Sometimes it’s the subject matter that seems absurd. Of “Wax in Our World,” a nonfiction book for young adults, Kelly said, “Who came into a publisher’s office and said, you know, the kids really need a book about wax?”The idea is to free up space by removing books that are actually bad rather than going by how often the book has been checked out. Many great books are rarely checked out, but you should want them on the shelves.
AND: Though I laughed hysterically reading that bit about wax, I sobered up and read the Wikipedia article on wax and think it is a great topic for a young adult book. It could spark interest in chemistry and manufacturing. Kids are familiar with beeswax and ear wax and candles and crayons. What makes wax wax? What is wax useful for? There are wax museums — why wax? — and lava lamps. There's the lost-wax method of casting sculpture. There's sealing wax and ancient wax writing tablets. There's waxed paper and wax shoe polish. There's the wax put around cheeses. You might excite some girls (and boys) about chemistry with the wax that's in lipstick and mascara. There's the wax you put on skis and snowboards. There's the wax used in making designs on batik fabric and on Easter eggs. And it's good for jokes:
Wagstaff's Receptionist: The Dean is furious! He's waxing wroth!
Professor Wagstaff: Is Roth out there, too? Tell Roth to wax the Dean for awhile.