Friday Fiction – Questionable Cover Art

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The Thing About Georgie cover
The Thing About Georgie

Submitter: I found this while weeding my school library. It isn’t an awful book, but it is a pretty unfortunate cover — a middle grade book with a hanging? After some discussion my coworkers and I decided that this was supposed to show the main character (a boy with dwarfism) sitting on a chair with his legs dangling, but I can’t get past the appearance of suicide. You’ve got to wonder who approved this…

Holly: Um, yeah – that made my mind go straight to hanging too. Context is important in books for kids! Maybe they could have shown just the edge of the chair with the dangling legs? Not an awful library book, but a questionable cover for sure.


  1. I didn’t really understand what was questionable about the cover until i read the submitter’s description. At first I thought it was use of the word “thing” and thought someone really needs to get their mind out of the gutter. Me?

  2. Hanging/suicide never entered my mind. Maybe sometimes we look for problems where there aren’t any. This book has received some good reviews and has five stars on amazon. Never judge a book by it’s cover.

    1. And never assume your patrons are judging your library’s books by their covers! I mean, look at those sci-fi covers from the 60s and 70s — you’d think all we did when we weren’t getting high was read about getting high.

  3. I also assumed the feet were just dangling off a chair while their owner was sitting, and was shocked by the suggestion of hanging. The title font and colors made me think along more cheerful lines.

  4. I thought it was going to be about a kid who went around with his shoelaces untied all the time. I was raised with admonitions regarding untied shoelaces, and even now I check my shoes before I step onto an escalator.
    I don’t know what the submitter and Holly have been reading lately, but you both might want to lay off the Louis L’Amour and Frank Belknap Long for a while.

  5. It’s interesting that the people here who automatically think of hanging/suicide are the ones who think there’s something wrong with the cover illustration. I think there needs to be some quiet moments of self reflection; you have issues.

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