August 20, 2014

Loot

Posted by at 2:33 pm in Reads | Permalink

Loot book cover by Jude WatsonLoot by Jude Watson (for ages 9-12)

LOSERS, WEEPERS. STEALERS, KEEPERS.

When Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series, says a book is “the perfect summer read,” you know it’s got to be good! He (and we!) love Loot, an action-packed heist book by The 39 Clues author Jude Watson.

Loot starts when March McQuin’s criminal father, Alfie, falls off a high rooftop in a heist gone wrong. As Alfie speaks his last words, he manages to tell March to “find jewels.” But March soon learns that “jewels” is actually “Jules” — a twin sister he’s never heard of!

After finding each other, March and Jules plan to follow their father’s footsteps and find a new life for themselves. With just one well-planned heist, the two could be living beyond their wildest dreams! The only question is how? It all becomes clear when March begins to discover hints his father left behind…

Would you have the courage to pull off a heist like March and Jules? What friends would you take along the way?  Post your answers in the Comments below!

 

August 19, 2014

Ice Cream Personality Quiz

Posted by at 1:40 am in Personality Quiz, Summer | Permalink

Ice creamWhat Ice Cream Flavor Are You?

Who doesn’t love ice cream on a hot summer day? It’s no wonder why the ice cream truck always stops at the beach or why your local ice cream parlor is always open late during the summer months. I know I sure crave a cool, sweet treat when the sun is blazing! Even though National Ice Cream Month is over, it’s always a good time to find out what ice cream flavor YOU are! Continue reading

August 18, 2014

Back-to-School Who Would Win

Posted by at 1:35 am in Who Would Win, Writing Prompt | Permalink

Back to SchoolIt’s time to go back to school!

It’s finally time to go back to school! YAYYYY!!! There are so many reasons to get excited about going back to school but for today’s Who Would Win, please choose between these 2:

Which is better?

Having the best school library OR having the best school supplies in your school bag?

Back to School

Leave your vote in the Comments. And tell us your favorite part about going back to school.

–Sonja, STACKS Staffer

The librarian photo credit aussiegal; My schoool bag photo credit anasararojas

August 17, 2014

The Secret Kingdom Series

Posted by at 11:49 am in Reads | Permalink

The Secret KingdomThe Lowdown on the Secret Kingdom Series (for ages 7-10)

Have you read the Secret Kingdom series? If you haven’t heard about these magical books, here’s everything you need to know to get started:

The girls in charge: Ellie, Summer, and Jasmine! These three best friends find an enchanted box that whisks them away to a place called the Secret Kingdom, where they go on amazing adventures and have to save the day from . . .

the villain, better known as Queen Malice. She lives on a grey thundercloud, so you can imagine how mean she is! She is constantly trying to take over the Secret Kingdom and she makes everyone who lives there simply miserable, especially her brother . . .

the good guy. King Merry is just a happy royal with a knack for inventing magical things. He wants the best for all his loving citizens, but unfortunately, he’s often forgetful and gets confused easily.

Luckily, Ellie, Summer, and Jasmine don’t have to save the Secret Kingdom alone – they have Trixi the Pixie to cast spells and help them defeat Queen Malice!

To read an exclusive excerpt from their first adventure in the Secret Kingdom, click here.

If you love it as much as we think you will, you’ll be happy to know there are LOTS more books in the series! Look for Book 2: Unicorn Valley, and help Ellie, Summer, and Jasmine save the Secret Kingdom yet again!

 

August 16, 2014

Choose Your Own Adventure, Part 2

Posted by at 1:49 am in Personality Quiz, Reads | Permalink

Adventure Books BashWelcome back to Choose Your Own Adventure! In a choose-your-own-adventure story, you read a chapter and then you get a few choices of what the character should do next. For the STACKS Adventure Books Bash, we’re celebrating adventure with a choose-your-own-adventure story written by me! Have you read Part 1 yet? Pay attention to your answer choices because when the story is done, your answers will reveal the adventure hero you are most like. Are you ready???

Part 2

“Alfie!” you say. You don’t want to be left alone, and he’s acting weird. “Come back!” He looks back a few times and barks, but soon his fluffy, yellow tail is out of sight. You sigh and think, “So much for loyalty.”

You start walking deeper into the field. You’re still mad at Kyle and don’t want to go home just yet. You’re distractedly wondering why Alfie was behaving so strangely when you trip and nearly fall on your face.

At first you think you tripped over a large rock or piece of garbage. After all, the grass is pretty unruly and tall, and sometimes rowdy teenagers leave trash here. But when you look back, you see something glinting in the light of the setting sun — a shiny, metal doorknob covered in strange symbols.

Curious, you lean in closer and can see that it is attached to a wooden door in the ground. The door isn’t very big and it looks old, but the knob looks very new.

You . . .

a) call a friend and tell him/her to come take a look before deciding what to do next.

b) think it looks pretty cool and you want to look at it later, but for now it’s more important to find gross bugs to stick in your brother’s bed.

c) wonder out loud, “Is it safe?” Probably not. Who knows what’s down there! Go about your business and ignore it. It’s probably just a musty, old cellar anyway.

d) take a picture of the doorknob with your phone. Then go home to do some research on the meaning of the symbols.

e) don’t waste any time and open that door! There could be all kinds of cool stuff in there.

What would YOU do? Share your answer in the Comments below! Click here for your personality quiz results and links to new installments of the story.

See ya next time,

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

August 15, 2014

Kelli Berglund in How to Build a Better Boy

Posted by at 1:11 am in Celebrities | Permalink

Kelli Berglund in How to Build a Better BoyHow to Build a Better Boy

Get ready for a new Disney Channel movie starring Kelli Berglund, China Anne McClain, and Marshal Williams. How to Build a Better Boy premieres at 8 p.m. on Friday, August 15. In the movie, best friends Mae and Gabby are super-smart tech whizzes but not very popular in school. When mean-girl Neveah (played by Ashley Argota) teases Mae about not having a date to the Homecoming Dance, the friends use a computer to program the perfect boy. What could possibly go wrong? Umm. . . lots.

