November 4, 2015

SPONSORED POST In the Heart of the Sea

Posted by at 1:12 am in Celebrities, SPONSORED | Permalink

In the Heart of the SeaThis Blog Post is Sponsored by Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Way back in the winter of 1820, the New England whaleship Essex was attacked by a much bigger, mammoth-sized whale. The incident would inspire American author and poet Herman Melville to write Moby-Dick, but this was a real-life disaster in which a ship with a crew sailed into the Pacific and never returned.

In the Heart of the SeaIn the Heart of the Sea

An exciting new film, In the Heart of the Sea (rated PG-13), is based on the Nathaniel Philbrick book, In the Heart of the Sea—The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex (for ages 12 and up).

The Pittsburgh-born author’s book is a work of nonfiction. It explores the grim path of the crew of the Essex, which headed out to sea after leaving Nantucket in the summer of 1819. The ship barely survived a bout of nasty weather not long after it set sail, enduring significant damage in the aftermath, and was sunk after the huge sperm whale attacked it during November of the following year.

Opening in theaters on December 11 and starring Chris Hemsworth, In the Heart of the Sea tells the powerful true story of the Essex and celebrates good storytelling.

Tell us in the Comments below about the last good piece of nonfiction storytelling you read, and leave your caption for this photo . . .

In the Heart of the Sea

November 3, 2015

Twins Trivia Quiz

Posted by at 1:38 am in Trivia | Permalink

question marksDouble Dare! Take the Twins Trivia Quiz!

Mary Kate and Ashley, Fred and George, Liv and Maddie . . . these are just a few examples of famous twins. Did you know 32 out of 1000 people are twins? Are you one of the lucky 32? I always wondered what it would be like to have a twin. To share clothes, secrets, and a birthday, and basically have a built-in best friend . . . or partner in crime. . . for life!

If you’re a twin, know twins, or just want to test your knowledge, help yourself to a double serving of our Twins Trivia!

Weasley twins

Photo courtesy Warner Bros.

  1. TRUE or FALSE? Twins are always look identical to each other.
  2. TRUE or FALSE? The states with the highest rates of twins are Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.>
  3. Are twins with the exact same DNA called fraternal OR identical twins?
  4. The actors who play Fred and George Weasley in the Harry Potter movies are actual twins in real life. What are their real names?
  5. The world’s oldest living twins were Eli Shadrack and John Meshak Phipps born in 1803 in Virginia. How old did they live to be? A) 108 and 113. B) Both 101. C) 90 and 91.
  6. TRUE or FALSE? Identical twins have almost identical brainwave patterns. This can cause one twin to feel pain when the other one is injured.
  7. When they are born, twins usually weigh MORE or LESS than the average baby?
  8. Which famous athlete is a parent of twins? A) Peyton Manning. B) Stephen Curry. C) Tom Brady. D) Sidney Crosby.
  9. TRUE or FALSE? Having twins is hereditary.
  10. Fill in the blank. The Major League baseball team ___________ Twins!

Did you score in the double digits? Check out the answers below. Continue reading

November 2, 2015

Country Personality Quiz

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

question marksWhich country should you live in?

  1. If you had to pick a favorite animal, it would be . . . a) kangaroo. b) whale. c) shrew. d) caribou.
  2. Pick which food you’d rather eat. a) Barbeque. b) Smoked salmon. c) Fish and chips. d) French fries with cheese and gravy (a.k.a. poutine).
  3. Your favorite kind of weather is. . . a) super-hot. b) sunny in summer and cold and dark in winter. c) cool all year. d) snowy.
  4. Which would you rather do? a) Go surfing. b) Go for a long bike ride. c) Visit a palace. d) Go hiking.
  5. Which sport do you enjoy watching the most? a) Rugby. b) Swimming. c) Football (a.k.a. soccer). d) Ice hockey.
  6. Which entertainment would you prefer? a) Opera. b) Antique amusement park. c) Gigantic Ferris wheel. d) Circus.
  7. Which type of music is your favorite? a) Rock. b) Pop. c) Punk. d) Hip hop.
  8. Which language would you rather learn? a) An indigenous tribal language. b) A Scandinavian language. c) Old English. d) French.
  9. What is your favorite dog breed? a) Sheepdog. b) Great Dane. c) Russell Terrier. d) Labrador Retriever.

