July 30, 2014
Please join us TODAY for a live readathon to celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday!
Since it will be on Harry Potter’s actual birthday, it will be a combination birthday party/readathon. You can read, eat virtual cake, chat with all your reader friends on STACKS, and participate in some special Harry Potter challenges we have planned.
- When: Thursday, July 31 at noon ET
- Where: Harry Potter Message Board
- How: Sign in to the Message Board at noon with your STACKS screen name. If you don’t have a screen name, it’s easy to get one – and free! Sign up now.
Art copyright Kazu Kibuishi
Hope to see you at the readathon!
Sonja, STACKS Staffer
July 30, 2014
2 word puzzles for Harry Potter fans
Harry Potter Week continues, leading up to the big day: July 31. It is the birthday of the Boy Who Lived . . . and also (not coincidentally) the day of the STACKS live readathon. Are you coming? It will be a great chance to chat with other book-lovers and celebrate Harry’s birthday together. You might not know this, but there are a LOT of Harry Potter fans on the STACKS! For example . . .
CatGymnastics173 created this acrostic puzzle. You have to figure out what the letters stand for and complete the sentence. Your only clue is that they are all from the 4th Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
- D P F is the P to the P B.
- B C disguises himself as A (M E) M.
- H fights a H H.
- There are F T C.
- V comes back to P.
Your next puzzle is a Harry Potter Word Scramble brought to you by HappyUnicorn108.
- K.J. wolRnig
Leave your guesses in the Comments and if you liked these puzzles, go friend CatGymnastics173 and HappyUnicorn108!
AND, please come to the live readathon! It won’t be the same without you!
July 30, 2014
It’s time for Books of the Month!
WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO! It’s BOOKS OF THE MONTH TIME!!! I know you can’t see me from across the Internet, but I’m doing my little books-of-the-month dance right now. (There’s a lot of wiggling involved.) You guys, I love Books of the Month. I can’t wait to find out your cool new book recommendations!
You STACKS regulars can probably do this in your sleep, but for those of you new to the ~*mAgiC*~ that is Books of the Month, here’s the deal: at the end of June I asked you all what books you were reading. Then I made a word cloud to show which titles are most popular. As he has been for some time now, Percy Jackson leads the pack in popularity, but some other titles have been steadily rising in rank over the months. (Percy had better watch his back! Dork Diaries is sneaking up there!) See for yourself:
Summertime Books of the Month posts are the best because summertime means UNLIMITED TIME FOR READING, which is just the greatest thing in the whole wide world. And you get to read in awesome places, like in your backyard or on your roof top or on the beach. Summer reading rocks! Even better, you can read in our super-crazy-cool event at tomorrow’s Harry Potter Readathon!!!
Let’s keep this going. What books are you reading now? What books do you absolutely, positively love and think everyone in the whole wide world should read? Leave the title (or titles!) in the Comments below. I can’t wait to see what new books you recommend!
— En-Szu, STACKS Staffer
July 29, 2014
Personality Quiz: Which Harry Potter character are you?
Have you ever wished you could go to Hogwarts after reading one of J. K. Rowling’s books?! OK. Stupid question. OF COURSE YOU HAVE! Whether you’ve read the series or watched the movies, all the characters are so relatable that there always seems to be that one character you have a lot in common with.
Which Harry Potter character are you most like? Take this quiz and find out!
- While working on a group project you . . . A) tend to get wrapped up in your own work and are quick to correct others. B) are very well organized and take your responsibilities very seriously. C) are the natural leader but take everyone’s thoughts and ideas into consideration. D) hate doing the work if it doesn’t involve you totally being in charge.
- Your favorite subject at school is . . . A) Arithmancy (Mathematics). B) History of Magic (History). C) Defense Against the Dark Arts (English). D) Charms and Potions (Science).
- You notice that someone has left a bag in the corridor so you . . . A) give it to a professor. B) bring it to the main office hoping the person who lost it will look there first. C) try to figure out whose bag it is and return it. D) take it back to your room and rummage through it.
