At last, the final four book covers in my top ten favorite book covers of 2008. I chose them first – then realized that there are none with close up photographs of fashion plate-y young women. There are an awful lot of those this year and it’s been overdone. I’m hoping to see less of them in 2009. They just aren’t as interesting as any of the covers I’ve highlighted here.
The title font is just right, and carried throughout the book in the chapter headings and first letters in each chapter. There’s a small, greyed illustration of an artichoke at the beginning of each chapter as well, and a smaller version on each page. It’s all-in-all a well-designed book that’s a pleasure to look at.
This is one of those cases where the spine is excellent as well. It is hand-lettered in the same style as Anderson’s name on the front, with the title letters stacked vertically upon one another – something you don’t see very often – and as wide as the spine itself.
Congratulations to Laurie Halse Anderson for her Margaret A. Edwards Award!
I’m not entirely sure these will draw kids. I like them anyway.
Artichoke’s Heart: When she is almost sixteen years old, Rosemary decides she is sick of being overweight, mocked at school and at Heavenly Hair–her mother’s beauty salon–and feeling out of control, and as she slowly loses weight, she realizes that she is able to cope with her mother’s cancer, having a boyfriend for the first time, and discovering that other people’s lives are not as perfect as they seem from the outside. Age 10+. Reviews: 1. Cover design by Natalie C. Sousa.
Chains: After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War. Age 10+. Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Jacket design by Lizzy Bromley. Jacket illustrations by Christopher Silas Neal.
Venomous: Since age eight, New York City high school junior Locke Vinetti has experienced bouts of overpowering anger, but now that he has friends who accept him and a true girlfriend, “the venom” threatens to destroy all that he loves. Age 14+. Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4. Jacket design and illustration by Sammy Yuen Jr.
Search for the Red Dragon: Nine years after they came together to defeat the Winter King, John, Jack, and Charles return to the Archipelago of Dreams and face a new challenge involving the Lost Boys and giants. Age 12+. Reviews: 1, 2, 3.