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

American Girl

American Girl

Spring 2014 Magazines
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Newsstand Price: $4.95
Subscription Price: $22.95 / 6 Issues

American Girl is a consistently well-written magazine for young girls. It balances many different elements like DIY crafts, entertaining quizzes and polls, fiction, puzzles, recipes and many opportunities for readers to submit and publish their own work. The graphics are playful and colorful, but serious issues are addressed too—such as bullying, and how to handle gossip.

There are cute pull-outs of posters, stickers and coloring pages in each issue, and plenty of feel-good inspiration. One craft suggestion in a holiday issue, for instance, was to make a Thanksgiving tree. The materials were accessible, assembly was easy, and the idea was for readers to collect different things they are thankful for.

Craft projects range from simple and cute, to more complex. In a Christmas issue there were small, easy and fun candy projects to make, but also more elaborate projects, like adding holiday sparkle to t-shirts and denim skirts. Recipes follow that same idea of simple and more advanced options. There are plenty that can be done quickly, and also more complex ones that require a bit more focus, time and skill. All, however, are clearly explained. The magazine projects a positive can-do message that is informative, but most of all, fun.

The American Girl brand, is advertised but it's very subtle—and its products are hard to notice in a first read-through.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2014 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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