Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Spring 2012 Magazines
Ages: 9 - 14 yrs.
Publisher: ePals Media
Newsstand Price: $4.95
Subscription Price: $33.95 / 9 Issues

Muse is an arts, science and history magazine published by The Smithsonian and Carus Publishing, the company who also publishes Ask and Cricket magazines for children. It is extremely well done. The content is interesting and educational, and articles are well written with a good dose of wit.

The material is presented in an informative and engaging way for curious readers, nine and up. Articles are longer and more involved than Muse's predecessor Ask, but don't feel weighed down. Content in each issue typically revolves around one theme and Muse does a great job of capturing different angles of it through stories artwork and photography. There are no ads.

Regular features include a front section trivia space that features a handful of true stories, plus one false one which readers are challenged to guess. There's also the cheeky "Kokopelli & Company" comic strip, which stars nine quirky "muses" who are sprinkled throughout the magazine's pages. Monthly contests, a mail page, plus a terrific reader-penned article each issue allow opportunity for readers to be heard and there is also bonus content available to subscribers on Muse's web site, along with an engaging Facebook page to follow.

Full disclosure: My son has been reading Muse for years and disappears for hours when it arrives, devouring the whole thing at one go. I read most issues right behind him. The stories - such as one in a recent magic-themed issue about the curious friendship between Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes - are an educational treat.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Teresa DiFalco is an award-winning ghostwriter, writer, and mother in Vancouver, Washington. She's been a contributing editor for Parents' Choice for over ten years. She's a strong speller, a menace at badminton, and makes a decent soufflé.

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