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” http://flic.kr/p/bEV6pH)

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 scopenotes@gmail.com, 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.