Roald Dahl Classic ‘The BFG’ Is Heading To the Big Screen

Roald Dahl’s classic novel The BFG has been delighting young readers for decades, but there has never been a big-screen adaption of the fantasy book. Now there is! Steven Spielberg is directing the movie, and from the footage I’ve seen, it looks terrific.

The BFG tells the imaginative story of a young girl and the Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. The BFG, while a giant himself, is a Big Friendly Giant and nothing like the other inhabitants of Giant Country. Standing 24-feet tall with enormous ears and a keen sense of smell, he is endearingly dim-witted and keeps to himself for the most part.

Giants like Bloodbottler and Fleshlumpeater on the other hand, are twice as big and at least twice as scary and have been known to eat humans, while the BFG prefers Snozzcumber and Frobscottle. Upon her arrival in Giant Country, Sophie, a precocious 10-year-old girl from London, is initially frightened of the mysterious giant who has brought her to his cave, but soon comes to realize that the BFG is actually quite gentle and charming, and, having never met a giant before, has many questions.

The BFG brings Sophie to Dream Country where he collects dreams and sends them to children, teaching her all about the magic and mystery of dreams. Having both been on their own in the world up until now, their affection for one another quickly grows, but Sophie’s presence in Giant Country has attracted the unwanted attention of the other giants, who have become increasingly more bothersome.

Sophie and the BFG soon depart for London to see the Queen and warn her of the precarious giant situation, but they must first convince the Queen and her maid, Mary, that giants do indeed exist. Together, they come up with a plan to get rid of the giants once and for all.

2015 Boys’ Life Reading Contest Winners


With thousands of fantastic entries in the Boys’ Life 2015 “Say Yes to Reading!” contest, choosing the winners was tough. Here are the top three essays from each age group:



First Place: Gary Leschinsky, Mahwah, New Jersey

16043635I absolutely love reading, but it didn’t always come easy to me. The books that helped me the most were the Fly Guy books by author Tedd Arnold. When I started reading them, I couldn’t stop. I wanted to read more and more. I just absolutely loved the funny Fly Guy and his best friend Buzz. They help me learn new things. I especially learned a lot about sharks, space, dinosaurs, firefighters and fire safety.

The best book I read this year is Fly Guy Presents Sharks. Sharks a re amazing creatures. They have super senses. A shark can hear its prey moving underwater. Their hearing is good, too. They can even hear a fish muscle moving as it swims! Sharks are also fast swimmers. They can swim at an incredible speed of 25 miles per hour. To compare, the fastest speed a human swimmer is 5.3 miles per hour. The fact that surprised me the most is that sharks don’t sleep!

Fly Guy Presents Sharks taught me a lot of new and interesting facts about sharks, but it also taught me about friendship and loyalty. This book illustrated very well with lots of cool pictures. It’s written in a way that is easy to read and understand. This book is a great gift for an child. I can highly recommend it. Most importantly, this book helped me discover the joy of reading. Thanks, Fly Guy!




First place: Ethan Davidson, Channahon, Illinois,

15766776Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtlift is a book about friendship and righting a wrong. To do this, Rump goes on an adventure quest.

I love adventures because of the action. The idea of going places that I have never been excites me into wanting to go and do new things, too.

Part of Rump’s quest was to right a wrong. This is where Opal comes into the story. She was trapped in a tower because the king expected her to spin straw into gold. This, however, was not something she could do. It was Rump who could spin the straw into gold. Rump was willing to help Opal by spinning the straw into gold for her. Since the king’s favorite thing is gold, he married Opal. When the king found out the truth about Opal, he imprisoned her and sent soldiers to look for Rump. During this part of the story many funny things take place.

I learned not to let people take the blame or credit for what you can do. Whatever your talent is, it is yours and you should use it. No one else can be you.

Also, I learned friendship is worth more than gold — literally. You cannot buy friendship, you earn it. You do this through kindness, helpfulness, caring and willingness to do things that other may not be willing to do.

This is a great adventure book with much humor. The story is fun and magical with great life lessons.




First Place: Holden Elardi-White, Murphysboro, Illinois

the_giver_1.jpg.CROP.promovar-medium2I choose The Giver by Lois Lory, a 1994 Newbery Medal winner, as my favorite book of the year. It is about Jonas, who lives in a society that had eliminated all pain and strife by transferring everyone’s memories to one person: the Receiver of Memory. Jonas’ community lacks color, memory, climate, love, war, terrain and pain in order to preserve structure and a true sense of equality. Eventually, Jonas is chosen to become the new Receiver of Memory.

