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

Owl Magazine

Owl Magazine

Spring 2013 Magazines
Ages: 9 - 12 yrs.
Newsstand Price: $5.25
Subscription Price: $34.95 / 10 Issues

OWL Magazine, the Canadian Owlkids publication for kids who have outgrown ChickaDEE, is as packed with interesting topical reading and fun activities as are the publisher's magazines for younger children.

Each issue contains a variety of features geared toward a range of interests: two animated strips offer stories about a group of school buddies and a band of juvenile sleuths, respectively; a "Last Laugh" feature includes jokes and riddles; a "Weird Zone" highlights fun and bizarre facts about the theme of the issue; regular puzzles and a "Do-It-Yourself" section provide some hands-on activities; and sections like "Talk About It" offer young readers the chance to exchange advice about problems in their own lives.

One of OWL's great strengths is the extent to which it meaningfully and thoughtfully incorporates the voices of its young readers. Many other magazines will include one winning student essay, stuck in the back, or will post pictures and quotes from young readers in the margins of an article, outside the "real" content of the magazine. OWL treats young readers as thinkers whose thoughts merit attention. The "Hot Topic" feature regularly solicits young readers' thoughts on current issues, such as whether kids ought to be given the right to vote or whether fighting should be banned from all hockey or just youth hockey; and many of the other features center around reader involvement.

Not all of the features are equally strong. The opening comic strip, for example, often falls flat. Sometimes the publication's busy layout can be confusing to adult eyes; admittedly, however, many young readers will be attracted to the variety of colorful fonts and the packed margins. Finally, as in other OWL publications, the many ads can be distracting. Despite these weaknesses, however, we highly recommend OWL as a magazine that delivers a great deal of interesting and entertaining material for young people at a reasonable price.

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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Owlkids Publishing

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