This magazine is sooooo much better than some of the other commercial publications. The writing is solid, the subject matter is solid. It's amazing how well written it is. There are no ads! They don't plug anything. I was sick of getting worthless ad filled kids magazines like National Geographic Kids. Odyssey is a must subscribe for every kid who likes science. Actually, it's just a must subscribe. Encourage your libraries to subscribe. This must be had in every school library. It contains relevant and important information delivered with a high level of writing.
Odyssey Magazine-Adventures in Science is a great magazine for kids who are interested in science as well as those who might be with just a little nudge. Target audience range is for grades 4-9. As usual with Carus publications, there is no advertising other than information on how to purchase subscriptions to other Carus mags.
Odyssey boasts of an impressive list of scholars on it's advisory panel. Professors from Case Western, Harvard, Williams, and other well known institutions serve on the board.
A recent issue all about milk was well balanced and presented very divergent viewpoints. Regular feature, "Science Scoops" detailed a study that showed breast fed infants may not have an automatic advantage in IQ over their bottle fed counterparts. The latest study points out that better educated and more intelligent mothers tend to nurse their babies, and that this may account for slightly higher than average test scores. "The (Almost) Perfect Food" cites many benefits of milk and dairy in the human diet, but also mentions milk allergy and lactose intolerance. PETA's point of view is discussed as well. The activists in People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals regard confinement of dairy cows to be cruel. A 12 year old girl contributes a nice piece on robotic milking machines, and we also have the opportunity to learn about the chemical compositionof milk, mammal milk substitutes, and cheese making. A highly allergic 5th grader also shares his story on living with a milk allergy.
Another sample issue deals with Edward O. Wilson, a brilliant entomologist known as "the ant man". Wilson, a Harvard professor and prolific writer, is a believer in the importance of biodiversity. His passion for his work comes through clearly in the pages of Odyssey. Articles in this issue include, "E.O. Wilson, Boy Naturalist", Edward O. Wilson, Friend and Ant Man", "Ants Rule!", "See the World in a Tree Trunk", and more.
Regular departments appearing in each Odyssey are Activities to Discover, Science Scoops, Ask a Scientist, Brain Strain, Kids Can..., Ask Dr. Cy Borg, Star Chart, Star Gazing with Jack Horkheimer, You've Got Mail, Kids' Picks, and Animal Angles.
My kids enjoy Odyssey and I am pleased to recommend yet another top notch magazine from Carus.
Better than expected
I got a subscription to this mag for my son last Christmas. It was, as much as online purchasing can be, a complete "point of purchase" sale. I had no intention of getting it, knew nothing about it, and just wanted some science stuff for him.
It was THE hit of his Christmas stuff. Not so much on day one, when he got the gift card, but EVERY TIME IT ARRIVED IN THE MAIL, it was read cover to cover, and then discussed for the next several weeks. He once called me from school, asking me to bring in dark chocolate to him. I asked why he was calling me from school for candy, and he said because he had read in Odyssey that choc. stimulated the brain, and he had a test that day. A small example, but everything in it was interesting and somehow relevant to him. He is 12 now, and I am ordering it again.
Excellent science periodical for Grades 4 and up
I got this as a subscription for my friend's 9-year-old son who loves science, and he loves it. This is a quality magazine which is also ad-free and that makes it an even more outstanding publication in my opinion. A child can focus on the interesting articles without being distracted by tons of ads as in some other publications. The advisory board for this magazine comprises experts from Harvard University, the American Astronomical University, and many more. The articles are well-researched yet not mired in jargon which makes the articles easy to read and understand. I also liked that readers of these articles could make connections to real-world situations, an important criteria for understanding and real learning to take place. Highly recommended!
Good magazine, but you might not be appropriate for younger readers
I got the Odyssey as a child, and it helped my interest in Science. So I recently ordered the magazine for my daughter who's on the younger side of the magazine's target audience.
I liked the first issue which covered the human brain. The only thing I wasn't wild about was a photo of a person under going brain surgery. With a rather squeamish daughter, it bothered her a bit. The next issue was on Pirates. It was really good in the quality of information, writing, and the print quality. Five star issue.
The third issue I just got was on the human body. It included quite a few photos of the human body, from the Body Works art show (where they pose skinned cadavers), to forensic scientists working with investigations. Some readers might find it very interesting and be inspired to pursue a career in the medical sciences. But knowing my child, I guessed it would be very disturbing to her. So she didn't get that issue.
So I give the magazine 4/5 stars. It is great in print quality, technical writing, and writing in a manner appealing to kids. I knocked off one star because I think the editors should use more discretion in what they include for a magazine targeted at that age range. I realize some parents will not be bothered by their children seeing photos of dead bodies in a scientific context, so if that is the case you can consider this a five-star review.
Not so impressed
My children (10, 12) and I are not so impressed with this magazine (and I'm a science teacher!). The problem is that each issue that shows up seems to be focused on one particular topic, and nothing else. If you are not interested in that topic (say, wild horses) then you find yourself with a magazine that you don't even care to read. It gets flipped through, then discarded. They need more variety, more topics, in each issue to keep kids interested.