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Spoilers, Sneak Peeks, and the Inside Scoop on Books, Reading, and What's Going On at Scholastic for KIDS in THE STACKS!
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1. New Story from Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan photo

“The Staff of Serapis”

You might remember last year, Rick Riordan published “The Son of Sobek” as an extra crossover story in the The Serpent’s Shadow. The story featured both Percy Jackson and Carter Kane together in the same story. It’s crazy when characters jump out of their own series and into other characters’ series, right? Well, Riordan has done it again. He announced on his blog last week that the new U.S. paperback edition of The Mark of Athena in stores now features a story with Annabeth Chase and Sadie Kane! It has the awesome title “The Staff of Serapis.”

The Staff of Serapis book cover

If you don’t want to buy The Mark of Athena paperback, the story will be available in e-formats, with the cover above, on May 20. Or you could, you know, rush to the library and see if they have the new paperback edition with the story at the end. Tell the librarian it MUST be the 2014 paperback edition!

What do you think? Did you like “The Son of Sobek”

enough to want a second story? Do you think Riordan should write an entire series combining all his characters?? Leave a Comment.

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2. Character Crossbreeds

Character Combinations Writing Prompt

Character Crossbreeds

A long time ago, like, a REALLY long time ago, I posted a Character Combinations Writing Prompt asking you to create a new character by combining 2 existing characters. There were some amazing answers. Seriously, you should go read the Comments from that post

. Today’s Writing Prompt is similar but different. Here goes. . .

If you spliced your own DNA with the DNA of a fictional character together, which character would you create?

For example:

  • Me + Harry Potter = Lyra Belacqua from The Golden CompassMe + the White Witch from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe = Elsa from Frozen— Sonja, STACKS Staffer Add a Comment
3. Blobfish Caption

createacaption2

Blobfish Create a Caption
Blobfish

Image courtesy the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

You may remember this little fella from our Dog with a Blog Would You Rather post last month. Judging by your comments, you guys seemed to really like this blobby guy. And by “like,” I mean you thought it was the most disgusting thing you ever saw.

DogBlue5029 said, “What is that?”
BloodhoundBlue840

said, “What the heck is that big sloppy thing that looks like it’s drooling?”
ArtPink725
said, “I would not kiss the blobfish.”
CherriesHamster14
said, “Who would want to even touch a blobfish?”
Aqi said, “I know! Who on EARTH would kiss a blobfish?! It looks like it is DROOLING!!!!!”

Well, you’ve had your say. Now let’s give the blobfish a chance to say what’s on its mind. Write a caption for what you think this creature is thinking. Leave your caption in the Comments, and remember to be kind! The blobfish has feelings, too, you know!

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

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4. Disney Lunar Eclipse

Jake Short, Bradley Steven Perry, and Paris MaryJo Berelc in Mighty Med

Disney Lunar Eclipse: Kickin’ It, Mighty Med, and Lab Rats

There will be a full eclipse of the moon on Monday night and into the early, early hours of Tuesday morning. Some people believe that a lunar eclipse can cause bizarre things to happen. Have you ever noticed that the word “lunatic” has the same root as “lunar?” And that Luna Lovegood is kind of, well, loony? Makes you think, doesn’t it? Anyway, on Monday, April 14th, Disney XD will air special episodes of 3 shows. We’ve got the details about those episodes plus interviews with some of the actors about the strange things they HOPE will happen on Monday night!

Kickin’ It:

“Invasion of the Ghost Pirates” (8:00 pm – 8:30 pm E.T./P.T.)

With an impending lunar eclipse, an old Seaford legend surfaces about a ghost pirate returning to seek his revenge on the wharf after a lunar eclipse 300 years ago led to his ship crashing into the shore. Jack makes it clear he doesn’t believe in ghosts, but his skepticism is put to the test.

Mighty Med: “Night of the Living Nightmare” (8:30 pm – 9:00 pm E.T./P.T.)

