Gosh, I love Middle Grade Covers…
…much more than YA covers, I have to say. I agree with the people out there–the ones who say the trend of a girl in a dress (::coughmycovercough::) is misleading. Plus, what with the frequent whitewashing on YA covers, there’s just no way to know what you’re really buying. You pick up a book because it looks like a paranormal romance or a high fantasy or a fluffy contemporary…but then the book isn’t that at all. Or quite the opposite, you avoid a book because it looks like a horror or a paranormal or a sic-fi, but then you wind up missing a book you would have loved.
How can we know what story is inside if we don’t have at least a slightly accurate portrayal of that story on the cover? I know I am guilty of assuming the cover represents what’s inside–without even reading the blurb on the back! I do this every time I go to a bookstore or browse online or wander through the library. It’s just human nature, I fear.
Sadly, though, I don’t see YA covers moving in any other direction. Photography is still the primary medium, and more often than not, it’s a photograph of a girl. That’s life; that’s what must be working to sell the books; I bow to the marketing and design teams who know WAY more than me (because, quite frankly, they do know way more than me).
But then I meander into the MG section of my bookstore, and…swoooooooon. The MG covers–oh my. The art! The fantasy! The potential for imagination! The clear depiction of what’s behind the cover!
I am, quite simply, in love.
Why, just look at these beauties. You know exactly what you’re getting when you pick up the book. In fact, let’s play a little game. I’ll give you what I think would be behind these stunning covers…then you have to click them to see if my predictions (and YOUR predictions) match the books’ summaries.
Swashbuckling adventure in a flooded London…isn’t that what you’d predict?
Old museum nooks, creepy museum stuff, and a whole lot of mystery–that’s what I see on this cover.
Science fiction fun and some great alien companions (and enemies) look to be in this book.
A strong, spunky heroine looks like she has some crazy task on her shoulders in an even crazier castle…
Adventure! Uneven odds! Fantasy worlds! MAGIC! That’s what I see on this cover.
Thrilling chases, mysteries, and a two really tough kids against uneven odds.
Now you tell me: Could you predict any of these stories based on the cover? Did any entice you to read?
March 5, 2012 @ 3:48 pm
Oh, yes. Middle Grade. Some of the most gorgeous covers I have ever seen are for MG titles. Love the first two in this collection you pulled. Have you see the cover for WILDWOOD (by Colin Meloy) at all? The illustration style is so gorgeous I can barely take it.
March 5, 2012 @ 6:14 pm
I bought both RAIDERS and MUSEUM because of those stunning covers…and so far I’m enjoying them, too!! WILDWOOD–YES! It reminds me of the MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY cover–which I also adore!
March 5, 2012 @ 6:24 pm
Funny you should say that, because the illustrator did BENEDICT also! (She has a very distinct style, I suppose) 🙂
I enjoyed BENEDICT but haven’t read WILDWOOD yet. It’s on my shelf, waiting…along with what feels like a 100 others.
March 5, 2012 @ 11:29 pm
Arh the Wildwood is beautiful! I’ve seen a copy but can’t buy it yet – driving me nuts!
Lori M Lee
March 5, 2012 @ 5:15 pm
Oh I absolutely agree. MG covers are AMAZING b/c they give a sweeping sense of character, setting, and atmosphere while being visually stunning. I wish YA covers were more like this 🙂
March 5, 2012 @ 6:15 pm
Me. Too. Not that I don’t adore some YA covers, but I just don’t feel they capture the stories like MG art… ::sigh:: Just imagine have an artist commissioned to DRAW or PAINT your work! Swooooon.
March 5, 2012 @ 6:31 pm
I am a real sucker for a pretty cover…I would happily pick any of these up!
March 6, 2012 @ 3:33 am
I’m totally a cover-sucker too (obviously). 😀
March 5, 2012 @ 9:20 pm
These are so awesome. I don’t tend to delve into MG the way I do with YA, but apparently I’m missing out.
