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>Help me out?

>Martha and I are looking for illustrations for our forthcoming book for parents and want to include an iconic cover or illustration from a YA book that shows a teen reading. Any bells ringing? I was hopeful for The Book Thief but it’s got dominoes.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. >Sloppy Firsts was the first one that came to mind, but it’s actually a magazine she’s reading.

  2. Walter Underwood says:

    >It isn’t from a book, but I believe the original is at a library.

    One of the 67 covers for The Neverending Story shows a boy reading the book:

  3. Teacherninja says:

    >So wait, you want a picture of a teen reading an iconic book? (I can think of many examples.) Or are you asking for an iconic book cover that shows a teen reading? (I can think of no examples).

  4. says:

    >What about the paperback edition of Nancy Werlin’s ARE YOU ALONE ON PURPOSE? It’s a really beautiful cover — check it out on her website:

  5. Hedgehog Librarian says:

    >What about Shannon Hale’s Book of a Thousand Days? It’s not her “reading” but she’s got a book in hand

  6. says:

    >Ooh, that’s a good one too!

  7. Hedgehog Librarian says:

    >You might also look at Princess Diaries (covers at least have books)

  8. >China Mieville’s Un Lun Dun, not the first edition but the current paperback.

  9. >There’s the cover of Matilda, but she might look a little younger than you’d like. I’ll keep thinking.

  10. >Forget the cover, I want to know what the book’s about. (But I will look for a suitable cover when I get home tonight. I actually have a fantastic photo of a teenage girl reading a book, but it’s not from a book cover.)

  11. KT Horning says:

    >I have two possibilities for you to consider:

    p. 6 of “The Absolutely True Diary of Part-Time Indian” has a drawing of Junior juggling a chain saw, a bunny, and a book of poetry, surrounded by the lines “Love me! Love me!” He’s not reading, but it’s an apt portrait of adolescence, and it does include a book.

    “The Inventions of Hugo Cabret” has some great double-page spreads of Hugo surrounded by books in the used book shop.

  12. >Hey there. The ‘adult’ cover version of the book thief does have a young woman reading on it – see – hth. Kirsty

  13. >Francie by Karen English shows a teen walking with a book under her arm, and there are two Baby-Sitters Club books that picture teens reading: BSC #68 Jessi and the Bad Baby-Sitter, and BSC #103 Happy Holidays, Jessi. Obviously, both BSC books are by Ann M. Martin, and while they may not be “iconic’” they are certainly awesome.

  14. Anonymous says:

    >Does it have to be an illustration from a book? Why not one of the endless series of Children’s Book Council posters? Too generic, perhaps? But on the other hand, think of the permission fee for jacket use you wouldn’t have to pay – and the hurt feelings of all the authors and publishers whose art you didn’t pick?

  15. >I immediately thought of Jean Little’s “Look Through My Window.” Maybe not teen enough?

  16. Jennifer Schultz says:

    >I can’t think of anything offhand, but I’d also love to know more about the book you and Martha are writing.

  17. Roger Sutton says:

    >Thanks for all the great suggestions–I’m passing them along.

    The book is a parents’ guide to children’s literature and will be published next year by Candlewick. We’ve been working on it forever; now I need to find something else to procrastinate!

  18. Cindy Dobrez says:

    >Voices by Ursula LeGuin has an open book with shining light emanating from it in the girl’s hands….

  19. >Roger dearest — Will you not leave up to your publisher what goes on the cover???

  20. Roger Sutton says:

    >We’re looking for interior art for a chapter on YA, but you’re not the first person to read what I wrote the way you did. Much to Candlewick’s distress. They are in charge of the cover, and more power to ’em.

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