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Viewing Blog: Jacket Whys, Most Recent at Top
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I am a librarian and former graphic designer who enjoys “The Book Design Review,” a blog by Jack Sullivan. I’ve subscribed to for several months and always look forward to new posts. I wished there was a similar blog for those of us who focus on children’s and young adult books. It occurred to me that I could write one myself - so here it is.
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1. Book Jacket Program

I’m baaack! Well. Sort of.

I have not posted to this blog in years. When I first started, I couldn’t find anyone else talking about YA book covers. I was a fan of a book cover blog that covered adult book jackets, and thought there should be a blog covering young adult book jackets. By the time I stopped, there was so much interesting talk out there in Blogland, that I didn’t have anything to add.

But I just did a conference program on the subject and I need a place to put my links. I am still following the topic, so I’ve decided to continue to aggregate links here. Who knows? I may have something to say about a cover ever now and then.

In the meantime, I promised links to the people who attended my program – and here they are:

Ted Talk by the famous book designer. In my program, I asked “What does a book cover do?” I recommended watching this Ted Talk.
Chip Kidd: Designing Books is No Laughing Matter. OK, it is.

We talked about process. In this post, Lucy Ruth Cummins explains her process in designing the cover of Becca Fitzpatrick’s “Hush Hush.”
An Interveiw with Lucy Ruth Cummins at Jacket Knack

The photographer for the cover of Hush Hush talks about his process for photographing the subject on “Hush Hush.”
Making the Cover for Hush Hush at Porto Blog, February 1, 2011

We talked about the use of stock photography. This is the website of a common source, Getty Images.

We saw the video, with special attention to the use of stock photography.
The Making of a Book Cover: BLAMELESS, by Gail Carriger

In our discussion of the use of stock photography, we looked at some of the “lookalikes” highlighted here.
Lookalikes at Pop Culture Junkie

I mentioned some of Elizabeth Bluemle’s comments from this article.
Publishers: Want to Improve Sales? by Elizabeth Bluemle at PW Shelftalker, October 26, 2011

We talked about the author’s stake in his/her own book jacket, and showed this as an example of multiple drafts, and the author being happy (or not) with the final cover choice.
Arts & Drafts at Lisi Harrison’s blog and also
Six Writers Tell All About Covers and Blurbs by Matthew Gallaway at The Awl, April 4, 2011

We talked extensively about book cover trends, referencing these posts:
The Season of Windblown Hair – or, the Zeitgeist of Book Covers by Elizabeth Bluemle at PW Shelftalker, July 22, 2010
Uncovering YA Covers: 2011 at
Trends in Young Adult Book Covers at
2013 Cover Trends: Part One, Part Two and Part Three at Stacked.

And also “Whitewashing” for which you can find lot of articles in a Google search (whitewashing book covers). This one was good:
It Matters If You’re Black or White: The Racism of YA Book Covers by Annie Schutte at YALSA’s The Hub, December 10, 2012

And some possible new trends, which I may post at a later date.

We talked about book covers accurately representing their stories. Melissa Marr talks about two books in this post.
Deconstructing Book Covers & Pondering Misleading Clues by Melissa Marr, May 28, 2012

And the “Cover Reveal,” which can be found on author and publisher blogs, Facebook pages, and in other blogs.

We talked about ready-to-go book covers for the self-published.
Paranormal Premade Book Covers at The Book Cover Designer

An finally, we talked about interesting things people were doing with book covers like:
Matching nail polish to book covers.
At Razorbill and at Macmillan.
And matching flower arrangents to book covers.

Keep up with what’s going on in YA book covers on my Articles page!

