10 Great Middle Grade Covers
I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the bestsellers list for a variety of genres and find some examples of outstanding covers. This week, I’m focusing specifically on middle grade–more specifically, upper middle grade fantasy. Here are some of the top sellers on Amazon:
Many of them conformed to what I would expect of children’s books: illustrations, often with a lot of action and fantastical elements on the cover. Others seem simpler, more tailored to an online market where a thumbnail image is all that readers will see when browsing.
Some other things that popped out at me:
1. Action scenes typically involving 1 or 2 characters–and in 2 out of the 3 covers with a single figure, both have their backs facing us looking out at a large, evocative landscape. Pretty cool.
2. You can really see some of the subtle differences in genre that pop from each cover, indicating the specific subgenre and serving as markers of what type of tale this is going to be. For example, Steelheart looks very much like a typical thriller at a quick glance (and the description confirms it), mostly, I think, because of the typeface used.
3. There are subtle differences in the covers that seem to mark their age, as styles change and book designs evolve. So, for instance, Harry Potter looks very different from The Lightning Thief, though they were published less than a decade apart (and Harry Potter was published before ebooks had taken off).
That’s it! A lot of great books and a lot of great covers. I especially recommend The Hobbit, which in full disclosure I read and hated when I was younger (I thought it was long and boring), and read again in a college course and loved.