The dystopian society that Jonas lives in has its pros and cons. The idea of no war, hate, strife, and trouble makes it sound like the community of sameness is the ideal place to live. But, losing your personal individuality, spouses not choosing one another, family units having to apply for children (only one boy and one girl), and not being able to choose our own future makes the utopia not right.

I would prefer a place in which I make my own decisions, have the opportunity to learn new skills, have fun adventures, explore the natural world, meet challenges with good judgement, succeed and become a leader. I want to be able to create my own dreams and goals, not live in the place of “Sameness” where a “Community of Elders” decide the future, but instead live in the community of “Elsewhere,” where you can make your own choices.

Jonas escapes “Sameness” to save Gabriel, a small child who had trouble sleeping and was going to be “released” from the perfect world. By leaving “Sameness” all of the memories that Jonas holds are transmitted back to the community forcing them to experience feeling and emotions and to remember their past … the real world.



The First Trailer For ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ Is Here!


In 2011, a fantastically bizarre and spooky book called Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was released. It was the tale of a boy who, after a horrific family tragedy, follows clues that take him to an abandoned orphanage on a Welsh island. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it to any and all horror and fantasy fans. Now, there are two additional books in the series, all following the adventures the same characters.

In fact, the books are so popular that it’s now being adapted into a movie of the same name. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children the movie will be released in September, but I’ve got the trailer for you today!

Official synopsis:

From visionary director Tim Burton, and based upon the best-selling novel, comes an unforgettable motion picture experience. When Jake discovers clues to a mystery that spans alternate realities and times, he uncovers a secret refuge known as Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As he learns about the residents and their unusual abilities, Jake realizes that safety is an illusion, and danger lurks in the form of powerful, hidden enemies. Jake must figure out who is real, who can be trusted, and who he really is.

This Historic Piece of Harry Potter Memorabilia Is Going Up For Auction


Ever wondered what it was like to write the Harry Potter books? Well, if you have $100,000 sitting around you can find out. The chair that JK Rowling sat in while writing the first two installments of the legendary series (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secret) will go up for auction on April 6.

Before delivering it, Rowling painted the chair with gold, rose and green lighting bolts, as well as scrawling: “You may not find me pretty/but don’t judge/on what you see,” and “I wrote/Harry Potter/while sitting/on this chair,” along the back and sides. The minimum bid is set at $45,000, but experts believe the chair could easily sell for $100,000.

Get more details in this cool video about the chair.

Read an Exciting Excerpt From Peter Brown’s ‘The Wild Robot’

UpdatedrobotOne of the most anticipated novels of the year is The Wild Robot, the adventurous tale of a lonely robot called Roz who mysteriously awakes on a wild island.

The only way Roz can live is by learning about her new environment from the island’s hostile animal inhabitants. But when she finds herself taking care of a baby goose, all the animals pitch in and teach Roz how to thrive in this new world.

The Wild Robot raises thought-provoking questions about nature, technology, conservation, how humans affect the world around us and what it means to be alive.

Sound good? Scroll down to read a excerpt of the The Wild Robot.


The Wild Robot — Excerpt

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Cool Book: ‘FBI Heroes: 10 True Tales’ by Allan Zullo


Don’t miss these 10 true stories of real-life FBI heroes! The stories include someone is mailing poisoned letters to members of the U.S. Supreme Court, a terrorist hatches a plot to plant a bomb, a Florida mother and her two young sons are ruthlessly kidnapped.

Who will help? Join FBI special agents as they work together to solve the world’s toughest crimes. You will never forget these incredible true stories.

Kids’ Books Are Longer Due To the ‘Harry Potter Effect’


If you’re like a lot of kid readers, you’ve already devoured the entire Harry Potter series. If so, you must have noticed the gargantuan length of the books. The truth is Harry Potter set a new benchmark for Middle Grade and Young Adult books. In fact, since the Harry Potter series launched nearly 20 years ago, the average page length in kids’ books has increased by 115 percent.

The Booklist Reader calculated the average length of middle-grade novels for every decade since 1976. Kids’ books have gotten 173 percent longer in the past 40 years, but most of that growth has taken place fairly recently. In 2006, the average middle-grade book was 174.5 pages long and that average has since risen to 290 pages. 

How has Harry Potter changed the way you read? Do you look for giant, epic sagas or prefer smaller one-off stories? Let me know in the comments below.

