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Best this month

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat Future Weather

We hear and read a lot about youth who are angry and frightened about the ecological disasters that loom on the horizon and threaten their health and well-being. But very few films have dramatized their concern before this well done coming-of-age drama written and directed

by Jenny Deller. It centers around the challenges facing Lauduree (Perla Haney-Jardine), a smart 13-year-old who is deeply concerned about the dire straits of the

planet and passionate about doing something to save it. When her irresponsible mother abandons her, this fearless teen tries to keep her science project afloat after moving in with her grandmother. Haney-Jardine puts in a stellar performance as an

idealistic and bright teenager who struggles with her options, and in one powerful scene vents her anger about the eco-disaster that everyone else around her is ignoring. Amy Madigan as her feisty grandmother and Lili Taylor as her science teacher are both at the top of their form as convincing characters. Future Weather gives us a refreshing portrait of a

teenage girl whose resilience in the face of change is very inspiring (Virgil Films, not rated).

Nora’s Chicks

Nora arrives in the American prairie from Russia with her father, mother and little brother. Whereas they adapt to this rig- orous new life, she grieves the loss of the trees and hills of the old country. Things go from

bad to worse when her brother gets a dog as his companion.

The Brussats pub- lish the website www. SpiritualityandPractice. com where you can find more information about the items reviewed in this column.

“ I need something all my own,” Nora tells her mother. When her father brings home some chicks and two geese, Nora convinces him to give them to her. She is pleased to have her own little community of friends that follow her around. This edifying picture book for children 3 and up by Patricia MacLachlan and illustrated by Kathryn Brown gracefully shows how alive and happy some individuals can become when their nurturing instincts are aroused (Candlewick Press,

42 The Lutheran •

The Wonder of Aging: A New Approach to Embracing Life After Fifty

Animated by wonder and optimism, marriage and family counselor Michael Gurian maps the territory ahead for those over 50, spicing up the proceedings with wise words from saints, poets and philosophers.

The spirit of aging that is afoot in our culture requires focus, a realistic optimism, forming new communities and growing from adult to elder. The author outlines the three stages of aging dur- ing which older people become keenly aware of the body’s weakness and deterioration; begin work on passing on their legacy and savoring the freedom that comes with it; and find the time to become more spiri- tual as they deal with death and dying. Gurian does a masterful job in fleshing out the chal- lenges, joys and the freedom in becoming spiritual elders who have wisdom to pass on to the next genera- tion (Atria Books,

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