Top of a Face at the Bottom of the Page

Here’s something you see a lot of these days. It used to be the right side, or the left side of the face, with the crop vertically through the nose (or thereabouts). Faces are still being cropped. Just in a different place.
Shown below: Teen Inc. by Stefan Petrucha (Walker 2007), 13 by Jason Robert Brown & Dan Elish (Laura Geringer 2008 ), The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman (Greenwillow 2008 ), and Mercy on These Teenage Chimps by Gary Soto (Harcourt 2007). Each of this group of four covers shows the top half of the face of the male teen/preteen main character, eyes turned upward. In the two on the bottom, we get to look up the boys’ noses. I wonder if they’d use this particular pose with a girl on the cover…
Only two of the 10-plus jackets I have found that use this cut feature girls. And they have been cropped above the nose.

Here are the girls, on Much Ado About Anne by Heather Vogel Frederick (Simon & Schuster 2008 ) and Breathe by Penni Russon (Greenwillow 2007). I just love this Chad Beckerman jacket (see more at his website). And this is a case of the American book jacket being waaay better than a cover from another country. The one below is so much more interesting the the Australian jacket. But then, they must have thought so too, because Random House Australia used a facsimile of it on a jacket for another book.

Teen, Inc.: Fourteen-year-old Jaiden has been raised by NECorp since his parents were killed when he was a baby, so when he discovers that the corporation has been lying about producing illegal levels of mercury emissions, he and his two friends decide to try to do something about it. Age 12+.
13: Almost thirteen-year-old Evan Goldman learns what it means to be a man when his parents separate and he and his mother move from New York City to Appleton, Indiana, right before his bar mitzvah. Age 10-14.
Gollywhopper Games: Twelve-year-old Gil Goodson competes against thousands of other children at extraordinary puzzles, stunts, and more in hopes of a fresh start for his family, which has been ostracized since his father was falsely accused of embezzling from Golly Toy and Game Company. Age 8-12.
Mercy on These Teenage Chimps: At age thirteen, best friends Ronnie and Joey suddenly feel like chimps–long armed, big eared, and gangly–and when the coach humiliates Joey in front of a girl, he climbs up a tree and refuses to come down. Age 10-14.
Much Ado About Anne: Entering seventh grade at Walden Middle School, four girls continue their mother-daughter book club, reading Lucy Maud Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables” while dealing with a mean, troublemaking classmate. Age 9-12.
Breathe: Although Undine is excited about leaving Tasmania for a trip to see her father in Greece, she is also conflicted about using the magic that wells up inside her and confused about her personal relationships, including the one with her best friend Trout. Age 14+.

8 Responses to “Top of a Face at the Bottom of the Page”

  1. I’ve read Mercy on… and Teen Inc as well as the first Mother Daughter Book Club.

  2. I say over and over that I will never use a cut off face on a jacket. Here is the one case where I did. But In my defense she is drowning. Or rather sicking.

  3. No need to defend! This is a good cover. It makes sense, and it’s beautiful…

  4. just sayin . . .

  5. Love, love, love your site. I open it opposite the catalog from which I order books. Thanks for the heads up about the Anne book. I must read that!

  6. I am so glad I found you! I am in the process of illustrating a fantasy YA cover now-your blog keeps my head in the game. (just wish more where actually using illustration, ha!)

  7. Interesting. I have a bottom-of-a-face cover on one of my books. I’ve just found out that my new book will have a face on it, but I don’t know yet if it’s a whole face (It won’t be a top, though, because I do know there will be clothing involved). As you know, I miss faces. My best seller has a WHOLE face on it.

  8. Rose Green Says:

    THIS is the cover I see everywhere! Lisa Yee’s books (the Millicent Min and friends ones) have it, Does My Head Look Fat in This? (or something like that), and several others have it. I’m not sure which is more overdone–the half a head, or the torso cover.

    Great web site!

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