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100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Cover Controversy: Holding Stuff

I had designs on highlighting this cover trend a while ago, but I held off because I thought it might be fizzling out. Not so! After coming upon a couple more examples recently, I realize that holding stuff is still hot.

But first: the hands that started it all?

Logo for Allstate Insurance.

Eventually, cover designers took the hands, added stuff, and a trend was born. Holding stuff was popping up on Newbery Honor books…

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner.

And, of course, bestsellers…

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

The trend has continued into ’09 and looks to extend into 2010. The evidence?

Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle.

Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson.

Side by side:

Turns out that holding stuff is far from done. One to keep an eye on.

(Thanks to Abby (the) Librarian and A Fuse #8 Production for the cover leads)

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Don’t forget about Sea Glass by Maria Snyder

  2. You should see the books for adults that have “holding stuff” covers! Most recently noticed:

    Whistling Dixie in a Nor’Easter by Lisa Patton. And, of course, there’s the CS Lewis book that (I think) started it all… CS Lewis’ Words to Live By.

    Love these look-alike posts! The trends are so interesting! Thanks!