Scholastic's The Stacks

 
(i)

 

Community, news, and fun for tween readers, with ads.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There's a strong emphasis on creating community around kids' shared love of certain books and book series. Kids are encouraged to shape the content that appears on this site ("submit your own poll question," "what other message boards should Scholastic create?").

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

There are a lot of ads on this site for everything from Scholastic books and book-related products such as video games to pest control services and sticky notes. Even though ads are clearly marked, some are still a little too closely linked to content for many younger kids to make the distinction. For example, some of the clothing and accessory options in the "create your avatar" section of the site are "sponsored" by various advertisers, like Disney. The videos are also rather celebrity heavy.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Scholastic has a fantastic tutorial on the site for teaching tweens how to select a non-identifying user name. First name/last initial are the only information required to register on the site, but this info is kept private. Kids can email their complete profile to a friend by submitting their first name, their friend's first name and their friend's email address. To register for the newsletter, users have to provide their email address and their parent's email as well.

 

Parental notification is not required for registering with the site, but it is required for the newsletter to be sent to a child's email address.

 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that THE STACKS is a well-organized and well-moderated tween site created by Scholastic to promote its books and book series (like Harry Potter) created for kids ages 8-13.  Tweens can come here to find out more about their favorite books and authors, practice their writing skills, chat with other readers on message boards, play games, get news about their favorite book series and upcoming releases, and watch videos. The site contains lots of ads both for related and non-related products, some of which might be difficult for tweens to identify as commercial.

Parents say

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QUALITY
 

THE STACKS is Scholastic's official spot online for kids ages 8-13. Scholastic's main website and catalogs have oodles of material for parents, teachers, and kids of various ages to sort through, so it's nice that The Stacks is the place just for tweens. While at The Stacks (still in beta), kids can communicate on moderated message boards with other kids about the books they love and issues that are important to them; they can play games, learn about their favorite authors and celebrities, and practice their writing skills. The video section is fairly celebrity heavy; It would be nice to see more authors, teachers, and "real kids" featured. There are also a lot of ads here, a definite downside, but overall this is an excellent site for young independent readers to be affirmed for reading, one of the healthiest habits young people can cultivate.

Online interaction: The message boards are monitored by moderators who actually respond to kids' individual posts. This helps to create a positive atmosphere where kids are heard and, therefore, tend to make more meaningful and respectful comments.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the ways this site advertises to kids in ways that are more subtle than traditional advertisements. Read Common Sense Media's Selling to Kids parent advice.

  • Ask your tween how he or she can communicate thoughts about a book on the message boards respectfully, even if they are different than those of other kids who are posting.

  • This site offers a great opportunity for parents to get to know more about their tweens' reading preferences. Discuss what books bring them to the site and learn more about the characters so you can enter into their reading world. Check out Common Sense Media's How to Raise a Reader.

Website details

Genre:Fan Sites
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Scholastic's The Stacks was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old September 18, 2011
 

The Stacks know how

The Stacks is a really great website but there has been a lot of ads on the site but the ads are about books so nothing to worry about if you know ads. I am a menber on this website and I think it's the best reading website up their with You Are What You Read!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Kid, 10 years old June 13, 2011
 

On the lame side

The games on it get boring easily, and getting to somewhere on the site is confusing. Plus, the books they are "aware" of is an extremely short list. There's a place to write in your top 5 fave books, so I put in "The Hunger Games". They blocked it! Apparently, Scholastic doesn't know "The Hunger Games" is a book. On the Top 5 Books thing, you can only put in books they know! Pretty dumb
Teen, 15 years old Written byFirstTry April 16, 2012
 

The Stacks for Kids

It is amazing if you love books!
What other families should know
Great messages

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