August 13, 2014

Choose Your Own Adventure, Part I

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

Adventure Books BashIn a choose-your-own-adventure story, you read a chapter and then you get a few choices of what the character should do next. For the STACKS Adventure Books Bash, let’s celebrate adventure with a choose-your-own-adventure story written by me! Pay attention to your answer choices because when the story is done, your answers will reveal the adventure hero you are most like. WHAAAAT?

Part 1

Your brother Kyle is driving you nuts. He tapes cling wrap to your toilet seat in the morning, hides the television remote, and cries so much when he sees you on your skateboard that Mom makes you let him try it—and he breaks it. You storm out the back door with your golden retriever, Alfie, hot on your heels. You head into the woods that border your back yard. It is a pretty warm evening, and Alfie is panting so loudly you’re sure he can be heard from the house. He looks happy to be out exploring instead of lying around, though, so you don’t send him back home. Besides, you’re happy to have a companion. Even though you’re mad, you don’t really feel like being alone. You make your way further into the woods until you reach the field on the other side.

It’s a great place to blow off steam. The world seems to stretch on forever from here, and the sunset casts everything in a brilliant orange glow.

Suddenly, Alfie stops at the edge of the trees.

“C’mon, boy!” you say. Alfie looks torn. He takes a few tentative steps forward before retreating and barking a few times.

“Shh!” you say. “C’mon, Alfie!” But Alfie just barks again and walks in circles a few times before barking some more. He looks nervous. He stares at you quizzically, tongue hanging out and slobbering everywhere. After a few moments, he turns around and starts trotting back towards the house.

You . . .

A) pull a treat out of your pocket to persuade Alfie to stay.

B) are spooked, so you just start running home.

C) realize that Aflie’s usually a pretty reasonable dog. If he’s acting up, there’s something wrong. You follow him back into the woods. You can hang out there instead.

D) decide to search for whatever it is that’s making him act strange. Is there a wild animal nearby?

E) continue on without Alfie. Whatever! 

What would YOU do? Vote for your answer choice in the Comments below! Click here for your personality quiz results and links to new installments of the story.

See ya around,

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

August 12, 2014

Surrounded by Sharks

Posted by at 4:12 pm in Authors, Reads, Summer | Permalink

Surrounded by SharksTop 5 things I learned while writing Surrounded by Sharks (for ages 12 and up)

By Michael Northrop

I’ve always been fascinated by sharks and have been a devoted viewer of Shark Week since it first aired in 1987, but even I was surprised by some of the things I discovered when I waded into the research for my latest book.

  1. Sharks are nature’s true smelling machines. Unlike bloodhounds and the owners of the world’s other notable noses, sharks don’t breathe through their nostrils. They use them for only one thing: finding food (and, okay, the occasional mate).
  2. Sharks’ senses are all sharp, but the one they use up close is a sort of underwater spider-sense. They can detect even the tiniest electrical charges in the water, as small as five one-billionths of a volt. If a fish swims by, the shark can sense its bioelectric field, each flick of its tail and beat of its heart.
  3. In the book, Davey stays afloat with the help of a discarded water cooler bottle. About ten million tons of plastic make their way into the ocean each year. And, fictional flotation devices aside, they serve absolutely no purpose other than pollution.
  4. The cool stripes that give tiger sharks their name fade out as they reach adulthood. As with humans, it’s the young ones that have all the style!
  5. While sharks get all the attention, riptides are the real killers at the beach. Over the past ten years, rip currents have killed an estimated one hundred people annually in the US alone. That’s more than floods, tornadoes, lightning, or hurricanes. Sharks are responsible for about one fatality every two years, fewer than fireworks, roller coasters, or falling vending machines.
August 12, 2014

Shark Week Who Would Win

Posted by at 1:37 am in Summer, Who Would Win | Permalink

Shark WeekWho would win this Shark Week match-up?