Kaz and Oliver are exhausted and stuck working the overnight shift during a lunar eclipse, when it is rumored that the freakiest patients come to the hospital. When Neocortex checks in with an illness that unintentionally traps people in their worst nightmares, Kaz and Oliver desperately try to stay awake and figure out how to save everyone from their nightmares.

Lab Rats:

“Principal from Another Planet” (9:00 pm – 9:30 pm E.T./P.T.)

Leo is determined to record the bizarre events he believes take place during a lunar eclipse. Davenport is skeptical until it appears that an alien life form has taken control of Principal Perry’s body.

Q: What strange or wacky thing do you wish would happen as a result of this eclipse?

Jake Short:

 (a.k.a. Oliver in Mighty Med) I wish it would start raining my favorite candy – Starburst.
Paris MaryJo Berelc: (a.k.a. Skylar in Mighty MedI hope the eclipse will give me the ability to breakdance over water.
Auggie Isaac: (a.k.a. Gus in Mighty MedI wish that just when the eclipse was happening, everyone got a superpower. That would be awesome.
Dylan Riley Snyder:


 (a.k.a. Milton in Kickin’ It) I wish that I would gain awesome superpowers during an eclipse. I would either use them to help with my daily life, or just show off. It would be nice to be very strong, or to fly, or even to control time. I think an eclipse could be powerful enough!
Tyrel Jackson Williams
: (a.k.a. Leo in Lab Rats) As the moon passes in front of the sun, I gain the ability to fly. My life is complete!

What do YOU hope will happen as a result of the lunar eclipse? Leave your wishes/predictions in the Comments!

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

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5. SPONSORED POST Amazing Spider-Man Stunts

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

SPONSORED POST The Amazing Spider-Man 2TM

This blog post is sponsored by The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (rated PG-13).trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2™

. In fact, well over 200 stunt performers punched the clock during shooting, says the movie’s stunt coordinator James Armstrong.

“The actors rehearse in a huge empty parking lot and we put marks down on the ground to replicate where curbs, or buildings or different things are,” explains Armstrong, whose father was also a stunt coordinator on the film. “Then, they have to try and take that and remember it for the actual shoot.”

Armstrong worked closely with all of the stars in the movie, and says that it’s the goal to have the actors do their own stunts whenever feasible. The trick is keeping someone like The Amazing Spider-Man 2™ star Andrew Garfield in check, who plays Spider-Man and was eager to get his hands dirty on the set as often as possible. “Andrew does a lot of stunts and sometimes we actually have to rein him in more than he’d like just to keep him safe,” says Armstrong. Yikes! Take it easy there, Spidey – you’ve got a whole city to protect!

Read The Amazing Spider-Man 2™ interactive magazine

to learn more now!

Ready to peep the gravity-defying hijinks in The Amazing Spider-Man 2™? Share your Comments below.

This blog post is sponsored by The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (rated PG-13).

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6. Jack Griffo Answers Your Questions

Jack Griffo

Jack Griffo of The Thundermans answers YOUR questions!

In case you missed it, Jack Griffo (of The Thundermans), Kids’ Choice Awards nominee, offered to answer your questions about being an actor, getting slimed, and superpowers. Check out his answers below!

Dasha: Would you like to be a superhero? If so, what powers would you want to have?

Jack: Who wouldn’t?!  I’d like to have either invisibility or super strength.

Christina: How does it feel to have so many fans? Do you get bothered of people asking for pictures?

Jack: Not at all. I really enjoy meeting people and talking about the show. It feels great to know that so many people out there are watching.

Mae: How old were you when you realized you wanted to be an actor?

Jack: I was 13.

Danielle: How long does it usually take for you to learn your lines?

Jack: We get 3 days. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we rehearse and learn our lines, and then we shoot Thursday and Friday.

Nicki: Most people who work for Nickelodeon eventually get slimed. Have you been slimed?

Jack: I have gotten slimed!

Megan: What do you like most about being an actor?

Jack: I love being able to tell stories and be a part of them.

A: What’s it like working with the other people on set?

Jack: It feels like a big family! We all have a fun time working together!

Brianna:  What show would you like to guest star in?

