Before Monarchs, Blue Morphos

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!

Adoration of Jenna: In the not-too-distant future, when biotechnological advances have made synthetic bodies and brains possible but illegal, a seventeen-year-old girl, recovering from a serious accident and suffering from memory lapses, learns a startling secret about her existence. Ages 14+. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Fate: High school senior Bailey Morgan must chose between the mortal world and the otherworldly Nexus, where each night, as the third Fate, she weaves the web of life. Ages 12+. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Fragile Eternity: Aislinn and Seth struggle with the unforeseen consequences of Aislinn’s transformation from mortal girl to faery queen as the world teeters on the brink of cataclysmic violence. Ages 12+. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Secret Rites: 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. Ages 12+. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Philippa Fisher: Twelve-year-old Philippa gets caught up in unraveling the mystery of a dream-catcher that threatens the life of her fairy friend Daisy and the happiness of her human friend Robyn, who is grieving over her mother’s death. Ages 8-12. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Zahrah the Windseeker: 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. Ages 10+. Reviews 1, 2, 3.

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4 Responses to “Before Monarchs, Blue Morphos”

  1. I really have been seeing blue butterflies gracing the covers of many books these days. I wonder.

  2. Adult fiction also. One that stands out is Still Alice by Lisa Genova. Two of the editions feature a Blue Morpho. The original cover attracted me immediately.
    Jessica Speart’s Twilight cover has a prominent blue butterfly and the plot centers around Mission Blue Butterflies and The Lotis Blue.

    • Jacket Whys Says:

      Carol – Speart’s Twilight is one that I would have put here, if it hadn’t thrown off the balance (7 covers don’t fit very well!). Both Still Alice covers are gorgeous!

  3. I can see why people are drawn to these covers. Who can resist that blue! And butterfly wings, that shape is so pleasing for some reason. Another one I thought of is BETWIXT by Tara Bray Smith, which you’ve mentioned before, except I think the image is maybe a moth and not a butterfly.

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