Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover Issue 141: Middle Grade (45)

Today’s post is sponsored by Christina Li and Clues to the Universe!

Title Clues To The Universe
Author Christina Li
Intended Target Audience Middle Grade
Publication Date January 12th 2021 by Quill Tree Books
Find It On GoodreadsAmazonChaptersThe Book DepositoryBarnes & NobleIndieBound

This #OwnVoices debut about losing and finding family, forging unlikely friendships, and searching for answers to big questions will resonate with fans of Erin Entrada Kelly and Rebecca Stead.

The only thing Rosalind Ling Geraghty loves more than watching NASA launches with her dad is building rockets with him. When he dies unexpectedly, all Ro has left of him is an unfinished model rocket they had been working on together.

Benjamin Burns doesn’t like science, but he can’t get enough of Spacebound, a popular comic book series. When he finds a sketch that suggests that his dad created the comics, he’s thrilled. Too bad his dad walked out years ago, and Benji has no way to contact him.

Though Ro and Benji were only supposed to be science class partners, the pair become unlikely friends: Benji helps Ro finish her rocket, and Ro figures out a way to reunite Benji and his dad. But Benji hesitates, which infuriates Ro. Doesn’t he realize how much Ro wishes she could be in his place?

As the two face bullying, grief, and their own differences, Benji and Ro must try to piece together clues to some of the biggest questions in the universe.

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.

Please Note: I’ve done my best to credit the designers and artists responsible for the beautiful covers below, but was unable to find this information for a number of those listed. If you know of an uncredited designer responsible for any of these book covers, 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.


01. The Wild Huntsboys by Martin Stewart

02. How To Become A Planet by Nicole Melleby
(Cover design: Carla Weiss ● Cover art: David Curtis)


03. The Hedgehog of Oz by Cory Leonardo
(Cover art: Jen Bricking)

04. Hazel Bly and The Deep Blue Sea by Ashley Herring Blake
(Cover art: Ramona Kaulitzki)


05. The Anti-Book by Raphael Simon

06. What If A Fish by Anika Fajardo
(Cover art: Paola Escobar)


07. Owl and The Lost Boy by Amy Wilson
(Cover design: Rachel Vale ● Cover art: Studio Helen)

08. Magic’s Most Wanted by Tyler Whitesides


09. Karma Moon: Ghost Hunter by Melissa Savage
(Cover art: Aleksandar Zolotic)

10. The Plentiful Darkness by Heather Kassner
(Cover design: Liz Dresner ● Cover art: Kaja Kajfež)


11. The Secret Starling by Judith Eagle

12. The Hidden Knife by Melissa Marr
(Cover design: Kristie Radwilowicz ● Cover art: Vivienne To)


13. The Kate In Between by Claire Swinarski
(Cover art: Richie Pope)

14. Finding Junie Kim by Ellen Oh
(Cover design: Joel Tippie ● Cover art: Alex Cho)


15. Muse Squad: The Mystery of the Tenth by Chantel Acevedo
(Cover art: Jonathan Stroh)

16. Carry Me Home by Janet Fox
(Cover design: Lizzy Bromley ● Cover art: Henry Cole)


Now it’s your turn! What are some of your favourite Middle Grade covers? Did I list one of your favourites here or is there one I forgot that just has to be included? Let me know in the comments!

2 Responses

  1. I LOVE Do! Judge a book by its cover series. Please don’t ever stop making it! These beautiful covers warm my heart <3

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Jen is a thirty-something Canadian book blogger and bibliophile currently residing in the wilds of suburbia. Aside from a penchant for older men, particularly those with the surnames Firth, Elba and Norton, Jen is also passionately interested in running, Mad Men, and Marilyn Monroe. In addition to being a voracious reader and self-proclaimed television addict, Jen is also an aspiring children and youth services librarian who would like to pursue a MLIS and better help readers find the perfect book for them.

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