Jack: Teen Wolf. I think it would be so awesome to be on that show.

CobraDog379

If you weren’t an actor, what would you be?

Jack: I wanted to be a police officer for a while when I was a kid!

Pratham: What do you like to do for fun?

Jack: My favorite thing to do when I have free time is to just chill. I love sitting by the pool with my shades and playing guitar.

DogPoetry22:

 Do you like to read?

Jack: Yes!

Hirona: What is your favorite sport?

Jack: My favorite sport is basketball.

E.T: What is your favorite color?

Jack: Blue!

It was so nice of Jack to take the time answer questions on the STACKS! Was your question

answered? Leave a Comment to let us know how much you LOVE Jack Griffo and The Thundermans!

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

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7. Recycle Your Old Clothes

Make a difference!

Fashionistas can help save the planet.

Last year for Earth Day, I gave you some tips for how to reduce, reuse, and recycle

 the everyday stuff you would normally throw away. This year, the clothing store H&M is joining in to make a difference by giving your old clothes a new life. You can bring unwanted clothes of any brand and in any condition to H&M stores, and they will recycle them.

According to the H&M website, “Every year tons of textiles are thrown out and end up in landfills. As much as 95% of these clothes could be used again — re-worn, reused, or recycled depending on the state of the garment.”

The clothes will be separated in three groups:H&M Clothes Recycle Box

How can you help?

Go through your clothes and pick out the ones that don’t fit you anymore, or have huge stains or holes in the knees, and ask your parent if you can bring them to your local H&M store. You’ll see a big drop-off box like this one. Pop your old clothes in and be very proud of yourself for helping to save the planet!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

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8. Chronicles of Narnia Readalikes

Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe book cover

Chronicles of Narnia Readalikes

You know when you find an amazing book, and you never want it to end? How do you find another book to read after that? Our answer: Readalikes to the rescue! We hope our Readalikes will rescue you from the what-to-read-next question, and help you find lots of new amazing books.

In The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis, 4 kids discover a secret entrance (through a wardrobe) into a magical world (with a talking lion . . . and a witch)!

There are 7 books in The Chronicles of Narnia series

, plus 3 movies (and rumors of a fourth!), but once you’ve finished all those, what to read next? Look for these other exciting books for ages 8-12 about smart, brave kids going on magical adventures.

The Search for WondLa

by Tony DiTerlizzi
The only home Eva Nine has ever known is an underground Sanctuary, cared for by a robot. Her search for another human being brings her into a strange above-ground world.

Dragon Rider

by Cornelia Funke
With a lonely boy named Ben on board, the brave, young dragon Firedrake sets out on a journey to find the mythical place where silver dragons can live in peace forever. They encounter fantastic creatures, and cross the path of a ruthless villain with an ancient grudge who’s determined to end their quest. Will Ben and Firedrake be able to find the Rim of Heaven so all dragons can finally live in peace?

 The Underland Chronicles:

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
In the first book of the Underland Chronicles, Gregor loses his little sister as she tumbles down the laundry chute into an underground world where spiders, bats, cockroaches, and rats are about to make war.

Chronicles of Pyrdain Book #1: The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
A strong-willed princess, a talkative bard, and an assistant pig-keeper with dreams of becoming a hero all join forces in this funny and epic adventure. See also the other books in the Chronicles of Prydain series.

Half Magic by Edward Eager
Four kids discover a magic coin so old that only half of its magic works, wreaking unexpected havoc on all their wishes.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
A village girl named Minli goes on a journey to find the Old Man of the Moon and meets a dragon along the way.

Any Which Wall by Laurel Snyder
Henry, Emma, Roy, and Susan find a magic wall that will take them any place and any time they’d like to go.

Chrestomanci: Charmed Life by Dianne Wynne Jones
Cat and his older sister Gwendolyn, a young but powerful witch, attract the attention of The Chrestomanci, the most powerful enchanter in the world. See also the other books in the Chrestomanci series.

