Publishing Column

March 07, 1984 4 min read

Copies of the first issue of Family Learning, a bimonthly consumer magazine for parents of K-9 children, have been mailed to 150,000 homes nationwide by the Learning Periodicals Group in Belmont, Calif. Morton Malkofsky, head of the educational publishing company, said he decided to publish the magazine before articles on education reform began appearing in newspapers. “If education is going to make any positive moves,” he said, “they’re going to have to come from the parents.”

Articles in the first issue of the magazine cover such subjects as what television is teaching children, what parents should do if they have a gifted child, and how parents can help their children detect bias in books. For subscription information, write to Family Learning, 19 Davis Dr., Belmont, Calif. 94002; the annual rate is $9.95.

The New England Booksellers Association is looking for a few capable book-review writers in grades 1 to 12.

The association’s book-review committee is sponsoring the 1984 Book Review Contest to help approximately 500 participating booksellers promote their stores as cultural, educational, and recreational centers; to attract the attention of young people; and to promote closer cooperation between booksellers, teachers, and librarians, according to Ralph Woodward, chairman of the committee.

New England students are invited to submit book reviews of 300 or fewer words to participating booksellers. Reviews of books with 1980 to 1984 copyrights must describe the content of the book and include the writer’s opinion of the book and the author.

The final date for submitting entries, according to contest officials, is April 30. Winners of the first phase of the contest will be announced May 6.

The association’s book-review committee will select 12 finalists in the second phase of the competition. A special committee of judges, including the writer John Updike and Margaret Manning, book editor of The Boston Globe, will select the grand-prize winner, to be announced June 3. Honorable-mention awards and cash prizes to the school libraries of finalists will also be awarded.

The Wyoming Commission for Women, a state organization established to advise the governor on the status of women, plans to distribute a pamphlet on incest to the state’s 57,000 elementary-school students in September.

The commission surveyed state and national child-abuse organizations to determine what information on incest was available to children. “We found that there was no pamphlet that was written in the language of the child ..., that tells them that they have rights,” said Denise Wheeler, who coordinates the project.

The four-page brochure tells K-6 children that “it’s okay to say no to people they know,” Ms. Wheeler said. It also encourages children to tell someone if they have been abused. A listing in the brochure will provide children with local telephone numbers of the police, the school nurse, and social-service agencies.

The commission plans to work with the Wyoming Sexual Assault and Family Violence Task Force and its county offices to provide follow-up programs in the schools. To finance the brochure’s estimated $5,000 printing and distribution costs, Ms. Wheeler said the commission has applied for several grants.

The first winner of a new children’s book award, the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, is Elizabeth Speare, author of The Sign of the Beaver.

At ceremonies in April, Ms. Speare will be awarded $5,000--the largest prize in the field of children’s literature--for her book, which chronicles an interracial friendship in colonial America. Cited as a Newbery Honor Book last year, the book was published in 1983 by the Houghton Mifflin Company.

The award, which will be presented at the University of Chicago on April 24, is administered by the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, a journal published by the University of Chicago Press and sponsored by the university’s Graduate Library School.

The White House Historical Association has published its first issue of White House History, a new journal devoted entirely to the history of the Presidential mansion on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The first issue of the journal contains historical and contemporary photographs of the White House and its residents and articles on the development of the Rose Garden during the Kennedy Administration, the restoration of early stonework, and a memoir of a White House slave of the 1840’s.

Melvin M. Payne, chairman of the association, notes in a foreword that the journal’s purpose is to pursue “serious scholarly treatment” of the White House; the journal, he writes, will be published “occasionally.”

Edited by William Seale, a historian and author, the journal is designed for historians, political-science students, and those interested in the arts, architecture, and history.

The first issue of White House History is available for $6 from the White House Historical Association, 740 Jackson Place, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20506. Free examination copies are available upon request to libraries.

David S. Saxon, chairman of the Corporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been elected to the board of directors of the Houghton Mifflin Company. Mr. Saxon previously served as president of the University of California for eight years.

The Boston-based publishing firm produces print materials and computer software for the elementary, secondary, and college markets.--ab

A version of this article appeared in the March 07, 1984 edition of Education Week as Publishing Column