Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Spring 2019 Website
Ages: 9 - 13 yrs.
Publisher: Owlkids

As adults struggle to find reliable news reporting during this journalism-challenged era, kids actually have a good online resource-and it's free. So, steer your pre-teen kids away from Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other social media long enough to look at OWLconnected, the companion website to the print and e-magazine. The site covers news stories, human-interest features, and videos about whatever is happening now-just like the news is supposed to be delivered.

To get the full breadth of OWLconnected, click on any of the eight subject categories across the top or scroll down to the small "Read All Articles" button. There's a lot to read on this bi-weekly, age-appropriate news source for kids, covering topical and timely news from international headlines and pop culture to sports and entertainment.

But there is one bias: This Toronto-based website leans toward Canada. On one recent visit, the lead story, under the category World, is "Who's hungry? Canada's new food guide is here!" Under Science & Tech," it's "Researchers drill deepest-ever hole into Antarctic ice." A few days later, the lead story is about the Canadian astronaut on the International Space Station. Click on the Sports dropdown menu at the homepage's top and you find four out of six featured stories recently were Canada-related; under World, it was three out of six.

But other categories are not so Canada centric. There are stories about the NHL All-Star Game; Leaf-tailed geckos; the new Mary Poppins movie; dinosaur footprint fossils found in England; and Nike's new golf shoes made of artificial grass. Video content includes: Are you a master Lego builder? How does a compass work? And watch dogs enjoy magic tricks.

OWLconnected always offers contests to enter (with prizes), puzzles to solve, etc. And readers can comment on the stories and videos. This is a good and safe introduction for your kids to learning to love being informed, to acquiring a taste for the news.

Don Oldenburg   ©2019 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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