What's the name of this magazine for children?
December 12, 2008 12:50 PM   Subscribe

Lost magazine-filter: I'm looking for a magazine series, geared to children, that was published in the late '70s/early '80s.

Since it seems to be mystery book from my childhood day, I thought I'd inquire about a weekly (?) magazine I read as an elementary school student in the U.S. My hazy recollection is that it was about 4 and 1/4" x 5 and 1/2" (or about the size of a letter-sized sheet of paper folded in half), black-and-white and printed on something closer to newsprint than glossy paper. It *might* have been "Read" magazine--and Scholastic does offer a magazine by that name--but I don't know for sure. I may well be misremembering the name.

What I believe I remember about this publication is that it was my first brush with Stephen King ("Battleground," about murderous toy soldiers) and Arthur C. Clarke ("The Nine Billion Names of God").

What was the name of the magazine? Bonus points for scans of period examples or links to its history/background. Bonus bonus points for proof that I am not hallucinating the whole thing. I mean, Stephen King? Clarke? For little kids? But that's what I remember. Either I'm making this up or I had an extremely cool teacher in my gifted program.
posted by MonkeyToes to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Weekly Reader?
posted by crapmatic at 12:55 PM on December 12, 2008

I can't find an author list, but Cricket was/is a literary magazine geared to children and it had some impressive contributors. I also recall that the magazines weren't a standard size and were much smaller than regular, adult magazines.
posted by Alison at 12:58 PM on December 12, 2008

Response by poster: Alison, I remember loving Cricket but that isn't it. Thanks, though. (There's a Cricket tale from forever ago set in China and involving a snail and a boy named Tian? Shan?--another lost story, although that strays from the original question.)

Crapmatic, this is close in style, but I don't think it was Weekly Reader, either. The banner doesn't match my memory at all. The font was more rounded and centered at the top. (Yes, it is an odd detail to recall and no I have no idea why I know this.) Thanks for the suggestion.
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:06 PM on December 12, 2008

Best answer: It sounds like READ Magazine, which I am surprised to learn was also from Weekly Reader. They did a lot more SF stuff, but I don't know if they were around in the 1970s and the name is so generic I can't really get a good sense of it on Google.
posted by parmanparman at 1:09 PM on December 12, 2008

Was it Action Magazine?

And this is very weird, just today I was contemplating making an AskMe post asking for the title/author of that very story with the toy solders.
posted by bondcliff at 1:17 PM on December 12, 2008

Response by poster: Parmanparman, that was my guess too (brain was thinking Weekly Reader while fingers were typing Scholastic, above) but the contemporary magazine looks nothing at all like the one I remember. If they are one and the same, then I'd love to see some examples of it from the late '70s. I know what you mean about the Google problem.

Bondcliff, I think I once tried to find a list of where Stephen King had published in the early days but got no joy. But yes, "Battleground" sounds like what you're looking for. Psychic AskMe at your service.
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:25 PM on December 12, 2008

If you've got a library with a good reference section near you, you may be able to find it using the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature or one of the related publications -- the Short Story Index might be exactly what you need. This is the kind of quest a reference librarian would be great at.
Also, the Internet Speculative Fiction Database has a bibliography showing where "Nine Billion Names..." was published, although I don't see any likely suspects for your magazine.
posted by katemonster at 1:47 PM on December 12, 2008

Best answer: I remember a READ magazine issue that had Richard Matheson's short story "Duel" (which may be more familiar as a 1971 Spielberg TV movie starring Dennis Weaver). READ was in fact published on newsprint in the 8.5" x 5.5" format. The insides were black-and-white (though the cover was two-color: black-and-white with an accent color -- I remember an issue with a predominantly green cover). I saw it in 8th grade which would have been about 1982. So I bet it was probably READ.
posted by kindall at 3:54 PM on December 12, 2008

Response by poster: Kindall, parmanparman, thank you both--READ Magazine was it. Kindall, thanks for the confirmation on the format. And yeah, parmanparman, in my memory there's a lot of sci fi in READ. It was wonderful and probably my first introduction to the genre.

I would like to know more about READ as it was. How did they get those great stories? Who published it (if it wasn't an early incarnation of the current Read Magazine)? Was this widely read in American elementary schools? Having thrown out my stack of them years ago, I would now like to know just what I was reading in grade school.

Marked as best answer and all but if you have memories of this magazine, please share them. Thank you!
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:50 PM on December 12, 2008

Response by poster: Two covers: here and here. Ring bells for anybody?

READ Magazine seems to have been published by Xerox Education Publications, which became (or was incorporated into) Weekly Reader.

This question has been nagging at me for years. I can go to sleep happy now. Thanks, all.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:16 PM on December 12, 2008

The logo on this story collection is the logo I remember from the magazine.
posted by kindall at 11:56 PM on December 12, 2008

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