An online community for young writers and artists

Top 10 Books Least Likely to Become Summer Blockbusters by Schmoop

  1. Ethan Frome. Everyone loves an action flick, and Ethan Frome just doesn’t fit the bill. A classic story? Yes. A thrilling, what-will-happen-next suspense thriller? Not so much. Add to that the bleakest of bleak New England winters, and it’s probably best to save this one for a cozy fireside read instead of a night at the cineplex.
  1. Atlas Shrugged. Nothing personal, Ayn—it’s just that no one will sit through a 12-hour movie. Unless there are hobbits involved.
  1. Plato’s Republic. It may be the foundation of all philosophy ever, but…it’s the foundation of all philosophy ever. Shmoop will be reading this VIP text forever, but it’s definitely not silver screen material.
  1. As I Lay Dying. James Franco tried it, and it turned into a straight-to-DVD kind of situation. Sure, Faulkner and his modernist friends did plenty of interesting things with narration, but fifteen narrators are probably too much for Hollywood fans to swallow.
  1. Augustine’s Confessions. Shmoop loves reading other people’s diaries as much as the next guy—just not at the movies.
  1. “Hills Like White Elephants.” The Breakfast Club pulled off the whole sitting-around-talking shtick, and if anyone has John Hughes’s visionary chops, it’s Ernest Hemingway. But Hemingway’s simple style, which works wonders in writing, isn’t made for the big screen.
  1. Cyrano de Bergerac. Two words: beauty sells.
  1. The Prince. When The Silmarillion becomes a hit, that’s when The Prince has a chance. Unless folks suddenly want to see a manual hit theaters, Machiavelli’s going to have to wait his turn.
  1. Utopia. Now that the world has seen dystopias filled with mystical creatures and crazy plot twists, it’s not likely that crowds will flock to a blow-by-blow description of the ideology behind it all.
  2. “The Red Wheelbarrow.” This is more of a challenge…because who doesn’t want to see a 16-word poem turned into a summer blockbuster?

This list isn’t foolproof, of course. Shmoop never would have guessed that Heart of Darkness would make it big as Apocalypse Now, but it turns out the bigwigs can change everything about a book except the names and still call it an adaptation. With that in mind, Shmoop’s money is on The Old Man and the Sea.

About Shmoop

Shmoop is a digital curriculum and test prep company that makes fun, rigorous learning and teaching resources. Shmoop content is written by experts and teachers, who collaborate to create high-quality and engaging materials for teachers and students. Shmoop Courses, Test Prep, Teaching Guides, and Learning Guides balance a teen-friendly, approachable style with academically rigorous concepts. Shmoop sees 10 million unique visitors a month on its site and offers more than 7,000 titles across the Web, iPhone, Android devices, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and Sony Reader. The company has been honored twice by the Webby Awards, named “Best in Tech” twice by Scholastic Administrator, and awarded with two Annual Education Software Review Awards (EDDIES). Launched in 2008, Shmoop is headquartered in a labradoodle-patrolled office in Mountain View, California.

Mighty Academy Parties  

Mighty Writers
You’re invited to celebrate the end of another Academy year at Mighty Writers. TWICE.
Wed., June 11 at MW West, 5-7pm
3861 Lancaster Ave
Thurs., June 12 at MW South, 5-7pm
1501 Christian St. 
Keep it Mighty!

Both parties will feature food and goodies, a student reading, our famous book giveaways and more. 

Would you like to help? Here’s how:

1. Bring a snack, drink or dessert to share.

2. Offer to run a mini entertainment stand: face painting, haiku station or another of your Mighty ideas!

3. Donate some plants to decorate our entry ways for photo ops – there are sure to be a lot of them.

To volunteer to help in any of these ways, please email Rachel Loeper at

If your child isn’t in the Academy but produced something in a workshop that he or she would like to share, let us know! There is enough room for a few more readers.

Write On! 2014- A Celebration of Student Voices!

Write On! 2014 is almost here!

All benefit proceeds support Philadelphia Young Playwrights’ programs and services for students, teachers and schools.
2014 Philadelphia Young Playwrights Golf Outing
in memory of Matthew Stuski 

Monday, September 22, 2014
Running Deer Golf Club1111 Parvin Mill Rd, Pittsgrove, NJ 08318


Stay tuned for more details at
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Phone: 215-665-9226 || Fax: 215-665-9228 || Email:


Amani's Visit to 'Ruffneck Constructivists' at ICA

Image: Szymon Tomsia, “Peregrination” (series), 2012, digital c-print, 39 x 27.5 inches. Courtesy of the artist via ICA.

This month, I decided to cover another museum’s exhibit. My fellow Teen Council member, Jordan recommended I visit the Ruffneck Constructivists exhibit, so I moseyed  on down to ICA (the Institute of Contemporary Art).

