I’m sure you’ve had this happen to you, children’s lit folks… You’re reading a book (or, in my current case, a series) and you are in love with said book. You have become an evangelist for the book among your kidlit friends (which you don’t usually need to be because, you know, they already love the lit).
However – and here’s the conundrum – the person you know would love the book the most…is averse to kidlit. It doesn’t have anything important to say. Or, perhaps even worse, they don’t have any feelings about children’s literature at all. They haven’t read it since they were kids. You say “a kids’ book” and you watch their eyes glaze over. Oh, you know the types. Then to take it even further, let’s say that, by describing the book, you’ve sold your friend on it. Yes! Victory! So you show them the book and, sure enough, it has a “kiddie” cover…theeeeen the eyes-glazed-over effect takes hold. Damn. I almost had ‘em.
This has happened to me too many times to count – I still haven’t convinced the Husband to read any Scott Westerfeld, which irks me to no end. The reason this is fresh in my mind now, though, is because I couldn’t get the Soul Twin interested in Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicolson series when she was visiting this last weekend. This is a woman who cried with laughter while reading Bridget Jones’s Diary (helllllloooooo, Helen Fielding, when the hell are you going to write a new one and show that Sophie Kinsella how it’s done?!). I read passages to the ST, I used British slang all weekend (“sheer desperadoes”), I told her about Angus and Gordy (the ST is a vet)… Nothing could pull her back from the Land of Glazed Eyes and Pasted-On-Uh-Huh Smiles. Nothing.
What kind of a readers’ advisor am I?! Wait, don't answer that. But have you had success "selling" a children's and/or YA title to a non-believer? If so, what book were you pimpin'?