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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:

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. Luckily there are many other versions available.

Click here for more Unfortunate Covers

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.


  1. 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.


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