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I have waited until the dust settled (Black Friday, Cyber Monday) to post this column. I dislike, really dislike, all the hype and I did not want to be part of it. That said, I do suspect that you are gift-hunting or getting ready to gift-hunt like we are at my house. If you are, let me suggest that for kids you consider gift subscriptions to magazines.

There are some terrific magazines available for Christian kids. Focus on the Family currently produces two magazines for kids and one magazine for teen girls. Clubhouse Jr. is targeted for children 4- to-8 years of age, Clubhouse is written for 8- to 12-year-olds and Brio is for teen girls. The Upper Room produces Pockets for kids 6 to 12. Nature Friend is a special interest magazine for kids 8 to 16.

These magazines with their articles, short stories and games will bless a child or young person all year long. They are written with kids in mind and they present topics that interest kids. When the stories or articles wrestle with a life difficulty, the subject is handled in a way that kids can relate to and is appropriate for a child. Oh, and did I forget to mention that the mags are fun?

The websites below will give you more info.

Clubhouse Jr.http://www.clubhousejr.com/

Clubhousehttp://www.clubhousemagazine.com/

Pockets http://pockets.upperroom.org/

Nature Friendhttp://www.naturefriendmagazine. com

Briohttps://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/promos/brio-parents

Shopping savvy: I spoke with Focus on the Family’s subscription line and the agent said that a postcard will be sent to the gift’s recipient  and should arrive at about two weeks after you place the order. (So you still have time.) She also said it would be better to place an order by phone and she gave this number: 1-800-A FAMILY (1-800-232-6459). I looked at the website for Pockets and it looks quite good for ordering online.

If you are going to give a gift subscription to your child, you might also consider giving a gift subscription to the same magazine to  one of your child’s grandparents or a beloved aunt or uncle. This could give that adult and your child some good conversation starters. And if you are the beloved grandparent or aunt or uncle and give a subscription to your special child, why not get a subscription for yourself? The magazines are fun, informative  and interesting even if you grew up a while ago. — Nancy

Nancy Ellen Hird is a mom, a writer and a credentialed teacher. (She taught seventh grade and preschool.)  Her latest works for children are I Get a Clue and We All Get a Clue, mystery novels for girls 10-13. For several years she was a freelance reviewer of children’s and teen’s literature for the Focus on the Family website.

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At our house we are searching catalogs, shopping online, going to the Mall, etc. In other words, we are gift-hunting. If you are also gift-hunting, let me suggest that for kids you consider gift subscriptions to magazines. There are some terrific magazines available for Christian kids.

Focus on the Family currently puts out two magazines for kids. Clubhouse Jr. is targeted for children 4 to 8 years of age and Clubhouse is written for 8- to 12-year-olds. The Upper Room produces Pockets for kids 6 to 12. I am less familiar with Sparkle (for girls ages 6 to 9) and Shine brightly (for girls 9 to 14), but I like what I have seen. Cadet Quest is for boys, ages 9-14. Sisterhood Magazine (formerly called Susie), a magazine for teen girls, has been on the scene for a few years now and is truly awesome. Susie Shellenberger, who is the magazine’s founder and editor, was the former editor of Focus on the Family’s  Brio and Brio and Beyond. Shellenberger began Susie after Focus on the Family stopped production of  their teen magazines. (November 29, 2014: I am sorry to announce that I received an email that this magazine is stopping publication with its November/December issue.) Nature Friend is a special interest magazine for kids, ages 8-16.

All of these magazines are written with kids in mind. The magazines present topics that interest kids. When the stories or articles wrestle with a life difficulty, the subject is handled in a way that kids can relate to and is appropriate for a child. Oh, and did I forget to mention that the stuff in the mags is fun?

The websites below will give you more info on the mags.

Clubhouse Jr.http://www.clubhousejr.com/

Clubhousehttp://www.clubhousemagazine.com/

Pockets http://pockets.upperroom.org/

Sparklehttp://www.gemsgc.org/main/magazines.html

Shine Brightlyhttp://www.gemsgc.org/main/magazines.html

Cadet Questhttp://www.calvinistcadets.org/questpromo2.php

Sisterhood Magazinehttp://www.sisterhoodmagazine.com/

Nature Friendhttp://www.naturefriendmagazine. com

Shopping savvy: If you are going to give a gift subscription to your child, you might also consider getting a gift subscription to the same magazine for one of your child’s grandparents or a beloved aunt. This could give that adult and your child some good conversation starters. And if you are the beloved grandparent or aunt and give a subscription to your special child, why not get a subscription for yourself? The magazines are fun and interesting even if you grew up a while ago. — Nancy

Nancy Ellen Hird is a mom, a writer and a credentialed teacher. (She taught seventh grade and preschool.) Two of her published works for children are Marty’s Monster and Jessica Jacobs Did What?  Her latest work is I Get a Clue, a mystery novel for girls 10-13. For several years she was a freelance reviewer of children’s and teen’s literature for the Focus on the Family website.

