Book Covers and Race: WHY?

Think the cover girl of Justine Larbalestier's forthcoming YA thriller LIAR (Bloomsbury / October 2009) looks black? Because the novel features an African American protagonist.

Compare the North American (above) with the Australian (below) packaging of this book.

Some of you remember Straight Talk on Race, my article in School Library Journal's April 2009 issue where I cited examples to illustrate the problem with cover art. I might have to add this one to the list, and once again ask, "Why, Bloomsbury? Why?"

(hat tip: Bargain Librarian)