Make every month Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and while today is Halloween and the end of October it’s a good time to remember that preventing bullying is something we need to do 365 days a year.

Bullying is a growing problem for an increasing number of kids. And with the rise of social networks, bullying is something that has spread beyond the hallways of schools. Cyberbullying has become an everyday part of life for many kids, and sometimes it leads to tragedy. But like with many other issues — the environment, the economy, disaster relief — kids across the country are taking on the problem by standing up against bullying in all its forms.
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I ain’t afraid of no ghosts

Happy Halloween!  The spooky and fun holiday is finally here and with it, we’re honoring our favorite supernatural characters  – any character that has special powers and that would be a great costume!

This time of year we tend to think of the scary characters that go bump in the night, like ghosts, vampires, goblins and demons…but let’s not forget the magical and benevolent creatures we all fell in love with, too. Wouldn’t you agree that having tea in Narnia with Mr. and Mrs. Beaver would be lovely?

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Spooky storytellers!

Earlier this week, Lauren recommended some great reads for Halloween and I realized with all the witches’ CACKLES and ghostly BOOs, Halloween read-alouds were lots of fun.

So with intern Elizabeth,  I decided we should  speak with the experts, the storytellers in The Scholastic Store, about their favorite spooky stories to read at Storytime.

Here’s what they had to say:

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Handing over our social media to R.L. Stine

As a special pre-Halloween treat,  master of fright, R.L. Stine, took over our social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter today and answered fans’ questions. Fans and followers posted hundreds of updates to R.L. from questions like “What’s your favorite Halloween candy?” to “Where do you find inspiration for your writing?” R.L. responded to fans in a live setting and gave them some hilarious insight into his life.

If you missed the event, check out some of our favorite moments below.

Remember, you can continue the conversation with R.L. by following him on Twitter @RL_Stine. Happy Halloween!

GIVEAWAY: Enter the Goosebumps  Giveaway for a chance to win your very own signed copy of Goosebumps Horrorland: Claws!! Tell us in the comments a book that gave you goosebumps by 5:59 PM (ET) on Monday, October 31, 2011 and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a copy of the book, signed by R.L. Stine. Three winners will be randomly selected from eligible entries. Read the official rules here. (Giveaway open to U.S. residents only; must be 18 or older to enter.)

UPDATE ON GIVEAWAY: We’ve picked a winner using Colleen Thomas, Marci and Lauren Barrett! We will email the winners. Thank you all for entering!

In Our Feeds

Each Friday, we share a handful of links we found interesting, provocative, funny — or just plain cool. We call it In Our Feeds. Enjoy!

Tyler sent this interesting piece by John Merrow on arts education. He encourages getting people who are not in daily contact with schools and education involved in arts education projects to bring awareness of the importance of art programs in schools to the community.

I hope you’ve been able to find a pumpkin this year despite the pumpkin shortage that many states are suffering from! Jessica shared a Pumpkin Carving 101 article that will help you turn your gourd into a masterpiece! Continue reading In Our Feeds

Delicious books

I’ve always loved Roald Dahl’s description of the chocolate room in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The characters step into the room where everything is edible, including a waterfall of chocolate! I can’t really blame Augustus Gloop for falling into the chocolate river — I’d want to try some, too. And it got me thinking about the food imagery in our favorite books.

Consider almost all of the candy and desserts mentioned in the Harry Potter series, for example. During feasts in the Great Hall at Hogwarts and in the magical town of Hogsmade, Harry Potter characters eat some amazing-sounding treats. I would love to try Treacle Tart, Butter Beer, Chocolate Frogs, Pumpkin Pasties, Cauldron Cakes, Licorice Wands, Fizzing Whizbees, and pretty much anything from Honeydukes — with the exception of Blood-Flavored Lollipops, Cockroach Clusters, and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans (Liver, ear wax, and vomit flavors?! Not worth the risk!).

So I asked my fellow OOMers: what food from books do you wish you could eat?

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Bonus Essentials: Scary movies based on books

Earlier this week, Jessica posted a roundup of what we OOMers consider to be the essential scary stories. It was certainly a good, spooky list! But at Halloween, our scares come in the form of movies, too, and there are many, many horror films and monster movies based on books.

So, in honor of Halloween, here’s a special The Essentials: Scary movies based on books. We attempt to answer the question, “If I were to watch only one scary movie adaptation this year, what should it be?”
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