25 Favourite Middle Grade Book Covers of 2022

Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I pay tribute to some of the best and brightest the publishing world has to offer in the way of book cover design.

Book cover design can play an important role in a book’s success or failure. While certainly not the only contributing factor, for the casual reader perusing the shelves of their local library or bookstore, a book’s cover offers one of the earliest introductions to the story contained within its pages and can help differentiate it from the thousands of other titles surrounding it. Book cover design is one of my passions, and given that I spend much of the year celebrating it in its many shapes, forms and iterations in my regular feature, Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover, I thought it might be fun to compose a list of what I thought were some of the most effective, eye-catching and beautiful examples of book cover design for in 2021. You can find Pop! Goes The Reader’s Favourite Book Covers Of 2019 Here, 2020 Here and 2021 Here!

Please Note: I’ve done my best to provide credit for the cover designers, illustrators, artists and photographers responsible for the work below whenever possible, but was unable to find this information for a number of those listed. If you know of an uncredited individual responsible for any of these book covers below or if I’ve made any mistakes, please let me know and I would be happy to include proper attribution in this post. Their work is lovely and deserves to be credited.

Important: I unequivocally support the HarperCollins Union, who have been on strike since 11/10/22 in order to fight for a much-deserved fair contract for their workers. That said, this post does include HarperCollins covers so as to acknowledge and honour the work of the designers and artists who created them. The HarperCollins Union has explicitly asked that HarperCollins titles not be boycotted, which you can see here. To see a complete list of how you can best support the HarperCollins Union, please click here.

The covers below are listed in no particular order.

01. The Midnight Children by Dan Gemeinhart
Cover design by Mallory Grigg, Cover art by Matt Rockefeller

02. The Science of Being Angry by Nicole Melleby
Cover design by David Curtis, Cover art by David Curtis

03. Shine On, Luz Véliz! by Rebecca Balcárcel
Cover art by Caribay Marquina

04. Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega
Cover design by Christopher Stengel, Cover art by Lissy Marlin

05. Alliana, Girl of Dragons by Julie Abe
Cover design by Karina Granda, Cover art by Shan Jiang

06. Lotus Bloom and The Afro Revolution by Sherri Winston

07. Pilar Ramirez and The Escape From Zafa by Julian Randall
Cover design by Aurora Parlagreco, Cover art by Mayara Sampaio

08. One Jar of Magic by Corey Ann Haydu
Cover design by Laura Mock, Cover art by Matt Rockefeller

09. The Devouring Wolf by Natalie C. Parker
Cover design by Jessica Jenkins, Cover art by Karl Kwasny

10. Ghostlight by Kenneth Oppel
Cover art by Robert Frank Hunter

11. You Only Live Once, David Bravo by Mark Oshiro
Cover design by Jessie Gang, Cover art by Helder Oliveira

12. The Summer of June by Jamie Sumner
Cover art by Elysia Case

13. Iveliz Explains It All by Andrea Beatriz Arango
Cover art by Abigail L. Dela Cruz

14. Maizy Chen’s Last Chance by Lisa Yee
Cover design by Sylvia Bi, Cover art by Rebecca Shieh

15. Miracle Season by Beth Hautala
Cover art by Alexandra Bye

16. Into The Glades by Laura Sebastian
Cover art by Vivienne To

17. Where The Lost Ones Go by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Cover design by Sarah Kaufman, Cover art by Feifei Ruan, Art Direction by Aurora Parlegreco

18. Wolfish by Christiane M. Andrews
Cover design by Jenny Kimura, Cover art by Yuta Onoda

19. Consider The Octopus by Nora Raleigh Baskin and Gae Polisner
Cover design by Mallory Grigg, Cover art by Maike Plenzke

20. Turn The Tide by Elaine Dimopoulos
Cover design by Whitney Leader-Picone, Cover art by Dana SanMar

21. Learning To Fall by Sally Engelfried
Cover design by Sasha Illingworth, Cover art by Chris Danger

22. The Natural Genius of Ants by Betty Culley
Cover design by Michelle Cunningham, Cover art by Kevin and Kristen Howdeshell @ The Brave Union

23. The Impossible Destiny of Cutie Grakkle by Shawn K. Stout
Cover design by Lily Steele and Adela Pons, Cover art by Alona Millgram

24. How To Heal A Gryphon by Meg Cannistra
Cover design by Gigi Lau, Cover art by Devin Elle Kurtz, Title Lettering by Jessica Molina

25. Theo Tan and The Fox Spirit by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Cover design by Mallory Grigg, Cover art by Sylvia Bi

One Response

  1. Wow, so many great covers this year! (I think my favorite is The Summer of June, I remember being really taken with it when it came out.) Also, it looks like the cover artist of Lotus Bloom and The Afro Revolution was Kitt Thomas? A textless version is included on their illustration page at Cat Agency.
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Hi! I’m Jen! I’m a thirty-something introvert who loves nothing more than the cozy comfort of home and snuggling my two rescue cats, Pepper and Pancakes. I also enjoy running, jigsaw puzzles, baking and everything Disney. Few things bring me more joy than helping a reader find the right book for them!