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100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Unfortunate Covers (#2)

Flashback to ’05. It’s my first year as an elementary school librarian and I’m eager to share my personal favorite books to students. I love Roald Dahl and I especially loved his funny, exciting, and poignant “Boy: Tales of Childhood“. Our library didn’t own a copy, so I fired off an order and waited with anticipation of how I was going to promote it to high heavens and watch the circulations pile up. When it arrived I pulled it out of the box and saw this:

fireshot capture 17 google image result for http   hbpub vo llnwd net o16 jackets primary 9780374373740 jpg images google com imgres imgurlhbpub vo llnwd net o16 j Unfortunate Covers (#2)

It’s an unfortunate cover. An otherwise stellar book that is covered in something less than kid-friendly. Sure enough, try as I might, “Boy” was an extremely hard sell. Come to find out this is the cover for adult readers. Adult readers shmabult readers, this one just doesn’t work. Luckily there are many other versions available.

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About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.

Comments

  1. Ms. Yingling says:

    One name: Richard Cuffari. Ubiquitous in the 1970s and 80s, yet any book with his cover is doomed in my library. Very sad. Check out the site http://jacketwhys.wordpress.com/ for a lot of good stuff on covers.

  2. Scope Notes says:

    Thanks for the cover info – I’ll have to look into this further. Amazing how much power covers hold. I like the site as well, already added it to my reader.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] 4, 2008 in Articles This unfortunate cover thing must visit authors in sets of two. First Roald Dahl and now Judy Blume. What makes a cover unfortunate? Well, it happens when you follow this [...]

  2. [...] of the books I’ve featured, Boy and Danny the Champion of the World, were especially difficult to call out, because I really, [...]

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