I received several copies of the April issue of Pockets last week. It’s because the magazine published one of my stories in the issue. I am so excited!

I like kids’ magazines. I really, really do. I think when a kid has a subscription to a magazine it helps him in so many ways. (Maybe you’ve seen this before in one of my posts. But I don’t think it ever wears out.) The magazine comes addressed to the kid and that makes a child feel important. Because the stories and articles are short, there is a greater chance the child will read them and so practice her reading. Many magazines have well-researched articles on topics that interest children and so a child can learn something new. Kids’ magazines often have puzzles and games; these help a kid think. Some magazines regularly have jokes and that gives a child an opportunity to laugh. A number of kids’ magazines do profiles of kids who are involved in community projects; these profiles encourage a young reader to consider that he too can make a difference in his community. If the magazines are Christian, the stories and articles support a child in his faith in God.

OK, I am going to be forthright. I recommend that you get a subscription to a kid’s magazine for a kid you know; it will be good value for your money.

Take a look. These are some of the magazines I’m talking about:

http://www.upperroom.org/pockets/

http://www.clubhousejr.com/

http://www.clubhousemagazine.com/

http://www.naturefriendmagazine.com/

 

Nancy

Dear Book Lovers,

The other day I received a renewal notice for subscriptions to a kid’s magazine I purchased as Christmas gifts last year. It reminded me of the post I wrote some time ago on kid’s reading magazines. So-o-o….

I love reading books, but I also love reading magazines. I love the variety–the pictures, the articles and the short stories. I do the puzzles when a magazine has them.

I think magazines appeal to children too. (Actually, I know kids like them. I’ve bought subscriptions to various kids’ magazines for my daughter, my nieces and my nephews.) Kids like it that the stories and articles in the magazines are short and yet rich in ideas. A kid can spend a smallish amount of time reading a piece, enjoy it, learn something new and gain the added satisfaction of having read something to the end.

Today I am recommending some terrific Christian magazines for kids. Maybe you know of them. However, on the chance that you don’t…. (I’ve been teaching writing for children to adults for a number of years and many of my conferees tell me they are not familiar with these magazines.)

Focus on the Family currently puts out two magazines for kids. Clubhouse Jr. is targeted for children 4 to 8 years of age and Clubhouse is written for 8- to 12-year-olds. The Upper Room produces Pockets for kids 6 to 12. I am less familiar with Sparkle (for girls ages 6 to 9) and Shine Brightly (for girls 9 to 14) , but I like what I have seen. Susie, a magazine for teen girls is newer on the scene than the others, but it is truly awesome. Susie Shellenberger, who is the magazine’s founder and editor, was the former editor of Focus on the Family’s  Brio and Brio and Beyond. Shellenberger began Susie after Focus on the Family stopped production of  their teen magazines.

All of these magazines are written with kids in mind. The magazines present topics that kids are interested in. When the stories or articles wrestle with a life difficulty, the subject matter is handled in way that kids can relate and is appropriate to a child. Oh, and did I forget to mention that the stuff in the mags is fun?

The websites below will give you more info on the mags.

Clubhouse Jr.http://www.clubhousemagazine.com/clubjr/

Clubhousehttp://www.clubhousemagazine.com/

Pockets http://pockets.upperroom.org/

Sparklehttp://www.gemsgc.org/main/magazines.html

Shine Brightlyhttp://www.gemsgc.org/main/magazines.html

Susiewww.susiemagazine.com/

Shopping help: If you are going to get a gift subscription to one of the kid’s magazines for your child, you might also consider getting a gift subscription to the same magazine for one of your child’s grandparents or a beloved aunt. This could give that adult and your child some good conversation starters. And if you are the beloved grandparent or aunt and give a subscription to your special child, why not get a subscription for yourself? The magazines are fun and interesting to read even if you grew up a while ago.

Nancy

Book Reviews

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