100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Unfortunate Covers (#17)

Great book, bad cover – that’s the credo of this ongoing series. Today’s candidate?

Black Fox of Lorne by Marguerite De Angeli

Nothing captures the excitement of this Scottish Viking tale like … the main characters awkwardly posed on a hillside. And, call me crazy, but something is going on with the king’s left arm. I tested this book on my students. I put it cover out with a big “Mr. Jonker” recommends sign sticking out of the top, which usually draws at least a couple looks. Not a bite. Sad to see. And this Newbery Honor winner is out of print, so I don’t expect a cover refresh coming any time soon.

Sing along with me:

The Spinners – It’s A Shame

(Yeah, this song isn’t really about book covers, but let’s just go with it)

Check out previous Unfortunate Covers:

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16

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 agree with your comment about the awkward pose – in order for the king to reach out with his sword to knight the boy in the foreground, I think he might slit the throat of the other boy. Most unfortunate indeed.