Read on to find out which country you live in! Continue reading

November 1, 2015

Scoring Goals and Writing Books

Scholastic News Kids Press CorpsScoring Goals and Writing Books by Joshua Yi

What does it mean to be a superstar? For many people, it’s about being great at one thing, whether it’s sports, music, or something else. When this reporter interviewed Frank Lampard at Yankee Stadium recently, a different definition emerged. Lampard excels at both sports and writing. Not only does he score goals for New York City FC (a professional soccer team), he also writes children’s books.
Joshua in the press room at Yankee Stadium

Lampard has written three books for a series called Frankie’s Magic Soccer Ball (Scholastic), with more titles on the way. Before a match between New York City FC and the San Jose Earthquakes at Yankee Stadium, the superstar took time to share his story.

Lampard began his soccer career in his native England, where the sport is called football. A midfielder for Chelsea Football Club for 13 years, he has scored more goals than anyone in the team’s history. Whether winning or losing, Lampard said, “good sportsmanship and respecting your opponent” are essential.

Last summer, Lampard moved to the United States to play for New York City FC, a Major League Soccer (MLS) team. He loves the city, saying, “I enjoy how friendly everybody is.” Having long watched MLS games, he often dreamed of coming to the U.S. and “was quite inspired when David Beckham came here and did so well.”


But a star athletic career was not enough for Lampard. So he turned to writing children’s books. “I wanted to do something constructive, fun, and different from football,” he said. In the popular series that Lampard created, a magic soccer ball helps Frankie, the main character, and his friends journey back in time. They play soccer matches against ancient Romans, pirates, and even cowboys. Can you imagine playing soccer at the Roman Colosseum?

The series combines sports, history, and friendship—plus a talking dog. Thirteen books have been published in England, where the series is called Frankie’s Magic Football. As for the secret to Lampard’s own success, this reporter found no magic. “To be successful in anything,” Lampard said, “the idea is the same for everything you do—hard work and practice.”

October 29, 2015

Peanuts Movie

Posted by at 4:01 am in Celebrities | Permalink

The Peanuts MovieIt’s a New Peanuts Movie, Charlie Brown!

Remember Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the rest of the Peanuts gang? If you are like me, you watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown every year at Halloween, and A Charlie Brown Christmas every year in December. Well, they are back in a brand-new movie coming to theaters on November 6, 2015!

Peanuts Charlie Brown and Snoopy

Image courtesy 20th Century Fox

In The Peanuts Movie (rated G), Charlie Brown, the world’s most beloved underdog, embarks upon an epic and heroic quest to befriend the new girl next door, while his best pal, the lovable beagle Snoopy, takes to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis, the Red Baron. Will they succeed, or will they go down in flames?

Also, if you are in New York City next week, you are invited to some cool events! Check it out and ask your parents if you can come celebrate with the Peanuts gang in NYC.

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

October 29, 2015

R. L. Stine Web Chat

Posted by at 1:00 am in Authors, Goosebumps, Live Chats | Permalink


R. L. Stine Web Chat!

R. L. Stine is hosting a web chat on Thursday, October 29, 2015 from 2-3 p.m. ET.

I will be posting live updates from the chat on the Reading Buzz Board so you can join us there for our live Goosebumps Halloween R. L. Stine celebration! Hop over to the Buzz Board now! What are you waiting for? Click on the blue link!

If you miss it, you can go to the Reading Buzz Board any time to read the transcript.

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

October 28, 2015

Battle Bugs Books

Posted by at 1:30 am in Reads | Permalink

battle bugsBattle Bugs Book Series for Ages 7-10

Have no fear! The Battle Bugs are here! This new series has action-packed adventure, a hilarious friendship between boy and bug, and the most dangerous of villains—a lizard army!