Winterling by Sarah Prineas
Fer has never quite felt like she belongs in this world, so she’s eager to follow Puck into a faery kingdom, even though it’s a dangerous world of winter.

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Peter and his fellow orphans set sail aboard the Never Land, a ship secretly carrying a precious and mysterious cargo, and the journey quickly becomes fraught with excitement and danger. Treacherous battles with pirates, foreboding thunderstorms at sea, mysterious sea creatures, and angry natives race the story along to finally reveal how Peter becomes the infamous Peter Pan. See also the other books in the Starcatchers series.

The Books of Beginning Book #1: The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
Kate, Michael, and Emma have been tossed from one orphanage to another for the last ten years. Yet, these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil they know nothing about. . .Until now. See also the other books in The Books of Beginning series.

His Dark Materials Book #1: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
11-year-old Lyra is a precocious orphan growing up within Jordan College in Oxford, England, but Lyra’s world is not precisely like our own. In Lyra’s world, everyone has a personal dæmon, a lifelong animal familiar that represents her soul. Lyra and her daemon are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. See also the other books His Dark Materials Trilogy.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

by J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That’s because he’s being raised by his mean aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he’s really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. See also the other books in the Harry Potter series.

Hope you like our Readalikes!

–Melissa, Scholastic Booktalker

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9. Grimmtastic Girls Little Red Riding Hood

Grimmtastic Girls book cover

Red Riding Hood Gets Lost

Tomorrow are the auditions for the school play at Grimm Academy, and I can’t wait to try out! I want to play the lead, Red Robin Hood. But it’s my first time auditioning and I’ve got stage fright! How grimmiserable!

It doesn’t help that my friends and I are all worried about the E.V.I.L. Society that’s making trouble at the Academy. If only I had a magical charm to help us figure out what’s going on – and maybe help me get the lead in the play!

Any suggestions to help me get over my stage fright? I’m so glad I have my grimmtastic friends Cinda, Snow, and Rapunzel to help me out. I know I can always count on them!

Love,
Red

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10. Sam and Cat Would You Rather

Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande as Sam and Cat

Sam & Cat Would You Rather

They’re unlikely BFFs. Sam is street-wise, rough, stubborn, and sarcastic. Cat is super-nice, bubbly, clumsy, and as some would say . . . not the sharpest tool in the shed! But put them together and you have not only a dynamic duo, but a hit show, Nickelodeon’s Sam & Cat!  In it, the girls are roommates, and run a baby-sitting business together.

Why do we love Sam and Cat? There are too many reasons. They’re hilarious, both slightly crazy, not afraid to say inappropriate things. We loved Jennette McCurdy in iCarly

, so it’s really fun to see Sam live on. And Ariana Grande, who played Cat in Victorious, has become a major breakout recording star!

Would You Rather . . .

1. Be baby-sat by Sam OR Cat?

2. Eat a giant plate of burritos like Sam OR a giant plate of marshmallows like Cat?

3. Receive for a gift (inspired by the Yay Day! episode): footwash/mouthwash OR a ratty, old pillow?

4. Have Cat read you a bedtime story in her “Cat” voice OR her real voice?

5. Be in a texting competition like Sam OR a mixed martial arts competition like Goomer?

6. Baby-sit the Brit-Brat twins (Remember the British con artist twins?) OR baby-sit Oscar-the-very-accident-prone-boy? (The name says it all!)

7. Go to a taping of Sam & Cat OR see Ariana Grande live in concert?

8. See Sam and Cat in a special movie where they become possessed Halloween demons OR fall in love on Valentine’s Day?

9. Be platinum blond like Sam OR have super-red hair like Cat (which she dyed for her favorite dessert: the red velvet cupcake)?

Let us know what you would rather, Sam & Cat style, in the Comments below!

—Ratha, STACKS Writer

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11. Twinkie Puppy Caption

createacaption2

Create a Caption for Twinkie!

What a playful pup! Doesn’t he have such a sweet, expectant little expression on his face? I think it looks like Twinkie is anxiously waiting for a game of fetch to begin.

