Top 10 Book Covers

Cindy and Lynn: We all know we are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but we all do. Our students do and it certainly influences us. We get really irritated (and so do our teens) when the cover art does not accurately portray the contents of the book. We understand that marketing is the primary motivator, but we don’t care–we want the illustration to match the author’s text. Here are ten 2011 titles that make us want to read them due to the fabulous cover art…

geekGeek Fantasy Novel by E. Archer
(Scholastic 2011)

Our inner geek was
immediately attracted to this cover.


Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen
(Dutton 2011)

One of the most dramatic covers ever!


Across the Universe by Beth Revis
(Penguin/RazorBill 2011)

You have to love the horizontal take on the
classic vase/faces optical illusion.trouble-with-chickens

The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin
(Harper/Balzer & Bray 2011)

Perfect cover–you just want to read this
where-i-belongat first glance and you know it will be funny!

Where I Belong by Gillian Cross
(Holiday House 2011)

This is such a compelling cover…oh, those eyes!
And a story of haute couture set in London and Somalia.
We need to get our hands on this.four-seasons

Four Seasons by Jane Breskin Zalben
(Knopf, Feb. 2011)

There’spoileds something refreshing about this color palette…the coral pink against the black and white. There were several piano key covers recently but this one drew our attention.

Spoiled by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
(Little, Brown 2011)

I liked this one better than Lynn, but perhaps that’s because I have two daughters and it was refreshing to see some order made out of the chaos that clutters my bathroom counters!


Return of the Dapper Men by Jim McCann
(Archaia Comics 2011)

Gears, a unique look to the characters and the fine bookmanship of this graphic novel made us sit up and take note. We were not disappointed.

And who says that Nonfiction can’t have enticing covers…we liked these two a lot…

flesh-and-bloodFlesh & Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy by Albert Marrin
(Random/Knopf 2011)

Young readers who don’t know the history will be drawn in by the flames licking the cover.

how-they-croakedHow They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg
(Walker 2011)

This one has been immensely popular in our middle schools…great cover and great title with lots of shelf appeal.

So…we’re curious….what covers have tempted you recently? Or irritated you? Leave us a comment.



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

3 Comments on "Top 10 Book Covers"

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  1.' Angela says:

    Ooh, I hadn’t heard of WHERE I BELONG before, but I do love that cover!

    Generally I’m not a fan of the headless-girl on covers, but I really like the cover of BEAUTY QUEENS. It’s so bold that it reads like an intentional artistic choice rather than trying to embody a character the reader can view herself as. Also really like the cover of EONA – much more interesting than EON’s cover.

  2. Oh, Angela…how could I have forgotten Beauty Queens…AWESOME cover and a great book. That’s the problem with top ten lists…I always forget a favorite. Thanks for posting!

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