Boys' Life:
Your Son Can Do Better

Boys' Life reads a little too much like a glossy men's magazine

I have to admit, I wasn't a Boy Scout as a child. Still, I ran into their famous children's magazine every once in awhile.

It was interesting.

Now though, looking at it as a parent, I'm afraid I can't recommend it.

I felt like I was paging through a fashion magazine...

It's true. It took me that long to get past the advertising and into the content.

And, frankly, some of the content could have passed for advertising! I was rather surprised at the amount of grooming tips, telling aspiring young Scouts how to impress the girls.

(Apparently, one way not to address the girls is by wearing a scout uniform. Thinking back, I can't remember seeing one picture of a kid in the magazine dressed as such.)

I did read decent articles

There was a short story, an account of a scouting trip with a biologist, an article on hybrid cars and one part of a 5 part series on George Washington, in addition to the grooming article.

There were a lot of projects and games, and what seemed to me too many comic strips.

Between the ads, the comics and the pictures accompanying the articles, I was getting graphic overload. It would be hard to think of this magazine as reading material.

(And frankly, many of the reviews on Amazon support my viewpoint on this.)

So I'm afraid I'm not going to provide any links to subscribe. I'm not even going to send you to the Boys' Life website, because - as of 2012 - it looks like this!...

Boys' Life home page Aug 17 2012

I hope that didn't give anyone a seizure!

The good news is, there are lots of other children's magazines out there (many with a nature/wildlife/science orientation) that your son will enjoy and that will encourage a regular reading habit.

(One in particular that comes to mind is Kids Discover.)

So don't decide against a subscription for your son, because there's no better way to promote a lifelong love of reading. Just pick something other than Boys' Life!


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