Twinkie puppy

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12. Janelle Monae Interview

janellem

Interview with Janelle Monae

It’s no secret that I am a very, very big Janelle Monae fan. Her music just makes me want to get up and boogie, and her style is awesome. (I wish I looked that cool in a suit.) This April, she’s making her big screen debut . . . in Rio 2! Did you see the first Rio movie

Q: In Rio 2, were you the voice of a character or are you singing in the movie?

Janelle: I’m doing both. I’m the voice of a character, and I don’t want to tell you which one! I also wrote the opening song for the movie. I’m really excited to have worked with so many amazing actors. I got a chance to work with Jamie Foxx and Anne Hathaway. I got a chance to produce them and get their vocals on the song that I wrote!

Q: Is it easier than performing or acting, or is it harder?

Janelle: No, it’s all the same. When I’m on stage, you know, I have to get in a different mindset. No matter what I’m going through during the day, when I touch down on stage I go into character. So I do the same thing in a movie.

Q: Your music is so creative. How did you develop your own genre?

Janelle: Well, I allow myself to grow and I tell myself that there’s nothing that I can’t do. I love creating music. I love finding out my strengths and working on any weaknesses. And I never want to tell myself that, you know, I can’t do a specific style. I was blessed with a voice. I get bored very easily as well, so I’m always discovering new things and learning. I love learning. I love challenging myself. I love collaborating with different people from different walks of life!

Q: What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

Janelle: It was English. English, definitely! In high school I had an amazing teacher, Mrs. Appleberry, and her style of teaching made me want to come to class every single day. I would go home and just write and write and write. I would write short stories, and actors would perform them and, you know, I took that love of writing and turned it into my first album.

Q: Are you involved in any sort of environmental causes?

Janelle: One of my goals this year is to do more planting. And I mean that literally! I plan on planting more seeds and growing more trees and nurturing more green. But I want to also plant more seeds of hope and positivity throughout the world, whether it is by helping someone else get their career off the ground or starting a nonprofit.

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

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13. Stay Alive Survival Book Series

Stay Alive: Crash book cover

Stay Alive

You’ve just crash landed into a life or death situation in the middle of nowhere and Siri has deserted you during your time of need. NOW WHAT?!

Stay Alive is a series that imagines a group of kids in a dilemma just like this, and what they would have to do to survive. Where do you find food and clean water? How do you find help? What if someone gets hurt? Thinking strategically is a must, but which character is actually prepared to make the hard decisions?

In Stay Alive #1: Crash, the Junior Action News Team finds themselves in the heart of the Alaskan wilderness. They’re a smattering of geeks, know-it-alls, and adventurous acquaintances, stuck out in the elements with their lovable dog, Buford. They have to fight to stay alive.

Have you ever been asked, “if you could bring one thing with you on a deserted island, what would it be?” This has always been a really hard question for me to answer. I think of things like genies to grant me wishes, a constant supply of my favorite cereals, or all my best friends and lots of music to keep us busy. After reading Crash, I realized all I really need are good old survival skills, which I definitely don’t have (yet). The characters in these books come from all walks of life, so some of them are naturally more prepared than others to cope with the harsh and dangerous situations they end up in.

One of the coolest parts of the series is when the author, Joseph Monninger, includes real-life survival tips that become important to the plot of the story. That way, I can picture myself trekking through a jungle somewhere, braving the elements to survive with my smarts. Or at least, tucking the tip away in my back pocket for some fateful day when I find myself in a pickle. (Hopefully, this won’t be too soon.)

Basically, if you like extreme adventure and an awesome story, this series is for you. You can start with Book 1 like I did, but don’t forget that Stay Alive #2: Cave-In just came out, too! It’s just as intense and action-packed, so get caught up, happy reading, and STAY ALIVE!

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14. Grimmtastic Girls Sneak Peek: Cinderella

Grimmtastic Girls Cinderella book cover

Cinderella Stays Late

Tomorrow is my first day at Grimm Academy! It’s the most famous school in Grimmlandia and was founded by the brothers Grimm as safe haven for everyone “born of fairy tale, folktale, and nursery rhyme magic.” My stepsisters have been going there for years and now I finally get to go, too!

