The Cover Wars

Wicked Like a Wildfire:

All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love.

But when their mother is mysteriously attacked, the sisters will have to unearth the truth behind the quiet lives their mother has built for them. They will discover a wicked curse that haunts their family line—but will they find that the very magic that bonds them together is destined to tear them apart forever?

(Synopsis for Fierce Like a Firestorm not posted to avoid spoilers.)

Janet: Pretty cover. The title is intriguing: firestorms are not sentient and therefore not wicked, however damaging their effects are — and, in fact, wildfires are a necessary part of the life cycle of a forest. Iris’ gleam is particularly interesting, sufficiently so that despite the rather cliche don’t tell and don’t fall in love YA trope, I’d look inside.

Nafiza: FLOWER COVERS. Yasss. As you all know by now I hope, I adore flower covers. The synopses is sufficiently intriguing that I’d look inside.


Learn all about the traditions of Ramadan with this first book in the brand-new board book series Celebrate the World, which highlights celebrations across the globe.

In the ninth month of the year, when the first crescent moon rises in the sky, it’s time to celebrate Ramadan! In this lovely board book with illustrations from Rashin Kheiriyeh, readers learn that Ramadan is a time to reflect on ourselves, to be thankful, and a time to help others.

Janet: Super pretty cover! The folk art style is lovely. I have to laugh at the girl on the left’s expression. I will pick this up for sure if I come across it.

Nafiza: The cover is certainly colourful. I’d flip inside to see what they share about Ramadan.

Boy has always been relegated to the outskirts of his small village. With a large hump on his back, a mysterious past, and a tendency to talk to animals, he is often mocked and abused by the other kids in his town. Until the arrival of a shadowy pilgrim named Secondus. Impressed with Boy’s climbing and jumping abilities, Secondus engages Boy as his servant, pulling him into an expedition across Europe to gather the seven precious relics of Saint Peter. Boy quickly realizes this journey is not an innocent one. They are stealing the relics, and gaining dangerous enemies in the process. But Boy is determined to see this pilgrimage through until the end—for what if St. Peter can make Boy’s hump go away?

This compelling, action-packed tale is full of bravery and daring, stars a terrific cast of secondary characters, and features an unlikely multigenerational friendship at its heart. Memorable and haunting, Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s epic medieval adventure is just right for readers of Sara Pennypacker’s Pax, Adam Gidwitz’s The Inquisitor’s Tale, and Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Echo.

Features a map and black-and-white art throughout.

Janet: Despite the title, the cover is fascinating, reminiscent of those large information books with the cross-sections showing the inside of a medieval castle, or the layers of a tropical rainforest. The back copy reminds me of medieval tales by Avi and by Karen Cushman. I’d look inside.

Nafiza: I like this cover and the title (ha, Janet) and I have like Murdock’s previous books. However, Boy’s story is not for me so I’ll just read Janet’s review of it (if she happens to write one).

Bernice Aurora Wescott has one thing she doesn’t want anyone to know: her name. That is, until Bee meets Levi, the local golden boy who runs a charity organization called The Color Project.

Levi is not at all shy about attempting to guess Bee’s real name; his persistence is one of the many reasons why Bee falls for him. But while Levi is everything she never knew she needed, giving up her name would feel like a stamp on forever. And that terrifies her.

When unexpected news of an illness in the family drains Bee’s summer of everything bright, she is pushed to the breaking point. Losing herself in The Color Project—a world of weddings, funerals, cancer patients, and hopeful families that the charity funds—is no longer enough. Bee must hold up the weight of her family, but to do that, she needs Levi. She’ll have to give up her name and let him in completely or lose the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

For fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson, THE COLOR PROJECT is a story about the three great loves of life—family, friendship, and romance—and the bonds that withstand tragedy.

Janet: I was sure we’d done this cover before, but the back copy isn’t familiar. Based on the cover, I’d read this, even though the title misspells colour. Based on the back, no way. The best thing that has ever happened to Bee is a teenage romance? I think not.

Nafiza: Man, I really enjoy Janet’s comments and am in total agreement with her on this one. I do think the back copy is rather clumsily written and tries to fit everything in a few paragraphs. Perhaps focus ought to have been given on one element. Also, I mean, just tell him your name, Bernice. Jeez.

A child and his beloved best friend go on a grand sea adventure in this magical picture book by the author and artist who created If I Had a Little Dream.

You just never know what a new day will hold if you are brave enough to find out. On one quiet afternoon, a boy and his special friend’s unexpected adventure bring joy and excitement and sights never imagined. And the best part of any adventure is returning home with stories to tell and you best friend at your side.

Janet: More gorgeous, semi-folky cover art! I love the idea of a boy and a giraffe drifting along in a boat with ALL THIS going on beneath them in the water. So cool. The back copy sounds gentle and imaginative. I’m in.

Nafiza: Look, the octopus is smiling. I never knew I needed a smiling octopus until now. I’m in too.