Problem 2 is that A no longer has a magazine that she enjoys reading. She used to love the Puffin Post mag. She was quite keen on the Jacqueline Wilson magazine for a while, but has now decided that she is no longer interested in that. She will occasionally look at the Beano, but considers it a bit boyish (I disagree but it's not a magazine for me!) We have had one copy of Discovery Box, which she read three pages of with great interest, and then lost. As in lost the magazine, not lost interest. A blog post on that magazine is pending - I have to thoroughly investigate the Book Pile Down the Side of the Bunk Bed. This is a mission which may take some time, and I fear it may be put off for a while yet.
The Pheonix Comic seemed like a good option. Recommended by a friend online, I had a look through the sample pages and decided to plump for a 12 issue subscription. It is weekly, just like comics were in the good old days, but, sadly, it is also more expensive than comics were in the good old days.
Anyway, it came through the post, and I showed A, keen to spark her interest. She briefly flicked through and declared it to be "for boys". Sigh. C, however, absolutely devoured it. I read him a couple of stories from it the other night at bedtime, and realised that it is actually quite challenging in terms of its sentence structure and subject matter (there was something about blood analysis in this week's issue - not anything remotely scary, but still quite a difficult subject to comprehend). I am not sure whether C actually understands all/most/anything much of what he is reading, but presumably he is getting a lot out of it, as as soon as it arrives, it is not out of his little mitts for hours!
In summary, I failed to find a comic that A would enjoy. But all is not lost - it might just be a bridge that C needs between nice easy-to-read books, which he clings to for comfort, and something a little bit more challenging. Highly recommended, and very refreshing to see something so free of references to popular culture and adverts.