Boys’ Life magazine is published by the Boy Scouts of America, and contains features pertinent to scouting; however, non-scouts of any gender who enjoy outdoor activities will find much to interest them in this periodical. Each issue highlights one or two articles about a troop that engages in an outdoor adventure, such as building canoes and boating in Yellowstone National Park, or biking to summer camp. Each issue also spotlights several scouts who achieved noteworthy accomplishments, ranging from sports awards to volunteerism to youth advocacy to game design. A separate feature records the stories of Scouts who used their water and mountaineering rescue skills to save lives. A “Gear Guy” feature provides an overview and purchase guide for some specific kind of outdoor gear, such as a solar charger or an emergency communication device, describing a few different models and the advantages and disadvantages of each. At least one article in each issue focuses on a quiet, indoor skill or activity, such as reading or video editing. In the back of each issue, readers can find a number of activities, including puzzles, reader-contributed jokes, and a workshop activity, which unsurprisingly involves considerably more skill with tools than the craft activities in most children’s magazines.
Boys’ Life magazine offers young readers the chance to read about the real, exciting things that kids can accomplish; the feature stories about outdoor adventures and the headliners about Boy Scouts’ accomplishments are the most attractive and unique aspects of this publication. The section of activities and puzzles also gives plenty of opportunities for young readers to contribute. The comic strips are fairly dull, and readers who enjoy more in-depth informational articles may crave more. Young readers who enjoy being out and about and doing things will find plenty to spark their imaginations for new adventures.
Naomi Lesley ©2018 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.