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Natalie Lloyd is the author of A Snicker of Magic and her newest book The Key to Extraordinary. She lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She collects old books, listens to bluegrass music, and loves exploring quirky mountain towns with her dog, Biscuit.
And . . . she is a reading superhero! Read her story to find out how she became a reading superhero, and how YOU can too!
I know some kids get really sad when summer vacation is over and it’s time to go back to school, but I was never one of them. I LOVED back-to-school time! Who’s with me? Yay, school!!!! Woo hoo!! No? Um. . . . anyway. . . Whether you are happy or sad, here are some activities to help you celebrate (or mourn) the first day of school.
The animated adventure STORKS (rated PG) is in theatres nationwide on September 23 —fly on over and check out the movie trailer.
The STORKS Movie Baby Name Game!
Storks deliver babies…or at least they used to. Now they deliver packages for a global internet retail giant in the movie STORKS. Junior is the company’s top delivery stork, and he’s about to be promoted when he accidentally activates the Baby Making Machine, producing an adorable and wholly unauthorized baby girl. Desperate to deliver this bundle of trouble before the boss gets wise, Junior and his friend Tulip, the only human on Stork Mountain, race to make their first-ever baby drop – in a wild and revealing journey that could make more than one family whole and restore the storks’ true mission in the world.
Are they up to the challenge? Are you? What name would you give the STORKS movie baby? Leave your ideas for the STORKS baby name in the Comments!
TUI T. SUTHERLAND is the author of the Wings of Fire series, the Menagerie trilogy, and the Pet Trouble series, as well as a contributing author to the bestselling Spirit Animals and Seekers series (as part of the Erin Hunter team). She lives in Massachusetts with her wonderful husband, two adorable sons, and one very patient dog.
And . . . she is a reading superhero! Read her story to find out how she became a reading superhero, and how YOU can too!
We know you guys love the Nickelodeon show The Thundermans, and a while back we posted a video of Jack Griffo who plays Max. If you don’t already know, The Thundermans stars a family of superheroes trying to live normal everyday lives, while training to save the world. Fourteen-year-old Phoebe is already a superhero, has freeze breath, heat breath, and can move things with her mind. Max, her twin, is a super-villain-in-training (although his parents are hoping it’s just a phase). Their younger brothers and sisters have laser vision, super speed, and teleportation. Now that’s what I call a talented family!
So if you’re a fan of The Thundermans, fly into action with our Would You Rather.
Would you rather:
Be Max or Phoebe?
Have telekinesis (be able to move things with your mind) OR teleportation (disappear and reappear in different places)?
Be a superhero OR super-villain?
Have as a pet Dr. Colosso (cute evil rabbit) OR Judy Hopps (the police officer bunny from Zootopia)?
Live in a family full of superheroes OR a family full of royal kings and queens?
Fly OR be invisible?
Max become a true villain OR change to a good guy?
Get eaten by a Venus flytrap OR get turned into a rat by the Animalizer?
Power up your answers, and transport them into the comments below! And let us know if you love The Thundermans as much as we do.
Last Saturday, I went to the coolest, most magical party EVER. As my fellow Harry Potter super-fans know, the new Harry Potter book (for ages 12 and up) came out this weekend, and bookstores all over the world held midnight release parties. I went to the Strand Bookstore in New York City – with over 1,000 other Harry Potter fanatics!
The entire bookstore was packed with witches and wizards wearing their Hogwarts robes. I felt like I was hanging out in the Great Hall!
I played trivia games, drank Polyjuice Potion, and even took an elevator ride with Moaning Myrtle. My favorite part of the evening (besides getting the book, of course) was coloring pages from the Harry Potter Coloring Book in the Rare Books room. This place felt almost as magical as Hogwarts. Old books that Hermione would have loved filled the shelves, string lights hung above all the tables, and the Harry Potter movie soundtrack played in the background.
At around 11:30, it was time to line up at the checkout counter. Ten seconds before midnight, we all started counting down, and when it was officially July 31, everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to Harry. Within seconds, I had my copy of Cursed Child, and I started reading right when I got home.
I’m almost finished, and I have to stay, this book is as unpredictable as it is magical. I have no idea what’s going to happen next!
