Military Kids’ Life
Military Kids’ Life is a variety magazine offering articles about pets, music, travel, and noteworthy kids, all written with the vagaries of military life in mind. In each issue, an accomplished military-family teenager is featured in a cover article that spotlights children’s interests ranging from entrepreneurship to songwriting to outdoor sports. A regular feature entitled “Stay Strong” explains how another military child copes with a specific hardship through creative volunteerism; one such article, for example, highlights the work of a teen with epilepsy who makes bears for kids going through stressful hospital procedures, while another highlights the work of a child who advocates for military youth centers. Each month, a military family records an interview about an exciting duty post abroad. Other articles function as advice columns for readers who are worried about making new friends, or who are experiencing depression. A few puzzles and games are always included in the ‘Mandatory Fun” section.
Military Kids’ Life does an unusually good job of including the contributions of young writers. Many articles are written by young readers themselves, so that the magazine can lay claim to represent their readers’ interests as well as giving them opportunities to develop writing and journalism skills. The articles themselves are well written, visually appealing, and appropriately short and snappy for the target age range. The tone of most of the articles leans toward cheery optimism, reinforcing the military community’s ethos of looking on the bright side. At the same time, many articles acknowledge the emotional hardships of military life and offer meaningful support to young readers who might be struggling. Military Kids’ Life might be of limited interest to those outside the military community, but for those in a military family, it offers a range of interesting, relevant, and supportive articles.
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.