October 29th, 2007

Do you think this is totally true, partly true or not true?

“"The real requirement is that there is a male protagonist. Boys will not read books that have a girl protagonist," said John Martin, a Ballard novelist who writes for young adults, and started BoysRead.orgthis year to address the reading gap.”" That’s from an article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about how to get middle school boys to read more. What do you think?



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Judging a book by its cover

I loved Life As We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer. The plot: an asteroid crashes into the moon, ruining the Earth. It's like The Road, minus the baby-eating. I'm not the only one who loved it. So did teens, who voted it into the Top 10 Books for Teens. [Full disclosure: I am NOT jeaous. At ALL.]

But look at these two covers - for the same book.

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting



Is there any chance boys are going to pick up the pink one? I don’t think so.

As she says in her blog [Where I totally stole these images from]:
“Marion Lloyd Books, a subdivision of UK Scholastic, also published Life As We Knew It. But a different cover design was originally considered by Marion Lloyd Books and ultimately rejected. My good fortune with LAWKI continued, as US Scholastic also decided to purchase the rights for its bookfairs and bookclubs. The other day I received an e-mail from a school librarian in Missouri, who had been kind enough to e-mail me previously to say how much she and her students had enjoyed Life As We Knew It. But this time she was very upset. She had just gotten books from Scholastic for a bookfair and this [the pink version] is what the newest version of LAWKI looked like. No boy will ever read a book with that cover! she declared. Of course she was right. Now I was very upset. I forwarded her e-mail to my agent and my editor. They agreed she was right. Now they were very upset. Harcourt e-mailed Scholastic. Why did you use this cover, they asked, and not one of the other two? Oh dear, Scholastic e-mailed back. Just a misunderstanding. Next printing, we'll change the cover .

Ms. Pfeffer, who has a sense of humor that I like a lot, begged her blog readers to run out to Scholastic book fairs and buy up all the pink ones.



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