Have you started reading Cursed Child? What do you think? Let us know in the Comments!
Are you a twin? Sometimes you may love it, and sometimes not so much. But there are certain things in life only you and your other half can truly ever understand. Therefore the following list is devoted to you, my twin friends.
10 Things Only Twins Understand
Photo courtesy Warner Bros.
You know exactly what your twin is thinking you can finish your twin’s sentences.
Being jealous of your twin’s other friends.
Matching clothes. Rhyming names. You either love ‘em or hate ‘em.
Having to share everything.
You wave back to random people who think you are your twin.
The Competition. In. Everything.
People think you have the same personality just because you look the same.
You’re going to go crazy if another person asks you, “Who’s the good twin?”
Your teachers can never tell you apart.
Even if you fight, you know you’ll love your twin forever.
Do you have a partner in crime – a.k.a. twin? Let us know your feelings in the comments below.
A Flash Mob in New York City Celebrates a New Harry Potter Story by Adedayo Perkovich
In New York City, Harry Potter fans stopped traffic! More than 300 people streamed out of Scholastic’s headquarters onto Broadway, the street in front of the building. Scholastic employees and their children were part of a flash mob celebrating the July 31 publication of a new Harry Potter story, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two.
Scholastic is the United States publisher of the best-selling Harry Potter series by British author J.K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of a wizard named Harry Potter and his classmates at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The eighth Harry Potter story is a script book based on a play that’s opening in London, England, on July 30. The play is by Jack Thorne and is based on an original story by Rowling, Thorne, and John Tiffany.
SHARING THE MAGIC
I had no idea what to expect as I entered Scholastic in the morning. Scholastic editors and artists whispered excitedly as they flooded down the escalator. The only word I caught was “Muggle.” In the auditorium, we were each given a copy of one of the original books in the series and a paddle announcing the publication of The Cursed Child.
Billy DiMichele, vice president of creative development at Scholastic, said that we were about to become a “Muggle Mob.” We would celebrate the upcoming release of The Cursed Child by doing a giant read-aloud in the middle of Broadway.
“This means that [we] can continue to share the magic with new generations of children,” DiMichele said.
Excitement continued to build as we rehearsed our movements and practiced reading aloud. Abram Chen, 10, said that he was thrilled “that there is going to be a new book to read.” Abram considers himself to be a Hufflepuff, his favorite house at Hogwarts.
As for editorial assistant Patrice Caldwell, she is “absolutely Slytherin,” she said. “It’s kind of cool to be here and imagine what it felt like when the first seven books came out,” Caldwell added. “This is a way to delve back into that world.”
After a few run-throughs, we calmly strolled outside with our paddles hidden inside our books, pretending to be tourists and typical passersby. Suddenly, music started playing and we rushed into our places in the middle of Broadway. (The street had been blocked off by the police for the event.) Then we read aloud from the Harry Potter books.
Our voices rose along with the music. Right on cue, we faced the Scholastic building and looked up. A giant, billowy banner began to drop, revealing the cover of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
We held up our paddles and cheered. Then we went into the crowd of observers and gave away copies of the original books to happy readers.
Lesley Little saw everything from the sidewalk. “This is fantastic,” she said. “I can’t wait to see the new play. I’m going to get to see it in London in September.” Suzanne Lewis, a Gryffindor, added, “This was a lot of fun. I could tell, even from blocks away, that something wonderful was happening.”
Five dragon eggs are stolen away and hatched in secret, raised to one day fulfill an ancient prophecy and end the war. The Wings of Fire series follows these dragons as teenagers. It’s not just full of fighting and fantasy and fate (although there’s plenty of that!) but also dragon bullies, lovable nerds, crushes, and funny personalities.
Whether you’ve been a fan forever or are just getting interested, test your fate with the Wings of Fire Would You Rather.
Would You Rather . . .
1. Breathe fire like a Nightwing OR deadly, freezing air like a Skywing?
2. Be attacked by an enchanted statueOR locked in an underwater prison?
3. Dream about food like Clay OR read minds like Moonwatcher?
4. Have your mouth bound shut so you can’t spit out your poisonous venom OR have your touch be made of fire?
5. Be raised as a killer (like Peril) OR be raised with the pressure of fulfilling a prophecy to save the world?
6. Live in an underwater kingdom OR rainforest kingdom?
7. Baby dragons OR baby dinosaurs?
Hatch your answers in the Comments below, and let us know if you love the Wings of Fire series too!
