Feeding the Sheep by Leda Schubert (March 2, 2010)
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (January 2010)
Don't you love the wide-open delight on the face of Leda Schubert's protagonist as drawn by prizewinning illustrator Andrea U'ren for FEEDING THE SHEEP??? (To be released on March 2nd, but I've seen the F& G's and I've heard Leda read this aloud. It's wonderful - a read-aloud with wonderful rhythm and rhyme, and a knitter's delight that takes you from wool-on-sheep to finished sweater.) And the glow of wonder on the face of the girl in Rita Williams-Garcia's story, ONE CRAZY SUMMER is irresistible, it just pulls you right in. (As does Rita's story - Read a great review of the book at COLOR ONLINE....The cover art is by talented artist Sally Wern Comport. Beautiful.)
So, here's a question: Why so little exuberance or wonder for the covers of YA titles? If it's out there, tell me about it, because I see not much variety - cover art ranges from angst to lust (it "runs the emotional gamut from A to B" as Dorothy Parker once famously said when describing Katherine Hepburn) and though I'll admit that those two preoccupations - angst and lust - loom large in the life of teenagers, there's got to be more, no? More than despair, horror, sex and a slew of pink & sparkly Shopaholics? There's that knock-out weird cover for Libba Bray's Going Bovine....so there is still a glimmer of humor. And there are the sci-fi/fantasy covers - blood, fangs, monsters, aliens, a la Monstrumoligist or Tentacles or Rule of Claw. Intriguing, yes, but still on the angst side of the fence. There's got to be more to YA jacket covers, no? Tell me I'm wrong. Point me to some YA covers that have the kind of exuberance and wonder on them that I see on these two covers for younger readers - and by that, I mean a cover that suggests joy. It's a challenge I send out to you. I'll update as you make suggestions.
UPDATES: Here are covers suggested in the comments, though I don't see anything as full-faced or engaging, and for me, the face on AMERICAN BORN CHINESE is tenuous and a little worried, rather than filled with wonder. Strange that two of these covers have the figure facing away fromt he camera.
This is the UK version of Lizzie Bright - considerably calmer!