Monday, November 3, 2014

Second Impressions

The guy who was going to install our new carpet was two hours late. No phone call. No e-mail. Just late.

I hadn't met him yet. When he finally arrived, I opened the door and saw a, tough-looking, tall man with a shaved head and a tattoo on each arm. My first impression wasn't very good, but it didn't last very long. He was quite apologetic, explaining that a mission to find a Hello Kitty backpack for his five-year-old daughter, who had lost hers the day before, had detained him. It had taken longer than he'd thought it would, because he'd had to keep sending photos of potential possibilities home before he found a replacement she would accept.

The saying You can't judge a book by it's cover never felt more relevant. I ended up loving the burly installer, and even asked my husband to take a photo of the two of us when the job was complete.

It occurred to me that a lesson on first impressions and second chances might be one we need to teach our students about good-fit books—especially when I consider that three of my all-time favorite books do not have covers that would have ever induced me to pick them up and devour the cherished contents.

So perhaps we should browse our book tubs for treasures that are steadily ignored and undiscovered because of their covers. We can do book talks, private recommendations, and have students share books with one another that are worth a second-impression chance.

What undiscovered treasures are in your tubs?