The Cover Wars

Bestselling author and journalist Amy Hill Hearth uncovers the story of a little-known figure in U.S. history in this fascinating biography. In 1854, a young African American woman named Elizabeth Jennings won a major victory against a New York City streetcar company, a first step in the process of desegregating public transportation in Manhattan.

This illuminating and important piece of the history of the fight for equal rights, illustrated with photographs and archival material from the period, will engage fans of Phillip Hoose’s Claudette Colvin and Steve Sheinkin’s Most Dangerous.

One hundred years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, Elizabeth Jennings’s refusal to leave a segregated streetcar in the Five Points neighborhood of Manhattan set into motion a major court case in New York City.

On her way to church one day in July 1854, Elizabeth Jennings was refused a seat on a streetcar. When she took her seat anyway, she was bodily removed by the conductor and a nearby police officer and returned home bruised and injured. With the support of her family, the African American abolitionist community of New York, and Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Jennings took her case to court. Represented by a young lawyer named Chester A. Arthur (a future president of the United States) she was victorious, marking a major victory in the fight to desegregate New York City’s public transportation.

Amy Hill Hearth, bestselling author of Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years, illuminates a lesser-known benchmark in the struggle for equality in the United States, while painting a vivid picture of the diverse Five Points neighborhood of Manhattan in the mid-1800s.

Includes sidebars, extensive illustrative material, notes, and an index.

JANE: Wow, this sounds fascinating! I’ve never heard of Elizabeth Jennings, and she sounds like such an incredible pioneer! I wish the cover was a bit more engaging, but I’m assuming this is designed for an older reader, perhaps for use in schools? Either way, I’m thrilled to see so many books coming out celebrating previously lesser-known female activists.

Janet: As Jane notes, the cover is a little off, particularly the colouring on Eliza and her dress; yet the back copy is very appealing.

Nafiza: Janet and Jane have said everything I want to though I find the cover engaging enough. I don’t think it is necessary what children will pick up for entertainment but it will definitely be a useful tool in classrooms and for learning.

When Marvin Johnson’s twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid.

The next day, Tyler has gone missing, and it’s up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels and mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean.

JANE: Huh, I have to admit that the back copy surprised me. The cover art is beautiful, filled with colourful flowers, and it seems to stand in stark contrast with the dark, painful subject matter. But maybe that’s addressed in the story? Perhaps Tyler (or Marvin) has a passion for flowers? Not quite sure. I’d be interested to find out, though. Because this is truly an absolutely gorgeous cover!

Janet: The cover imagery is a little unexpected, given the back; but once I’d read the back the title sent shivers down my spine. This is going to hurt.

Nafiza: The start contrast between the cover and the back copy hits you like a punch in the solar plexus. Perhaps that is the intention. As I was telling Yash, boys and flowers are my new thing. As Janet said, this is going to hurt but I’m going to read it. Books like this one are a necessary because how else are we going to get people talking about this very important issue?

The story of an ageing judge traveling through rural China and of a criminal he encounters.

JANE: Oh dear. That back copy…tells me nothing. Yikes. But WOW that COVER! It’s STUNNING! Holy smokes, I would pick that book up pretty much no matter what the book was about, it’s that beautiful.

Janet: Given that cover (those sleeve insets!), I do not care how short the back copy is, I want to read it. Peter Beagle isn’t Chinese, so fingers crossed he did his research.

Nafiza: This is a short story and well, I’m going to withhold judgement until I read a few reviews. The cover is beautiful though.

A street-smart, action-packed basketball series with action on and off the court.

Toni isn’t Coach Wise’s favorite player on Team Blacktop. Honestly, she’s not even in his top five. And if she’s being real, her own teammates keep siding with him during practice.

But this isn’t the first time she’s been on her own, and it won’t be the last. If you can’t count on yourself, who can you count on?

JANE: Funny, normally I’m critiquing copy for being too wordy and lengthy, but today I seem to be having the opposite problem – come on, book, give me just a little bit more to go on! I am always glad to see sports book with female protagonists, though, since the majority of sports titles seem to feature male players.

Janet: She’s bold in attitude and humour – the cover alone conveys a strong dose of Toni’s personality before we even learn her name. I, too, could wish for more from the back copy, but this is tbr for sure.

Nafiza: I forgot to mention that this is part of a series so maybe that’s why the details are so scarce. However, as Janet has said, the cover is very eloquent. I would give this a whirl for sure.

The city-state Sirapirat once knew only warmth and monsoon. When the Winter Queen conquered it, she remade the land in her image, turning Sirapirat into a country of snow and unending frost. But an empire is not her only goal. In secret, she seeks the fragments of a mirror whose power will grant her deepest desire.

At her right hand is General Lussadh, who bears a mirror shard in her heart, as loyal to winter as she is plagued by her past as a traitor to her country. Tasked with locating other glass-bearers, she finds one in Nuawa, an insurgent who’s forged herself into a weapon that will strike down the queen.

To earn her place in the queen’s army, Nuawa must enter a deadly tournament where the losers’ souls are given in service to winter. To free Sirapirat, she is prepared to make sacrifices: those she loves, herself, and the complicated bond slowly forming between her and Lussadh.

If the splinter of glass in Nuawa’s heart doesn’t destroy her first.

JANE: OK, for some reason my full comment didn’t get saved. BOO.
FEMALE GENERAL!!!! FEMALE GENERAL!!! YAY!!!

Janet: The cover is stunning. The back has a little much going on. That said, if I come across this I will absolutely look through the first few pages, hoping very hard that the complexity and richness of the writing fits what we’ve been promised: three determined, complicated women at cross-purposes. Political scheming, oh yes!

Nafiza: Oh this cover is beautiful. I could stare at it for ages. This seems like it was inspired by Sleeping Beauty. I’d be interesting in reading the first few pages for sure.

  • OH the last part of my final comment got cut off! I was going to add how awesome it was to see a FEMALE GENERAL!!!!!

    • JanetThistle

      And it’s definitely a recreation of The Snow Queen. I wonder how closely the characters here will follow Andersen’s roles (Gerda, robber girl etc)?