In the newest book, an eerie glow from his insect encyclopedia alerts Max Darwin that the Battle Bugs desperately need his help again. Once Max is transported to Bug Island, he finds himself in immediate peril. He’s dropped into the ocean and lizard forces are headed right for him! Fortunately, Commander Barton and the Battle Bugs are also on the scene.

Once Max is rescued and back on dry land, the Battle Bugs explain their latest problem. As Max experienced, the lizards are now attacking from the sea. The bug forces need some way to spot the enemy before they crawl up on the sand. Max has a fantastic idea: the bugs need to build a giant watchtower so they can survey the entire beach! But can they finish it before the lizards attack again?

Find out how Max and the Battle Bugs fight their way through the attacking lizard forces in the newest BATTLE BUGS book! Start reading Chapter 1: Battle Bugs: The Chameleon Attack!

Can’t get enough Battle Bugs? The first three books in this exciting series are out now!

October 27, 2015

Ever After High Would You Rather

Posted by at 1:59 am in Would You Rather | Permalink

everafterhighEver After High Would You Rather

Let’s be real: who WOULDN’T want to go to Ever After High, a boarding school for fairy tale characters? Yes, please! But not everything is butterflies and rainbows at Ever After High, you know. Sometimes you’ve gotta make some very tough decisions to reach your Happily Ever After! So, we want to know . . . would you rather:

  1. Have to attend Damsel-in-distressing class for an entire year OR actually sleep through the Beauty Sleep Festival?
  2. Have snakes rained down on you OR have to spend a semester with your arch nemesis as your roommate?
  3. Need your biggest bully to rescue you OR have to harm your very best friend?
  4. Lose all your hair for five days to a Che-myth-stry class mistake OR be turned into a frog for five weeks?
  5. Find out you’re destined to marry the most arrogant prince you’ve ever met OR find out you are going to be responsible for sending one of your parents to jail?
  6. Get banished forever from Ever After High OR be locked up for an afternoon in the Uni Cairn with a very angry Jabberwock?

Whew! Being a fairy tale character might be more stressful than I thought . . . not that I still don’t want to go to Ever After High, though! What do you think? Would you YOU rather do? Are you an Ever After High fan? Share your answers in the Comments below!

En-Szu, STACKS Writer

October 26, 2015

Book-Inspired Halloween Candy

Posted by at 1:51 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Happy HalloweenBook-Inspired Halloween Candy

Halloween is coming! At the STACKS, it’s a perfect opportunity to combine our two favorite things in the world into . . . book-inspired candy!

In case you missed it, this past summer we did something similar with book-inpsired ice cream flavors. You guys had some really clever ideas (Warrior Cat Mice Cream, anyone?), so now, check out our list of book-inspired candy below!

Percy’s Peppermint Pattie
The oh-so-amazing combination of yummy, yummy chocolate and minty creme gets a new twist with a bolt of unexpected flavor: ambrosia! Just be sure not to eat too many. You don’t want to be too sluggish to outrun any Minotaurs or vengeful evil demigods!

Harry Butterfinger
The crispy, peanut buttery center of this candy bar is more than just simply delicious—it contains a spell! Each bar gives you a temporary magical power . . . but you’ll never know which one until you eat it. Will you shrink to the size of an ant? Become invisible? Shape-shift into a cat? Who knows!

Kane Crunch
Delightful, fit-for-the-gods milk chocolate is packed with a blend of nuts, toffee, and crispy rice in this candy bar that is imprinted with magical hieroglyphics. If you (like me) aren’t really able to read hieroglyphics, they’re just really awesome decoration, but if you, say, happen to be descended from Egyptian gods, you’ll be able to enjoy the secret messages each bar contains.

Land of Lollies
Each of these sparkly, unusually flavored lollipops tastes like a different fairy tale. Will it taste like Goldilocks’ just-right porridge? The breadcrumb trail that Hansel and Gretel left behind? The sea in which the Little Mermaid lived? Unwrap one to find out!

The 39 Clues Candy Corn
It tastes just like regular candy corn. However, each package contains—you guessed it!—a clue that will bring you one step closer to becoming the most powerful person on earth.

What book-inspired candy do YOU want to invent? Share your ideas in the Comments below!

En-Szu, STACKS Writer