A “white-washed” book cover gets replaced

FinalLiarYou may recall last week’s post about a so-called “white-washed” book cover. It stemmed from a forthcoming YA novel whose main character is “black with nappy hair which she wears natural and short” but whose cover pictured a Caucasian girl with long straight hair. Common sense has prevailed.

At left is the new cover. Author Justine Arbalestier reports that although her U.S. publisher thought about using the Australian cover (also pictured in the prior post), “given the paucity of black faces on YA covers, and the intensity of the debate around the original Liar cover, Bloomsbury felt really strongly that a more representative approach was needed.”

What prompted the original cover was a belief that books with “black covers don’t sell.” Arbalestier now hopes “we can prove (again) that it’s simply not true that a YA cover with a black face on the cover won’t sell. But let’s also put it to the test with books written by people of color.”


Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done.

Calvin E. Stowe

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