Click inside for the weekly family rail, with tips on back-to-school shoe shopping, a review of “The Sorcerer's Apprentice” and more. Or check out these links:

Tip of the Week


While your kids will certainly have something to say about the style of shoes they want, back-to-school shoe shopping isn't child's play. Parents should consider several important factors before buying new shoes for their children, the American Podiatric Medical Association advises.


- Take your child shoe shopping with you, rather than buying something without your child present. Every shoe fits differently, and buying something in your child's size doesn't necessarily ensure a proper, comfortable fit. Measure your child's feet (both of them, since feet are rarely exactly the same size) and have her try the shoes on. Plus, letting a child have a say in the shoe-buying process can help ensure she adopts healthy foot habits later in life.


- Feet swell later in the day, so it's best to try on shoes later in the day when feet are their largest.


- When evaluating a shoe, look for a stiff heel. Press on both sides of the heel counter to measure for stiffness; it shouldn't collapse. The shoe should bend with your child's toes. It shouldn't be too stiff or bend too much in the toe box area. It should also be rigid, and should never twist in the middle.


- Don't rely on last year's shoes. Children's feet grow like the rest of their bodies. Shoe and sock sizes may change every few months as their feet grow. Even if last season's shoes are in good condition, they likely won't fit properly after several months of your child's feet growing.


- Never hand down footwear. A used shoe may be the right size for your child, but still might not fit comfortably, especially if it's seen a lot of wear and tear. Just because the shoe fit one child comfortably, doesn't mean it will fit another the same way. Also, sharing shoes can spread foot fungi like athlete's foot and nail fungus.


- Choose shoes that are comfortable right away. Avoid shoes that need a "break-in" period. And be sure your child tries shoes on while wearing the type of socks he'll be wearing with the shoes on a regular basis.


- ARA


Family Screening Room


“The Sorcerer's Apprentice”


Rated: PG (for fantasy action violence, some mild rude humor and brief language)


Length: 2:01


Synopsis: Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). Balthazar can't do it alone, so he recruits Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), a seemingly average guy who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protégé. The sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic, and together, these unlikely partners work to stop the forces of darkness. It'll take all the courage Dave can muster to survive his training, save the city and get the girl as he becomes the Sorcerer's Apprentice.


Violence/scary rating: 3


Sexual-content rating: 1


Profanity rating: 1.5


Drugs/alcohol rating: 1.5


Family Time rating: This is a good family movie as long as your kids can handle intense/weird magic scenes.


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


Book Report


“This Lullaby,” by Sarah Dessen


Ages: Young adult


Pages: 352


Synopsis: When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn’t mess around. After all, she’s learned all there is to know from her mother, who’s currently working on husband number five. But there’s something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy’s rules. He certainly doesn’t seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can’t seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy’s starting to understand what those love songs are all about? From acclaimed author Sarah Dessen, this is a captivating novel about a tough-as-nails girl and the unexpectedly charming boy who’s determined to soften her up.


Did You Know


Eating too many omega-6 fats is not only bad for your weight, it can be bad for your child’s weight – French researchers announced that obesity from omega-6 is passed on through the genes.


GateHouse News Service