March 6, 2012 @ 3:34 am
Well, MG is definitely a different sort of read from YA–and a lot of people don’t enjoy it. But personally, I love it! There’s a lot more room for adventure and all-out fantasy!
March 5, 2012 @ 11:28 pm
Wow – these are amazing covers! I’m going to have to find me some of these books. Thanks for posting them.
March 6, 2012 @ 3:34 am
You’re very welcome! I’m reading MUSEUM OF THIEVES now and *loving* it!
March 5, 2012 @ 11:56 pm
I am so with you on MG covers! Mine is an MG, so every time I see a fascinating cover, I think, PLEASE let my cover be that awesome! Because holy cow, there are some incredibly awesome MG covers out there. Another of my favorite covers is for Shannon Messenger’s Keeper of the Lost Cities (not out yet).
Seriously, I am in love.
March 6, 2012 @ 3:35 am
I KNOW! HER COVER IS AMAZING!!!! Gah, I should have added it to my list.
And fingers crossed the Cover Gods smile down on you. It’s so, so, SO out of our control, that it’s a terrifying experience… (Not to scare you, or anything. ;))
March 6, 2012 @ 2:24 am
Ooooh, these are awesome. Tuesdays at the Castle is actually something I’m planning to read (because I’m a fan of the author, mostly) and as of this post, Museum of Thieves is on the list too. The cover drew me in and the description was just like…so much yes.
On the note of covers, can I shamelessly show you mine? I have the Goodreads page for Weeping complete, though I haven’t set a specific release date yet…anyway, it’s here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13077016-weeping.
And I wanted to ask–have you been watching Once Upon a Time? Because it’s like my favorite show right now and just made of so much excellent.
March 6, 2012 @ 3:36 am
Ooh! That cover is lovely!! It definitely fits what I know of WEEPING!!
And MUSEUM OF THIEVES is sooooo good! I love it!
As for ONCE UPON A TIME, I started it, but when the Sheriff died, I stopped watching… I dunno, I thought it was “meh” without the hot guy on it. 😉 Then again, isn’t there a new cutie that comes onto the stage? I think I’m gonna have to start watching again…
March 6, 2012 @ 3:54 am
My cover is a combination of a photo I had taken for me at Ohayocon and a friend of mine’s editing skill–she added the text and the butterfly.
And you should SO start watching it again. There is the new guy who comes in, plus there’s the fun of just…well a lot of things. Of course I have to admit my favorite character is Mr. Gold. I love how he plays both sides of the field.
March 6, 2012 @ 5:48 pm
Okay! You’ve convinced me!! I’m getting on Hulu Plus right now….
March 6, 2012 @ 5:01 pm
Ummm can I read ALL of them? I’ve had this conversation about covers recently with one of my friends. It drives her nuts that the covers are all starting to look the same. And I did the same thing you did, Sooz. I walked into the MG section and had somehow completely forgotten how excellent these covers are! Now don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE your cover, but there really is something to being able to see into the story from the artwork on the cover. *sigh*
March 6, 2012 @ 5:49 pm
Absolutely, Mer! Knowing what the story is is what entices us to read, and to have that RIGHT THERE, to be able to SEE the story at first glance…well, that’s what I wish all book covers did. 😉
March 6, 2012 @ 6:07 pm
I love the colors of RAIDERS, but MUSEUM gets the price. Hands down. God, I just love it so much! I think I’m gonna have to buy this book now lol
Also, my favorite MG covers (apart from DWJ books… but that may be because I’m biased) are the ones for the Wind on Fire Trilogy:
These are the ones for the Spanish edition, because that’s the one I read when I was back home, and they’re way better than the original covers lol
March 10, 2012 @ 2:07 am
Oh, WOW! Those are so cool, Adriana–and not like anything I’ve ever seen before. Are the books as good as their covers suggest?
June 7, 2012 @ 3:56 pm
I ran across your blog while searching for examples of great middle grade covers. Looks like I found some! AND, a few of them are screaming READ ME! LOL. I’ll definitely look for these next time I’m shopping for books. Happy trails! bobbi c.