People who hike the Appalachian Trail come up with fake names for themselves so they don’t reveal their real names to strangers they meet on the Trail. Wish you had your own outdoorsy, fake name? You can make one with our HIKING AND CAMPING NAME GENERATOR!
Find the first letter of your first name in the left column below, and the word next to it is your new first name. Then find the first letter of your last name in the right column below, and the word next to it is your new last name. So if your name is, say . . . Abercrombie Fitch, your new hiking name is Bear-Poop Mosquito.
Ready to become that cool, outdoorsy hiking and camping person? Go!
First Letter of First Name
First Letter of Last Name
First Aid Kit
What’s your Hiking and Camping Name? Tell us in the Comments below!
Star Wars (rated PG and PG-13): it’s the best movie series in the galaxy. The Star Wars story line is amazing. It is jam-packed with action and it has been one of my favorite movie series ever since Darth Vader said, “Luke . . . ”
One of my favorites out of the whole series is Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (rated PG). It has a lot of interesting characters since it is based a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. There are characters like Luke and Leia who are human, but there are characters like Chewbacca and the Ewoks who make the movie a lot more interesting than just humans fighting with lightsabers and blasters.
courtesy of LucasFilms
These characters have very interesting personalities and they can be very funny. Chewbacca is a Wookie, basically half human, half Bigfoot. I like to think of Ewoks as fluffy teddy bears that can be vicious if you try to take over their territory. It has a lot of action. From lightsaber fights to lightspeed X-Wing battles, Star Wars will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. If you haven’t seen the movie, I tell you, “This is the movie you are looking for.”
Another amazing thing about Star Wars is the music. John Williams wrote the best music ever for these movies. The music makes you feel like you are in an X-Wing or fighting off Stormtroopers.
I think that Star Wars is one of the best movie series ever created. I would recommend these movies to anyone. If you haven’t seen them, you definitely HAVE to see these movies.
Have you read all 10 Diary of a Wimpy Kid books? Are you eagerly awaiting the release of Book #11 Double Down coming out November 1, 2016? If so, we’ve got just the thing to get you through. Check out our Top 10 list of…
10 Things Only Wimpy Kid Fans Understand
10. You will never eat a slice of deli cheese again.
9. When your mom asks you to change your baby sister/brother’s diaper you start singing the “Exploded Diaper” song.
8. Other people’s parents try to talk to them while on the toilet, too?
7. Why taking a “shower” at camp with baby wipes… is actually a pretty good solution.
6. Why wearing your older brother or sister’s hand-me-down underwear is a problem.
5. Silas Scratch.
4. The difference between a purse and an embroidered book bag.
3. That scary moment when you have to stop going to the kiddie dentist … and start the adult dentist.
2. When you take a picture of somebody’s bent inside-of-the-elbow, but your photography teacher thinks it is somebody’s butt (and of course you get in trouble).
1. “I’ll be famous one day, but for now I’m stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons.”
Are you a huge Diary of a Wimpy Kid fan? Let us know in the Comments below!
If you love classic fairy tales with Prince Charmings, princesses, and happily ever afters, then this fairy tale quiz is NOT for you. The fairy tale characters listed here are not your typical heroes and heroines. Instead, these characters are a little bit different, a little bit interesting, and a little bit… twisted.
If you’re interested in learning more about these twisted fairy tales, check out the book list here. If you’re interested in finding out which twisted fate you hold, take the quiz below. In each question, you will find an answer followed by a point system. For every one of your answers, write down the points on a separate sheet of paper. At the end of the quiz, add your points to find your poison.
Good luck, my twisted fairy tale creatures!
