So last night when I was working at TKE, a mother and her fourth-grade daughter asked if I would help them find books by a local author because the daughter has been assigned to study one of my kind. Of course I immediately started pulling out books by Shannon Hale and Jessica Day George, but Margaret (bless her) said, "Give her some of your books."
The mother was immediately interested. An author! Right here, right now! The daughter, on the other hand, looked at me like I was possibly trying to scam them both.
I gave them THE CHIHUAHUA CHASE and said it was about chihuahuas being kidnapped in Salt Lake, which suddenly sounded pretty stupid to me, too. The daughter was unimpressed. So I gave her CHARLOTTE'S ROSE. The mother said her daughter loves historical fiction. I brightened.
"This is like LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE!" I gushed.
The daughter eyed me. "I hate LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE," she said.
In the end her mother made her buy CHARLOTTE. And hopefully she'll like it better than LITTLE HOUSE. But the whole experience was a good reminder to me that the more enthusiastic adults get when trying to sell a kid on a particular book, the less likely a kid will want to read it.