Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover Issue 162: Middle Grade (Part 55)

Today’s post is sponsored by Candlewick and Ferris!

Title Ferris
Author Kate DiCamillo
Intended Target Audience Middle Grade
Publication Date March 5th 2024 by Candlewick
Find It On GoodreadsAmazonChaptersBlackwell’sBarnes & NobleIndieBound

The beloved author of Because of Winn-Dixie has outdone herself with a hilarious and achingly real love story about a girl, a ghost, a grandmother, and growing up.

It’s the summer before fifth grade, and for Ferris Wilkey, it is a summer of sheer pandemonium: Her little sister, Pinky, has vowed to become an outlaw. Uncle Ted has left Aunt Shirley and, to Ferris’s mother’s chagrin, is holed up in the Wilkey basement to paint a history of the world. And Charisse, Ferris’s grandmother, has started seeing a ghost at the threshold of her room, which seems like an alarming omen given that she is also feeling unwell. But the ghost is not there to usher Charisse to the Great Beyond. Rather, she has other plans — wild, impractical, illuminating plans. How can Ferris satisfy a specter with Pinky terrorizing the town, Uncle Ted sending Ferris to spy on her aunt, and her father battling an invasion of raccoons?

As Charisse likes to say, “Every good story is a love story,” and Kate DiCamillo has written one for the ages: emotionally resonant and healing, showing the two-time Newbery Medalist at her most playful, universal, and profound.

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: As always, I’ve done my best to credit the designers and artists responsible for the stunning covers below, but I’m ashamed that I was unable to find this information for many of those listed. I’ve reached out to a number of the authors included in this post and will be sure to add the names of the designers and artists responsible for the covers before if/when they become available. If you know of an uncredited designer and/or artist responsible for the work featured in this post or if I’ve credited someone incorrectly, please let me know and I would be happy to include proper attribution in this post. Their work is important and deserves attribution.

01. Crushed by Melanie Conklin
Cover art by Dana SanMar

02. Tidemagic: The Many Faces of Ista Flit by Clare Harlow

03. Benny Ramírez and The Nearly Departed by José Pablo Iriarte
Cover design by Jade Rector, Cover art by Mirelle Ortega

04. The Dark Skies Mystery by Deron R. Hicks

05. Vega’s Piece of the Sky by Jennifer Torres
Cover design by Gabrielle Chang, Cover art by Ericka Lugo

06. Greenwild: The City Beyond The Sea by Pari Thomson
Cover art by Elisa Paganelli

07. The Night War by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

08. Murray Out of Water by Taylor Tracy
Cover design by Celeste Knudsen, Cover art by Sas Milledge

09. Sabrena Swept Away by Karuna Riazi
Cover design by Sylvie Lefloch, Cover art by Lavanya Naidu

10. Jamie by L.D. Lapinski
Cover art by Harry Woodgate

11. Finally Heard by Kelly Yang
Cover art by Maike Plenzke

12. Noah Frye Gets Crushed by Maggie Horne
Cover design by Jessie Gang, Cover art by Lucy Zhang

13. The Wrong Way Home by Kate O’Shaughnessy
Cover art by Shelley Couvillion

14. The Supernatural Files of CJ Delaney by Carol Williams
Cover design by, Cover art by

15. The Things We Miss by Leah Stecher
Cover art by Anna Kuptsova

16. Gooseberry by Robin Gow

17. Lunar Boy by Jes Wibowo and Cin Wibowo
Cover design by Joe Merkel, Cover art by Jes Wibowo and Cin Wibowo

18. Countdown To Yesterday by Shirley Marr

19. The Magic Paintbrush written by Kat Zhang and Eric Darnell, illustrated by Phoebe Zhong
Cover art by Phoebe Zhong

20. The World Divided by Piper by Caela Carter
Cover design by Andrea Vandergrift, Cover art by Julie McLaughlin

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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!