The Weekly Reader

The only "old one" I could find!
Who doesn't remember having the Weekly Reader thrown in their lap a few times a month at school in the 90s? If it wasn't the Weekly Reader, it was Scholastic (which I also remember), but one way or another, reading some kind of "kid magazine" factored somewhere into our typical school week. To me, this was like, high class journalism. Time, Newsweek, People, GQ....they're all fine, but they're no Weekly Reader. If you don't know, it's a magazine for kids. Back then it was only about 10 pages long at most, and every page had about three different 300-word articles on it with plenty of pictures and games, and other stuff to keep us interested.

The typical issue usually had a "science and nature" section (always something about whales, weather, and volcanoes for some reason)... a "news" section that usually told good news (maybe this was higher class...) unless it was telling us about kids living in poverty or that if we didn't recycle, the rain-forest would "get it"... and a "Kid Power!" section that made you want to go start your own tax-exempt non-profit 501 charity feeding and clothing the baby orca whales... you know, just like that kid on page five! There was always some kid in there who had collected a thousand pennies or made her own hot air balloon, or built his own house out of toothpicks, and it always seemed like your chance was just a week away.

Whenever they wanted to entertain us about stuff we had no idea about and had no say in, they told us fairytales about politicians running for office: "You decide! Bill Clinton or Bob Dole? Mail in your vote!" I'll trust mine was received.

These magazines at first seemed like something only the teacher was into, but the more I dug into them, the more I found myself actually...learning things! And not on purpose either! Perhaps it was because it wasn't trying to be all "hip" and "down" and "dope," but just showed stuff kids are curious about. Up until then the news was only for adults, but these zines took all that "blah blah" out there and turned it into stuff I could understand, and that was pretty cool. It was like, a kid-friendly news channel for my head as I read along, and still a whole lot better than that stuff adults read... (I'm looking at you, New Yorker)!

Update! 7/30 -  It looks like Scholastic is ENDING the Weekly Reader! Sad...

Weekly Reader - 1928-2012  (RIP)

1 comment:

  1. You are awesome! I can't believe I found someone outside my family who remembered these! :D

    I had tons of these as a collection when I was a kid.

    And the thing I remember that was the spookiest was having one that supported our troops and there was actually a little girl who looked EXACTLY like me. Hair, eyes, mouth, teeth, nose, face, EVERYTHING. It was so creepy- my mom thought it was me at first and then when she read the name she was like "WOAH! It's your doppleganger!"

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