I am not ashamed to admit that I am TERRIFIED of sharks. I will literally not go swimming in the ocean because, even though you can’t see them, I know the sharks ARE THERE, LURKING! So, I know who I would pick for this week’s Who Would Win. How about you?

Who Would Win? Shark vs. baby hedgehog

Shark photo courtesy Brook Ward. Hedgehog photo courtesy Tiffany Bailey

Are you loving Shark Week this year, or are you like me, hiding under your covers and thinking about baby hedgehogs? Leave your answer in the Comments!

image from kids.scholastic.com Sonja, STACKS Staffer

August 11, 2014

Reader's Bill of Rights

Posted by at 1:16 am in Kid Power, Reads, Writing Prompt | Permalink

Writing Prompt: Shout-outWriting Prompt: Fight for Your Reader Rights!

Reading is one of your passions. You could get lost in a good book for hours, or finish a series within days. You are a bona-fide, certified, qualified READER. But sometimes you run into problems . . . like the library is not open on Sundays in the summer . . . or it’s always too noisy with siblings running around your house. Well, we are writing a Reader’s Bill of Rights, so now’s your chance to state your demands to make it easier for you to be a reader.readerrights

  • Article 1: Quiet time
  • Article 2: Free access to any library in the world
  • Article 3: Libraries open on Sundays

What rights do you think readers should have? Tell us your list of rights in the Comments below, and we will create a complete STACKS Reader’s Bill of Rights for you.

—Ratha, STACKS Writer

August 8, 2014

Austin North Interview

Posted by at 1:34 am in Celebrities | Permalink

Austin NorthInterview with Austin North from I Didn’t Do It!

Who loves Olivia Holt’s new show, I Didn’t Do It? We most certainly do! We were so happy we could catch up with her co-star Austin North, who plays her twin brother Logan, and ask him about his favorite food, whether he’s a country or city person, and more. Check it out!

Q: Is this your first TV show?

A: This is my first series regular, and being on the Disney Channel is awesome! We just wrapped season one. It was the most incredible experience.

Q: What’s the most delicious food you’ve ever eaten?

A: Probably filet mignon from Ruth’s Steak House.

Austin North

Image credit Disney Channel

Q: What was your favorite TV show growing up?

A: SpongeBob SquarePants.

Q: Are you a city or country person?

A: A city person. I love traveling to different cities and experiencing different cultures. I’m originally from Ohio. It was kind of the country. I rode ATVs outside of my house and in the woods.

Q: What was the hardest word for you pronounce when you were a kid?

A: Gator-watermelon. It’s a tongue twister. (Laughs)

Austin seems really great. Are you a fan of I Didn’t Do It? Be sure to check out our interview with his co-star Olivia Holt and share your thoughts in the Comments below!

See ya around,

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

Interview by Sue Schneider

August 7, 2014

Craft Books Giveaway

Posted by at 1:27 am in Games | Permalink

Extra!Attention, all crafty people!

We are offering you a special opportunity for a chance to enter to win 2 free craft books: Felted Friends and Tissue Paper Crafts. So cute, right?

Tissue Paper Crafts and Felted Friends book covers

But, here’s the thing. You can ONLY enter if you subscribe to the STACKS Blast Newsletter.

So right now you may be thinking. . .

YOU: Oh no! I’m not a STACKS Blast subscriber and I don’t even know what the STACKS Blast is!

ME: The STACKS Blast is our free monthly e-mail newsletter. You give us your e-mail address and an e-mail address for one of your parents, and once a month (usually around the 15th), we send you a newsletter full of games, quizzes, books, and a sweepstakes you can enter.

YOU: Cool! I want to get that newsletter! But wait, I want to enter to win those craft books now. How do I enter?

ME: Patience, grasshopper! First, you sign up for the newsletter. Then you must wait until August 15 when Hooray! the STACKS Blast will arrive in your e-mail inbox. Hurry up and open it! Inside, you’ll see a special section for the STACKS Giveaway. That’s where you enter. OK?

