But she also has to navigate the world of her teammates Troy (Coy Stewart), Sawyer (Jackie Radinsky), and Newt (Buddy Handleson), without losing her two best friends, Pepper (Haley Tju) and Sophie (Lilimar) from the cheer squad.
Photo: Jim Fiscus/ Nickelodeon
Are you a fan of the new show, Bella and the Bulldogs? Let us know in the Comments.
-Sonja, STACKS Staffer
January 28, 2015
Lockwood & Co. by Jonathan Stroud (for ages 11 and up)
And now, a book recommendation from DreamtimeDetermined14!
Oh my gosh! I just finished reading Lockwood & Co. Book #2: The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud, and it was so amazing! Although, the cliffhanger made me really mad. I can’t wait for book #3!
The series is about a psychic investigations agency in London called Lockwood & Co. It’s managed by the very brave—and very reckless—Anthony Lockwood, who is still a teenager. Lockwood employs 2 other teenagers, Lucy Carlyle and George Cubbins, to help at the agency. The book is told from Lucy’s point of view.
Lucy and George live with Lockwood in the house he inherited from the parents he never likes to talk about. Their house is also headquarters for the agency—the smallest one in London. The city wouldn’t need these agencies if it wasn’t for the problem… Many years before Lucy was born, the problem started. Ghosts started coming back from the dead. People realized that only children could sense the ghosts, and some children better than others. That’s when large agencies started employing children to help defend the country from visitors.
Parts of the books are quite frightening, but I think most people older than 11 should be okay reading it. I enjoyed the books immensely, even though I’ve never liked very scary books or movies. The characters were wonderful and the plot was intriguing. I recommend this series to anyone who is looking for an exciting mystery or just wants a good book to read. If you haven’t read this series you definitely should!
–Scotland on the Reading Buzz Board
January 27, 2015
Who Would Win: Winter or Summer?
Here in the New York City area, we’re pretty much sick and tired of being sick and tired of winter! Freezing temperatures and mushy snow make us long for summer. But will we feel the same way in summer? Will we long for the cool, magical, coziness of winter? Well, if you can’t decide, weigh in . . .
Winter vs. summer. Who’s the winner, in your opinion?
- Ice cream vs. Hot chocolate
- Snowboarding vs. Surfing
- Shovel snow vs. Mow the lawn
- Beach house vs. Mountain ski house
- Snowsuit vs. Bathing suit
- Ice pops vs. Icicles
- Winter holidays vs. summer vacation
- Hawaii vacation vs. Iceland vacation
- Building a sand castle vs. Building a snowman
- Frozen vs. Teen Beach Movie
And if you live in a part of the world where you are enjoying beautiful weather right now, then I am officially jealous!
Let us know your winter vs. summer winners in the Comments below!
-Ratha, STACKS Writer
January 26, 2015
Create a Caption for these Stylish Penguins
I love penguins just in their regular tuxedos (a.k.a. their birthday suits!), but these dressed up penguins look ready for a fancy South Pole party! Don’t they look like they could dance the night away?
‘These Penguins Have Style” Flickr photo by Michael Dorausch
What do you think these stylish penguins are saying to each other? Leave your caption in the Comments!
Sonja, STACKS Staffer
January 23, 2015
Meet Eva Bella, the fifth-grader who voiced the part of young Elsa in the movie Frozen.
Q: Do you do voice-overs often or was that your first time?
Eva: It was my first. I’ve done a few small movies before, but this was my first big thing and also my first premiere. It was a pretty good first premiere and big movie to do because it has made other people so happy. It’s such a great film with the animation and everything about it.
Q: I’m sure you were very happy that it won an Oscar. Were you able to go to the Oscars?
Eva: No, but I watched every single second of it on my TV. (Laughs)
Q: What’s the best book you ever read?
Eva: Dork Diaries #6.
Q: What was your most embarrassing moment?
Eva: When I slipped in water at my school and fell flat on my face. (Laughs) A lot of my friends helped me up. No one laughed but my face was completely dirty, though.
Q: What is the most unusual talent you have that people don’t know about?
Eva: I can spin really fast without getting dizzy, and I don’t get sick on roller coasters, either.
Q: What’s your next project coming up?
Eva: I actually have a new animated TV series called Shimmering Shine. I’m Shimmer and it’s for Nickelodeon. It’s about two sisters that live in Genie World and they go to visit their friend in the human world. They help her with whatever problems she has. They make a few mistakes along the way, but it just teaches you and helps you know that it’s okay to make mistakes.
Interview by Sue Schneider
January 21, 2015
What Books Should You Read Before You’re 13?
We love, love, LOVE books here at the STACKS. But there are a TON of books out there, like, millions. Maybe billions? I don’t know about you, but sometimes it feels like there are too many choices. With so many options, how can we ever sift through to find the must-reads?
So, I have come up with my *opinionated* list of the 13 books you simply MUST read before you turn 13 years old. By the way, if you’re older than 13 and you somehow missed any of these books, you should totally go read them now! They are not just for kids! Continue reading
January 20, 2015
Play the truth or dare with fictional characters game from MagentaDolphin21!
Hi! This is a truth or dare game with fictional characters. I just thought this might be fun to do. You can dare ANYONE from any book, movie, TV show, etc. to do ANYTHING you want!!!! Literally, ANYTHING. The bizarre ones are actually the most fun! Please include what book, movie, TV show, etc. the character is from, in case I have to look them up. Oh, before I forget – you can also dare celebrities! Also, you can dare characters/celebrities who died. Sound weird? Well, this is a comedy thing, so we can abandon logic! Who wants to try one?
Write your character truth or dare question in the Comments.
MagentaDolphin21 on the Reading Buzz Board
January 19, 2015
I Have a Dream Poetry Generator
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we have a cool writing prompt challenge. Below are 25 words from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech delivered on August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The speech is very inspiring and describes Dr. King’s dream of a world without racism and prejudice.
Your task is to take these 25 words and generate your own “I Have a Dream” poem. You can add articles (little words like “a”, and “the”), verbs, or anything that will help it flow, but try to include as many of these 25 words as you can in your poem. Any style of poem works – rhyming, non-rhyming, couplet, haiku, free-form, or even random. It’s up to you!
Leave your poem in the Comments. We can’t wait to be inspired . . . by you.
-Ratha, STACKS Writer
January 16, 2015
Teen Superstar Zendaya Stars in K.C. Undercover, a Spy-Comedy Series
Zendaya Coleman (from Shake It Up and Zapped) stars in K.C. Undercover, a spy-comedy series premiering Sunday, January 18 (8:30 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel.
Zendaya stars as K.C. Cooper, a high school math whiz and karate black-belt who learns that her parents are spies when they recruit her to join them in the secret government agency, The Organization. But K.C. has a lot to learn about being a spy, including keeping it a secret from her best friend Marisa. Together, K.C., her parents, and her younger siblings, Ernie and Judy (a humanoid robot pretending to be a girl), try to balance everyday family life while on undercover missions to save the world.
Photo credit DISNEY CHANNEL/ Eric McCandless
In the premiere episode, K.C. takes on her first undercover assignment — at her school dance! The mission: apprehend an enemy teen spy and recover the code for a virus designed to render every mobile device useless. (I didn’t really understand any part of that last sentence. I guess I’ll have to watch the show to find out what it means!)
Will you be watching K.C. Undercover? Let us know in the Comments!
Sonja, STACKS Staffer