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Publishing: Travis McGee, The Evidence Backs Books

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One of the last pieces of writing by the late author John D. MacDonald, a dialogue concerning the importance of reading, has been published in a limited edition by the Library of Congress.

In the work, entitled Reading for Survival, Travis McGee, Mr. MacDonald's popular detective, and McGee's friend Meyer discuss, in the author's words, "the terrible isolation of the nonreader, his life without meaning or substance because he cannot comprehend the world in which he lives."

Commissioned in 1985 by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, Reading for Survival was completed a few months before Mr. MacDonald's death on Dec. 28, 1986.

Published by arrangement with the author and his widow, Dorothy P. MacDonald, the 26-page booklet will support the reading-promotion projects of the center and its first affiliate, the Florida Center for the Book.

Single copies are available for a tax-deductible contribution of $15 each from either the Center for the Book, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540, or the Broward County Public Library Foundation, c/o Florida Center for the Book, Broward County Library, 100 South Andrews, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 33301.

The executive council of the Center for the Book has also approved proposals for new statewide centers in Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, and Ohio.

To be affiliated with the Library of Congress center, the new centers will bring to 15 the number of statewide or regional centers for the book.

While using national promotion themes created by the main center, each state or regional center develops and funds its own operations and projects.

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress was established in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books and reading, and to encourage

the study of the role of books in society.

U.S. Kids, a new subscription-only magazine for children, debuted in December.

Produced by Field Publications, the publisher of Weekly Reader, U.S. Kids is designed for children ages 5 to 10. With full-color photos and illustrations, the magazine emphasizes graphics; its features focus on science and nature and on news.

Their editorial objectives, say the publishers, are to develop better reading skills and vocabulary, to excite interest in learning, to develop creativity and imagination, and to help children understand the world around them.

Marketing the magazine as "fun and educational," Field Publications views U.S. Kids as "an at-home counterpart to Weekly Reader" and "an alternative to Saturday morning television."

Subscription inquiries should be addressed to U.S. Kids, c/o Weekly Reader, 4343 Equity Dr., Columbus, Ohio 43216.

The staff of another children's publication, the Small Street Journal, was relieved to learn recently that the Wall Street Journal has withdrawn its threat of litigation against the Colorado Springs, Colo., newspaper.

In a letter written to the Small Street Journal shortly after it began publication in July 1986, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal's parent company, demanded that the children's tabloid discontinue using both its title and a logo resembling that of the daily business paper. The similar name and masthead of the Colorado paper, designed for use at home by parents and children from ages 3 to 8, could create confusion over possible connections with its namesake, contended Dow Jones.

The Small Street Journal abandoned its masthead and temporarily changed its name to the Funday Times. When it resumed use of

the original title last summer, however, Dow Jones again insisted that it be dropped.

The ensuing flurry of publicity generated letters to Dow Jones protesting its position, and in November, the staff of the children's paper learned that the corporate publishing giant had decided not to pursue legal action, according to Jack Riley, the marketing director for the Small Street Journal.

Apparently, the journals of Small Street and Wall Street may now peacefully coexist.

The Forum for Scientific Excellence Inc. of Sparta, N.J., and the Science Information Resource Center, a division of the J.B. Lippincott Company, have reached agreement on a publishing project meant to help school officials create safe physical environments for students and staff.

The 17-volume series of books, described by the author and publisher as a "first," will include coverage of employee "right to know," training, ongoing identification of hazardous materials, and communication on chemical and environmental safety in schools and colleges.

According to Lippincott, the series is designed specifically to help schools eliminate accidents, injuries, and illnesses associated with the use of hazardous materials, and to help them comply with new federal and state health and safety regulations.

The first four volumes are scheduled for publication this month, with the remainder due within one year.

The author of the program, the Forum for Scientific Excellence, is a consulting and training firm specializing in information on environmental hazards and in training for school personnel.

For further information on the program and a description of each component book, write: Science Information Resource Center, J.B. Lippincott Company, East Washington Square, Philadelphia, Pa. 19105.--lc

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