December 4, 2014

Favorite Kids Movies

Posted by at 1:59 am in About Us | Permalink

Hi!The Best Kids Movies According to Rowan

All of these movies are rated G or PG and are recommended by Rowan from the Scholastic Kids Council. Check out the list and see if your favorites are on it.

Leave a Comment and tell what YOU think the best movies for kids are!

December 3, 2014

The Madman of Piney Woods

Posted by at 1:37 am in Reads | Permalink

The Madman of Piney Woods (for ages 8 and up) by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Madman of Piney Woods book coverAt first glance, Benji and Red couldn’t seem more different. It’s 1901, and Benji is a descendent of African-American slaves who escaped to freedom in Canada by way of the Underground Railroad. He is 12 years old, works for the local newspaper, and hopes to be a journalist. Red, on the other hand, is a fiery-haired Irish boy who is interested in science.

Benji and Red have both heard stories of a madman who lives in the woods, but those were just that – stories. But they have actually noticed a strange presence in the woods. It seems like someone is always watching them, tracking their every move. When they realize they’ve both experienced the same funny feeling, the boys decide to take a closer look at what’s going on under the cover of the woods.

There’s no way the Madman of Piney Woods could be real . . . is there?

You’ll have to read to find out whether the madman is fact or fiction!

Did you read Elijah of Buxton? Several of the characters make cameo appearances in The Madman of Piney Woods. Let us know what you think in the Comments section below!

Marisa, STACKS Intern

December 2, 2014

Giving Tuesday

Posted by at 1:47 am in Kid Power | Permalink

giftWHAT IS GIVING TUESDAY?

Now that Thanksgiving is over, the holiday season is officially underway. I know you’re thinking about all the things you want to get for Christmas or Hanukkah. But today is known as Giving Tuesday and it’s a good day to think about what you want to GIVE for the holidays.

We have a day for giving thanks (a.k.a. Thanksgiving). We have two for getting deals (a.k.a. Black Friday and Cyber Monday). We even have Small Business Saturday for shopping at local small businesses. Now, we also have Giving Tuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. According to the GivingTuesday website, on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

Think about what you want to give to your family, to your friends, and then think about people in the world who have much less than you do. Can you help raise money for them? Can you donate a used coat to keep someone warm? Can you knit for AIDS orphans in South Africa, or donate pajamas to children living in shelters? Can you donate books to kids who don’t have any?

What will you GIVE this holiday season? Tell us in the Comments.

December 1, 2014

National Cookie Day Writing Prompt

Posted by at 1:36 am in Writing Prompt | Permalink

Christmas cookiesInvent the Most Amazing Cookie Ever for National Cookie Day!

Sure, December has lots of holidays, but did you know that December 4th is actually National Cookie Day? This sweet little holiday gets overshadowed by the big ones, so we decided to finally give it the attention it deserves.

A little known fact is that “cookie” comes from the Dutch word “koekje” which means little cake. Dutch bakers used to test out small amounts of their cake batters in the oven (for taste and oven temperatures), and it wasn’t long before they discovered these tiny pieces of cake batter were totally delicious. Hence a cookie was born.

If you had to make the most amazing cookie EVER, what would it be? What ingredients would you combine? What would you name it? (I think I would make a chocolate-marshmallow-fudge-sprinkle cookie!)

Can’t wait to see what you guys come up with in the Comments below. And don’t forget on Dec. 4 to bring some cookies to school, and wish your friends a Happy Cookie Day!

-Ratha, STACKS Writer

November 28, 2014

Holiday TV Specials: Would You Rather

Posted by at 1:22 am in Would You Rather | Permalink

Ho-Ho-Holiday Specials: Would You RatherHoliday TV Specials

Not only is December the time for holiday cheer, it’s also the time for awesome TV! I always look forward to those favorite old holiday TV specials that make me want to cozy up in a blanket with my hot chocolate in one hand, and the remote control in the other.

From the Grinch to Charlie Brown to Frosty, I could get lost in the world of holiday TV specials. In the spirit of the holiday season, let’s deck the halls Would You Rather style. So check out the below and let us know . . . Would You Rather . . . 

Continue reading

November 27, 2014

Washington, D.C. Best Kept Secrets

Posted by at 3:39 pm in Kid Power | Permalink

Hi!Washington, D.C. Travel Tips for Families!

