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Middle Grade Book Covers


That's a lotta middle grade novels right there. They're about all kinds of things--some are fantasy, some are contemporary. There might be some historical fiction in there, I don't know. I haven't read more than their dust jacket flaps. But I'll tell you one thing, when I was packing them up just now to bring to Fields Corner in Dorchester, which is part of Boston, I noticed something they all have in common: white kids on the cover.

This is not ideal for delivery to a readathon in a neighborhood that is a mix of Black, Latino, and Vietnamese children.

I did pack a good bunch of books with non-white kids on the cover, but pretty sure more of them have white kids. Like, when it's a contemporary story, I get it. A white writer can't write about being Black. But if it's a fantasy world?

As a white person who likes to picture the character in my mind and not have the artist's representation of them forced upon me, I wonder why publishers use these covers.

Your audience isn't all white, publishers.

I know in YA there are a lot of books that have come out in the last year by BIPOC authors. It's more of a mix, I think, from seeing all the Horn Book donations. Let's hope MG turns that way too.


PS I just noticed that PUMPKIN is about prom ... so I quickly took it out of the MG donation box and put it in with the YA's. Oops! I think the rainbow spine caught me off guard.


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