- You spend your time after school . . . A) reading and studying in the library. B) supervising a group activity or club. C) playing on your school’s Quidditch (sports) team. D) challenging your friends to duels in the schoolyard.
- You usually come across to others as . . . A) intelligent and goal-oriented. B) responsible and reliable. C) brave and loyal. D) overly confident.
- Your tragic flaw is . . . A) sometimes acting like a know-it-all. B) judging others too harshly. C) getting too absorbed in your own personal pursuits. D) being conceited.
Ready for the moment of truth? Count up your answers and find out which Harry Potter character you are!
If you answered mostly A’s: You are Hermione Granger!
Like Hermione, you are a smart, natural born thinker. You love problem solving and learning, and you tend to get caught up in your own studies.
If you answered mostly B’s: You are Minerva McGonagall!
Like Professor McGonagall, you are very well organized and always get the job done. People come to you to help solve their problems or give them advice. You have a very strong set of morals and always try to do the right thing.
If you answered mostly C’s: You are Harry Potter!
Like Harry, you are very easy to get along with. You are a loyal friend and are very independent. People look up to you and trust you to lead the way. You learn best by doing and taking things apart to figure them out.
If you answered mostly D’s: You are Draco Malfoy!
Like Malfoy, you are quick-thinking and adaptable. You are sometimes pessimistic, but you are also strategic and usually predict how things will play out. You are intuitive and very confident in yourself and your abilities.
PS. You are invited to celebrate Harry’s birthday with us at a live readathon on July 31. Happy birthday, Harry!
—Amanda, STACKS Intern
Harry Potter illustration by Mary GrandPré
July 29, 2014
Harry Potter Name Meanings
What is in a name? Harry Potter could hardly go by anything else! Okay, except for “The Chosen One,” I suppose. In celebration of Harry’s birthday on July 31, we’ve compiled a list of Harry Potter name meanings! Whether you’re a seasoned Harry Potter fan and honorary member of Dumbledore’s Army, or you’re just starting your first year at Hogwarts, you’ve probably noticed J. K. Rowling’s characters have some quirky names. From Hermione to Bellatrix, it turns out their names might signify more than you realize. Check out the following Harry Potter name meanings to see just how much thought went into naming our magical friends of the wizarding world. Continue reading
July 28, 2014
Celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday with us all week long!
Hey, everyone! Welcome to the happiest week of the year (except maybe Christmas or the first week of school): Harry Potter Week! To celebrate Harry’s birthday, we will be featuring Harry Potter on the blog all week long . . . AND having a live readathon/ virtual birthday party on Thursday, July 31. Please come if you can and bring a friend. You’re TOTALLY invited!
Let’s start the week with this Writing Prompt from Skyelark Moon on the Harry Potter Message Boards who is obviously a fan of the Harry Potter series, as you can tell from this question . . .
**Spoilers from ALL the books follow!**
- The Philosopher’s Stone (a.k.a. The Sorcerer’s Stone): I have always loved the scene in Diagon Ally especially when Harry is in Ollivanders. Something about it is so . . . magical.
- The Chamber of Secrets: The moment when Harry and Ron are figuring out the secret to the Chamber of Secrets has always been one of my favorite parts. I love mysteries, so this was a great part to me.
- The Prisoner of Azkaban: I love the chapter “Cat, Rat, and Dog.” The Marauders are some of my favorite characters, and seeing them interact with each other is fantastic.
- The Goblet of Fire: I have always liked the section in between the first and second tasks: namely the scene where Harry opens the egg in the water.
- The Order of the Phoenix: The Room of Requirement is one of my favorite places in Hogwarts, so naturally all of the Dumbledore’s Army parts are my favorite.
- The Half-Blood Prince: I really like the part when Harry first uses the Half-Blood Prince’s book to brew the Draught of Living Death.
- The Deathly Hallows: I love the ending of The Deathly Hallows, especially when they seem to be figuring out where all the Horcruxes are. As I mentioned previously, I really love mysteries, so this part was great, in my opinion.
