I'm reading The Prince of Fenway Park by Julianna Baggott as a Cybils judge. It has an illustration on the cover of a cute black boy. Last Wednesday, I showed the book to my friend and fellow editor Blessie. She exclaimed, "This boy isn't white! This book won't sell because the boy on the cover isn't white!" Then Blessie rolled her eyes and we both burst out laughing at the ABSURDITY of that logic. We were remembering the cover fail of Bloomsbury USA back in July 2009. Bloomsbury had used a cover with a white teenage girl for Liar by Justine Larbalestier, a YA novel with a black teenage girl as the main character. The cover was later changed.
Why am I bringing this all up? Because Bloomsbury USA has made the same mistake with the YA novel Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore. Magic Under Glass has a dark-skinned female protagonist. Here is the cover of the book:
Why, Bloomsbury? Why? Whitewashing covers is RACIST. Thinking that books with people of color on the cover won't sell is RACIST. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Shame on you, Bloomsbury. I won't be buying any of your books until you stop whitewashing your book covers.
Dear readers, click here and here to read Ari of Reading In Color's thoughts on the issue. Ari has also posted links to other blog posts.