I’m so excited, but I’m also nervous! The Steps haven’t told me much about what school is like. I think they even wish I wasn’t going with them tomorrow. Guess I’ll just have to make some new friends!

Any advice for my first day at a new school? Whatever happens, I’m sure it will be grimmtastic!

Love,
Cinda

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15. The Finisher Sneak Peek

The Finisher book cover

The Finisher (for ages 10-14) by David Baldacci

You know when you read the first sentence of a book, and you just KNOW it’s going to be good? I recently had that experience with a new book called The Finisher by David Baldacci. It’s a fantasy that takes place in a world where things are very wrong, and one girl must think fast and defy the odds to do what’s right.

Here is the first sentence that hooked me . . .

I was dozing when I heard the scream.

Read a sneak peek of the first 2 chapters.

Let me know what you think in the Comments. Are you going to keep reading this book?

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

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16. SPONSORED POST Yoshi’s New Island Sweepstakes

Nintendo Yoshi

Giant Eggs, Cool Art in Yoshi’s New Island

Everyone’s favorite egg-tossing hero is back. Find out how you can win Yoshi’s New Island for Nintendo 3DS!

Six worlds full of different levels await exploration in the Yoshi’s New Island game, the third game in the beloved Yoshi’s Island series, which just launched on the Nintendo 3DS system. In the game, Yoshi must help Baby Mario reunite with his kidnapped brother, Luigi. This time around, there are giant new eggs, fun new visuals and a multiplayer mode that lets two players who each have a Nintendo 3DS system pair up for a mini-game cooperative challenge. The new character transformations are dynamite. Yoshi can turn into a hot air balloon, mine cart, and even a jackhammer! And by grabbing a special star, Yoshi can soar in the sky or run along walls and ceilings. Gravity doesn’t mean a thing to this “Super Yoshi!”

Enter the Yoshi’s New Island Sweepstakes (presented by Scholastic)

 for a chance to win a Nintendo 3DS XL system and the Yoshi’s New Island game! (Official Rules)

Are you a mega Yoshi fan? Loving the new game? Share your Comments below.

[NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open to any child between the ages of 7 and 12, who is a legal resident of one of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia. Contest begins March 20, 2014. Entries must be postmarked by April 25, 2014, and received by May 2, 2014. Entries must be submitted by mail to: Scholastic Presents Yoshi's New Island Sweepstakes, Scholastic Inc., 557 Broadway, 5th Floor, Attn: M. Battle, Office 528, New York, NY 10012. Entry form must include the child's name and grade; a parent's/legal guardian's name and signature, mailing address, phone number, and email address. Prizing:   Three (3) Grand Prize winners will each receive a Nintendo 3DS XL video game system and a Yoshi's New Island Game (ARV: $239.98). See official rules at www.scholastic.com/yoshisweeps for additional details. To enter the Sweepstakes, an individual must download and complete the entry form, color it (optional and not required), and mail it in. Three (3) Grand Prize winners will be selected at random. Sponsor: Scholastic Inc., 557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012. Nintendo is not a sponsor, co-sponsor, or administrator of this sweepstakes.]

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17. April Word Scramble Teaser

Coming soon

April Coming Soon

We thought we would give you a teaser quiz to see if you can guess what blog posts will be coming soon to Ink Splot 26. Can you unscramble the titles of these blog posts that you will be reading on Ink Splot 26 in the coming month?

  1. Dregain nbiogralpi bosok fo hte mntohcleyebrit erhat dyarrhay eottrp apyeronlits uzqi— Sonja, STACKS Staffer Add a Comment
18. April Fools’ Day Joke from EarlyFairy3

EarlyFairy3 profile picture

Happy April Fools’ Day!

There are so many mischievous pranks and silly jokes you can play on people. We have one today that is especially well-suited for younger brothers or sisters. EarlyFairy3

posted this April Fools’ joke to drive them absolutely crazy today. Here’s how it goes:

You say, “Pete and Repete were in a boat. Pete fell off. Who is left?”

