Weekly family rail, with tips on keeping people connected when a family member falls ill, a review of “Youth in Revolt” and more.

Tip of the Week

When you learn that a friend, family member, co-worker or neighbor is seriously ill or recovering from injuries or surgery, do you wonder how you can best show your support? It depends upon the situation. Sometimes the best way to show your support is to just stay in touch, but other times, it's to provide help that your friend or loved one needs.


"When someone you know experiences a serious health event, or is in the hospital recovering from a major surgery, connecting them with family and friends is very important," says Sona Mehring, founder of CaringBridge. "Often people in this situation don't know how easy and helpful it is to gather their family and friends and show support in an unobtrusive way."


When you receive news that a loved one is going through cancer, premature birth or another health crisis, consider some of the following ideas in ways to best show your support:


- Offer your help. Make a specific offer like cooking a meal, driving the person to appointments, babysitting for children, picking up groceries, calling other family members, writing thank-you notes, etc. By specifically offering to help in a way that uses your talents and won't overwhelm you, you will be able to show support in a healthy way.


- Be positive. You don't have to be talking about your loved one's illness all the time. Maybe you saw a funny online video that you know will tickle their funny bone. Copy the link and share it with your friend. Or tell him the story about your child's performance in a school concert that had you beaming with pride. By keeping your loved one involved through your stories in real world events, you are helping them stay connected.


- Create an online social networking page. For a person trying to recuperate from an illness, repeating health information time and time again is exhausting - even if the information is good news.


- ARA


Family Screening Room


“Youth in Revolt”


Rated: R (for sexual content, language and drug use)


Length: 1:30


Synopsis: As a teenage fan of Albert Camus and Jean-Luc Godard, Nick Twisp (Michael Cera) is most definitely out of his element when his mother and her boyfriend move the family to a trailer park. When a pretty neighbor named Sheeni (Portia Doubleday) plays records by French crooners, it's love at first sight for frustrated virgin Nick. Upon learning that Sheeni is already dating someone, Nick launches a hilarious quest to find his way into Sheeni's heart, and bed.


Violence/scary rating: 4


Sexual-content rating: 5


Profanity rating: 4.5


Drugs/alcohol rating: 4.5


Family Time rating: 4.5. This most definitely is an R movie, so keep the kids away.


(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)


Book Report


“Growing Wings,” by Laurel Winter


Ages: 9-12


Pages: 208


Synopsis: "Linnet waited with her eyes closed for the door to open and her mother to peek in. Waited for her to touch Linnet's shoulder blades lightly ... Linnet knew that touch in her bones, as if it had happened every night of her life. An imprint, a memory of the skin itself." So begins this startling first novel about an 11-year-old girl who suddenly begins to grow wings — wings with soft auburn feathers, which only at first can be hidden with long hair and loose clothes. Funny, sad and hopeful, this remarkable story captures a girl's shock at feeling alone in life, as it follows her journey to answer a most important question: how can a girl with wings ever fit into the world?


Did You Know


55 percent of 3- and 4-year-olds were enrolled in school in October 2007, according to Census.gov.


GateHouse News Service