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Saturday, March 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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When good role models go bad

It seems that there are only a few short years between the time a celebrity makes it big and when he or she starts making salacious headlines. From internet-famous celebs such as Logan Paul and PewDiePie, to pop culture influencers like Kylie Jenner, good role models can go bad. Sometimes beloved celebrities, such as Michael Jackson, attract headlines in such a negative fashion that it’s really hard to explain news coverage about them to kids who’ve looked up them. The media seem to egg celebs on. Media frenzies can blow an isolated incident totally out of proportion. They can also glamorize bad behavior to the point that kids fantasize about doing – or even acting out – a star’s misdeeds. And repeated stories of stars falling from grace can make kids jaded and feel like they’re all big fakes.

A&E >  Books

Books: Sandra Day O’Connor, the female Supreme Court justice who led the way for others

That Sandra Day O’Connor found herself the highest-ranking woman ever in American government was no accident. Evan Thomas vividly sketches the attributes she used to clear the high barriers to female ascendancy: a knack for brushing past insults, relentlessness belied by a pretty smile, an almost superhuman level of energy and, not least, a heroically supportive husband.

A new report shows reading for fun declines between ages 8 and 9. How can we stem the tide?

Studies have shown that proficient readers are more likely to be successful in school and life, partly because better reading skills make it easier for students to access curriculum in all subjects. So the Kids and Family Reading Report issued this week by Scholastic, which showed a significant decrease between ages 8 and 9 in the number of children who think of themselves as frequent readers, is somewhat discouraging. According to Scholastic’s 2018 survey of more than 1,000 pairs of children ages 6 to 17 and their parents, 57 percent of 8-year-olds say they read books for fun five to seven days each week. But only 35 percent of 9-year-olds report similar reading habits. Another aspect of this “decline by 9” is the number of kids who say they love reading, which goes from 40 percent of 8-year-olds to 28 percent of 9-year-olds.

American Life in Poetry: ‘Happiness’

Is it worse to live in a city where you can’t see a big storm coming until it’s right on top of you, or to be out on the plains where you can see it coming for almost too long? I like this long look at an approaching and then passing storm by Max Garland, who lives in Wisconsin. It’s from his fine book, “The Word We Used For It.”
A&E >  Music

Gary Clark Jr. is confronting racism with ‘This Land’

In the angry blues-rock song, he recounts racial epithets hurled his way and other racist taunts before he defiantly asserts that he too is “America’s son.” In the accompanying video, young black children confront racist imagery, including a noose, among other disturbing things.

Deep roots: The Fig Tree celebrates 35 years

This month the Fig Tree newspaper celebrated 35 years of “informing, inspiring and involving.” From a black and white paper published by the Spokane Christian Coalition, to a full-color nonprofit independent publication, the Fig Tree covers the region’s religious news, sharing stories that often fall under the radar of mainstream news outlets.

The Full Suburban: The hard work of motherhood

It’s exhausting, relentless and frustrating. It’s delightful, hilarious and fun. It works every emotional, spiritual, mental and physical muscle I have. And it’s the most fulfilling thing I have ever done.
A&E >  Books


Best-selling books for the week ending on March 16