Your younger brother says, “Repeat.”

You roll your eyes and say, “OK. Pay attention this time. Pete and Repete were in a boat, and Pete fell off. Who is left?”

Your younger brother says in an annoyed, loud voice, “Repeat!”

and it keeps continuing . . .

Don’t you love April Fools’ Day? Here are some more April Fools’ prank ideas.

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

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19. Unbearable Cuteness Contest

V04-1482134

Who Would Win?

When I was 5 years old, my father took me to the American Museum of Natural History in New York and I saw elephants close up for the first time. I had never seen anything more beautiful in my whole 5-year life! I even told my grandmother I couldn’t wait until I had elephant skin like hers. (I thought that was the nicest compliment, but she thought it was hilariously funny. Go figure!)

Ever since then, elephants have been my favorite wild animal, so I know my pick for today’s Who Would Win. How about you? Which animal do you think would win the unbearable cuteness contest: baby elephant or baby panda?

V04-1482134

4201-53605Leave your votes in the Comments!— Sonja, STACKS Staffer Add a Comment
20. Half a Chance

Half a Chance book cover

Half a Chance (for ages 8-12) by Cynthia Lord

Lucy’s family is on the move again. This time they end up in a rickety, red house on a lake in New Hampshire. At least she has her dog, Ansel, to keep her company.

Half a Chance book cover

The day after they move in, Lucy’s dad is off again to Arizona. As a famous photographer, this is nothing new. Lucy just wishes it wasn’t for two months. Before he leaves, Lucy finds out that at the end of the summer her dad will be judging a photo contest. She secretly begins taking photos and planning to enter the contest.

As Lucy tries to prove to her dad that she has what it takes to be a true photographer, she also has to make friends in a new place. She meets Nate and Emily. Nate’s Grandma Lilah is part of a team who wants to protect a family of loons living on the lake. Since she is too old to kayak out there and check on them every day, Nate and Emily bring Lucy along for the ride, and Lucy, of course, brings her camera. But what she sees through her camera lens is not necessarily what her new friends want to see.

Read Chapter 1

and let us know what you think of this new book by the Newbery Honor-winning author of Rules.

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

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21. March Books of the Month

writing_prompt_book_recommendation

Time for March Books of the Month!

It’s that time again!!! Since last month we held the Winter Reading Games, we skipped one Books of the Month post, but now we’re back and better than ever! At the end of January, we asked you what books you were reading. So many of you are reading different books! There are some clear winners this time, but I’m really excited that we have so many new titles in the running. Keep reading awesome books, you guys!

March book title word cloud

We’re going to do this again for next month, so tell me in the Comments what books you’re reading right now. I can’t wait to see what new books show up. I’ve got a few new recommendations now, and I’m so excited to start reading! See ya in a month!

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

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22. SPONSORED POST The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

This blog post is sponsored by The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (rated PG-13).Watch the video trailer.

Are you amped for the sparks that will fly in The Amazing Spider-Man 2™? Share your Comments below.

This blog post is sponsored by The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (rated PG-13).Sponsored by The Amazing Spider-Man 2

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23. 50 Reasons to Send a Shout-Out

writing prompt shout-out

50 Reasons to Send a Shout-Out

If you’re new to the STACKS, you might not know about shout-outs. Basically, once you are logged in to your STACKS account, you can go to anyone’s STACKS Profile and send him or her a kind message. That person is usually so happy to get your message that he or she then sends YOU a shout-out, and a beautiful chain of love is started! We add new ones every month so the chain can continue forever.

