Here is Cricket Media’s cornerstone publication, an outstanding literary magazine geared toward tweens and early teens that has delivered entertaining, thought-provoking and ever-fresh works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry since the 1970s. Lively reader engagement is found on pages of letters, book recommendations, “favorite first sentences” and original prose, poetry and artwork that fans submit, inspired by specified themes. A quality pool of professional writers and illustrators contribute stories and artwork based on folklore, history, and contemporary culture. Frequently serialized, the stories are set in space, around the globe, in castles, on farms, in villages and cities. One unusual offering in 2017, “The Monkey King,” was a graphic novel excerpt from Gene Luen Yang’s “American Born Chinese”; another was an intriguing, two-part story about a girl brought up by robots who learns, along with her robot sister, what it means to be human. And until reading about them in Cricket, I had never heard of James Hanger, the Civil War amputee who created the first stable artificial legs and continued manufacturing prosthetic limbs into World War I; or former 19th century slave Horace King, who became a master bridge builder and eventually purchased his own freedom. A nice touch: the magazine’s fine cover artists are profiled in each issue.
Lynne Heffley ©2018 Parents’ Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper’s first weekly children’s arts and entertainment beat.