4 Comments on Book Jacket Program, last added: 5/1/2013
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2. The Faces of ’10

Great faces below. It’s fun to see these all together…
This round (there’s more to come- next, the illustrated covers) is the photographed faces of 2010 books that have “African American” as an LOC subject (with 1 exception: Between Sisters takes place in Ghana). They are: Teenie by Christopher Grant (Knopf), Sell-Out by Ebony Joy Wilkins (Scholastic), Between Sisters by Adwoa Badoe (Groundwood), Something Like Hope by Shawn Goodman (Delacorte), Maxine Banks is Getting Married by Lori Aurelia Williams, (Roaring Brook), Good Fortune by Noni Carter (Simon & Schuster), A Girl Named Mister by Nikki Grimes (Zondervan), Sweet, Hereafter by Angela Johnson (Simon & Schuster), Secret Saturdays by Torrey Maldonado (G.P. Putnam’s), Can’t Hold Me Down by Lyah B. LeFlore (Simon Pulse), We Could Be Brothers by Derrick Barnes (Scholastic), Enjoying True Peace by Stephanie Perry Moore (Moody), Split Ends by Jacquelin Thomas (Simon & Schuster), Caught Up in the Drama and Drama Queens by ReShonda Tate Billingsley (Simon & Schuster).<

1 Comments on The Faces of ’10, last added: 10/5/2010
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3. The Faces of ’97

Still plugging away looking at the representation of people of color on book covers over the past decade or two. It’s been a little tricky to identify them, but I’ve settled on a strategy.
I looked up racial identifiers in the Library of Congress database like, in this case, “African Americans–Fiction.” And then I looked for the book covers for those titles. I counted how many titles were assigned that heading as one of the subjects, by year. The highest number of hits on the LC subject headings for children “African Americans–Fiction” was in 1997 – more than any year before or since. Most of them were picture books.
What follows is a collection of middle and high school level books from this category. My next post will be a similar collection for 2010. Can putting them all together like this help to formulate an idea of how things have changed or stayed the same?

1 Comments on The Faces of ’97, last added: 9/16/2010
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4. Curiouser and Curiouser

Have you noticed that Bloomsbury is putting its name right on the front cover these days? My memory is unreliable – I could very well be wrong… but I can’t think of any other children’s/YA publisher that does this on their hardcover books. Does it have something to do with recent controversy? Curious, indeed.

For example (white arrows are mine):

The Battle of the Sun by Jeanette Winterson (May): Jack embarks on a journey to save London from a magician trying to turn the city to gold, but first he must release a dragon and rescue seven kidnapped boys who will help Jack finish his quest.
No and Me by Delphine de Vigan (August): Precocious thirteen-year-old Lou meets a homeless eighteen-year-old girl on the streets of Paris and Lou’s life is forever changed.

10 Comments on Curiouser and Curiouser, last added: 8/24/2010
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5. Guns Up, Bows & Arrows Down

Check out the Trends in Fantasy Cover Art at Orbit.net. The most common item,  appearing on 60 covers – Swords. Staying strong – Dragons. On the decline – Castles… And make sure to look at part 2 for an assessment of the “changing fashion in urban fantasy.”
Thanks to Bookshelves of Doom for the link.

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6. The Garden of Broken Book Covers

Constantly on the lookout for how people of color have been represented on book covers over the years, and being in the midst of a weeding (for non-librarians, that means getting rid of old books that nobody takes out anymore) project, I came across this one – Garden of Broken Glass by Emily Cheney Neville (Delacorte 1975). Here is a book which does not include “African American” as a subject (most books that include African American characters seem to). Nothing on the jacket mentions African American characters. Yet here they are in this cover illustration by Jerry Pinkney.

Remember – this is the 70s. It’s my impression that, in that decade, we were far more advanced in representing people of color on books. Even if – as in this one – the subject matter did not focus on color as subject matter (message: regular people come in all colors). In the glitzy 21st century, are we taking giant steps backward?
I fear we are.
Anita Silvey, in Children’s Books and Their Creators (Houghton Mifflin 1995) said this of the book:

Garden of Broken Glass uses shifting viewpoints to examine a group of lower-class multicultureal teenagers. Some readers may find Neville’s use of dialect in the novel to be inauthentic, but it remains a thought-provoking book.

On the positive side, in this century we (or shall I say – publishers) may have gained sensitivity in the way those characters are represented in the text itself?