1. Your best personality trait is… a) being able to solve mysteries.-1 b) being mischievous.-3 c) having a big heart.-4 d) being creative.-2
2. When you grow older, what do you want to be? a) An artist because I’m creative.-2 b) A detective because no little detail escapes me.-1 c) A hero from any movie or book because why not?-3 d) A doctor because I want to save lives.-4
3. What makes you feel afraid? a) Angry people.-4 b) Losing my friends.-3 c) Getting lost.-2 d) Nothing, I am fearless.-1
4. If you were a superhero, what power would you have? a) Teleportation.-3 b) Strength.-1 c) Flying.-2 d) Invisibility.-4
5. Pick your favorite color. a) Green.-4 b) Yellow.-2 c) Purple.-3 d) Red.-1
6. What is your dream vacation? a) Camping in the wild forest.-1 b) Anywhere in a hotel with soft pillows.-4 c) Somewhere in Europe with big castles.-3 d) Anywhere as long as I’m not at home.-2
7. Which of these sports are you good at or would like to be good at? a) Running track.-1 b) Tennis.-3 c) Soccer.-2 d) None, I don’t like sports.-4
8. If you could adopt an animal, which would you choose? a) A frog because maybe it will turn into Prince Charming if I kiss it.-3 b) A wolf because they’re wild and loyal.-1 c) A baby bear because they’re so adorable and cuddly!-4 d) A horse so it can take me to cool places.-2
9. What is your favorite topping on desserts? a) Fudge.-3 b) Whipped cream.-2 c) Sprinkles.-4 d) To be honest, I don’t have a sweet tooth.-1
10. What is the perfect hangout with your friends? a) Have a sleepover where we paint our nails and comb our hair.-2 b) It doesn’t matter as long as I have many of them and they all like me.-4 c) Sit in and watch mystery movies.-1 d) Start a book club where we read books about fairy tales and adventures.-3
Count up your points and read onto find out your results.
If you scored 10-18, you are Wolfgang, a.k.a. “The Big Bad Wolf” from Big Bad Detective Agency.
Like The Big Bad Wolf, you are seriously misunderstood. No, like, seriously. Everyone always thinks you did it, but it’s not your fault that you always happen to be there when bad things happen. In fact, you’re actually a really nice person who just likes to stay in, binge watch TV shows, and occasionally cook up a nice steak. *Evil smiles*
If you scored 19-25, you are Rapunzel from Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel.
Sure, your life may look perfect from the outside. I mean, who doesn’t want good looks, a rad tower for a home, and really nice, gorgeous hair right? At least… that’s what Mom said. You may seem docile and “by the books,” but you’re actually a headstrong person who breaks rules and loves adventure. In fact, you have so many awesome adventures that you appeared twice in our Twisted Fairy Tales book list.
If you scored 26-32, you are Abby from Whatever After: Beauty Queen where she gets sucked into a mirror and lands into the fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast. You have this mischievous way about you that always lands you in sticky situations. But never fear! You’re smart; you’re confident, and you always have a sidekick to help you in the direst situations. No matter what happens, you always find a way to make things right, if not perfect.
If you scored 33-40, you are Goldilocks from Grimmtastic Girls #6: Goldilocks Break In.
They say if you can’t beat them, then you should join them right?… Wrong! You should always do the right thing even though doing the wrong thing seems so tempting. That is what you live by despite what it seems because you have a pure heart… Well except for that one time you accidentally trespassed over these bears’ property, and they were, like, really nice and all, but for some reason, they were very angry that day so you couldn’t stay.
So what did you get? Drop a Comment below and let me know!
There is a famous poem by Robert Frost called “The Road Not Taken.” Here is a quote:
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,”
Many people interpret the poem to mean that if you see 2 paths, you should take the less common path because it might lead you to new adventures that you would not experience if you just follow the same road as everyone else. You know, be original and follow your own dreams, not someone else’s.
William has a different idea, though. He just wants to take the shortest road. Maybe there is some pizza waiting at the end of his road, or something.
What about you? What road will YOU take? Write your ending to this sentence :
If you are sometimes shy, enjoy quiet time to just think, and like to be by yourself a lot, you may be an introvert. Almost one half of the population is introverted but when you’re an introvert, it can feel like the whole world is a giant, non-stop noise box. Your strength is in listening and being sensitive to other people, but because you don’t blab about how great you are, people don’t always recognize your quiet awesomeness. (Personally, I think we ALL have a little bit of introvert in us!) Take a look and see if you can relate to:
10 Problems Only Introverts Understand
An oral presentation or even just answering a question in class is sometimes scary.
