Every now and then I witness a moment so ironic I feel compelled to share with the world.

Yesterday while working in one area of the children’s department picking up stufffed animals, I covertly watched an interesting interchange between a woman and her child. He had picked out some Star Wars books to read, but these did not meet with her approval.

“I want you to pick out a book you’ve never read that you know nothing about,” she said. “Go look at the covers and find something.”

The boy wandered about and finally settled on Riordian’s Sea of Monsters, which is still only in hardcover. The mother, of course, wanted a paperback and picked something off the Newberry shelf. Now I couldn’t quite see which book she’d picked, but I think it was Criss Cross or something else with a similarly understated cover with girls on the front.

“Now this sounds good,” she said after silently reading the back. “What do you think?” She showed the book to the boy.

“No,” he said.

“Why not?” she asked. “Here read the back.” She tried to hand him the book, but he wouldn’t take it.

“No,” he said again. “Look at that cover.”

There are two morals to this story:
1) Book covers are very important when it comes to selling a book.
2) Never tell a child to pick a book based on its cover. They might actually take your advice.

*This is a true story. It really did happen. The dialog may not be exact, but it’s pretty darn close.

© Copyright 2006-2011 Madeline Smoot. All rights reserved.
May be excerpted and duplicated for educational purposes.