Weekend Fun and Games

Filed under: Books for Kids, Music, Movies, New In Pop Culture

Here is your weekly roundup of fun stuff to do this weekend, as adapted from reviews and ratings by Common Sense Media. Click on the links to read the reviews in full.

At the Movies
"Angels and Demons" is the long and rather complicated follow-up to author Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code." Directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks, the film is a long-winded conspiracy thriller featuring lots of gruesome violence as well as some mild swearing and smoking. Rated PG-13, OK for Kids 14+

On DVD
Hatching PeteGood clean Disney fun, "Hatching Pete" is a playful lesson about self-confidence and finding one's way. The story follows a shy boy who comes out of his shell only when he's hidden inside his school's mascot chicken suit. Can he find the courage to be himself when the suit comes off? Refreshingly free of violence, consumerism and bad language, the film is chock-full of positive and empowering messages for teens. DVD also includes the Disney movie "Dadnapped. Not Rated, OK for Kids 7+

TV
An edgy comedy featuring several big Broadway names, "Glee" follows the travails of a high school music teacher and his talented but awkward singers. There are some mature themes and high-schoolish name-calling, but the mood is upbeat and the music is fun. Rated TV-PG, OK for Kids 14+

Books
Firegirl by Tony AbbottIn Tony Abbott's "Firegirl," the story is less about Jessica, a girl who has been severely disfigured in a fire, and more about Tom, the boy whose life she changes forever. A poignant story about a regular kid learning that doing right and being good can sometimes be a struggle, "Firegirl" is a deep and thoughtful coming-of-age story. OK for Kids 9+

Music
"Paranoid" is the first release from the Jonas Brothers upcoming album, "Lines, Vines and Trying Times." A little bit edgier than some of their previous offerings, here the boys sing about feeling nervous about what is going on behind their backs - a theme most teens can relate to. The lyrics may stray a little from the tried and true angsty love song, but the music still has that that familiar pop sound. OK for Kids 8+

Games
"The Oregon Trail" has been bringing history alive since 1985 when it was first released on floppy disk. In this latest version for the iPhone/iPod Touch, the game is polished and easy to play and includes some fun mini-games. Hours of learning fun await in this classic game of survival. OK for Ages 9+

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.