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Do you judge a book by its cover? I’m sure many of us do. The cover is what grabs our attention before finding out what the book is about. Covers tend to be more meaningful to marginalized people when they can see themselves on them. For us, it’s more than a pretty cover, it’s a representation.
So, on that subject, here are some mid-level books with black kids on the covers. Enjoy!
Tristan Strong makes a hole in the sky by Kwame Mbalia, designed by Eric Wilkerson
This cover is gorgeous. In case you were curious, yes, Tristan did punch a hole in the sky, or rather the Midpass. To solve this problem, he teams up with African American gods to find Anansi the Weaver, who is the only one who can fix it before the world is devoured by the Iron Monsters.
My life as an ice cream sandwich by Ibi Zoboi, designed by Frank Morrison
First mid-level novel by the author of Pride and american street. This novel is set in 1980s Harlem and follows 12-year-old science fiction-obsessed Ebony Grace as she adjusts to life in Harlem. The cover shows the main character with hot combed pigtails and red sores in Harlem with the stars above her. If you think the cover is amazing, wait until you see the full jacket.
The genesis begins again by Alicia D. Williams
It tells the story of 13-year-old Genesis, who slowly learns to love herself after struggling with internalized racism, self-loathing and an abusive family. Here she is on the cover in all her black glory with stripes of different shades of brown, which I think reflect her hatred for her skin color and her desire to be lighter. This book addresses colorism and racism, and teaches children to love themselves as they are, and that it’s okay to have black skin.
dragons in a bag by Zetta Elliot, illustrated by Geneva B
Everything about dragons gets my full attention. Jaxon agrees to help Ma on her mission to deliver baby dragons to the magical world, but things don’t go as planned. The following, The dragon thief, releases October 22, 2019.
You are beautiful by Robyn Abdusamad, illustrated by FA Ibrahim
The story of two sisters, Zaynab and Zakiyyah, who experience racism for the first time. Illustrated by
love like the sky by Leslie C. Youngblood, illustrated by Vashti Harrison
love like the sky is a story of brotherhood, friendship, and blended families, and I think that cover really exemplifies some of what this book is about. On the cover we have the main character Georgie, and the shadows show Georgie and her younger sister Peaches hugging each other and represent their strong sisterly bond. This is one of the books that I think was underrated last year; I loved reading about the love between these two sisters and the struggles their families go through when Peaches gets sick.
The forgotten girl by India Hill Brown, designed by Maeve Morton
Mid-level scary story about two friends who stumble upon the abandoned grave of a black girl named Avery. When they begin to be haunted by her ghost, they try to find a way to restore her grave. But Avery has other plans. The cover definitely gives off a spooky feel with the ghost Avery staring at you.
Mayowa and the Masquerade by Lola Shoneyin
Mayowa was unhappy to go and visit his grandmother in Ilisan, Ogun State. But when he gets there, he’s having the best time of his life exploring the city with fun-loving Denuyi. On the cover, Mayowa and Denuyi can be seen dancing with a masquerade and a man playing the talking drum. The drummer most likely provides music for the Remo Masquerade to dance to and Mayowa and Denuyi join in.