Book Cover Update: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

Cindy: Are You There God? It's Me Margaret by Judy BlumeMany school libraries do an annual inventory. Some shut down early to do it. I don’t believe in that. If I’m missing important books, I know it long before inventory time rolls around because kids are looking for them and so am I. Scanning the barcodes for the entire collection and getting a missing list also doesn’t really tell me if they books are where they should be, where students can find them, just that they are somewhere in the room.

Any book in which a kid is wearing high-waisted
jeans is NOT going to circulate in 2015.

My preference is to work my way through my collection in a more meaningful way, when I can weed, order replacements for worn copies, or notice gaps in my collection. As I’ve worked in the fiction and paperbacks this fall I’ve run across some modern classics that have very dated covers. The books haven’t circulated in years. Any book in which a kid is wearing high-waisted jeans is NOT going to circulate in 2015. I don’t care how good the book is.

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy BlumeAt top right is the cover of a paperback that was moldering away on the shelf in my library. You have to love the phone—at least it’s not a rotary-dial model. While doing an image search for other covers for Judy Blume’s classic novel, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, I found a round-up of various covers on this 2010 Book Journey blog post. During its 45-year history, this book may have set some kind of record for most changes in cover art. Searching my book vendor’s offerings, I settled on the new cover at left, which uses a striking color combo of white and purple with dialogue that looks like an exchange of texts. Apparently God has now upgraded to a smartphone. There’s another option currently available, too, here at lower right. I’m sticking with the one on the left.

AYTGIMM 4What do you think? Which of Margaret‘s many covers is your favorite? Do you like either of these new ones? Do you have a favorite recent cover upgrade for another title? Leave a comment. I’ll be featuring more cover updates as I find them. Wait until you see the next book I have in the Book Cover Update queue! It’s a doozy.



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.

2 Comments on "Book Cover Update: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret"

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  1.' Laura W. says:

    We just weeded extensively in one of our middle school fiction sections. I pulled a handful of titles that I wanted to update based on condition and/or cover as well. One I decided to replace is The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. The newer cover with the hands matches the rest of the titles the library had in the series, while the one with the person dressed in red is . . . a little creepy to me. I like this Judy Blume update–might have to have a look at ours and choose some updates.

    • Cindy Dobrez & Lynn Rutan says:

      Laura, You are SO right. The newer covers on the Turner books are fabulous and I have several more copies of Thief on my current order since we have worn them out. We wrote about those covers with samples of Thief and Queen of Attolia in this post Thanks for your comments. If you find others in your weeding/replacement work, let us know.–Cindy

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