The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images
Release Date: December 19, 2014
100 delirious 8-to-18-year-olds — many of whom have never touched an instrument — are encouraged to make noise and “take up space.” For one earsplitting, consciousness-raising week, they form bands and write songs while watchful counselors — volunteer musicians from bands like Sleater-Kinney and Gossip — provide expertise, mediate meltdowns and reassure the strugglers.
The movie shows how rock music can help girls tell their own stories and discover who they are, free of cultural expectations and limitations. And that they really can rock out!
There is no better way to strengthen family connections than combining shared laughter and history. So every family should make time to watch the hilarious new PBS series “Make Em Laugh,” the history of comedy on television and in the movies in the United States, from the silent era to Jon Stewart, with current comedians commenting on their inspirations and influences. Episodes on slapstick, satire, pushing the limits, and verbal humor are on the schedule (NOTE: some mature material)
Most adults still shiver a little when the subject of middle school comes up. It is a time of the most polarizing extremes as we first begin to question everything we have been told and everything we thought we knew on our path toward becoming our true and individual selves. This new book is a welcome guide for kids from ages 11-14 by Annie Fox, an online adviser at The Insite.
I like the way she makes it clear up front that there is no one way to be and no one right answer by focusing not on one generic kid or on a lot of generalized rules but creating six different characters to illustrate different situations and responses. Since middle school is a time of a lot of internal and peer-imposed stress about conformity, she begins by talking about teasing and bullies and gets to an important question right away: “If nobody teased you, would you totally accept yourself the way you are?” This lets kids know right away that they need to think about the extent to which their anxieties are based on what goes on inside their own heads and not in what someone else said about them.
The book has comments from real-life kids about their problems and how they deal with them and helpful suggested scenarios and resources. It covers dealing with self-esteem and anger problems, empathy, kindness, and problem-solving. Today’s middle schoolers will probably still shiver decades from now when they remember their tween years, but this book will help them get through a little more smoothly.
I have one copy to give away. The first person to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with “middle school” in the subject line will get the book!
Actress Speaks Up Against Absurd Hollywood Casting Conventions Cheers to the understandably anonymous "Miss L," an actress in Hollywood, for her Tumblr posting real-life casting information that shows how limited and misogynistic Hollywood casting is. Casting Call Woe shows actual casting call notices, most of which require actresses to be hot (no matter what
The Wrecking Crew
Maybe you like Frank Sinatra and your friend likes the Mamas and Papas. Maybe you've argued about who is better, the Beach Boys or Simon and Garfunkel, or maybe you prefer Elvis. Each of those monumen
"Home" is a cute and colorful movie about an alien invasion with an important safety tip concerning one of the most destructive forces in the universe, something devastating to every known life form.
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