Monday, March 14, 2011

Middle-grade Duos

Middle-grade novels often explore relationships between boys and girls which are not easy to define. Here are a few covers that try to depict these duos.

Although Katherine Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia (illustrated by Donna Diamond; Revised Harper Trophy edition, 2003) is a classic example of middle-grade friendship, this cover is almost too subtle in depicting the boy - girl relationship that drives the story.

Boys and girls can make great action hero teams. The covers for the End of the World Club
(EgmontUSA, 2010) and The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable (HarperCollins, 2011) both use light as a focal point which clearly highlights the characters and the action.

The next two covers reveal that not all boy - girl relationships are so amiable in middle-grade.

The back to back stance is great for middle-grade, since it suggests hostility but not out and out violence. There's a dirty look on the cover of Bobby vs Girls (Accidentally) (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2009) and a picket fence to divide boys and girls on This Means War (Jacket design and illustration by Lucy Ruth Cummins; Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 2010). Love the cold war feel of that cover.

We can't forget that some great boy - girl stories are about siblings, where no matter what happens, you are stuck with them.
illustrated by Bob Dob
(Random House of Young Readers, 2008)

These covers do a nice job of suggesting that the big sisters are going to get their little brothers into some BIG trouble. And setting is pretty clear too.

(text copyright 1967; Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2002, with the cover of the museum photo by Andrew Prokos and the photo of the kids by Barry David Marcus, cover design by Karin Paprocki)

Any covers that capture middle-grade relationships that you loved to read about? Did the cover do justice to the pair of characters and the story?

1 comment:

  1. That's interesting--it must be a c.hallenge to come up with just the right distance between the two figures