I’ve been a United States President fanatic since first grade, so it was only natural that my mom started bringing me to Washington, D.C. during summer vacations. I’ve been there three times, and here are some tips I’ve learned.

Washington D.C. Capitol building

Photo by Nicholas Raymond

Tip #1: Everything is awesome, especially the D.C. Metro.
The Metro is an underground subway, and it is a good way to get around D.C. It’s safe, clean, and easy to use. Within a few days I learned all the lines to take. Some places don’t have a Metro stop nearby, so be ready to walk a little. It will be worth it because you are probably going somewhere awesome.

Tip #2: Get more out of your Capitol building tour.
You can book a tour through the Capitol building website or through your congressional representative. I’ve done both, and the tour from my Congressperson’s office was way better. I got to see more stuff, such as the Brumidi Corridors and the spot where George Washington laid the original cornerstone for the Capitol. It was also a smaller group, so there was more time for questions. Remember to pick up your passes to see a session of the Senate or House of Representatives. If you get lucky, you might be able to see a debate in action. I saw a minor debate and it was totally worth the line.

Tip #3: National Postal Museum: Mail yourself to a great time!
I was really surprised by this museum. I thought it would be boring, but it was extremely fun. It was interesting to see how mail delivery developed from pony carts to modern trucks and airplanes. When I was there I saw a Titanic and Hindenburg exhibit on how these accidents disrupted the mail system. I also learned about a mail dog named Owney.

Tip #4: Make a visit to Woodrow Wilson’s home.
This is not the first thing you think of when you go to D.C. (unless your parents are Princeton University alumni). You get to see Woodrow Wilson’s whole house, from the kitchen to his room. An especially interesting thing is the elevator he used to get around, since he had a wheelchair at the end of his life.

These places are just an introduction to D.C. There is a truckload full of more sites, memorials, branches of government, and museums to visit. Have fun!

Beata, Scholastic Kids Council

November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day Parade Trivia ANSWERS

Posted by at 1:36 am in Trivia | Permalink

Thanksgiving Trivia QuizRead the answers to our Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Trivia Quiz.

To get you in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I posted a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Trivia Quiz! Did you gobble up the questions, and spit out the answers? Or did it give you indigestion? (I hope not!) Without further ado, check out the answers below:

Thanksgiving Day Parade

Photo by Sachyn Mital

  1. Which city is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade held in? ANSWER: New York City. It starts at 77th St./Central Park West and ends at 34th St. in front of Macy’s . . . (of course).
  2. Who is always on the LAST float in the parade? ANSWER: B) Santa Claus! Every year since 1924 Santa and Mrs. Claus close the parade.
  3. Which book character will be a balloon in the 2014 parade? ANSWER: A) Greg Heffley! Although I would like to see Slappy one year . . . 
  4. Macy’s symbol is a red _________. ANSWER: Star.
  5. The Radio City _________ also perform a famous holiday dance number in the parade. ANSWER: Radio City Rockettes.
  6. Which character has never been a balloon in the parade? ANSWER: D) Elsa from Frozen. Although Idina Menzel (the actress who does Elsa’s voice) is set to perform this year!
  7. Which float has been in the parade for 40 years straight? ANSWER: A) Sesame Street!
  8. In 1997, several balloons had to come down due to high winds and safety concerns during the parade. Which balloon caused the most serious damage? ANSWER: A) The Cat in the Hat. The balloon was as tall as a 6-story building, and was careening out of control before it crashed into and broke the arm off a lamp post at 72nd St. Those winds can be hazardous!

Hope you enjoy the parade and turkey today! Gobble, gobble.

Ratha, Stacks Writer

 

November 26, 2014

November Books of the Month

Posted by at 10:04 am in Books of the Month, Reads | Permalink

Recommend me!I asked you all what books you were reading, and you responded with some really awesome book recommendations! I made a word cloud so you call can see which titles are most popular. Percy Jackson is still leading the pack! Check it out:Books of the Month

Now that it’s wintertime, we’re looking at a lot of time spent indoors out of the cold . . . and that means more time for reading! See a title here that you haven’t read yet? Now’s a great time to check it out!

Let’s keep this going. What books are you reading right now? What are your favorite books of all time? What’s the one book you think everyone should read at least once in their lifetime? Leave the title (or titles) in the Comments below. Can’t wait to see what new books you recommend!