Garden of Broken Glass: Unable to work out a satisfactory relationship with his brother and sister and cope with their alcoholic mother, a young boy finds solace with neighborhood friends and in his relationship with a stray dog. (What are the Library of Congress subject headings?: Family problems. That’s it. Just family problems.)

1 Comments on The Garden of Broken Book Covers, last added: 8/11/2010
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7. The Soon-to-be Lost Art of Book Covers?

A coworker sent me this interesting article by James Bridle today. Food for thought…
In the comments: “While the idiom of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ retains its truth, consumers nonetheless appear to be buying books mostly with their eyes.”
I like that image. Buying books with your eyes. What happens if we can’t do that anymore??

2 Comments on The Soon-to-be Lost Art of Book Covers?, last added: 8/9/2010
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8. Random Strangers

Just a quickie here – I was catching up on my blog reading and came across this posting called “Beautiful Portraits of Random Strangers“. The very first thing I thought:  why aren’t book covers using these faces? (Or faces like them…) REAL people! Aren’t they gorgeous?

5 Comments on Random Strangers, last added: 8/2/2010
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9. Defining Fishers

Still looking at ’90s covers (more specifically, 1997 covers), I came across this title by Margaret Peterson Haddix. I read this pre-Among the Hidden title, Leaving Fishers, when it was first released. I have no vivid memory of the book, however the original cover (left) fits with my emotional memory of the story of a young woman feeling alienated, swept up by people who seem sympathetic (a cult).
The first cover makes sense, and draws me in. The girl on the cover looks unhappy. You can tell she is feeling like an outsider. The only iffy thing here is audience. This cover seems pitched a little young.
The 1999 paperback cover (middle) … what does it say?

You can tell we’re moving into the photography era here, even though this cover was in the earlier days of all-photography all-the-time. Do you get a sense of the alienation here? Yeah right. She looks like she’s part of the brat pack. The cover is disingenuous and would, I think, draw in kids just to trick them about the content of the book.
The newer cover (2004) is certainly of our era. It says nothing. A girl with her eyes covered… she’s blind? (okay, figuratively – a little). Is there really a clue at all about the book’s content? Should there be?
The thing about illustration is that emotions can be brought into the final work so much more effectively. I think that’s a very difficult thing to do with patching stock photographs together – difficult, but no, not undoable…

Leaving Fishers (Simon & Schuster 1997): After joining her new friends in the religious group called Fishers of Men, Dorry finds herself immersed in a cult from which she must struggle to extricate herself.  Ages 12+. Reviews 1, 2, 3.

8 Comments on Defining Fishers, last added: 7/29/2010
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10. Life & Death in YA Lit

I have been noticing this trend  – this one isn’t about the cover, but about the title. It seemed like the word “dead” was the word of the year in YA lit.
It occurred to me that I could use Wordle to test my theory. I took the titles (minus leading A’s and The’s) of the 351 YA titles* that I’ve looked at this year, copied and pasted them into Wordle – and VOILA! Theory proved!

So then I wondered if this was indicative of the actual content of these books. I used CIP summaries and subjects for all of the same books (minus their titles). And here’s what I got:

Wow. YA lit is really about high school, and dating, friendship, family, and LIFE! Pretty interesting, it seems to me…
You can see my complete list of titles here.

*I counted the book as YA if publishers and/or reviewers considered the book for ages 12+ (or older).

6 Comments on Life & Death in YA Lit, last added: 7/20/2010
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11. A Pack of Dogs

Recently Carol at Jacket Knack did a post called “A Clowder of Cats.” I’d never heard “clowder” before. But I learned it’s a real word for a group of cats. I could have said a drove of dogs, or a posse of pups, or some cute alliterative title. But alas! a group of dogs is a pack. So here’s a pack of dogs for 2010.
I just love the inquisitive look of the dog on How I, Nicky Flynn, Finally Get a Life (And a Dog) by Art Corriveau (Amulet 2010).  Smells Like Dog by Suzanne Selfors (Little, Brown 2010) is very bassett-y. The Fast and the Furriest by Andy Behrens (Knopf 2010) reminds me of the beloved family beagle I grew up with. And Molly Moon & the Morphing Mystery by Georgia Byng (HarperCollins 2010) – well though she’s a cartoon, she fits right in here.

