April 11, 1990 5 min read

Seeking to capitalize on the rapid growth of the market for juvenile books, Time Warner Inc. last month announced plans to start the nation’s first book club for children.

Beginning in June, the Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club will offer monthly selections to its members, who will range from toddlers to teenagers.

According to Kelso F. Sutton, chief executive of Time Inc. Books, the company expects club membership to reach 200,000 within five years.

The market for children’s and young-adult books has enjoyed a 19.1 percent increase in hardcover sales during the last year--a surge that, along with the success of another company program offering children preselected packages of books, contributed to the decision to start the new club.

The children’s book club will mail 15 catalogs a year, each including four main selections in four different age groups and approximately 45 alternate titles for all ages. In addition, the club will offer toys and audio- and videocassettes.

Books will sell for an average discount of 30 percent off the publisher’s price.

The Book-of-the-Month Club Inc., a division of Time Warner, will manage the children’s club.

A new periodical designed as a comprehensive review of recently released children’s books made its debut in February.

The 176-page premier issue of The Horn Book Guide to Children’s and Young Adult Books includes brief reviews of approximately 1,600 titles published between July and December 1989.

To appear semiannually in February and September, the journal will feature purchasing recommendations and author/illustrator, title, subject, and series indexes, in addition to critical annotations on the previous publishing season’s new books.

The guide’s publisher, the Boston-based Horn Book Inc., also produces The Horn Book Magazine, a bimonthly journal offering news and reviews of children’s books.

The Horn Book Guide is available by subscription at a rate of $50 for one year or by single issue for $25; combined one-year subscriptions to the guide and the magazine are $60. Orders should be addressed to: The Horn Book Inc., 14 Beacon St., Boston, Mass. 02108.

A guide to children’s magazines has been published jointly by the Educational Press Association of America and the International Reading Association.

In its annotated listings for 123 publications, Magazines for Children includes short reviews and information about target audiences, subjects, and subscriptions. An introductory article suggests uses for children’s magazines in the school, library, and home.

The 48-page booklet is edited by Donald R. Stoll, executive director of the Educational Press Association of America.

Magazines for Children can be ordered for $5.25 from the International Reading Association, 800 Barksdale Rd., P.O. Box 8139, Newark, Del. 19714-8139.

A biography of President James Madison has been named the first winner of a new prize for children’s books awarded by the National Council of Teachers of English.

The Great Little Madison by Jean Fritz (Putnam) was selected for the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, to be given annually.

The council also cited two Orbis Pictus Honor Books for 1989: The Great American Gold Rush by Rhoda Blumberg (Bradbury Press) and The News About Dinosaurs by Patricia Lauber (Bradbury Press).

The Orbis Pictus Award commemorates the work by John Comenius, Orbis Pictus: The World in Pictures, published in 1657 and considered to be the first book actually planned for children.

In making its selection, the ncte evaluated books’ accuracy, organization, design, writing style, and usefulness for classroom teaching in kindergarten through 8th grade.

A new publication launched in February will showcase scientific research conducted by students, provide teachers with a resource to help young researchers, and encourage students to share ideas with their peers.

In addition to students’ papers, the Journal of High School Science Research will include reviews of books, software, and hardware relevant to basic research; a data base of resources helpful to teachers and students; a series of articles on the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; and instructions for preparing computer-assisted science projects.

To be published semiannually by Applied Educational Technology, a group of students and teachers, the Journal is modeled after professional scientific journals.

Submitted papers are reviewed by practicing scientists, said Michael H. Farmer, the publication’s editor, noting that constructive critiques of the papers will provide a good learning experience for students.

Although the first issue consisted of 52 pages, Mr. Farmer said he hopes that the Journal will eventually expand to 100 pages--and increase in frequency to four times a year.

The publication is supported by subscriptions and advertising.

The annual subscription rate is $15. For further information, write to Applied Educational Technology, P.O. Box 193, Tigerville, S.C. 29688.

Another new publication is designed to help teachers keep up-to-date on current research and educational debates, overcome classroom problems, and devise new activities.

Effective Classrooms: The In-Service Newsletter is written and published by Ruth Kendel, an educational consultant and columnist for The Richmond News Leader.

Published monthly, September through June, each issue of the newsletter will focus on a particular educational concern.

An issue addressing parental involvement, for example, will contain an overview of the topic, followed by strategies to involve parents actively in their children’s education and a listing of resources.

Each newsletter will also include an “In-Service Idea Exchange,” in which educators can share approaches that have worked in their schools.

One-year subscriptions to the four-page publication are available for $195 to individual schools, organizations, and school districts with fewer than 1,000 students; for $245 to districts with 1,000 to 10,000 students; and for $295 to districts with more than 10,000 students.

Schools and districts are permitted to make photocopies of the newsletter for staff members and parents.

For further information, contact: Ruth Kendel, 1810 Park Ave., Richmond, Va. 23220; (804) 359-5119.

Prakken Publications Inc., publishers of The Education Digest and other education magazines, was recently sold by the family of Lawrence W. Prakken, the company’s founder, to a group of six current and former employees.

The new owners of the company, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., plan to “continue and, if possible, improve the policies, products, and services with which Prakken Publications has served educators since 1934,” according to a statement from the firm.

The Education Digest, which appears monthly, reprints in each issue 15 to 20 articles on education from professional journals and reports.

The company also publishes School Shop/Tech Directions, a magazine for industrial, technology, and vocational educators, and Machinists’ Ready Reference.

--jw & lc

A version of this article appeared in the April 11, 1990 edition of Education Week as Publishing