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

American Girl

American Girl

Spring 2012 Magazines
Ages: 8 & Up
Newsstand Price: $4.95
Subscription Price: $22.95 / 6 Issues

American Girl is a simple, wholesome, feel-good magazine for girls. The content is light-do-it-yourself crafts, quizzes, simple fashion and decorating ideas-and the look and feel is sweet, though educational content is slim.

Readers are center stage in the magazine, as its title suggests. Real American girls feature prominently, from short profiles, to articles, to reader anecdotes, letters and contests, plus a cool "behind the scenes" page, which highlights how readers contributed to stories in the issue.

A recent issue of American Girl had a feature article on working. It profiled five different readers, ages 8 to 13, and their different jobs. Featured jobs ranged from an artist to a root beer brewer. Another recent issue profiled a spunky 12-year-old trick pony rider who was born with just one hand. Both of these fun upbeat articles echoed the message of the magazine, which seems to say to girls, "We're all great and we're all in it together!".

It's a warm and appealing magazine. You can almost smell the apple pie. It paints a world of pajama picnics, cupcakes, and jewelry-making parties with friends that will make mom readers want to revisit those days. There are a slew of fun and easy activities, crafts and recipes that mothers and daughters can do together, and the editorial content connection to the company's famous doll is limited to a two page spread offering an activity for readers to do with their dolls.

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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American Girl Publishing

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