Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover Issue 143: Middle Grade (46)

Today’s post is sponsored by Gillian McDunn and These Unlucky Stars!

Title These Unlucky Stars
Author Gillian McDunn
Intended Target Audience Middle Grade
Publication Date March 2nd 2021 by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Find It On GoodreadsAmazonChaptersThe Book DepositoryBarnes & NobleIndieBound

From the highly acclaimed author of Caterpillar Summer comes a sweet and heartfelt story of a girl’s unexpected friendship that changes her forever, perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt.

Ever since her mother left a few years ago, Annie has felt like the odd one out in her family. Her dad and brother are practical and organized – they just don’t understand the way she thinks, in lines and color. Everywhere she turns, she feels like an outsider, even at school, so she’s been reluctant to get close to anyone.

When a “Ding-Dong-Ditch” attempt goes wrong, Annie finds herself stuck making amends with Gloria, the eccentric elderly lady she disturbed. As she begins to connect with Gloria and her weird little dog, it becomes clear that Gloria won’t be able to live on her own for much longer. But it’s this brief and important friendship that gives Annie the confidence to let people in, and see how rich life can be when you decide to make your own luck and chart your own path to happiness.

In this heartwarming novel, acclaimed author Gillian McDunn shows us that even the most unexpected friendship has the power to change us forever.

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. Almost Flying by Jake Maia Arlow
(Cover design: Maria Fazio ● Cover art: Marcos Chin)

02. Recipe For Disaster by Aimee Lucido
(Cover design: Celeste Knudsen ● Cover art: Emma Trithart)


03. Cuba In My Pocket by Adrianna Cuevas
(Cover design: Trisha Previte ● Cover art: Geneva Bowers)

04. Thanks A Lot, Universe by Chad Lucas
(Cover design: Marcie Lawrence ● Cover art: Nick Blanchard)


05. The Many Mysteries of the Finkel Family by Sarah Kapit
(Cover art: Alexandra Bye)

06. An Occasionally Happy Family by Cliff Burke


07. Hope Springs by Jaime Berry
(Cover design: Karina Granda ● Cover art: Oriol Vidal)

08. Josephine Against The Sea by Shakirah Bourne
(Cover design: Keirsten Geise ● Cover art: Ejiwa Ebenebe)


09. The Adventure Is Now by Jess Redman
(Cover design: Cassie Gonzales ● Cover art: Matt Rockefeller)

10. Rea and the Blood of the Nectar by Payal Doshi
(Cover design: Megan Boshyzen ● Cover art: Bev Johnson)


11. Deadman’s Castle by Iain Lawrence

12. Root Magic by Eden Royce
(Cover design: David Curtis ● Cover art: Jen Bricking)


13. Hush-A-Bye by Jody Lee Mott

14. The Year I Flew Away by Marie Arnold


15. Summer of Brave by Amy Noelle Parks
(Cover design: Valerie Hernandez ● Cover art: Jensen Perehudoff)

16. A Place To Hang The Moon by Kate Albus
(Cover art: Jane Newland)


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!

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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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