All of these covers use type playfully. Backgrounds are simple  and work well. I usually don’t like masked out photographs plunked down on bright backgrounds that have nothing to do with the light conditions in the photograph. But these work!
And it’s interesting that they all use wide-angle photos that emphasize the nose-y part of the dog. Even the illustration. Fun!

How I, Nicky Flynn: Moving to inner-city Boston after his parents’ divorce, eleven-year-old Nicky struggles to cope with the changes in his life, including acquiring a former guide dog that leads to a mystery for Nicky to solve. Ages 9-13. Reviews 1, 2, 0 Comments on A Pack of Dogs as of 1/1/1900

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12. Zia Over Decades
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By: Jacket Whys, on 7/13/2010
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In my research, I came across this Scott O’Dell title, Zia (Houghton Mifflin 1976).
Cover #1 was the original cover, published in 1976. Cover #2 came out around 1981, cover #3, around 1995, and the 4th cover is upcoming – scheduled for release in January of next year.

Mulling this over… does it tell us anything about the evolution of cover design? The story is based on the true story of Juana Maria – the last surviving member of her tribe, who lived on San Nicolas Island, off the coast of southern California. One might expect her, then, to look like the Natives of that area. Which she does, on the 1976 cover.*
Six years later she looks much more European. The 1995 cover is pretty, but less focused on the character. It’s interesting that the photograph on the upcoming release looks very much like the illustration (by Ted Lewin) on the original edition. She’s lighter skinned, but it’s an amazing match in terms of her features.
An interesting group…

*I do not hold myself up as any kind of authority on any culture, so please take my opinion with a shovelful of salt… or so.

5 Comments on Zia Over Decades, last added: 7/17/2010
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13. Similar Covers – Red Riding Hoods
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By: Jacket Whys, on 7/12/2010
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Two books with hooded women, positioned similarly: Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis (HarperTeen 2009), Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve (Scholastic 2010).
On Never Cry Werewolf, it is apparently an allusion to the fairy tale, but not on Fever Crumb. Definitely check out this review of Fever Crumb. You will want to read it if you haven’t already. I purchased it for my library – someone had it on a summer reading list (yay!) – so of course it’s circulating. Having read the review by Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan, it’s now on my must read list!

Read the “Cover Story” for Never Cry Werewolf and take a look at the British cover for Fever Crumb.

Never Cry Werewolf: Forced to attend a camp for teens with behavior problems, sixteen-year-old Shelby Locke’s attempts to follow the rules go astray when she meets a handsome British werewolf. Ages 12+. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Fever Crumb: Foundling Fever Crumb has been raised as an engineer although females in the future London, England, are not believed capable of rational thought, but at age fourteen she leaves her sheltered world and begins to learn startling truths about her past while facing danger in the present. Ages 12+. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Book trailer.

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14. Here Baby, There Mama, Everywhere…
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By: Jacket Whys, on 7/10/2010
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Daddy, Daddy there’s HAIR!

This is just a few examples of this year’s penchant for flying hair and hair that obscures faces. On The Girl With the Mermaid Hair by Delia Ephron (Balzer + Bray 2010), Blindsided by Priscilla Cummings (Dutton 2010), Keep Sweet by Michele Dominguez Greene (Simon Pulse 2010) and Raven Speak by Diane Lee Wilson (McElderry 2010) hair goes horizontal – usually something hair only does in wind. The raised up mermaid hair looks to be the result of spinning (look at where the hair on the other side goes). Blindsided could be wind… But the other two are not. Raven Speak holds a mishmash of things (an eye peeking through hair, a sword, a bird and a horse), put together in a way that is interesting enough, and slightly challenging in that you might not notice it right away.

