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!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cover Stories: The Heart is Not a Size by Beth Kephart

Beth Kephart is a master storyteller. Her words are poetic. I've said this 1000 times, and it's true in each book. She was the readergirlz Author in Residence over the fall, and her challenges were inspiring!

Here she is with the Cover Story for her latest work of art, The Heart is Not a SIze:

"Because my fourth young adult novel, The Heart is Not a Size, was inspired by a trip that I took to a squatters' village in Juarez, I had a strong visual sense of the country and the people I hoped the book's cover might portray. Georgia, my narrator, is, like me, a photographer. She has her new digital camera perpetually hanging from her neck. It was my hope, originally, to have one of Georgia's photographs grace the cover of the book--a portrait of the gorgeous children Georgia meets perhaps, or a study of shadows and contrast during a raging dust storm.

"But such absolute realism, Marketing worried, could suggest--to a bookstore browser--that Heart was a work of nonfiction, and so a different route was pursued.

"Initial designs for the cover featured a Caucasian girl in a cute, short T-shirt; the photo was cropped tightly, revealing the model's mid-section and nothing more. It was a bright cover--eye-catching and commercially appealing--and I knew that Harper had given the look much care and concerted effort. But I worried that Juarez wasn't there, nor Georgia (who is hardly fashion forward). Harper graciously took another look and produced the cover that was ultimately selected....

Read the rest of Beth's Cover Story at melissacwalker.com. Watch her read from this book alongside photos she herself took in Juarez, below:


Mrs. DeRaps said...

I want to read this book! I've read a ton of summaries and it sounds like an inspiring read. Thanks!

Little Willow said...

Can't wait to read it!

Melissa Walker said...

It's fantastic!

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