Across the country, school is in session again. Time to crack the books, break open the new crayon box, and pound your head on the desk when you forget the capital of Montana. Some kids can’t wait to start learning again. Others … not so much.
Granted, it’s the rare child or teen who doesn’t complain about school to some extent: The tests. The homework. The need to set a morning alarm. But for many youth, classes may be the least of their problems. From bullying and peer pressure, from trying to fit into a new school to suffering an unimaginable tragedy at an old one, the school year can be a nine-month trial.
No movie is going to cure serious school-based problems, of course. What kids and teens need most of all is the love and support of their parents, along with some timely care and advocacy from teachers and administrators. But films can give youth an understanding that they’re not alone: They’re not the first kid to deal with bullies, peer pressure, or hardships, and these problems can be overcome with persistence, love and maybe even a sense of humor.
Here are seven films that may bring a smile to the face of your frustrated son or daughter — movies that might just suggest brighter days ahead …
A Wrinkle in Time (2018, PG)
This Disney take on Madeleine L’Engle’s immortal children’s book isn’t perfect. I really didn’t like, for instance, how the movie stripped away the book’s inherently Christian underpinnings. But while it falls short in some respects, the movie succeeds in others — especially in giving us a charismatic and compelling heroine in young Meg Murry, a smart-but-troubled student who can’t stay out of the principal’s office. Through her amazing adventures, the awkward-feeling Meg comes to understand that she’s pretty great just as she is, and that love can overcome the very worst of difficulties. (A Wrinkle in Time is playing on Netflix now.)