Ruffneck Constructivists is…rough. About every piece is made with mixed media, with things that could easily be found in any neighborhood. In a way, these are iconic items of an urban neighborhood. Contemporary art housed in PAFA is completely different than what I saw at ICA. I think one of the  joys of contemporary art—or art as a whole—is that even in a particular genre, the possibilities are endless. Within this exhibit, each artist’s voice and vision is clearly displayed in their work.

The variety of the works is another plus. There are photographic series, sculptures, as well as video and film. My favorite section in the exhibit is a little corner featuring two short films. They do not have much dialogue, but the cinematography and editing led to two very powerful pieces with clear messages.

A couple of months ago I happened across a quote: “Modern art = I could do that,  Yeah, but you didn’t.” As artists, whether we use brushstrokes or words, we make every unit of expression deliberate. When you approach the Ruffneck Constructivistsexhibit with an open mind, you can see the undertones of struggle, violence, and poverty in the exhibit. There is almost a post-apocalyptic feel to certain areas of display. It raises questions about  artistic intent as well as environmental influences.

So hop on the trolley to 36th street and visit ICA soon!

READY TO VISIT the Institute of Contemporary Art? Check out the ICA profile pagefor the hours you can use your STAMP pass!

This post was written by Amani Bey, a STAMP Teen Council member. Amani attends Science Leadership Academy.



'Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello' at the National Constitution Center

Hey, How’s it going everybody?  This is your girl Ophelia on location at the National Constitution Center.  I’m doing a spring edition walk-through of its latest exhibition called Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello.  This new exhibit looks at the lives of enslaved families who lived and worked at Jefferson’s home.. As many of us already know, Thomas Jefferson was instrumental in shaping colonial America’s mission and vision to have individual freedom and equality. However, Jefferson personally owned slaves at his Monticello plantation in Virginia. Hmmmmm.

The centerpiece of this fresh new exhibition is the six enslaved families who worked at Thomas Jefferson’s plantation:  the Fosset, Granger, Gillette, Hemings, Hern and Hubbard families.  The National Constitution Center tells their side of the story through 280 historical artifacts that belonged to the families and to Thomas Jefferson. There is also a large amount of secondary and primary source material about slavery and everyday life at his plantation called Monticello.

The exhibition also not only displays historical narratives about members of those six families, but also on provides information on their modern day living descendants who want to achieve recognition for their enslaved ancestors.

Remember! Mark your calendars and reminder apps, and check out this powerful and impressive exhibition from April 9 to October 19, 2014.

Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello at the National Constitution Center
When: April 9-October 19
Where: National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street.
Cost: Included in general admission or free if you have a STAMP pass.
More info:

Thanks a Million (1,000,000)


READY TO VISIT the National Constitution Center? Check out the Constitution Center profile page for the hours you can use your STAMP pass!

This post was written by Ophelia Murray, a STAMP Teen Council member. Ophelia attends Imhotep Charter High School.


April the Lamb - Events this month at the Zoo

Have anything to do this April? Well if not, come check out the Zoo!

We’ve already had two great events this month back to back. They were the Walk to Cure Psoriasis and Autism Awareness Day. The next two events shall be just as exciting! On April 19th, we’ll be having the Philly Rabbit Run 5K organized by Shake It Off for Parkinson’s, and I have 3 reasons why everyone should go to the Zoo. One, you should know that the fee you pay to run goes towards fighting Parkinson’s disease! Two, the fee you pay to run also lets you explore the Zoo afterwards as well! And the third reason is  that you might meet fellow runners there as well just like yourself! On April 27th, we’ll be having the Save the Orangutans 5K Run/Walk as well! For both events, this is a good chance to get out and be active! You can find more info at

Also, if you haven’t noticed yet, the Zoo has gotten a new hot air balloon for one year to replace the one that was damaged by the snow! This one has the words “soar once more” on the side. If you’re interested in coming to see the new balloon, just come out to the Philadelphia Zoo! Of course, to celebrate the beginning of spring, why not come to visit the outdoor animals too? They’re very lonely and are eager to meet you guys, so come out and greet them!

Wanna run? Wanna visit the zoo? Then come on, what are you waiting for? Explore!

READY TO VISIT the Philadelphia Zoo? Check out the Zoo profile page for the hours you can use your STAMP pass!

This post was written by DuBois Stewart, a STAMP Teen Council member. DuBois attends Chestnut Hill Academy.

Spring 2014 OKA Youth Art Exhibition and Gala

WHEN: MAY 22, 2014, 6:30 -8:30 P.M.

By advertising your business or sending a personal shout out to a Youth artist, you will be supporting the work of Ayuda’s Orange Korner Arts Program, enabling students to achieve their artistic goals.