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100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Cover Controversy: Shut It

Books – frustrating, aren’t they? Covers always wanting to flap open, all those pages so easily turned. Recently, a group of book covers have tried solving this problem. The cover artwork isn’t similar, but they all have one element that (bad pun alert!) binds them together:

Queste by Angie Sage.

The Flight of the Phoenix (Nathaniel Fludd: Beastologist, Book One) by R.L. La Fevers.

Best Friends Forever by Beverly Patt.

Side by side by side:

Namely, something to keep the book shut. More accurately, an image of something holding the book shut. What does this add to the cover? I’d say it provides just the right “this book is old, hand-crafted, and important” vibe.

Any to add?

P.S. This trend encompasses books for grown-ups as well. Take a look:

Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom.

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. The belt and the elastics (‘have a little faith’) are amazingly realistic from where I’m sitting.

    • I agree. To my eyes, this is a concept that works well. It certainly adds interest and, in most cases, makes sense for the type of story within.

  2. Don’t forget the YA series: Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita–5 books so far with different cover closures.

    • I knew there were other examples out there! The My Hollywood Life books look like they go a bit different route – each one looks like a fancy handbag. I’ll add these in when I get a chance – good call!