First let’s meet the boy, played by Marshall Williams. Check out this video.

KELLI BERGLUND, MARSHALL WILLIAMS

Photo credit Disney Channel/Rick Rowell

Now, let’s hear from Kelli.

Q: What’s the most embarrassing that’s happened to you?
Kelli: One time I was filming a scene, and I slipped and I fell right on my face. Billy [who plays her brother Chase on Lab Rats] and I tripped over each other and we just landed face-down in opposite directions. It was really funny! It was on camera, but we just got up and laughed it off.

Q: Can you tell me one thing that you think would help to make the world a better place?
Kelli: I think everyone should stop being so judgmental of everybody. I think if we started loving more–I honestly think that would definitely help make the world a better place.

Q: What’s the best book you ever read (besides this one)?
Kelli: The Maze Runner (for ages 12 and up) and they are actually turning it into a movie, which I am really excited about. It was so good. It’s kind of similar to The Hunger Games (for ages 12 and up) but the storyline is completely different. It involves a lot of action and character development. I actually auditioned to be in the movie! And I was like, “I read the book and I’m prepared,” but I ended up not booking it. But it was cool just to audition for it.

Watch Kelli talking about The Maze Runner in this brand new video.

Are you excited for Kelli’s new movie? Share your thoughts in the comments below! And don’t forget to read our earlier interview with Kelli and her Lab Rats castmates, as well as our interview with Kelli’s new costar, China Anne McClain!

Interview by Sue Schneider
Images courtesy of Disney XD

August 15, 2014

SPONSORED POST The Art of Duck Tape

Posted by at 1:01 am in Kid Power, SPONSORED | Permalink

The Art of Duck TapeThis blog post is sponsored by The Art of Duck Tape®

Did you know that duct tape was used in World War II to repair trucks and was even used in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge? Now the heavy-duty fabric tape has gone from a fix-all to a creative medium for some seriously cool crafts.

If you’re looking for a fun, new project and some cool ideas, check out these crafts!

Do you have your own idea for a Duck Tape® craft? Share it in the Comments below!

August 14, 2014

The World According to Humphrey Book Review

Posted by at 1:03 am in Reads | Permalink

Humphrey the hamster100% Kid-Approved Book Recommendations

As you probably know, STACKers love to read, so today we are featuring a book recommended by one of YOU! DolphinRed228 recommends The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney (for ages 7-10). Have you read this book? Have you read the other books in the Humphrey series? What did you think?

Read on for DolphinRed’s review. . .

The World According to Humphrey book coverHi. I am writing to tell you about the book The World According to Humphrey. The book is about a hamster that a teacher adopted. The hamster is very smart and he talks, but not to the characters that are in the story. When he talks, they just hear squeak-squeak-squeak, or something like that. The book is really cool because the hamster talks about his life. There is a lock on his cage, but what the other characters don’t know is that it really doesn’t lock. He meets a lot of friends on the way and some of them are pretty funny. I think you should read this book because it is really funny, and it’s just a really good book.

Do you agree with DolphinRed228? Leave a Comment or go to the Reading Buzz Message Board to join the discussion about this book.

August 13, 2014

Choose Your Own Adventure, Part I

Posted by at 1:59 am in Personality Quiz, Reads | Permalink

Adventure Books BashIn a choose-your-own-adventure story, you read a chapter and then you get a few choices of what the character should do next. For the STACKS Adventure Books Bash, let’s celebrate adventure with a choose-your-own-adventure story written by me! Pay attention to your answer choices because when the story is done, your answers will reveal the adventure hero you are most like. WHAAAAT?

Part 1

Your brother Kyle is driving you nuts. He tapes cling wrap to your toilet seat in the morning, hides the television remote, and cries so much when he sees you on your skateboard that Mom makes you let him try it—and he breaks it. You storm out the back door with your golden retriever, Alfie, hot on your heels. You head into the woods that border your back yard. It is a pretty warm evening, and Alfie is panting so loudly you’re sure he can be heard from the house. He looks happy to be out exploring instead of lying around, though, so you don’t send him back home. Besides, you’re happy to have a companion. Even though you’re mad, you don’t really feel like being alone. You make your way further into the woods until you reach the field on the other side.

It’s a great place to blow off steam. The world seems to stretch on forever from here, and the sunset casts everything in a brilliant orange glow.

Suddenly, Alfie stops at the edge of the trees.

“C’mon, boy!” you say. Alfie looks torn. He takes a few tentative steps forward before retreating and barking a few times.

“Shh!” you say. “C’mon, Alfie!” But Alfie just barks again and walks in circles a few times before barking some more. He looks nervous. He stares at you quizzically, tongue hanging out and slobbering everywhere. After a few moments, he turns around and starts trotting back towards the house.

You . . .

A) pull a treat out of your pocket to persuade Alfie to stay.

B) are spooked, so you just start running home.

C) realize that Aflie’s usually a pretty reasonable dog. If he’s acting up, there’s something wrong. You follow him back into the woods. You can hang out there instead.

D) decide to search for whatever it is that’s making him act strange. Is there a wild animal nearby?

E) continue on without Alfie. Whatever! 

What would YOU do? Vote for your answer choice in the Comments below! Click here for your personality quiz results and links to new installments of the story.

See ya around,

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

August 12, 2014

Surrounded by Sharks

Posted by at 4:12 pm in Authors, Reads, Summer | Permalink

Surrounded by SharksTop 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.

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.