Joe Queenan recently wrote an essay in the Sunday Book Review about the influence that bad book covers can have on his reading choices.
I feel his pain. Bad book covers have kept me from reading some books for years.
The best example of a bad book cover (and a bad title) preventing me from reading the book is Sharon Creech’s YA novel WALK TWO MOONS. My wife insists that it’s a great book, and she’s even volunteering to lead a book club in my classroom for any of my students who are interested in reading it. She’s tried for years to get me to read the book, pleading with me to ignore the cover and just read.
There are certainly compelling reasons to do so.
I like Sharon Creech’s work. I think that LOVE THAT DOG, another one of her YA novels, is brilliant, and I enjoyed BLOOMABILITY and HEARTBEAT a lot (as much as I can enjoy a YA novel).
WALK TWO MOONS also won the prestigious Newbury Award.
And I’ve had many students over the years tell me how much they love this book. In fact, it’s one of the most-frequently recommended books by students ever, and when my wife read it with her class a few years ago, every single student fell in love with the story.
Yet every time I look at the cover and read the title, I think, “Eh…”