Saturday, February 23, 2013

Can We Teach Compassion?

Guest Post by Valerie O. Patterson
We can teach students to read and add. But can we teach them to care for other people? To stop and consider their actions and the impact on others? Certainly, we can’t teach compassion just by talking about it. Like most lessons in life, we learn them for ourselves by practice. And we pass them on through example, not lecture. As parents, teachers, or family members, do we donate our time and resources for the betterment of other people, animals, or the environment?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Escape to “Escape from Planet Earth”

Movie Review by Maggie Hames
At its essence, Escape from Planet Earth is a sibling rivalry story. The sibling rivalry just happens to take place on the Blue Planet between alien (though not unfamiliar) brothers. Brainy (read: nerdy) Gary Supernova—voiced by Rob Corddry—works at mission control at BASA (a souped-up NASA) while his brother Scorch—voiced by Brendan Fraser—is the scene-stealing, macho, slightly dim but intrepid hero/astronaut. In the opening scene, we see Scorch grab the glory as he rescues babies trapped on an inhospitable planet but its Gary who guides the ship safely home by remote control.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Looks Aren’t Everything: “Beautiful Creatures”

Movie Review by Jack Silbert
First of all, they’re not witches, they’re Casters. And not those roll-y things on the bottom of ottomans, either. In case you didn’t read the 563-page (!) book that Beautiful Creatures was based on, let me give you the basics. We’re in a small Southern town in which having supernatural abilities is considered almost as bad as being a Democrat or gay. Young Ethan, his head filled with crazy ideas from all those banned books he loves, dreams of getting out. (It’s a town full of losers, and baby he was born to run.)

Monday, February 11, 2013

App Giveaway from Night & Day Studios

One of the best children’s app developers in the business—Night & Day Studios—has given us four great apps for our readers. Just leave a comment below with a way to reach you (email preferred) to win one of these apps: Caillou’s World, Counting with the Very Hungry Caterpillar, Go Away Big Green Monster, or Busytown. Just leave your comment by Friday, February 15th at 5pm EST to win.

You'll find more giveaways at Night & Day Studios Facebook page.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

More Blunt Than Sharp: Disney’s “The Sword In the Stone”

Disney’s Eighteenth Animated Feature – 1963
The sixties were a turbulent decade for, well … the entire planet. For reasons that had nothing to do with social upheaval, the sixties were a turbulent decade for the Disney animation studio as well. The sixties saw lay-offs, reorganization, and a scaling back of a company that seemed on an endless trajectory of success and growth.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

RENT Is Due at Hoboken High

Interviews by Jack Silbert
I’d never actually seen the musical Rent, though I think I’ve heard that one song at least 525,600 times. So when I learned that a production was happening just up the street from me at Hoboken High School (February 8, 9, and 10), I decided to take a behind-the-scenes look.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

From Book to Film: “Beautiful Creatures” Authors Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Profile by Jack Silbert
My friend across the hall refuses to see any movie until she’s read the book that it’s based on. Well, if she wants to see Beautiful Creatures when it opens this Valentine’s Day, my neighbor better get cracking: The first novel in Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s four-book supernatural romance series weighs in at a hefty 563 pages. But book length certainly hasn’t slowed the ravenous fans who have turned these modern-gothic tales into YA best-sellers. And it’s not just teens and tweens: Garcia and Stohl count themselves among the 55% of YA readers who are adults.