Friday, August 10, 2012


Rolling Stone magazine. Rolling Stone LLC. One-year subscription: $19.97

Contents: A magazine that focuses on rock, pop, and rap music and popular culture, which also usually contains two pieces of serious investigative journalism. In the March 2012 issue, the cover story is on Paul McCartney, but there are articles on Tina Few, Joey Ramone of the Ramones, and LMFAO. Inside, Van Halen shares the space with Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Madonna. There are articles on an undercover mission in the ecological terrorist movement, the Oscars, and “Obama’s New War on Pot.” There is also a large feature on Christopher Paolini, the author of the Pendragon series. There is also a story about the CD format and whether it is a dinosaur and also a piece on Danny McBride, a comedian. The music focus ranges from classic rock to rap and ‘80s new wave to cutting edge indie artists.

Critical Evaluation: The stalwart rock magazine is slimmer now than in its glory days, but it seems appropriate for a library with a limited budget because of its range. There are many more specialized magazines that teens would like, but this one offers something for everyone. It gives rock lovers the opportunity to discover some classic blues, country and rock and it gives hip-hop and rap fans lots of interesting content, too. The articles are well-written by established journalists. The content is edgy but no one would find it offensive.

Reader’s Annotation: Rolling Stone: Where else do you go for edgy journalism on domestic terror groups, a bit on Johnny Cash, and a feature on LMFAO?

Publisher bio: Jann Wenner was born in 1946 in New York City. He went to boarding school and then to U.C. Berkeley, but he dropped out before graduating. He began writing and then founded Rolling Stone with Ralph Gleason in 1967.
            Wenner became known for discovering now-famous talents, like writers Hunter S. Thompson and Cameron Crowe and photographer Annie Leibovitz. He moved Rolling Stone to New York in 1977.

Genre: Rock/culture magazine.

Curriculum Ties: N/A

Booktalking Ideas: Focus on discovering old classics.
Talk about the magazine’s focus on rap and hip-hop.
Discuss the edgy journalism and describe a story or two.

Reading Level/Interest Age: 12+

Challenge Issues: Some references to drugs and some sexual content.
Note the longstanding reputation of the magazine. Describe the famous writers and stories that have come from Rolling Stone. Note that references to drugs are usually about current events and politics.

Why Included: It is a music magazine with a lot of depth and range.

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