You would rather eat lunch in the library or in a classroom with a small group of friends than in the loud lunchroom.
You prefer writing or drawing to talking sometimes.
After spending a few hours in a noisy group of friends or family, you need to be quiet by yourself for a little while.
You practice conversations in your head, so the real ones aren’t so terrifying.
You want to do homework or read during your after-school play date – but your friend wants to talk and talk and talk. And talk.
Having conversations with grownups. It’s bad.
People keep asking you, “Are you ok?” or “Why are you so quiet?”
You wish you had noise-cancelling headphones when riding the school bus.
You are the best listener you know but people don’t always listen to you.
If you can relate to these problems, then you might be an introvert. Leave a Comment to let us know what’s going on inside your mind!
The Time Patrol (for ages 12 and up) by Poul Anderson. The Time Machine (for ages 12 and up) by H. G. Wells. One is a collection of stories. The other is a short novel. Both are science fiction about time travel, but that is just about the only thing these books have in common.
Both are extremely good reads, though neither is suitable for a very young audience. The Time Machine is dense and takes a while to build up to the action. The Time Patrol deals a lot with time travel-related paradoxes, which can get confusing, and has some violence and some adult language.
The Time Machine is about a man in the late nineteenth century who builds a time machine. He travels to the year Eight Hundred and Two Thousand Seven Hundred and One A.D. (802,701). The book tells the story of his adventures with the people there, who are a greatly evolved version of the human race.
The Time Patrol is about Manse Everard, a man from the mid-twentieth century, who is recruited into the Time Patrol, an organization created to prevent anyone from changing history. The book has tales of his different missions.
If I had to pick which one I liked better, I probably would go with The Time Patrol, but I don’t want to rank them. They’re too different to pick a favorite. Both have excitement, but The Time Patrol has more. It also exercised my logic skills with time travel confusion. The Time Machine is more philosophical.
The Time Patrol and The Time Machine have a bit more in common than I said at first–they are both definitely worth reading.
It’s July, which means the 2016 Summer Olympics is only A MONTH away! From diving to gymnastics and everything in-between, the Olympics will be a month-long celebration of sports and the country’s best athletes.
One of the competitions in the Summer Olympics is soccer, a game that’s played all over the world. We’re celebrating Olympic soccer with Frankie’s Magic Soccer Ball, a magical series about a time-traveling group of soccer fans written by Frank Lampard, an English soccer star playing in Major League Soccer for New York City FC!
Frankie and his friends love playing soccer, and they’ll play the game no matter the place or time period! Join Frankie, Louise, and Charlie as they take on pirates, cowboys, and Medieval knights in Frankie’s Magic Soccer Ball!
Disney’s sequel to Finding Nemo (rated G)a.k.a. Finding Dory (rated PG) recently hit theaters to start off the summer movie season. In the movie, Dory, who suffers from short term memory-loss every 10 seconds or so, remembers she has parents and that she got separated from them as a child. With Nemo and Marlin’s help she sets off to find them.
Their adventures take them to The Marine Life Institute, where she gets captured, escapes, gets captured, escapes – you get the picture! Nemo and Marlin and some new friends join the adventure, including Hank the cranky red octopus.
So if you’re looking for some deep-sea adventure, dive into our Finding Dory Would You Rather, and let us know
Would You Rather . . .
1. Be a clownfish like Nemo OR blue tang fish like Dory?
2. If you were a fish … Get stuck in a six-pack drink holder (like Dory did) OR have a smaller right fin (like Nemo)?
3. Wash up in Australia OR wash up in California?
4. Swim through drainpipe tunnels OR the eye of a hurricane?
5. A giant octopus pick you up with his tentacles OR get swallowed by a whale?
6. Be a fish trapped in a plastic baggie OR a fish without water?
7. Not be able to remember things OR not be able to forget things?
8. Have an adorable sandpiper OR cute otter?
Did you like Finding Nemo or Finding Dory better? Let us know your answers in the Comments below. And like the story says, when things get tough, “Just keep swimming!”