Makeover Monday: Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins

Makeover Monday:  Awful Cover, Great Book

Bamboo PeopleBamboo People by Mitali Perkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an incredibly interesting story about two child soldiers from Burma. It bums me out that I can’t get my students to read it. I’d like them to reissue it with a different cover, because even my wicked book talking skills aren’t overcoming that first moment my kids set eyes on the book and judge it. I’ll keep trying though.

As an adult, I confess I don’t dislike the cover, but it has no appeal for teens and pre-teens (the target audience).

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Makeover Monday: Three For the Price of One

Makeover Monday:  Awful Cover, Great Book

The Dark Days of Hamburger HalpinThe Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pretty good story with interesting diversity and a rather unfortunate cover that does not appeal at all to my students.

View all my reviews The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-BanksThe Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this! It’s funny and smart with excellent voice.

View all my reviews The Naked Mole-Rat LettersThe Naked Mole-Rat Letters by Mary Amato
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is funny and heartwarming with an interesting format that incorporates emails. Frankie makes a few mistakes and tells a few small lies, which creates a dangerous spiral of events, and the hole she is digging just keeps getting bigger and bigger until it almost swallows her up. She’s flawed but lovable, and she tries to find her way through a difficult and emotional situation.

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Makeover Monday: The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Makeover Monday:  Awful Cover, Great Book

The Red UmbrellaThe Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a good historical novel about Cuba in the 1960s, but it’s another novel I can’t seem to sell to my students. Typically, novels that are historical are harder sells with the middle school crowd, but I think it’s the cover that really shoots it in the foot.

Dear Publishers: Stop designing covers to please adults when the novel is targeted at teens. Please. I’m beginning you. I hate seeing good books sit on the shelf because of appearances. I’ll continue to do my part and talk the book up, but I need you to do your part and help me draw them in.

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Makeover Monday: Games by Carol Gorman

Makeover Monday:  Awful Cover, Great Book

GamesGames by Carol Gorman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a good story that gives you a different perspective on two bullies. These troubled boys have lots of issues and are basically enemies. They’re forced to spend day after day together, playing games in a small space as punishment. . . or maybe rehab.

I really enjoyed the story and different perspectives. Unfortunately, the cover is awful, and that makes it harder to convince my students to read it.

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