So what does flying hair say? Without reading summaries… the spinning girl could indicate someone thrown off balance? On Blindsided the title and the Braille give pretty strong clues. But why does her hair obscure an eye, and show an eye that is most definitely looking at something?
Keep Sweet has the most unnatural arrangement. Why would one’s hair be wrapped around her face? On Raven Speak… she’s holding her braid over her nose?
Other notable examples for this year: Birth Marked by Caragh M. O’Brien, The Vinyl Princess by

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15. My Answer to the Challenge
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By: Jacket Whys, on 7/7/2010
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A while back I issued a challenge. I’ve been working on an answer to my own challenge for a while now. I may add to it at some time, but I thought I’d post what I’ve got so far. What do you think?

My apologies to the readers of this blog for the scarcity of posts these days. I could continue to rant about model-y girl photos on covers, but I don’t want to beat a dead horse. I’ve been studying book covers from the 1990s trying to develop something worth saying about the representation of people of color over the years. Without any measurable data to back me up (yet anyway), I’ll just say that it’s looking like there was a lot more representation in the 90s than in the first decade of the 2000s. But I continue to work on this…

The Boy Who Could Fly by James Norcliffe (Egmont 2010): Having grown up in a miserable home for abandoned children, a young boy jumps at the chance to exchange places with the mysterious, flying “loblolly boy,” but once he takes on this new identity, he discovers what a harsh price he must pay.
Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu (Farafina 2007, Houghton 2005): Zahrah, a timid thirteen-year-old girl, undertakes a dangerous quest into the Forbidden Greeny Jungle to seek the antidote for her best friend after he is bitten by a snake, and finds knowledge, courage, and hidden powers along the way.
As You Wish by Jackson Pearce (HarperTeen 2009): When a genie arrives to grant sixteen-year-old Viola’s wish to feel she belongs, as she did before her best friend/boyfriend announced that he is gay, her delay in making wishes gives her and the mysterious Jinn time to fall in love.
The Secret Rites of Social Butterflies by Lizabeth Zindel (Viking 2008): Sixteen-year-old Maggie’s fears about making friends as an incoming senior at an exclusive New York City girls school are allayed when she is invited to join an elite secret society devoted to eavesdropping and recording the “truth” about students and faculty.

6 Comments on My Answer to the Challenge, last added: 7/9/2010
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16. Do You Design YA Book Covers?
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By: Jacket Whys, on 6/17/2010
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And do you blog? I have a request (a challenge?). Here it is: Do one blog post like Ian Shimkoviak’s, where you show us several different ideas you had for a book cover – and which one was chosen for final production. Some narrative would be a bonus. Shimkoviak seems to do lots of finished looking covers for a book – all different ideas. It’s fun to see the different interpretations, but he rarely adds any explanation.
If you don’t blog, and don’t mind sharing – send them to me – I’ll be happy to post them!
I’ve always wanted to do interviews of cover designers on this blog. But there’s a problem. I want real stories… things like what outrageous requests designers have had to comply with. But I don’t want anyone to jeopardize their job.
But if anyone wants to include and anonymous story here, now would be the time. We’d love to hear about it in the comments. Thanks!

1 Comments on Do You Design YA Book Covers?, last added: 6/17/2010
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17. Ingenuity – NOT!
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By: Jacket Whys, on 6/13/2010
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So along the line of getting face covers off of YA novels…
I was sitting in my office last week and I looked up at our new YA novel display (new to us, not new in the sense of just-released) and this is what I saw:

I’m trying to imagine myself as a teen (okay, so that was a really long time ago) – a teen in the culture of today (not the ’70s…). How excited could I get about this batch? Some half-faces, some full-on faces, some fancy clothes. And gosh… I just don’t get it. Why does this work? What happened to standing out from a crowd?
It has always baffled me why it works (it must!) to attract young girls with beautiful girls in beautiful clothes. Weren’t we just talking about wanting to see ourselves, our culture, reflected in our literature? Even if you’re white, does this reflect you?

psssssssssst….. by the way, I love the cover of Hazel despite everything I’ve said, but I’ll never tell >;-)

8 Comments on Ingenuity – NOT!, last added: 6/16/2010
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18. Whitewashing Article
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By: Jacket Whys, on 6/12/2010
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Tanita Davis, author of Mare’s War has a great article, “Reflected Faces“, up on Hunger Mountain: the VCFA Journal of the Arts. In it she says:

It still seems as if young people with brown skin are acceptable to ignore, at least in the marketing departments where the Powers That Be have determined that Brown doesn’t equal Buy… This may seem unimportant—at least young adults of color are included in contemporary YA literature. They’re IN the books, and so if the nonwhite characters don’t make it to the cover as often, at least there are nonwhite characters, right? Shouldn’t that be sufficient when Caucasians comprise two thirds of the American population?

