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youth fiction

What’s the matter with the Dobsons?

Dobsons coverWhat’s the Matter with the Dobsons?
Colman
1980

The Dobsons are a “good” family and have everything going for them. Or so it appears. Lisa and Amanda are sisters and each feels that the other parent doesn’t support them. Parents take sides and all hell breaks loose. Things get so bad the parents separate. Maybe this is a good book. I just thought everything was kind of boring from the description. I also am biased since the book just looks old. Without reading much, I get the feeling the reader is to “learn” from this awful family dynamic. Also, I can’t get past the porn stache on the dad. Let me just say this again: Covers matter!

Mary

 

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Friday Fiction – Questionable Cover Art

The Thing About Georgie cover
The Thing About Georgie
Graff
2006

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.

Aunt Gracie’s Mistake

Softball Practice coverSoftball Practice
Maccarone
2007

Submitter: My daughter chose this on our last trip to our local public library.

The summary from Scholastic: “Aunt Gracie drives Jan and friend Sam to the park for softball practice. As she drives off, Jan and Sam wait for the other team members to arrive. But Jan starts to get worried and realizes that her Aunt Gracie left them at the wrong park. Sam has a great idea to pass the time by practicing softball. And while they’re having fun, Sam’s mom, Jan’s dad and Aunt Gracie all arrive. And they end up having a great softball practice anyway!”

Basically, this aunt drops two six-year-olds at an empty park and leaves. They realize the mistake and decide to play catch while they wait for some responsible adults to show up. Then, here come mom and dad and auntie, and they all shrug and say, “Oopsie! Sorry for abandoning you for the last hour!” The end.

Holly: I guess in some parts of the country it’s plausible… In other parts of the country, the six-year-olds would have cell phones and call Aunt Gracie immediately. While they waited, the six-year-olds would tweet: “Abandoned at empty park. Send juiceboxes. #FML” Aunt Gracie and the parents would then have a visit from Child Protective Services. #TheEnd