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

American Girl

American Girl

Spring 2016 Magazines
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Newsstand Price: $4.95
Subscription Price: $24.95 / 6 Issues

American Girl magazine features true stories written by and/or about its readers. These stories spotlight ways in which they have helped those less fortunate by feeding the poor, organizing gift donations for homeless children, and trained animals to participate in pet therapy programs. The magazine's fictional offerings focus on lessons about friendship and how best to treat others, a popular theme throughout the American Girl brand. There's also an advice column that addresses reader concerns such as bullying, standing up for oneself and others, conflict resolutions, sibling rivalry, and more. While some responses are written by the magazine's staff, others are written by young readers which provides a variety of relatable solutions and suggestions to problems common to the 8-12 year old audience.

Readers can follow the magazine's illustrated instructions to create simple, low-cost crafts such as porcelain trinket trays, terrariums, felt leaf necklaces, and table-top decorations. They can even make a mini-version of the magazine for their dolls, something anyone familiar with American Girl dolls will recognize as a must-do. Young "makers" are invited to share pictures of their handiwork or examples of their creative writing. While some of the magazine's content is clearly "girly" in nature (e.g., pick your summer fashion style, crafting necklaces, etc.), it does not focus entirely on stereotypical girl activities, but instead attempts to focus on stories of altruism and the importance of character.

Sharon Heuscher   ©2016 Parents' Choice
Sharon holds B.A.s in English Literature and Ancient Studies as well as a B.S. in Psychology. She is currently a masters-level trainee in Clinical Psychology specializing in neurodegenerative diseases. For the past thirteen years, Sharon has focused primarily on raising, educating, and nurturing her five children who range in age from three to thirteen.

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American Girl Publishing

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