Don’t forget to sign up for the STACKS Blast Newsletter and enter the sweepstakes. Good luck!

image from kids.scholastic.com — Sonja, STACKS Staffer

August 6, 2014

Authors Talk Summer Reading

Posted by at 2:14 pm in Authors, Gordon Korman, Summer | Permalink

Scholastic Summer Reading ChallengeWhat’s the Big Deal About Summer Reading?

You have probably heard over and over again how important it is to keep reading during the summer while you’re not in school. If you haven’t heard this before, well then let me be the first person to tell you summer reading is important, people! You SHOULD read over the summer while you’re not in school!

We asked 2 very special Scholastic authors why this is true. Gordon Korman is the author of the Swindle series, a few books in The 39 Clues series, and, like, a million other books. He published his first book when he was 14 years old! David Shannon is the author of picture books such as Alice the Fairy, A Bad Case of Stripes, and No, David!

Q: What is the top reason kids should read over the summer?

Gordon Korman: I think reading is kind of a self-feeding cycle — the more you read, the more you WANT to read. But when I write, my goal is primarily to entertain my readers. So my top reason kids should read over the summer is for fun.

David Shannon: To keep from becoming a slug! Reading keeps your imagination running in a way that TV and video games can’t. It works out your brain but relaxes your body, and those are both good things. There’s more down time in the summer, too, and you can read whatever you want.

So there you have it. Have fun and don’t be a slug! READ! When you do, you can log your minutes and be eligible for prizes in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. Leave a Comment to tell us why YOU love summer reading, and whether or not you agree with these authors’ advice.

August 6, 2014

SPONSORED POST Dolphin Tale 2

Posted by at 1:00 am in SPONSORED | Permalink

Dolphin Tale 2 Sponsored PostThis blog post is sponsored by Dolphin Tale 2 (rated PG).

Nine years ago in Florida, rescuers found a young bottlenose dolphin tangled in a crab trap. They brought her to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA), where they named her Winter. Unfortunately, Winter’s injuries were so severe that her entire tail and two vertebrae were lost. Thanks to the staff of CMA, Winter has healed. She now swims with the help of a tail created by prosthetics and orthotics company Hanger, together with marine mammal veterinarian Mike Walsh and CMA’s marine mammal trainers.

According to the CMA, many steps are required for Winter to wear her prosthetic tail. The process starts with a “sock,” which they call the famous “Winter’s Gel.” The sock’s rubbery material reduces friction on her skin and helps the tail stay on. Also, a “cup” and a suspension strap are placed on her body. A sleeve is pulled over the entire tail to secure all moving pieces. Finally, the rubber band, a new feature of Winter’s prosthetic, is placed right at the end of the tail.

Although Winter is doing swimmingly, she needs constant care. Her prosthetic tail can only be used for short periods of time. Swimming without it in the wild would put her at great risk. Winter calls the CMA home, and she serves as an ambassador, teaching people from all over the world about dolphins!

Winter the dolphin and all her friends at the CMA are back in the movie Dolphin Tale 2 (rated PG), in theaters September 12.

Take the Marine Life Champion Personality Quiz and find out how you can help animals like Winter!

Excited to learn more about the rescue and rehabilitation of marine life in Dolphin Tale 2? Share your Comments below.

August 5, 2014

Adventure Guess the Books Answers

Posted by at 11:44 pm in Reads, Trivia | Permalink

Guess the bookAdventure Guess the Books: Answers Revealed!

Your challenge yesterday was to name the book titles just by looking at these little pieces of the book covers. Did you guess them all?

Here are the answers:

  1. The Kane Chronicles: The Serpent’s Shadow by Rick Riordan
  2. The 39 Clues: Unstoppable: Nowhere to Run by Jude Watson
  3. Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
  4. I Survived the Japanese Tsunami, 2011 by Lauren Tarshis
  5. Infestation by Timothy J. Bradley

How did you do? Have you read all these books? Then you should totally join us for the rest of the Adventure Books Bash going on all month long!

image from kids.scholastic.com— Sonja, STACKS Staffer