I’m not a big fan of book jackets where the author’s name is the most prominent feature. I am accustomed to having the title be pretty out there. However, I’ve noticed an increasing number of covers where text of any kind is tiny, or hidden, or even missing altogether. This batch of four (I can’t explain why I like to see them in blocks like this, but it’s fun choosing my four) all have simple single close-up photographic images with well-placed, relatively tiny, very subtle author and title text. Seventeen by Per Nilsson (Front Street 2007) and Gone by Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson (Roaring Brook 2007) both have monochromatic close-up photo images as background. Interestingly, both Circle the Truth by Pat Schmatz (Carolrhoda 2007) and Lessons from a Dead Girl by Jo Knowles (Candlewick 2007) have angular interiors as backdrops, one leading us in, and one with an off-kilter cropping that adds a foreboding atmosphere to an ominous title.
I am wondering if this is just a fad of 2007. I’ve looked at a lot of jackets for books that will be released this year, and there seems to be more of a trend to the fancy and overcrowded. Admittedly, this spare style seems more like books from the adult market. There has been, overall, a marked leaning toward more adult design for teens. I wonder if that comes from any marketing research (probably not) or maybe it’s just that teen lit is gaining and being treated with more respect?
Seventeen: While Jonatan lies comatose in the emergency room, his father tells him stories of his meeting with Jonatan’s mother, their life as a family, and the events that caused them to be separated for more than a decade. (Ages 12+)
Gone: Connor, not quite eighteen, has a crush on his teacher–and it may be reciprocated. (Ages 14+)
Circle the Truth: Eighth-grader Orithian “Rith” Haley discovers another world via the staircase in his house and begins to explore questions about God and about the father he never knew. (Ages 12+)
Lessons from a Dead Girl: After her former friend Leah dies in an automobile accident, Laine remembers their troubled relationship, dating back to elementary school when Leah convinced Laine to “practice” in the closet with her, and Leah controlled her every thought. (Ages 14+)