The Week Junior is a weekly news magazine for kids ages 8-14. Each issue has 32 pages and covers topics such as current events, science, nature, sports, arts and entertainment, and crafts and puzzles. It primarily covers U.S. news and events and is slightly left-leaning politically.
What it comes with:
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I appreciate that each issue covers a wide variety of topics and has substantial information about science and nature. It provides a good overview of things going on around the country. Overall though, I feel this magazine leaves me wanting more. While I appreciate it bringing up hard topics such as racism and stating what racism is, it does it more as a footnote at the end of many articles. It also chooses not to bring attention to these topics so if you aren’t explicitly talking about it with your children it can be missed. I will share specific details below.
Thanksgiving: This article centered the Pilgrims and there were inaccuracies with a couple of the historical facts. One example is that it gives the illusion that the Pilgrims came to America from England when in reality they went to Holland first. It also notes that the Wampanoag were not eager to approach the Pilgrims, but doesn’t give background information on why. Some additional facts would be useful for understanding like the Europeans had killed entire tribes living by them, they were stealing their land and food, etc. I realize it did provide a separate paragraph on the Pilgrims spreading disease and killing many of the Indigenous People but it was written in as more of an afterthought. Also, I believe the article should have included the lasting impact of this and how some Indigenous families celebrate Thanksgiving as a Day of Mourning.
Dr. Seuss: Dr. Seuss’s birthday was the two-page topic for an issue. There is a lot of research on the racism that is rampant throughout his books and choosing his birthday as the main story makes the small blurb about his racial viewpoints insignificant. It also notes that his great-nephew said Dr. Seuss apologized for what he did and delegates these instances to the past. This is a common narrative for past racism, but it takes away from the fact that the viewpoints he advocated were harmful to many people and despite happening in the past were still wrong. This gives children the impression that because Seuss’s great-nephew said he was sorry and it happened a long time ago that it was okay. The article also does not bring up the lasting impact of his racism nor that the books that contain these views are still widely popular. To give an example, the cat in the hat character is based on minstrel caricatures and stereotypes derived from a real African American woman.
The Derek Chauvin Trial: This article fails to mention how long Chauvin was kneeling on Floyd, why this sparked protests, and despite clearly mentioning the race of each man it doesn’t give us information on why this is important to know. There is a lot of filling in that a parent would have to do for their child to understand this properly.
Many children read this magazine by themselves, therefore, would not have the parent support to make up for the parts that are missing and explain things. I appreciate how it does bring attention to racism but I think it is done halfway. Race is a difficult topic even for adults to comprehend, so to throw it out there without giving detailed reasons why you brought attention to it creates a situation where children are either ignoring it completely or forming their own biases based on the information there.
- Covers a wide range of topics
- Heavy on science and nature compared to other news magazines
- Is one of the few weekly news magazines for kids
- Brings up topics like racism, but does so as a footnote
- Includes some historical inaccuracies
- Tries to maintain a relatively neutral political position taking away from the content
Official Website: Homepage | The Week Junior
I purchased this product and all opinions are my own.
*I have since reached out to the magazine to share my view and am waiting for a response.