June 25, 2014

June Books of the Month

Posted by at 1:47 am in Books of the Month, Reads | Permalink

writing_prompt_book_recommendationIt’s Books of the Month time again!

By now, you all know the drill. It’s the end of June. Obviously, that means it’s time for the most exciting (okay, okay, I’m biased) post of the month . . . BOOKS OF THE MONTH!!! I feel like this post should be celebrated with an ice cream cake and confetti every month. I know I’m not the only person who gets really happy every time this post goes up, though! Last month you guys really came out in support of your favorite books. There were so many!

At the end of May we asked you to share what books you were reading. Then we made a word cloud to show which titles were most popular. I think it’s pretty obvious which series the people of the STACKS are loving this month: Percy Jackson!

June Books of the MonthLet’s keep this going! What books are you reading now? What books do you love and recommend? Leave the title (or titles!) in the Comments section below. I’m about to dive headfirst into Kingdom Keepers now, and I can’t wait to see which new series pop up next time around!

See ya later,

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

 

June 25, 2014

Tales from Grimmlandia

Posted by at 1:17 am in Reads | Permalink

Grimmtastic Girls: Cinderella Stays Late book coverGrimmtastic Girls Series

In faraway Grimmlandia, there’s one place you have to visit: Grimm Academy. All the coolest fairy tale characters go to school there, from Cinda (a.k.a. Cinderella) and Red (Red Riding Hood, of course!) to Rapunzel and Snow White (but you can call her Snow). The Grimm brothers founded the realm of Grimmlandia and built Grimm Academy long ago to help protect all fairy tale and storybook characters from the wicked E.V.I.L. Society.

Cinda and her friends go to classes (like Bespellings) and to the library (to check out magical objects), but when they hear the E.V.I.L. Society is back in business and making trouble for Grimm Academy, they’ll have to stick together to save their school, even if it means entering Neverwood Forest where even the bravest of fairy tale characters never would go. Want to learn more?

Check out this exclusive excerpt from Chapter 1 of Book 1: Cinderella Stays Late and catch up on all the adventures at Grimm Academy!

June 24, 2014

World Cup Soccer Trivia Quiz Answers

Posted by at 9:34 am in Summer, Trivia | Permalink

FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014World Cup 2014 Brazil!!

Attention, all you footballers (or soccer fans if you’re American)! Last week we posted a World Cup Trivia Quiz in honor of all the awesome World Cup soccer action we’ve been seeing. A few teams have already been eliminated.

World-Cup-2014elims

How did you score? Check out the answers below!

1. Which country is the reigning World Cup champion? ANSWER: Spain. It won the World Cup in 2010. Sadly for them, they have already been eliminated from the 2014 tournament.

2. Which country has won the most World Cups? ANSWER: Brazil with 5 titles. (#2 Italy with 4 titles, #3 Germany with 3 titles. The U.S. has never won one yet!) UPDATE! After its 2014 World Cup win over Argentina, Germany now has 4 titles!

3. In every country in the world except for the United States, what is the sport of “soccer” called? ANSWER: Football . . . which is funny because around the world, they call American football . . . “American football.”

4. Name the Brazilian player who was named World Player of the Century and is considered to be the greatest player of all time. He won 3 World Cups in 1958, 1962, and 1970. ANSWER: Pele. His full name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento. He came from humble beginnings in Brazil, and couldn’t afford a soccer ball as a child, so he used to play with a sock stuffed with newspaper tied with a string. He began playing for the Brazil national team at age 16 (!) and went on to score 1,281 goals in 1,363 games. He’s totally a legend!

5. TRUE or FALSE. If you win the World Cup, you have to give it back at the end of your country’s reign. ANSWER: FALSE.  Well, kind of false.  There is ALL sorts of drama surrounding the history of the World Cup trophy. It was stolen twice, and in 1983 a new one had to be created because the original was believed to have been melted into gold pieces and sold by thieves!  So now Fédération Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, keeps the official trophy.  The winners are awarded a gold plated replica to keep.

6. TRUE or FALSE. Most American soccer players stay in the U.S.A. instead of going abroad to play pro soccer. ANSWER: FALSE. While many other U.S. sports attract foreign players (like baseball, basketball, and hockey), there is actually a REVERSE migration of American professional soccer players. Many American players leave the U.S. to play soccer in other countries.  Only 3% of World Cup players from any country play for a U.S. Major League Soccer team. 

7. Lionel Messi is currently considered to be the best soccer player in the world, challenging even the great Pele. What country is he from? ANSWER: Argentina. He currently plays for the professional team FC Barcelona (in Spain) but was born in Argentina and plays for them in the World Cup. Although pro soccer players can play for any country, they usually play for the country where they were born, or where they hold citizenship, for the World Cup.

8. Where will the next World Cup be held in 2018? ANSWER: Russia. This will be the first time ever in Russia!

Are you a soccer fan? Or do you just love the 5 Seconds of Summer song “Hearts Upon Our Sleeve?” And more importantly, which team do you support in the World Cup? Yes, 5SOS totally counts. Let us know in the Comments below!

