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)


MotherReader said…
The character also talks about having close-cropped hair. Liz has a theory that almost everything the girl says is a lie, including her appearance - in which case the cover would be a tip-off. If it's not part of the ruse, than it is a truly wrong cover. It's lovely, but wrong.
a. fortis said…
Weird--to me the cover model looks part Asian. Still not even close, though, eh? :)

I'm actually really sick of the trend of using random stock photos of teens for just about every YA book cover--especially facial close-ups. What happened to using artists??