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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Paperback Covers I Somehow Missed

Paperback releases of hardcover children’s fiction are quick little affairs. Don’t blink or you might miss ’em.  And recently I discovered a host of new covers that interested me.

Let’s play compare and contrast!

From this:

To this:

Response:  I was always very fond of the first cover, and for a little while it was the same look they gave to the paperback.  I liked the coffee stains.  The mug shots.  I liked that all four of the main characters got their chance to appear and not just the white boy.  Cover #2 is going for a kind of wacky the-world-is-my-oyster look with the flying papers all around.  Sporting a bit of a mullet (student in the front, party in the back) he definitely looks like a contemporary kid.  If I were a ten-year-old, I might incline towards Cover #2 more, if only because it has a frenzied glee to it lacking in Cover #1.  But #1 will always have my heart.

This fun!  Here’s another.

From this:

To this:

Response: Wow!  Cover #2 is shooting on all cylinders, isn’t it?  How many contemporary cover tropes can we cram into a single image?  Count them down.  There’s feet, for one.  Feet are very big on jackets these days. In addition to that we have Decapitated Female, showing just bits and pieces of her anatomy.  And then, of course, the coup de grace . . . . The Back of the Head shot.  Brilliant!  All kidding aside, again I’m going to say that Cover #2 is the one I’d reach for if I was a kid.  I like the drawing of the universe on the ground.  I like the blue filter.  I even like how they curved the letters in the title to match the curve of her drawing.

Want one more?

From these:

To this:

Response: Real kids?  Real kids on a cover?  Who on earth managed to convince somebody to put real honest-to-goodness kids on a book jacket?  These two don’t look like models.  They look like you walked into a fifth grade somewhere, threw two spitballs, and told whoever they hit to come outside and pose for a cover.  This may well be my favorite paperback cover of the year.  I could only find teeny tiny versions of the previous versions of this story I’ve seen (and be grateful that they’re as small as they are).  This one actually makes me want to read and reread the book.  Who can I kiss at Puffin as a thank you for this?

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. lisa chellman says:

    Whoooa my god, Yours Till Niagara Falls, Abby, is back in print?! Hallelujah! I loved this book as a kid. My parents bought it for me before I went to overnight camp for the first time. I always thought the girl on the cover (#2 above) looked like a 40-year-old secretary! Thanks for spreading the good tidings, Betsy.

  2. christine tripp says:

    It so hard to not look at book covers through an adult eye. When you really try, yes, though I am not a Major Disney animation style fan, first book, second cover is certainly a better choice. I would have had the boy sporting a better hair do but other then that, it’s what I think a kid would pick up and open.
    Second book, first cover… very deep, I get the interpretation of isolation (and is that Venus ready to commit suicide by pen to head?) Still, it’s all to messy and all over the place and the photo, cover 2, much more direct in it’s message.
    Book 3, completely agree, they are cute girls without being sickningly so.