I’m working on a post comparing POC coverage ten or twenty years ago, with today. It’s lots of background work, so stay tuned – it’ll be up sometime!

Oh, and here’s the other article in a section they’re calling “Flipside“, “Teens Do Judge a Book by the Cover” by Mitali Perkins (in the same issue of the same journal). She says:

Get most faces OFF the covers of young adult novels.

Hear, hear!

7 Comments on Whitewashing Article, last added: 6/14/2010
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19. Design Power
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By: Jacket Whys, on 4/20/2010
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Black and red can make for a book jacket with impact. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce (Little, Brown 2010) is another in a growing field of werewolf novels. What I see here is the power of sticking with good design over the present day practice of stock photo manipulation.
You might not immediately notice the wolf face here, because the white shapes draw your eye first. Which one would you pick up? This one? Or this one?

Sisters Red: After a Fenris, or werewolf, killed their grandmother and almost killed them, sisters Scarlett and Rosie March devote themselves to hunting and killing the beasts that prey on teenaged girls, learning how to lure them with red cloaks and occasionally using the help of their old friend, Silas, the woodsman’s son. Ages 12+. Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

7 Comments on Design Power, last added: 4/23/2010
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20. Before Monarchs, Blue Morphos
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By: Jacket Whys, on 4/23/2010
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Travis at 100 Scope Notes has posted new covers with monarch butterflies on them. Before the monarchs, there was a spate of book covers depicting the Blue Morpho (or some other kind of blue) butterfly. With photo manipulation, who can tell for sure these days. Maybe these are just monarchs colored blue. But they’re pretty stunning! The books: The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson (Henry Holt 2008), Fate by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Delacorte 2008), Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr (Bowen Press 2009), The Secret Rites of Social Butterflies by Lizabeth Zindel (Viking 2008), Philippa Fisher and the Dream-Maker’s Daughter by Liz Kessler (Candlewick 2009) and Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu (Houghton Mifflin 2008, c2005). Just as you would expect, books with butterflies on them tend to be fantasy. They include fairies and magic, etc., though Jenna Fox is science fiction, so it’s not a perfect rule.
I went looking for online information about blue butterflies and was distressed to find that most of what’s out there on the internet is about blue butterflies made into jewelry, preserved as wall art, and even a song called “Blue Morpho” played on a panflute that looks like it has blue morpho wings pasted on it? :-( Me, I’d rather see this beautiful creature alive!

4 Comments on Before Monarchs, Blue Morphos, last added: 4/24/2010

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21. An Exception
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By: Jacket Whys, on 5/3/2010
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On the left, the hardback cover of Prism by Faye Kellerman and Aliza Kellerman (Harper 2009). On the right, the paperback cover to be released in June.  This is another one of those cover changes that make me wish I could have been a fly on the wall of the room this was discussed in… While the overall look from a distance is pretty much the same, let’s look at the changes. The authors’ names shrunk. The title font changed and moved. And there’s this girl’s face looking over the horizon like a rising moon.
What’s strange, is that I prefer the paperback better. I don’t understand why, because I rarely lean toward face covers. Especially partial faces.
Don’t get me wrong -  this won’t make my best of the year list – it’s still too busy for my taste. But I think more readers will be drawn to the paperback. The text change makes a big difference, both the change of font, and the shrinking authors. Maybe the names didn’t draw the teen audience like they might have drawn adult fans.