Ratha, STACKS Writer

June 24, 2014

Celebrity Grammar Police

Posted by at 1:34 am in Celebrities, Trivia | Permalink

trivia_quiz1Can you spot the celebrity grammar mistakes?

You know I love the celebrities we get to profile on the STACKS, but I have to reveal a sad truth. While they are all talented and beautiful, they do not always use perfect grammar and spelling when they write to their fans on social media. Shocking, I know, but YOU can help them. Please look at the following sentences and correct the mistakes. They will probably be really grateful for your corrections.

  1. Austin Mahone: GUESS WHERE IM GOING TOMORROW!!!
  2. Peyton List: Every time I make an ugly face on Jessie I think about how many people are going to screenshot it and make it their profile pic
  3. Leo Howard: Hey everyone did you see last nights Kickin it. Haha love that episode!
  4. Jake Short: It honestly feels like it’s Saturday. My days are so nixed up. (Sonja: It was actually hard to find a mistake from Jake Short. His grammar is really very good!)
  5. Harry Styles: Thank you so much to everyone who bought the album, you’re incredible. And we are nothing without you, I am very very happy today .x
  6. Olivia Holt: blessings show up in many different forms. don’t ever second guess God’s reasoning.
  7. Taylor Swift: I LOVE YOU GUYS WE GOT AN ALBUM OF THE YEAR NOMINATION AND I AM TOO EXCITED TO USE PUNCTUATION (Sonja: At least she knows she made a mistake.)
  8. Mindless Behavior: what did you guys think of our new video from the airport? what can we say we love to dance LOL!!
  9. Karan Brar: Everyone has problems. Some peoples problems are more messed up than others, but don’t judge a person based on their problems.
  10. Ross Lynch: 2014 here I come.

I tried to find a mistake from Dove Cameron but I couldn’t. Her grammar is impeccable! Did you spot the mistakes in all these sentences? Leave the corrected sentences in the Comments and then check your answers.
image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

June 23, 2014

Dutchie the Puppy Create a Caption

Posted by at 1:47 am in Create a Caption, Writing Prompt | Permalink

Create a CaptionCreate a Caption for Dutchie the Puppy!

Dutchie may look like a lovable, innocent little pup but don’t let that fool you! He may be adorable but he has a bad side too! Would you just look at those blankets? How can a doggy so small make such a huge mess?

DutchiePuppy

What do you think Dutchie is saying? Write YOUR own caption in the Comments!

Amanda, STACKS Intern

June 20, 2014

Dylan Riley Snyder Interview

Posted by at 1:18 am in Celebrities | Permalink

dylan riley snyderDylan Riley Snyder in Kickin’ It

Are you a fan of Kickin’ It? Well, have we got a treat for you! We were lucky enough to get an interview with Dylan Riley Snyder, who plays Milton on the show. We talked about karate, his character, what kind of pet he wants, and more. Check it out!

Q: Let’s talk about your character, Milton.

Dylan: My character is probably the most well-meaning character on the show, but every time he tries to do something he gets shot down. It drives him more than a little wild. But it’s fun.

Q: Do you guys take karate lessons?

Dylan: Leo [Howard] does karate. I don’t do karate, but we take classes. The instructors are always on set and we learn the moves on set, mostly basic kicks and punches that we learn and piece together into a fight sequence.

Q: If you could have any pet in the world, what pet would you choose?

Dylan: I would have a fox—a red fox. I think they are beautiful! I think it would be great to show up at a party with a fox on a leash. Or I’d pick a Savannah cat…they’re the cats that look like cheetahs. But I’m allergic to cats!

Dylan Riley Snyder and Leo Howard in Kickin' It

image courtesy Disney Channel

Q: What’s something about you that most people don’t know?

Dylan: I like science a lot. I like looking at things in different ways, solving puzzles, and doing things with my hands…fixing stuff.

Q: What should people do to make the world a better place?

Dylan: Take a look in the mirror and fix what you can. Think about how you can make the people around you happy! And speak up! The world would be a much better place if more people would say what makes them happy.

Be sure to also check out Dylan’s book recommendation video for the STACKS, and catch our interviews with his castmates Leo Howard and Olivia Holt!

See ya next time,

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

Interview by Sue Schneider
Image credit: Disney Channel

June 19, 2014

Interview with Karan Brar from Jessie

Posted by at 1:02 am in Celebrities | Permalink

Karan BrarDon’t you love Ravi?

I mean, who doesn’t? On the show, Jessie, Karan plays Ravi, one of Jessie’s four charges. In real life, Karan is super-sweet and cool. Last year, he even came by to answer fans’ questions. We caught up with him again to see what he’s been up to since our last interview, what he likes about Ravi, what kind of pet he wants to have, and more. Check it out!

Q: What do you like about your character Ravi?
Karan: I love that he is really bright-eyed. He’s so new to the country. Well, I shouldn’t say new, since it’s been 3 years. But he is so bright-eyed and he looks at the world so hopefully, which is so cool.

Q: How do you like acting with Mrs. Kipling (a 7-foot Asian water monitor)?
Karan: It’s really cool. I love it. Having an animal on set is pretty awesome.