Skyelark Moon, who really wants to read Harry Potter right now, but she can’t.
Leave your answers in the Comments and mark your calendars for the readathon on Thursday!
Harry Potter illustration by Mary GrandPré
July 28, 2014
Diagon Alley in Florida, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Japan
It’s been a crazy month for Muggle fans of Harry Potter! As you may know, Universal Studios recently officially opened Diagon Alley in Florida, and Universal Studios Japan just unveiled its own Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Diagon Alley in Florida is essentially a replica of the film sets from the Harry Potter movies, complete with all the shops and spots like the Leaky Cauldron, Gringotts, Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes, Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor, and more. Guests can get their fill of Nosebleed Nougats, butterbeer ice cream, and other Diagon Alley specialties. The main attraction, of course, is the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride. The other attraction is . . . THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS!
The Hogwarts Express is actually a shuttle between 2 different theme parks inside of Universal Studios. You need a “Park-to-Park” ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express which costs $136. For $96, you can see either Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade (but not both).
This Diagon Alley is the first of its kind in the (Muggle) world, but the first Wizarding World of Harry Potter to open outside of the U.S. is now in Osaka, Japan. It opened on July 14th and it is almost identical to the original one in Florida. Tom Felton (who played Draco Malfoy in the movies) and Evanna Lynch (who played Luna Lovegood in the movies) greeted fans on opening night and led lucky visitors into the new park the following morning!
Universal Studios Japan
Another Wizarding World is set to open at Universal Studios Hollywood in California in 2016.
So much Harry Potter coming to life! It’s so exciting . . . and also kind of overwhelming. What do YOU think? Would you go to Diagon Alley? What other parts of Harry Potter’s world would you like to see made real for us Muggles? (Well, to be honest, Harry Potter has always felt very real to me!) Share your thoughts in the Comments below!
En-Szu, STACKS Staffer
July 25, 2014
If you love Leo Howard from Kickin’ It, keep reading.
If any television actor has undergone an on-screen transformation, it’s Kickin’ It‘s Leo Howard. Remember what he was like when the show first started? But even if Leo–and his character Jack–has changed a bit on the outside, he’s still the super-chill guy we interviewed a little while back. So it was great to catch up with him again and see what he’s been reading, what his favorite school subject is, and more! Check it out. Continue reading
July 25, 2014
August Is the Month for Adventure!
STACKS has some new activities lined up for your August reading adventure. If you like adventure books, you are going to love our Adventure Books Bash. Here’s what we have planned. . .
August 5: Adventure Guess the Books
Can you guess the book titles just from seeing tiny slivers of their covers?
August 12: Shark Week Who Would Win
If you have read I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916, then you understand my terror of sharks. Guys, an actual shark attacked actual people swimming at the actual Jersey shore. I ask you, what is scarier than that?
August 13: Choose Your Own Adventure Part 1
STACKS Staffer En-Szu is writing an adventure story where YOU get to choose what path to take. At the end of the story, your choices will reveal which adventure hero you are most like.
August 20: Choose Your Own Adventure Part 2
En-Szu’s story continues with a new twist!
August 26: National Dog Day
Well, this might not have anything to do with adventure books, but how awesome is a whole day when we get to celebrate dogs?
August 27: Which Adventure Hero Are You? Find out!
August 28: Readathon 12-4 p.m. ET
Join us on the STACKS for a live 4-hour readathon!
I hope you can join us for 1 or all of these STACKS events this August!
Sonja, STACKS Staffer
July 24, 2014
When You’re Not Old Enough for The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
If you’ve seen a movie or visited a book store in the past few months, you’ve probably heard about a movie based on a book called The Fault in Our Stars (rated PG-13). I bet you can practically hear your older sister gushing about it. Here’s the bottom line: TFIOS is about two teenagers with cancer who fall in love, and by the end of the book, one of them dies. The falling in love part is sappy, and the dying part is downright depressing, so this book is definitely not for kids under 13. But if the fact that the book has been glued to big sis’s hands has made you curious, what are some similar books for kids your age? Continue reading