Category Archives: Magazine

AP magazine


ap magazine

Alternative Press magazine ASIN: B002PXW0KI

Overview: This magazine focuses on music, especially of the alternative, indie, and rock varieties. Many of the articles focus on particular musicians, while others highlight up and coming musicians to check out, and the surrounding alternative culture.

Critical Evaluation: I notice right from the start that AP magazine is much smaller than either of the other two magazines I’ve reviewed (Teen Vogue or Justine). In terms of advertisements, they are throughout the magazine, but not nearly as numerous as in Teen Vogue. Many of the articles are interviews, so each story has a different voice. Others are written by staff writers and feel more sophisticated.

Being a music magazine, I found it interesting to see that articles did not only focus on particular bands or music movements but also looked at the culture surrounding the music, as in the Cool Special, that looked at jobs in the industry, comedians, accessories, and athletes. The article that I found the most interesting was “Do a band’s religious views influence what you think of them?” In it, musicians and readers of the magazine sound off on whether they care about a musician’s religious views. This was in response to one Christian musician who went on an anti-homosexuality rant on Twitter. While the Cool Special article felt at times a little superficial, it is balanced with articles like the “Religious” one that get readers to think more critically about their music.

Reader’s Annotation: For the up to the minute news on your favorite bands, suggestions on what to listen to next, and alternative trends, look to Alternative Press magazine.

Information about the author: Mike Shea is the CEO and Founder of AP Magazine. It began when he was 19 and was published out of his bedroom in his mother’s house in Aurora, Ohio. It is now one of the largest and most influential media companies in the United States for the discovery of new music.

He now lives in Cleveland, Ohio with an English Bulldog. He enjoys reading about history and politics. He was also in Sam Raimi’s indie horror film, “Skinned Alive.”

Genre: Music Magazine

Curriculum ties, if any: This could be used in a music class, or potentially a sociology class to look at trends in alternative culture.

Booktalking Ideas: This magazine will appeal most to teens interested in alternative and rock music, but also teens interested in that alternative culture surrounding it.

Reading Level/Interest Age:  I think the magazine believes itself to target more of an adult audience, with some older teens as well. At my library, the magazine is shelved exclusively in the teen section, suggesting that most of the readers are teens.

Challenge Issues:

  • Language

Defense Strategy:

  1. First, I would want to be familiar with book. As I’ve read this book, I’d be aware of potential issues that could be challenged. In the case of a book I had not read, I would want to have access to reviews.
  2. Then I would put together a rationale for why this book is included in the collection. This rationale would include:
    • Bibliographic Citation of the book.
    • A description of who the book is best suited for.
    • A summary of the book and applicable other information, such as biographical information about the author.
    • My justification for including the book. This would include how it fits in with the selection policy and library mission statement, and include its educational significance if applicable or the impact it could have on readers.
    • Copy of selection policy and library mission statement at my library.
    • ALA Library Bill of Rights
    • Good and bad reviews of the book
    • Alternative works a student could read
    • Reconsideration form if patron is not satisfied with rationale
  3. When talking to patron, I would listen to their concerns without getting on the defensive and attempt to sympathize with their concerns. In some cases, all an upset patron needs is to be able to vent and know that someone is listening to them.
  4. If needed, I would send the challenge up the chain of command.

This magazine meets the recreational needs of teens. It is also representative of the way real people talk.

Why did you include this magazine? : I wanted to look at a magazine that would appeal to boys as well as girls, on a specialized subject.

Reference Page:

Mike Shea: Contributor (2013). AP Magazine website. Retrieved from


Teen Vogue



Teen Vogue, March Issue ASIN: B0023VOOD8

Overview:  This magazine is targeted towards teen girls. As one reviewer on Amazon noted, this is meant to be a fashion magazine, so it does not contain much besides fashion. In that sense, it looks remarkably like a Vogue magazine, with slightly younger models and potentially slightly younger featured celebrities. This issue featured a title story on 15 year old Chloe Grace Moretz, as well as stories on the Obama sisters, Coco Rocha (a 24 year old model), and Kevin Durant’s take on women’s fashion. Most of the articles are only 1-2 pages long. The fashion spreads are longer.  There is not generally very much text in this magazine. There was one article that did not have some tie into fashion, that being an article about sexual harassment. For a teen interested in fashion and celebrities take on fashion, this is probably a very appealing choice, and one that is written in a sophisticated voice with beautiful photography.

Critical Evaluation:  As I’ve stated previously, there is not a lot of text in this magazine. The main focus is really the pictures. However, if I were to take a page count of Teen Vogue, I’d wager that by that measure, the real focus is the advertisements. To a certain extent, those advertisements fit in with the fashion emphasis of this magazine, as both the fashion spreads and advertisements demonstrate the latest fashions. The photography, as the concentration of this magazine, is very well produced. In that sense, the magazine achieves its purpose to keep teens informed of fashion.

Personally, it is not the kind of magazine I would read. I did appreciate the longer, more topical articles that were also included, on the Obama sisters and sexual harassment. The writing is very sophisticated, in line with regular Vogue, which I can commend, in the sense that it gives credit to teen readers. The article on sexual harassment quoted several experts in the field and, in my opinion, had useful advice for teens who may encounter this. The article on the Obama sisters did focus on their fashions, but also alluded to what their life is like in the spotlight, and how in some ways, they are teens like any reader of the magazine.

Reader’s Annotation:  Want all the fashion and sophistication of Vogue, about people your age you actually care about? Try Teen Vogue!

