My letter to Bloomsbury Children's USA:
I am writing to express my shock, disappointment, and outrage over the cover of Justine Larbalestier's latest novel, Liar.
I think you made a huge mistake choosing a White cover model to represent a character who is Black. Liar is marketed to young readers. What kind of message are you trying to send to them with this cover? That there is something wrong with the fact that many of them do not have white skin? That those of them who are not White do not matter? That there is something wrong with being Black? Shame on you.
What made this entire matter worse was the lame excuse offered by your editor Melanie Cecka. Yes, the main character of the book is a compulsive liar, but Ms. Larbalestier has made it clear that the character was not lying about her race. And even if she had been lying about her race, why automatically assume that she is White? She could have been Latina. She could have been Asian. She could have been Native American. She could have been so many other things. Why choose a White girl for the cover?
Ah, yes. Because you think that books with people of color on the cover don't sell. If this is true, why aren't you doing something to change it by offering beautiful and irresistible book covers with people of color?
I will not buy any books from Bloomsbury Children's USA until this mistake has been rectified. Change the cover of Liar. Apologize to the public instead of giving lame excuses.
I am so disgusted.