En-Szu, STACKS Writer

November 25, 2014

Gallagher Girls Readalikes

Posted by at 1:09 am in Reads | Permalink

Gallagher Girls book coverFor Gallagher Girls Fans!

If you like the Gallagher Girls series (for ages 12 and up) by Ally Carter about the Gallagher Academy for Exception Young Women, here are some more books for ages 11-13 about “exceptional” young detectives and spies.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Four children are selected for a secret undercover mission while attending the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened. See also the other books in the Mysterious Benedict Society series.

Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison
Since her father’s death, Gilda Joyce is determined to hone her psychic skills to communicate with the other side, and become an investigator of mysteries of chilling proportions. See also the other books in the Gilda Joyce series.

Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams
13-year-old Ingrid adores Sherlock Holmes and channels his skills while trying to solve a murder in her hometown. See also the other books in the Echo Falls Mystery series.

The Ring of Five by Eoin McNamee
After a cab driver drops Danny off at the wrong boarding school, he learns that he is destined to be the only spy that can prevent an evil world from conquering the good world. See also the other books in the Ring of Five series.

I, Q Book #1: Independence Hall by Roland Smith
Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the good guys from the bad guys, as Quest and his stepsister Angela find out. See also the other books in the I, Q series.

Nancy Drew Mystery Stories Book #1: The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene
Meet the original spy girl, teenager Nancy Drew!

The Red Blazer Girls Book #1: The Ring of Rocamadour by Michael D. Bell
Follow seventh graders Sophie, Margaret, and Rebecca as they help a ghostly neighbor solve a puzzle left more than 20 years ago. See also the other books in the Red Blazer Girls series.

Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin Van Draanen
Sammy never minds her own business, which is why she’s the best tween detective in California! See also the other books in the Sammy Keyes series.

Spies by Clive Gifford
Do you want to learn about real spies, techniques and secret weapons? If so, this is the perfect book for you!

Jen, STACKS Booktalker

November 24, 2014

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Trivia Quiz

Posted by at 1:50 am in Trivia | Permalink

Thanksgiving Trivia QuizTake the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Trivia Quiz!

Thanksgiving Day just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving Day without the one and only… Macy’s Parade! I just love getting up, staying in my pj’s, and planting myself right in front of the TV to watch the parade, floats, and music acts. It makes it feel like the holidays are totally, really, officially here.

Originally known as Macy’s Christmas Parade, the Thanksgiving Day Parade was started by Macy’s employees. Many of them were first generation immigrants, and proud of their new American heritage, and they wanted to celebrate with the type of festivals they had in Europe. It featured floats, bands, and animals from the Central Park Zoo! It was such a success they decided to make it an annual event. But it wasn’t until 1927 that the first giant inflatable balloon debuted. Can you guess what it was? Felix the Cat.

Feel the need to march to the beat of more parade trivia? Then check out our Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Trivia Quiz:

  1. Which city is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade held in?
  2. Who is always on the LAST float in the parade? A) Darth Vader. B) Santa Claus. C) An elf. D) A really cute boy band singer.
  3. Which book character will be a balloon in the 2014 parade? A) Greg Heffley from Diary of a Wimpy Kid. B) Geronimo Stilton. C) Poseidon from Percy Jackson. D) Slappy the Evil Dummy from Goosebumps.
  4. Macy’s symbol is a red _________. Hint: It’s a shape and also a balloon.
  5. The Radio City _________ also perform a famous holiday dance number in the parade. Hint: They are known for lot of high leg-kicks!
  6. Which character has never been a balloon in the parade? A) The Pillsbury Doughboy. B) Sonic the Hedgehog. C) The Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz. D) Elsa from Frozen.
  7. Which float has been in the parade for 40 years straight? A) Sesame Street. B) The Smurfs. C) Dancing kangaroos. D) Mount Rushmore’s American Pride.
  8. In 1997, several balloons had to come down due to high winds and safety concerns during the parade. Which balloon caused the most serious damage? A) The Cat in the Hat. B) Superman. C) Hello Kitty. D) Buzz Lightyear.
  9. Which character would YOU would like to see as a balloon in this year’s parade? Wouldn’t it be cool to see some of your favorite book characters come to life? I would love to see Harry Potter . . . or Voldemort! (He could fire spells and smoke at the spectators!)

Gobble up, and leave your answers in the Comments below. Click here for the answers!

– Ratha, Stacks Writer