This post is part of my “Reading Wednesdays” series in which I give my favorite kid lit recommendations. 

When I was young, I used to subscribe to Highlights magazine. I loved when they came in the mail. Not just because I loved to read them and do the activities (“hidden pictures” was my favorite), but because there was something really exciting about getting mail addressed specifically to me.

In an age where magazines have largely been forgotten and invitations and thank you cards are increasingly sent via email, I find that receiving personalized mail is even more exciting for Mazzy and Harlow than it was when I was young. Especially since they can both read their names on the top of an envelope or package.

Over the summer, we signed up both girls for Highlights magazine (Highlights for Mazzy and High Five for Harlow). I wasn’t sure if Highlights would seem dated, but Mazzy and Harlow both get excited when they arrive and find that it’s the perfect thing to keep them busy on a rainy afternoon or to bring to a restaurant to switch things up from coloring. They usually read each copy and do the activities cover to cover.

Recently, Mazzy and Harlow were sent the first two issues of a new quarterly magazine called Bravery Mag. The magazine is meant for both girls and boys with the purpose of highlighting strong female role models. It reminds me a bit of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, in that each issue tells the story of one brave woman in history, but instead of a one page synopsis, there are 64 pages filled with articles, activities, crafts and recipes all inspired by that brave woman’s story and accomplishments.

The first issue has Jane Goodall on the cover.

Inside are stories about Jane, both as a child and in her professional life, as well as activities about animals, hand drawn maps of Africa, and articles about the environment. There are instructions for how to craft your own binoculars, a nature walk check list, a lesson in mapping out your neighborhood and rainforest coloring pages, among other things.

The second issue has Mae Jemison on the cover.

Inside are stories about Mae, along with information about other women who traveled in space, instructions for how to craft your own jet pack out of egg cartons, duct tape and streamers, and an experiment called the “egg drop rocket ship.”

It also lists all the skills you should work on developing if you want to become an astronaut— like doing a puzzle with gloves on, making a fort using only objects found in the room and drinking lots of water.

In addition to having lots to do, read and learn, Bravery Mag is beautifully designed and printed on high quality paper with gorgeous graphics and illustrations. They are magazines you will want to save, with pictures you’ll want to tear out and hang up.

In the ads and pictures I see on their site, the magazine is pictured with a lot of girls that are Harlow’s age. I get that. The moms who created the magazine have girls even younger than Harlow and of course, many parents want their girls to learn about strong women in history as early as possible.

But really, the magazine is meant more for Mazzy’s age. She can read it herself, is really interested in the content and is self-motivated to attempt some of the projects. She has come back to read and do more in each issue again and again. It’s funny because I was never a “pinterest mom” but now I am starting to see that a lot of those projects are really appealing to Mazzy. When my kids were smaller, I equated all of those beautifully finished crafts with the moms doing most of it themselves. But when Mazzy saw that Jet Pack in the Mae Jemison issue, she said— “Mom! I think I can build that!” Now I just have to get her all the supplies and she’ll be able to do it on her own..

Watching Mazzy read Bravery, it felt a little bit like when I first discovered Sassy Magazine as a kid. Do you remember Sassy? Unlike Highlights, which is great but geared for a more general audience of kids, Bravery feels like it is a magazine made specifically for her. In addition to educational activities that will keep her busy, Bravery is telling Mazzy stories about things she cares about, addressing what she thinks is important in the world and giving her ideas about the kind of person she aspires to be.

We are really looking forward to seeing who Bravery Mag selects for Issue #3.

Any guesses?