You may recall that I was on the cover of November's School Library Journal with some lovely ladies. If you don't recall, dude, it was only last month!
For your viewing pleasure, the cover. And for your reading pleasure, my posts on the story (This Blog's For You) and being on the cover (The Story Behind the Photoshoot).
Of course, I was interested in what people had to say about the cover. Heard some very nice things about the photograph. Had some great conversations with people about blogs and blogging inspired by the story. Was even recognized for being on the cover! (OK, it was at a school library conference but it still counts!)
And so it was with great eagerness I saw that yay, it was December, so the December SLJ would be online and I could read the letters!
Here's the link to the letters: Some Readers Couldn't Stand Our November Cover. Now We Need A Drink. I know that people are more inclined to write a letter to complain than to praise, but it would have been nice had there been a positive letter amongst the others. And let me shout a big "THANK YOU" to those who are leaving positive comments to the letters article.
It's a little ironic that on the day I post a book review praising the portrayal of someone with alcoholism for being well-rounded and fair (Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr), I read these letters.
Having a drink in my hand? Really? (For the record... sugar water with colored dye to give the photo a bit of "pop" since we were largely in gray, white and black.) And as I read on, I thought of a line from one of my favorite movies.
"look at you... you have a baby. in a bar."
Being shocked at a baby in a bar? One thing. Being shocked at grown ups in a bar? A bit different; and I don't find anything inappropriate with either a librarian or a blogger being in a bar or having a drink. (Tho, speaking seriously -- don't drink and blog. You'll regret it. The post lives on in RSS).
And as for the "oh no substance abuse! drinking!"
I have friends and family who are Friends of Bill W. So, yeah, it's not something I take lightly. I'm not putting up anything else that will go against what that second "A" stands for. But remember -- keep coming back. It works if you work it!
Those Friends of Bill W. have seen the cover and liked it and got it. Got the Mad Men aspect, the idea of this being a visual representation of online community of people who rarely meet up in person. Anyway. So I asked someone close to me (anonymous, remember?) about this, forwarding the links, and I got this text back: "tell them u love the sober peeps too."
And I do! I love the sober peeps! And the peeps who aren't!
So, let's turn this into something POSITIVE.
Hey, guys, lets do what bloggers do and make a list! Books for kids and teens that don't paint alcoholics or drug addicts as evil people!
Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron
EDITED TO ADD:
Please think of leaving your comments at the SLJ letters itself. I have no idea if the folks at SLJ click thru to read these posts; but without your comments at their website saying "I liked it, I didn't find it inappropriate" those letters stand unchallenged and give the appearance of being the only thing people thought about the cover.
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© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy