Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Never judge a book by its cover...

 An overused phrase, I know; but its truth often holds. Even so, I find myself looking over titles and thinking okay that title or cover is just weird, despite the fact that the book still has the opportunity to be brilliant (and then there are the duds of which the cover is already too much to look at). Sometimes titles are misleading -- or maybe misleading in the adult's eyes.
The Hating Book was one of the most checked out books in my elementary school library, and probably one that received countless eye rolls. Yes, the major theme in the book is  hate  a strong dislike, but it does not hold to the last page.
There are two best friend, see, who aren't talking with each other, "When I went to walk home with her, she had already gone" and "when she took her dog out and I whistled to him, she put him on a leash and led him away." Ouch. Her mother tells her daughter to "ask [her] friend why." But she wouldn't, couldn't, and would rather die. It turns out all this hate is the direct result of a mishearing. Her friend never said she looked like a freak. She said she looked neat.
When parents see this book, they think it teaches how to hate. But in the end, it is learned that all this hate was never necessary and could be a misunderstanding gone all wrong.  What can one do in such a predicament?   "Ask, ask your friend why."  
The Hating Book is a masterpiece that has been going strong for over 40 years. All because, I think, some kids were willing to go beyond the cover.

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