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



Spring 2013 Magazines
Ages: 9 - 14 yrs.
Publisher: ePals Media
Newsstand Price: $6.95
Subscription Price: $33.95 / 9 Issues

Science lovers know that, when properly handled, scientific topics make for compelling nonfiction packed with creativity and drama. These stories are what Odyssey magazine aims to offer young readers. The concise, well-researched, and cogent pieces in this magazine deliver stranger-than-fiction details and thought-provoking issues that young readers and their parents will appreciate. Each issue revolves around a theme, such as time perception or space perception. Some issues pick up on seasonal topics, such as the presidential election or the summer Olympics. Articles in each issue explore the topic from various angles, often including at least one surprising and whimsical piece that creatively extends the reader's concept of the issue at hand; one of my favorite articles, for example, was an article in the "Lost" issue on how video game planners create virtual terrain and characters who can navigate that terrain. Most issues feature at least one article focusing on a current scientist and his or her research. These cover a wide variety of scientific fields, including psychology, sociology, physics, and biology, so that even readers who might not know they are interested in science can often find some angle of interest. The short works do vary in quality. Occasionally, complex issues like phobias are oversimplified; conversely, the election season issue benefited from excellent explanations of issues that baffle many adults, like the way the electoral college works and the merits of different voting models. For kids who are interested in science, a subscription to Odyssey will provide a year's worth of intriguing exploration. Science teachers are also likely to find helpful and interesting materials for use in the classroom.

Naomi Lesley   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Naomi Lesley taught middle and high school English for six years. She is currently in a doctoral program at the George Washington University, focusing on American young adult literature.

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