If you need more motivation, ForeverElephant

put together this amazing list of reasons to send a shout-out.
  • Someone sent YOU a shout-out and you want to respond.
  • You’re bored.
  • You read an amazing post and want to show your appreciation.
  • Admit it. You’re procrastinating.
  • Someone posted a sad post
and you want to cheer him or her up.
  • A user hasn’t been on the message boards
  • in a while and you want to let him or her know s/he hasn’t been forgotten.
  • You want to welcome someone to the STACKS!
  • Someone joined your club or participated in your siggy shop
  • or RP and you want to show your appreciation.
  • You read someone’s amazing fanfic
  • and you don’t know what to say except for, “You’re the coolest!”
  • You want to spread holiday/seasonal cheer.
  • Someone changed his or her avatar and you want to compliment it.
  • You asked for a friend request and want to accompany it with a warm note.
  • Someone asked YOU for a friend request and you are glad to accept it with appreciation.
  • A user feels unappreciated and you want to brighten his or her day.
  • Someone posted a goodbye post and you want to send him or her off with a tribute of ten pages of shout-outs.
  • You want to thank a moderator for doing her or his job so wonderfully.
  • You want to welcome and recruit new users to join the message boards. (Go to Stacks_Admin’s
  • most recent friends!)
  • You are feeling extra friendly and cheerful.
  • You want to be a really nice STACKer.
  • You want to get a billion shout-outs back.
  • You’re feeling upset and you want to know you have friends out there.
  • Someone’s post made you laugh out loud.
  • Someone just cheered you up and you want to say thank you.
  • You joined just joined a user’s epic club!
  • Someone was hit by a tragic incident
  • and you want to virtually hug him or her.
  • You need a distraction.
  • Someone complimented you in the boards and you want to compliment him or her back.
  • You and another STACKer debated about a topic, and you want to make sure he or she knows it wasn’t personal.
  • A user becomes member of the week.
  • A user is mentioned in the Ink Splot 26 blog.
  • You really like someone’s comment on an Ink Splot 26 blog post.
  • You really like an Ink Splot 26 blog post and want to say hi to the author!
  • You’re worried the power might go out, so you make sure you say goodbye to your STACKS buddies for a while.
  • You decide to join a new message board and you want to make some new friends!
  • You realize that a specific STACKer is really, really nice.
  • You just want to say, “Hi!”
  • You have something in common with another person’s My SELECTS.
  • It’s someone’s STACKS birthday!
  • A user passes a message board milestone (such as 1000 posts).
  • You feel bad about accidentally hurting someone’s feelings.
  • You absolutely love the books someone recommends!
  • Someone just taught you an HTML or message board-related trick.
  • You want to celebrate something such as National Harry Potter Day
  • !
  • Some new shout-outs were added and you want to try them out!
  • You want to reach out to someone who might not get the amount of shout-outs he or she deserves.
  • You’re waiting for something else to load, so you open a new tab and have no idea what to do while you’re waiting.
  • You haven’t been on the STACKS in a while, and you want to announce your return.
  • It’s your birthday, and since you can’t actually post about it, you want to send everyone a celebratory shout-out! (Of course, they’ll never know it was your birthday.)
  • You’re having a rough time with your friends from real life, and you need the support of your STACKS friends.
  • You read this post and were inspired to send more shout-outs.
  • What’s better than a sweet message to someone who needs it? Well . . . maybe chocolate, but this is the next best thing! I am totally inspired to send more shout-outs now

    . How about you?
    image from kids.scholastic.com— Sonja, STACKS Staffer Add a Comment
    24. Ask Jack Griffo from The Thundermans!

    extra

    Kids’ Choice Awards nominee Jack Griffo answers YOUR questions

    I’m a huge fan of all things superhero-related, which is why I’m totally hooked on The Thundermans! The show about a family that’s anything but normal trying to blend in is absolutely hilarious. Have you seen it? It’s awesome! Jack Griffo, who plays Max Thunderman on the show, is nominated for Favorite TV Actor in the Kids’ Choice AwardsJessieKickin’ It. This guy has a pretty cool resumé!

    Jack Griffo

    Image credit: Isaac Sterling

    Anyway, we are so, so, so lucky, because Jack is going to answer YOUR questions! Want to know what it’s like to be an actor, be nominated for a KCA, or play a superhero? Leave your questions in the Comments! Who knows? Maybe your question will get answered!

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

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    25. After the Millennials

    Writing prompt

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