Everyone has a favorite character in a favorite book or series. I really, really love Stacey McGill from The Baby-sitters Club. She’s from New York City, like me, and she’s sophisticated, cool, and really smart! But Stacey, while my character of choice, is not my favorite Baby-sitters Club dresser. Not that what someone wears is what defines her coolness—like I said, I love Stacey for her fun attitude and cleverness! But over the course of 131 book covers, these girls showed some serious style and it’s totally worth another look at what our other favorite girls from Stoneybrook were wearing. Here are my five favorite Baby-sitters Club book cover outfit moments: Continue reading
I am a Reader. Reading books and thinking about books and dreaming about books is normal, everyday stuff for me. But for some reason, things that seem normal to me seem kind of strange to people who are non-readers.
Here are a few examples of things I wish the world would understand:
- If you call me while I am in the middle of a good book, I won’t answer my phone.
- When I finally get the sequel of an awesome book I have been waiting for, I don’t want to hang out with my friends. I want to read my book and do nothing else until I finish it.
- I always have a book in my bag just in case I get bored somewhere (like at a party, or a concert, or while I’m waiting in the cafeteria lunch line). Why is reading on the cafeteria lunch line not normal?
- Running out of books is a serious emergency, like, life-threatening. If that happens, I must go to the library immediately!
How about you? What are the reader things you wish the world would understand about you? Leave them in the Comments.
Button image courtesy Portland Button Works
2014 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 The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.
This year’s winner was just announced today, and the 2014 Newbery Medal goes to . . .
You might recognize the author’s name because she also wrote Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, The Magician’s Elephant, and a bunch of books for younger kids, too.
Have you read Flora and Ulysses yet? Do YOU think it was the best American children’s book published in 2013? If you were on the committee voting for the 2014 Newbery Medal, which book would YOU have chosen? (Remember, only books published in 2013 by writers in America are eligible.) Let us know in the Comments.
The Super Bowl is almost here. The big game will be played on Sunday, February 2, so I thought we could round up some of the best football facts and fun from the STACKS. Here are a few things for you to do to get ready for the big game next week.
- Take this Super Bowl quiz.
- Play the Game Changers football game.
- Get the latest football books from Scholastic.
- Leave a Comment telling us which team you are rooting for in Super Bowl XLVIII!
- Or if you prefer animal sports, will you be watching the Kitten Bowl on Hallmark Channel, or Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet?
Photos courtesy of Hallmark Channel and Animal Planet
Are you a fan of How to Train Your Dragon? I most definitely am! But probably not as big a fan as Australian girl Sophie, who loved the How to Train Your Dragon books and movies so much she wrote a letter to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (also known as CSIRO), asking them to make her a real-life dragon.
“Hello Lovely Scientist,” she wrote. “My name is Sophie and I am 7 years old. My dad told me about the scientists at the CSIRO. Would it be possible if you can make a dragon for me? . . . I would keep it in my special green grass area where there is lots of space. I would feed it raw fish and I would put a collar on it. If it got hurt I would bandage it if it hurt himself. I would play with it every weekend when there is no school.” Continue reading
Dear STACKS Readers,
Over the years, I have written about the brave owls of Ga’Hoole, the noble wolves of the Beyond, and now . . . horses! Why horses? Well, when I was growing up, I loved horse stories, but I longed for a story told from a horse’s perspective. I wanted to know: What does it feel like to gallop? What does it sound like to pound across a plain with your herd?
There were no humans in Guardians of Ga’Hoole or Wolves of the Beyond. That allowed me to focus on the animals and build worlds that explored the species’ complex societies, free from any human influence.
However, the history of horses is inextricably linked to human history, which presented a unique challenge. Unlike owls or wolves, horses have been “domesticated” for centuries. Oh yes, there are “wild” mustangs in the western U.S., but they are the descendants of the first horses that came to America, and they only became wild after they escaped from captivity. These horses had to learn how to forage or gallop without shoes. Thinking about this, I became fascinated by the idea of a herd that broke away from its human masters. How would the horses survive? How long would it take for their “wild” instincts to emerge? Before I knew it, I had begun the Horses of the Dawn series.
The first book, Escape, is the story of the first horses that came to North America with the Conquistadores. Specifically, it’s the story of one filly named Estrella, who, along with six other horses, is tossed overboard from a ship bound for the New World.
The horses swim to shore, and for the first time, they have to make decisions for themselves. There are no humans, no whips, no spurs to tell them what to do. Estrella becomes the unlikely leader of the herd, though that is only the beginning of her adventure. Essentially, Escape is a story of self-discovery and homecoming, as one young horse finds the strength to lead the herd to freedom, to claim their destiny as the Horses of the Dawn.
Read Chapter 1. I hope you enjoy it!
Bernie is a budding artist who is spending her summer working at her family’s home-run Monument Company. Her dad carves headstones for graves. Bernie doesn’t have many friends – there isn’t much room to play in a backyard full of granite – but she is preoccupied with discovering the truth about a new mystery man named Mr. Stein who is working for her father.
Abbot Stein appeared out of nowhere one day with a granite carving of a woman so life-like it took Bernie’s breath away. Her father hired Mr. Stein on the spot to do engravings for the headstones. Bernie can’t figure out how Mr. Stein captures the essence of the deceased with only a chisel and a hammer, but she is determined to find out. So she spies on him.
Through her spying, Bernie finds out something fishy about Mr. Stein. He is carving portraits of people right before they die! This could only mean one of two things: 1) Mr. Stein is foretelling death, or 2) he is causing death in Stratwood! How else could he know the people were going to die?
Is someone Bernie cares about going to be the next victim? Read this spooky tale for ages 8-12 to find out! Chapter 1 Sneak Peek
—Elysse, STACKS Writer
This blog post is sponsored by Club Penguin.
The internet is packed with games, cool people, and more, but are you surfing safely? When you go online, let’s say, to visit INK SPLOT 26 (!), are you being a smart, thoughtful “digital citizen?”
There’s a world of information to explore on the web. Whenever you plant yourself in front of a computer in your classroom, in your kitchen, or when you switch on your tablet in your living room, you’ve suddenly got games, new music, news articles, and chats RIGHT at your fingertips.
CRAZY, right? The digital world is sometimes a lot to handle. So what does it mean to be safe online? Here are a few simple things to keep in mind when you’re plugged in:
• Be COOL: Never write mean or hurtful things online.
• Be HEARD: Tell a trusted adult if something bothers you online.
• Be SAFE: Protect your personal information. Never share passwords or private details.
Remember, online safety starts with YOU, so it’s up to you to surf safely! Let us know what you think it means to be a smart digital citizen. Share your ideas in the Comments below.
This blog post is sponsored by Club Penguin.
Ok, this is it: your chance to come clean!! What TV show or cartoon are you obsessed with, and can make the claim that you have absolutely-without-a-doubt-and-not-afraid-to-admit-it seen every episode of?
I’m guessing there are some obsessed Good Luck Charlie fans, Jessie fans, fans of Victorious, Ninjago, SpongeBob (Wait, aren’t there, like, a million episodes though?), Adventure Time, and Austin & Ally. Or maybe when you were younger, you watched every single episode of Thomas the Train or Dora the Explorer. (It’s ok to admit it; we’ve all been there!)
So let us know YOUR answer to today’s Writing Prompt:
I’ve seen every episode of . . .
We’ll eagerly “tune in” to the Comments below to see what you guys said!
—Ratha, Stacks Writer