Information about the author: Teen Vogue is published by Conde Nast, which also publishes quite a few other magazines like Wired, New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and Conde Nast Traveler. They have won more National Magazine Awards over the past ten years than all of their competitors combined, according to their About Us page.

Amy Astley is the editor in chief of Teen Vogue. She is a founding editor of the magazine, and has been working with Conde Nast for 23 years. She graduated from Michigan State University in 1989 with a degree in English and went to work at House and Garden that same year. She now lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

Genre: Lifestyle magazine, targeting teen girls

Curriculum ties, if any:  None

Booktalking Ideas:  I would encourage teens interested in fashion and celebrities to read this magazine. It generally highlights teen and younger celebrities, which I’d think teens would appreciate and be able to relate to more.

Reading Level/Interest Age: This is a difficult answer to pinpoint. This definitely has materials that are better suited for older readers; however, I suspect that older teens are already reading the adult versions of magazines like this.

Challenge Issues: This is a magazine I could imagine some people disliking, but I don’t think anyone could dislike it to the point of challenging its inclusion at a library.

Why did you include this magazine?: I think this is a fairly popular magazine among teens, so I was interested to see what it contained. I also wanted to compare Teen Vogue to the alternative magazine, Justine.

Reference Page:

Amy Astley: Editor-in-Chief (2013). Retrieved from

Justine Magazine



Justine Magazine, April/May Issue ASIN: B00024CY7Q

Overview:  This magazine is targeted towards teen girls. It is marketed as a magazine about fashion and beauty, but one that also “accentuates the positive aspects of teens through uplifting and interesting content in a non-offensive manner,” according to the Amazon description. The issue that I looked at had sections about fashion and different beauty and other products that teens could buy. They also had a feature story about a teen singer on X-Factor, an advice column, and special articles on subjects from getting an internship or a scholarship for college, to how to deal with a parent who has cancer.

Critical Evaluation:  Justine appears to be a slightly more aware and positive version of Teen Vogue or Seventeen. In comparison to Teen Vogue, this magazine pays more attention to articles and less to advertisers and fashion. There are still fashion spreads, but articles are longer and written in a more relatable tone than the Teen Vogue articles.  There are advertisements at the beginning of the magazine, but very few in the body of the magazine.

The covers seem to skew towards a younger reader, but articles about prom fashion and getting scholarships for college made it seem like it aspires to reach older teens as well. I did notice that there was a mix of expensive and more affordable items throughout the magazine.  It seemed like publishers were making an attempt to feature items that teens could conceivably actually afford, though there were still higher ticket items. Though it was never explicitly stated, I got the feeling that it was published by the Girl Scouts of America, because it featured several advertisements on that.

Though I appreciate the girl power and positive attitude of the magazine, I suspect it is not a very popular magazine.  I can’t exactly speak to why, but I have some ideas. It is possible that teens are not as attracted to this magazine because most of the cover girls are normal teens and not celebrity figures, or particularly big celebrities, in the case of the X-Factor singer. It also feels like it tries too hard to be cool but also upbeat in some of the articles. One writer says, “Think of me as your cool older sister” which just didn’t feel authentic to me. I think readers would catch on to the vibe of well-meaning adults trying to impart life lessons.  And while that’s certainly an admirable goal from the standpoint of an adult, I don’t think teens like the feeling of yet another adult trying to tell them what to do. Magazines are appreciated for their entertainment value, and probably for a lot of teens, for the aesthetic qualities, and not primarily for the lessons they impart.

Reader’s Annotation:  Tired of magazines full of advertisements and clothes you can’t afford? Justine offers a mix of articles you’ll care about, fashion and beauty tips that won’t break the bank, and hardly any ads!

Information about the author: Justine Magazine is published by Justeen, LLC. Jana Kerr Pettey is the editor of the magazine. She has worked and mentored teens for over 20 years. Monique Coleman writes an advice column in each magazine. She is best known as one of the stars of High School Musical, but is now the Global Youth Ambassador to the United Nations.

Genre: Lifestyle magazine, targeting teen girls

Curriculum ties, if any: I could see particular articles being of interest to classrooms. I could also see a teacher using Justine magazine in comparison with something like Seventeen to compare the messages the magazines are sending. 

Booktalking Ideas:  I think the best way to promote this magazine would be as an alternative to mainstream magazines that can be seen as shallow. It is for the teen who is interested in articles as well as fashion, and those looking for something that aspires to make teen girls feel good about themselves. This is also a magazine that many parents will appreciate, so it may be one a librarian sends home with more parents than teens.

Reading Level/Interest Age: This is a difficult answer to pinpoint. One reviewer on Amazon recommended it for girls ages 10-20. It had quite a few articles in the issue I read that were targeted towards older teens, while many of the articles could be seen as appropriate for a wider variety of ages. This magazine could fit the bill for older teens whose parents may be concerned about what they read, or those who are looking for a magazine with a mix of substance and fashion.  I suspect that despite the attempts of the magazine to appeal to older readers, the interest level is younger, like middle school or early high school. However, I still wanted to include it as something that is targeted towards older teens.

Challenge Issues: This seems to be quite “clean” and I can’t see any objections to the content. When reading Amazon reviews of the magazine, many reviews called it a “wholesome” magazine. At the same time, one reviewer says it takes a conservative approach and doesn’t discuss politics enough while another reviewer criticizes its liberal leanings.  However, I do not think either of these issues would substantiate a challenge.

Why did you include this magazine?: I was interested to compare the difference between a more mainstream magazine like Teen Vogue, that follows in the model of the adult version, Vogue, and one that focused on real teen girls and their lives.