Q: Was it strange in the beginning working with such a big lizard? Was it scary?
Karan: Yes, definitely. I was really creeped out! It was really weird.

Q: Water monitors are not really man-eating, are they?
Karan: I think they eat meat!

Q: What is the best book you ever read?
Karan: The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. I acted in those films and love the books even more. They mean so much to me and I love them.

Q: So what is the most unusual talent you have that most people don’t know about?
Karan: I can do this weird thing with my thumb. It’s, like, double-jointed. It’s really weird that I can do this weird motion with it.

Q: If you could have any one pet in the world, what would it be?
Karan:  A zebra. Zebras are awesome.

Q: What was your favorite TV show growing up?
Karan: SpongeBob SquarePants! I love it still.

Isn’t Karan the nicest guy? We certainly think so! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below. Be sure to check out our earlier interview with Karan, and don’t forget to read our other interviews with Karan’s cast members Debby Ryan, Cameron Boyce, and Peyton List!

See ya next time,

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

Interview by Sue Schneider
Images courtesy of Disney Channel

June 18, 2014

The Doll Graveyard

Posted by at 12:23 pm in Reads | Permalink

TThe Doll Graveyard book coverhe Doll Graveyard (for ages 8-12) by Lois Ruby

“Chester sniffs at the ground and whimpers. It’s a graveyard, a miniature cemetery with five tiny wooden markers close together in a horseshoe shape, and one larger one set apart, as if someone didn’t want that body buried with the rest.”

When Shelby’s parents divorce, she isn’t happy that it means she has to move 200 miles away from where she grew up. Her great-aunt Amelia has died, leaving a house at Cinder Creek to Shelby, her brother Brian, her mom, and her dog Chester. It’s a beautiful house, but old and kind of creepy at night. And oh yeah, there is also a weird miniature graveyard in the backyard.

Brian and Shelby dig up the miniature graves and find dolls. They take them inside and put them in a doll house that is an exact replica of their house. When the dolls start moving around the house and talking, Shelby and Brian try reburying them, but they won’t stay buried!

Shelby finds a journal written by the dolls’ first owner, Sadie. Shelby is horrified to hear that Sadie went through the same things Shelby is going through. The same things happened to Emily, the next girl to find the dolls. Emily ends up in a psychiatric ward because her parents and doctors think she is crazy.

Are Shelby and Brian going crazy? Or can they figure out a way to make the dolls quiet at last? Read and find out! Then comment in the section below!

June 18, 2014

Fantasy Books Festival

Fantasy Books FestivalAfter the fun of last month’s Funny Books Fiesta, we are enjoying a new  STACKS summer reading celebration: the Fantasy Books Festival! Have you ever wished for a Hogwarts letter to come to your house? Have you ever looked inside a wardrobe to see if it’s really a door into another world? Have you ever wondered if your real father is a god from Greek mythology? If so, then you should join us for the Fantasy Books Festival in July. We know just how you feel!

Here is the schedule of events:

Favorite Fantasy Books             July 2

Fantasy Guess the Book            July 9

Fantasy Who Would Win            July 16

Harry Potter Week                     July 28- 31

Readathon/Harry Potter birthday celebration! July 31 Noon -4 pm E.T. RSVP here!

To get started, tell us your favorite fantasy book in the Comments.

June 18, 2014

Funny Books Fiesta Challenge #3

Posted by at 1:02 am in Reads | Permalink

Funny Books FiestaSilly Sentence Switch-Up!

Hey y’all! Our Funny Books Fiesta is in full swing now. How’s the reading coming along? I love seeing all the fun—and funny—responses you had to our Silly Word Vocabulary and Make Your Own Mad Libs challenges. You guys are really hysterical! So it is with great excitement that I introduce today’s Funny Books Fiesta challenge: Silly Sentence Switch-Up!

If you’ve been following our Books of the Month posts for the past few months, you know that one of the most highly recommended series by the people of the STACKS is Wings of Fire. So I’ve started reading Book One: The Dragonet Prophecy and I gotta say, it is totally worth the hype! Anyway, I picked the paragraph I’m reading on page 215 to use for my silly sentence switch-up.

How does it work?

Take the sentence you’re reading and pick a few random words (nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc.). Do the same for the following sentence, and the one after. Make sure that you have the same number of each kind of word from each sentence. Now, shuffle them all around!

Here’s the original paragraph:

The roaring of dragons woke them the next morning. The three dragonets barely had time to scramble to their feet before guards began pouring into their cave. The black rocks had burned down to embers, which the SkyWing soldiers swept into the pool easily with their tails.

Remixed sentences? Check it out:

The roaring of embers scrambled them the next cave. The three tails barely had time to burn to their feet before guards began pouring into their dragons. The black rocks had woken down to dragonets, which the SkyWing soldiers swept into the pool easily with their morning.

Pretty wacky, right? Try your own silly sentence switch-up! Share your  new sentences in the Comments below. The weirder the better!

Come back next week for another Funny Books Fiesta book challenge. And don’t forget the LIVE Readathon on June 30! Can’t wait! It’s gonna be amazing.

See ya next time,

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