Boys’ Life Fiction: ‘Punch Buggy Blue’ by Megan McDonald


Illustrations by Bruce MacPherson


Ralph Waldo climbed over his older brother and plopped down in the middle of the back seat.

“Move over, Squirt,” said Henry in his self-important-sounding 12-year-old voice.

“No way. There’s cooties on that seat … from when I … you know.”

Henry made gagging noises and pulled a puke face. R.W. couldn’t even say that “p” word. He couldn’t think about getting carsick. Not with a long road trip ahead.

“I need my personal space,” said Henry. But R.W. had already buckled himself in. It was going to be a loooong week. Especially without a phone. No videogames. No movies. No texting friends.

Dad had some loony-tunes idea to drive halfway across Ohio to see a dead president’s house. What a way to spend spring break. Then Mom
up and decided that the trip would be more fun without screens and stuff. Nothing with an on/off switch.

So they could spend time together as a family. PLEASE.

“Hey, um, don’t we need the phone for the GPS?” Henry asked the front seat. “How will we know where we’re going?”

Mom passed back a paper map with green dots all over it. It was like college-level origami just to fold the thing.

Yep. It was going to be a long trip. And they hadn’t even left the driveway.

R.W. paged through his Infinity Book of Amazing Facts. “Did you know the first roads were made by elephants? And King Tut might have
died because he got bit by a hippo?”

“Bitten,” said Mom.traffic_icons

“Where are we going again?”

R.W. asked for the 13th time. Henry wished his little brother had an on/ off switch. Then they could have left him at home. Ha-ha. He laughed at his own joke.

“What’s so funny?” R.W. asked.

“Never mind. We’re going to a dead president’s house. Warren G. Harding.”

“It’ll be educational,” said Mom.

“And they show old silent movies on weekends,” said Dad.

Henry slumped in his seat. Parents made no sense. They weren’t allowed to watch DVDs in the car, but they were driving a bazillion miles to watch some old movie? Go figure.

“Warren G. Harding was like the worst president ever,” said R.W.

“Why do you say that?” asked Dad.

“My book says it.” R.W. stabbed the page that said 10 Worst Presidents.

“He played poker while his friends stole stuff. A giant teapot or something.”

“The Teapot Dome Scandal,” said Mom. “I’ll bet every president has done things they’re not proud of.”

“How about we keep an open mind,” said Dad. “Besides, the trip is half the fun.”

Henry studied the map. Three inches to go. One inch on a map was like tons of miles.

“Punch buggy blue!” called R.W. when he saw a blue VW Beetle.

“Punch buggy red!” called Henry, punching R.W. in the arm.


“Punch buggy green!” Henry shouted. “Punch buggy red again.” Punch, punch.

“Ouch! Henry’s punching me!”

traffic_icons“You started it,” said Henry. He grabbed the pillow and thumped his brother over the head.

“Pillow fight!” R.W. bopped him back.

“Boys!” said Mom. “No hitting!

No pillow-fighting. Think of a no-contact car game, please.”

They played seven games of Tic-Tac-Toe, three games of Hangman and a game of I Spy, until R.W. started to cry.

“Henry won’t let me win,” he moaned.

“I won fair and square,” said Henry.

Little brothers sure were a pain. He studied the map some more.

“So, what are these green dots on the map?” asked Henry.

“Places of interest,” said Dad.

“More dead presidents?”

“Henry David!” Mom scolded.

“Sorry.” He sank back and tried to figure out the green dots.

R.W. yelled, “Giant ice-cream cone!”

Road Trip Page (final)001

Henry saw it, too. A building in the shape of a giant swirling, twirling icecream cone! Before you could say “banana split,” Henry and R.W. were licking the melting ice cream running down their arms.

“Guess what,” said R.W. “Dad says we can stop and see a real castle. Do you think it has a moat?”

“They have castles in Ohio?” Henry searched the map. “Who knew?”

“Not me,” said Dad.

After a tour of the stone castle with a real dungeon, Henry asked if they could visit a cemetery next.
“We’ll never make it to the Harding home,” Mom pointed out, “if we keep taking so many detours.”

“Just one more?” Henry pleaded. Before you could say “mad scientist,” Henry and Ralph Waldo were standing in front of a spooky grave. A grave that read FRANKENSTEIN. The real Dr. Frankenstein’s grave!traffic_icons

“It’s aliiiive,” said Henry, spooking his brother. R.W. screamed and hid behind Mom.
“We used to come here as kids,” said Dad. “Every Halloween. We’d dare each other to see who could stand on Frankenstein’s gravestone
the longest.”