Prism: California high school students Kaida, Zeke, and Joy fall into a parallel universe in which all resembles their normal lives except that there is no medicine nor health care, which could mean big trouble for Joy, whose arm was injured in the accident that started their troubles. Ages 12+. Review 1, 2, 3.

2 Comments on An Exception, last added: 5/4/2010
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22. Great Collection
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By: Jacket Whys, on 5/11/2010
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Many bloggers have posted great collections of “best covers” – but this is the best set I’ve ever seen (the cover to the right is only one of the “86 Beautiful Book Covers“). They are adult book covers, not YA.
What I find delightful about this set is the variety in the design, color, and technique. I do not see this kind of variety in YA book covers. You may think it’s just because there are fewer of them, but I’m not so sure. I wonder if it’s because we (or the big bookstores, or the marketers, or whomever is ultimately responsible for what gets out there) peg YAs as a homogeneous group, easier to target because we think they’re pretty much all the same.
I’d like to call for more variety in the covers that are used to draw in the teen population. It’s time to treat them to the delightful variety seen in this group of 86.

3 Comments on Great Collection, last added: 5/12/2010
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23. TMI & Emily
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By: Jacket Whys, on 5/12/2010
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JacketFlap tags:  book covers, double dips, girls, stock photos, Add a tag

These days by the time I see a double dip (or some call them lookalikes) it’s on someone’s else’s book cover blog. But here’s one I haven’t seen spotted. What amazes me about these is how similar the cropping can be. I mean… does this photo model have a really weird mouth or something?
And so often, the chosen background color is the same, too.
Brand-New Emily (by Ginger Rue, Tricycle 2010, c2009) is more tan than TMI (by Sarah Quigley, Dutton 2009). Hair and eye-color has been changed. I always wonder how hard it is to do that.  Which one of these pictures is closer to the real girl?

TMI: Fifteen-year-old Becca has the habit of revealing too much personal information about herself and her friends, but when her boyfriend breaks up with her and she vows to stop “oversharing,” she does not realize that her blog postings are not nearly as anonymous as she thought. Ages 11+. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Brand-New Emily: Tired of being picked on by a trio of popular girls, fourteen-year-old poet Emily hires a major public relations firm to change her image and soon finds herself “re-branded” as Em, one of the most important teens not only in her middle school, but in celebrity magazines, as well.  Ages 12+. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4.

9 Comments on TMI & Emily, last added: 5/15/2010
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24. Skin
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By: Jacket Whys, on 5/23/2010
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JacketFlap tags:  book covers, stock photos, trends, Add a tag

Many have commented on the “face cover.” Recently I’ve noticed some covers where one face is just not enough. Two faces – or more precisely, parts of two faces – are squeezed into the confines of a book jacket. It means that the two faces must be very close together. Most here seem to be moments of intimacy – Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson (Delacorte 2008), Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols (MTV Books 2009), Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala (HarperTeen 2010), Heartbreak River (2009) and Winter Longing (2010) by Tricia Mills (Razorbill).
In my circles of friends and family, we’ve had several discussions about the kinds of photos that teens like to post on their Facebook pages. They are often like the pictures I see here – particularly on My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman (Henry Holt 2009). There is a physical closeness in photos that people of this generation are snapping, that people of my generation might have felt uncomfortable with.
So I wonder how these book covers fare with their target audience. I’m guessing they work well with the teen female audience.


Kiss Me Kill Me: Longing to be part of the in-crowd at her exclusive London school, orphaned, sixteen-year-old Scarlett, a trained gymnast, eagerly accepts an invitation to a party whose disastrous outcome changes her life forever. Ages 12+. Reviews

0 Comments on Skin as of 1/1/1900
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25. More Best Book Covers
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By: Jacket Whys, on 6/2/2010
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Australian version of Best Book Covers of 2010 from Readings: Independent Bookseller of the Year 2009. I like the one at right, Tensy Farlow. It’s not available here in the U.S., though it is in the Library of Congress catalog, which makes me wonder if it’s set for publication here (?).
Here’s a book trailer for the book (love the music).

2 Comments on More Best Book Covers, last added: 6/4/2010
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