Kayaking near an island in Payette Lake in McCall, Idaho.

Summertime destination

Have you ever wanted to mix in a road trip along with a lake trip? You’re in luck, because McCall, Idaho, is six hours away and there’s a lake there called Payette Lake. I went there this summer and kayaked, water skied (barely) and swam in a very deep lake (392 feet at its deepest point). This place is beautiful, with its clear, crisp glacial water along the shore, and there are several islands in the middle of the lake. People there are constantly waterboarding, jet skiing, paddleboarding, boating and more. Consider it as your next trip next summer; I promise it won’t let you down!

— Jessica McDonald, Zillah High School, 12th grade


“Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood” is the ninth movie directed by Quentin Tarantino (if you count both volumes of “Kill Bill” as one movie). Like some of his other movies, the story is told piecemeal with different characters interacting with the rich scene of 1960s Los Angeles, as stunt double Clint Booth (Brad Pitt) and actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) struggle to find their place in a rapidly changing world. As with every Tarantino film, the visual style is beautiful and fitting for the time period. The soundtrack and anecdotes presented in the movie are engaging and hilarious, and the ending neatly ties back to dialogue said in the first 30 minutes of the movie. I say watch this movie as soon as you can. You won’t regret it.

— Ries Parnell, West Valley High School, 12th grade


Clairo (Claire Cotrill) appeared on the music scene after her homemade video for the song “Pretty Girl” went viral on YouTube in 2017 and she began performing at music festivals around the world. Now, she has cemented her place in the industry with her debut album from this month, “Immunity.”

The lead single, “Bags,” proves she’s not just a “bedroom-pop” artist but a talented songwriter like Ed Sheeran or Taylor Swift. It pulls a type of emotion and vulnerability that Clairo had not previously presented to her fans with her 2018 EP “diary 001.” Other highlights of “Immunity” include “North” and “Sophia,” both songs with relaxed beats but intriguing lyrics, sort of in the style of Lorde. The songs on this album carry basic pop themes like love, but also themes of coming-of-age and self-realization; topics that most artists her age (19) wouldn’t explore. This album is definitely one of the top 10 albums of 2019.

— Keegan Hull, Selah High School, 11th grade