“Did you win?” asked R.W.

“We never lasted more than a few seconds,” Dad chuckled.

Henry and R.W. stood next to the gravestone. “Take our picture!” said Henry.

They piled back into the car. In what felt like about 20 more hours, they finally, eventually, at last, pulled up in front of the President
Warren G. Harding house.

Mom and Dad stared. Henry glared. R.W.’s mouth hung open.
They could not believe their eyes.

C L O S E D!

The sign said “Closed for Repairs.”

“So we came all this way for nothing?” R.W. blurted.

Henry elbowed him. “What do you mean? We saw a real-live castle, ate Twistees from a giant ice-cream cone and stood on Frankenstein’s grave.”

“Whoa. I’m brave,” said R.W.

“Sure are. I timed us, too. You lasted three whole seconds longer than me.”

“I win!?”

“You win.” Mom and Dad smiled at Henry.

“Can we stay in the haunted hotel tonight?” asked Henry. “It’s not far, and it’ll be way cool! The rooms are named for presidents, and a girl
ghost haunts the halls.”

“Can we? Can we?” asked R.W.

“I don’t see why not,” said Mom.

“If you’re up for it, we are,” said Dad.

R.W. twisted the end of his T-shirt into a knot. Suddenly, he wasn’t feeling so brave. “But what if I hear noises? And get spooked? And can’t get to sleep?”

traffic_icons“Don’t sweat it!” said Henry. “I’ll be right there with you. And I have a flashlight, so you won’t be scared of the dark. I’ll even read you to sleep.”

He flipped to the page about presidents.

“We can learn all about President Warren G. Harding.”

“For real?”

“For real. Did you know he was the first president to visit Alaska? And he played the cornet. And get this: He had a dog named Laddie
Boy, who had his own chair at big important meetings.”

“Cool,” said R.W. “Tomorrow, maybe we can go to that town that has a white squirrel.”

“And that weird museum of all the stuff people have swallowed, like buttons and bobby pins and bones.”

“And don’t forget the flying-saucer house. …”


1200x630bfMegan McDonald is the creator of the popular award-winning Stink and Judy Moody series, as well as many other books for young readers.


Read Chapter One Of the New Graphic Novel ‘Caveboy Dave’

Click the image to feast your eyes on a larger version of the never-before-seen cover for Caveboy Dave.

Caveboy Dave is a hilarious new graphic novel series about a primitive kid named Dave Unga-Bunga, struggling through the pains of growing up in a world in which he doesn’t fit in. Imagine a prehistoric version of Wimpy Kid meets Captain Underpants.

What’s so tough about Dave’s life? For starters, his grandfather invented fire and his dad invented the wheel — so how is he supposed to live up to that sort of family reputation? You’ll have to read it find out to find out.

The bad news? Caveboy Dave: More Scrawny Than Brawny won’t hit bookstores until November. The good news? We’ve got a sneak peek of first chapter for you to read today! Scroll down for our exclusive excerpt! ________________________________________________________________________________________


Caveboy Dave: More Scrawny Than Brawny

Chapter One

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Top 5 Adventure Books for Guys


As long as there have been books to read, there have been epic stories of adventure and the great outdoors. Here are five of our favorites:

The Call of the Wild by Jack London


The Call of the Wild is usually considered to be the best book written by legendary author Jack London. It’s the gripping tale of a heroic dog that is thrust into the brutal life of the Alaska Gold Rush, ultimately facing a choice between living in man’s world and returning to nature.


The Lord of the Flies by William Golding


This compelling story about a group of very ordinary small boys marooned on a coral island is modern classic. At first, all seems normal and fun for the group of guys, but the fun before long becomes furious and life on the island turns into a nightmare of panic and death. As ordinary standards of behavior collapse, the whole world the boys know collapses with them — the world of cricket and homework and adventure stories — and another world is revealed beneath, primitive and terrible.


Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

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Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single-engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a tattered Windbreaker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present—and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart since his parent’s divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self pity, or despair—it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive.


Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson


Set in the eighteenth century, Treasure Island spins a heady tale of piracy, a mysterious treasure map, and a host of sinister characters charged with diabolical intentions. Seen through the eyes of Jim Hawkins, the cabin boy of the Hispaniola, the action-packed adventure tells of a perilous sea journey across the Spanish Main, a mutiny  led by the infamous Long John Silver, and a lethal scramble for buried treasure on an exotic isle.


The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien


Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum.