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

If your child is a young Ken Burns, say, or an up-and-coming historian who can't get enough of the Civil War or stories about American presidents or the early years of the space program, Cobblestone not only will encourage that intrigue with the past, it will broaden it into all sorts of fascinating areas of American history.

Each of the nine issues is largely focused on a single topic, from the "Early Explorers" to an entire issue about money. One recent issue was totally about the year 1861 and the Civil War, with features ranging from the slavery debate and Lincoln's speeches to the fall of Fort Sumner and International involvement in the war. Departments in that issue included a "Mapping It" (a double-page map of the Union, Confederate and Border states), "Going Global" (what was happening elsewhere in the world in 1861), "Did You Know" (tidbits and curiosities from 1861), and "Digging Deeper" (other relevant books and online resources).

Cobblestone reaches beyond the standard topics and examines all aspects of history, however. One excellent issue recently covered great American writers-37 of them, from Walt Whitman and Mark Twain to Dashiell Hammett and Ernest Hemingway. And while Cobblestone doesn't generally back off from the controversies frequently embedded in history, parents can count on the magazine usually being sensitive about delicate issues. The Hemingway segment, for instance, doesn't mention the great author's suicide, and while the Whitman segment talks of his poetry being openly sexual and obscene, it doesn't mention the poet's possible homosexuality.

Well-designed and packaged with an abundance of historic photos, illustrations, facts and interviews, as well as regular departments such as its Crossword Puzzle, cartoons and brain teasers, Cobblestone brings America's past to life for young history students.

Don Oldenburg   ©2012 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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