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A 13-year-old girl's view of the ghetto has become a bestseller for Landmark Editions Inc., which discovered the moving (and sometimes harrowing) manuscript in its "Written and Illustrated by ...'' contest for schoolchildren.

Life in the Ghetto, by Anika Thomas, now a 9th-grade student at Pittsburgh's Brashear High School, has sold out its first printing of 7,500 hardback copies. The 29-page children's book, illustrated by the author, takes a sober look at drug use, crime, and destitution in the neighborhood where Anika lives with her widowed mother.

David Melton, creative coordinator for Landmark, calls it "an American version of The Diary of Anne Frank.'' "It's just gripping,'' he told the Associated Press. "The first time I read it I had tears rolling down my cheek.''

In addition to a $5,000 scholarship she received as one of three winners in the annual contest, Anika gets a 5 percent royalty on all book sales. Life in the Ghetto is available in bookstores.

The National Coalition for Music Education includes in its March/April newsletter a packet of essays by leaders in education, arts, business, and government that can be used in lobbying for support for arts and music education. Authors range from Peter Suzuki, president of Yamaha Corporation of America, to Nanci Griffith, a country singer and former elementary teacher.

The coalition is a joint project of the Music Educators National Conference, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and the National Association of Music Merchants. Other materials for the national campaign can be ordered through MENC Publications Sales, 1902 Association Dr., Reston, Va. 22091; (800) 828-0229.

An illustrious publishing name will soon be added to the masthead of Macmillan/McGraw-Hill School Publishing Company. Peter Jovanovich, president and chief executive officer of Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, announced this month that he will leave the company his family has molded since the 1950's to become president and chief executive officer of the textbook-publishing concern.

Speculation within the industry on reasons for the surprise move centered on the takeover of Harcourt Brace last year by General Cinema Corporation. The firm had earlier fought off a takeover bid by Robert Maxwell.

Mr. Jovanovich, the 43-year-old son of William Jovanovich, Harcourt's president for more than three decades, began his career in the 1970's in the textbook division of Macmillan Inc.--M.S.R.

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