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readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cover Story: Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume

Jennifer O'Connell is here to share the story behind her anthology about lessons from the YA master, Judy Blume:

everything.gif "The first time I saw the cover for EVERYTHING I NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT BEING A GIRL I LEARNED FROM JUDY BLUME I loved it. I was relieved. That hasn't always been the case.

"I've had a book where I just about cried the first time I saw my cover (it was changed, thank God), a cover that completely offended me (it was changed) and a cover that had me scratching my head and thinking, 'Are they serious--how can they not think this is completely inappropriate?' (it was also changed). Then again, I had a book whose cover I despised, they kept it, and I still hate it with every fiber of my being.

"I've also had books where I loved the covers the first time around. But with this anthology I was wondering how they'd capture so many different things in a single cover: there are essays from writers for adults and writers for young adults; there are writers who chose to write about very serious topics and those who were more lighthearted; essays are about growing up and being a grown up; they're about the impact of Judy Blume's writing, but they're not as much about her impact on the contributors as writers as they are about her impact on them as people. The essays could be enjoyed by women who grew up reading Judy Blume as well as their daughters.

"When I received the email with the cover I instantly thought they got it right. A girl on her bed reading. It was me. It sounded like the authors who contributed. It could be the readers of the collection. And the wallpaper in the background was perfect--I had big flowers on my wall growing up, even if I've graduated to plain, tasteful earth colored paint as a 'grown-up.'

judyblumetrade.jpg "I loved the pink on the hardcover, but when the paperback version came I wasn't really expecting the change to blue. It threw me. I emailed all of the contributors with the picture to get their feedback. They loved the bright blue. I thought they were just being nice. I wasn't convinced.

"Now the blue has grown on me. I even like it. Where the first pink cover was quiet and soft and girly, the blue cover is bolder and not afraid to ask for attention. It's the same cover but different. It's a lot like the writers in the collection--we're the same girls who loved reading Judy's books growing up, but different. I hope that readers of the essays find that they see themselves in the cover, and in the essays."

Ooh, I love how Jennifer got all deep on how the hardcover and paperback reflect the authors and the readership. I really like both of these covers--the colors work for me either way. And I love the detail of the girl's ring!

What do you guys think?

PS-If you like looking at hardcover vs. paperback covers, check out Alea's series on this very thing! It's awesome.


3 comments:

Infant Bibliophile said...

I love those covers -- maybe even the blue better than the pink. Definitely make me want to read the book.

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Yes, I like the blue! Thanks, Melissa.

Little Willow said...

I like them both.