The original cover of This Side of Paradise has been and continues to be a source of great interest to fans of the book. The student featured on this original cover was actually one of Steve’s seventh-grade students, Ryan McNamara, who sat through a hefty dose of make-up and a very long photo shoot to model for the dust jacket. The cover design was selected by readers in middle and high schools who felt that an intense image from the book (see pg. 185) would create interest in readerscausing them to grab the book up right away. According to many librarians, those kids were right; however, there were many adults who were concerned that the book appeared, from looking at the cover, to be a story focused on child abuse. Thus, after much debate, the cover design was changed. There are only 2,500 books in print with the original cover.