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100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Covering the Newbery (#64): The Hero and the Crown

1985: The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley

Original Cover:

My Redo:

Side by Side:

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Up next week: Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

(Source image “Procrastination King”

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. I love this book, it is actually one where I think the original cover is one of the best it has had. (Though I have no idea why it looks like they’re surrounded by waves.) I like the idea behind the redo but it feels kind of… fluffy? Too girly even though it is a book by a woman about a girl. And that is not how I picture the crown at all though I can’t remember the actual description. I think at the end you should pick your favorite covers that you created.

    • I reread the book just recently — the crown is a plain iron band. So, not a good match for the one on the redone cover (though it’s a very nice crown, and a good effort). I agree with Stephanie that the original cover was actually fairly good in this case, though it does look a little dated. Maybe simply reworking the font would help. . . .

  2. Rosemary says:

    While the redone cover might not match the content of the book as well, I find it much more appealing personally. I didn’t read this book for years because of the cover, even though I love Robin McKinley’s books. Every time I read the description somewhere I would think it sounded really good, but then when I went to get it from the shelf I never took it home. I finally read it last year and loved it. I do think the font is the major obstacle. The spine is particularly unappealing and unreadable.