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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 63.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Paper
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Postitive Energy

Here it is, the first issue of October. Yes, October. Time races on. Don't hold your breath, for if you do, by the time you exhale it may be November. But I digress, something I am increasingly disposed to do.

It being the first issue of the month, we carry the supplemental "Kids & Parents" section. It may have escaped your notice that we do this every month, but indeed we do and have for some time. Each iteration is led by a feature article, and over time they've touched upon a wide range of topics related to kids and parenting. In January, for instance, Ann Levihn wrote on birthing options, while in April Michael Popke extolled the virtues of youth chess. We've also touched on early literacy, farm camp and head lice. Such is the world of kids and their parents.

This month's feature, by contributor Elizabeth Disch, is called "Thinking Positive" and reports on efforts to educate kids on controlling their anger and choosing some other response than violence when they feel they've been provoked. This is more important and relevant than you might think if you are unaware of the rising incidence of violence in area schools.

Other elements of Kids & Parents are the Kids' Calendar, going in-depth on special events each month, and Kids' Culture Bin, in which reviewers, mainly from the Madison Public Library, weigh in on children's titles in books and videos. All told, over time we've accumulated an impressive number of informational articles to aid in the challenge of raising and entertaining children.

I am told by web producer Jason Joyce that soon all this helpful information will be aggregated on a "Kids & Parents" web page at It's not there yet, but it is coming soon; you'll find it by clicking on the Mad Tools tab.

Meanwhile, back in the main body of Isthmus, we continue to wallow in the sixth Wisconsin Book Festival, which kicks off next Thursday, Oct. 10. The main wallower is staff writer David Medaris, who writes both the cover story and the arts feature for this week. For the cover he interviews area author James Campbell whose latest, The Ghost Mountain Boys, tells the tale of the 32nd Infantry Division's harrowing campaign in New Guinea, a perfect coda to the recently completed PBS series "The War." In arts, Medaris, in concert with festival director Alison Chaim, conducts an overview of the festival's attractions. Attention all parents: There's plenty of stuff for kids at the bookfest, too.

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