100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Unfortunate Covers (#18)

When a good book is wrapped in a less-than-good jacket, we like to call that an Unfortunate Cover. I was walking by the fiction section in my 3rd and 4th grade school today when I saw this:

The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynn Reid Banks

*Shoe heels screeching to a halt*

*Double take*

This is what I like to call “severely dated”. Side note – this might sound odd, but doesn’t it seem like kids on the covers of books published in the 70s and 80s wore a lot of sweaters?

While most libraries have a more modern cover, I’m guessing there’s still a few sporting this early model.

Check out previous Unfortunate Covers:

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17.

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 weeded our copy with that cover a few months ago. There’s something vaguely menacing about it.

    • It is indeed an odd one in the current day and age. Aside from the sweater thing, it also seems like there was a lot of resting the head in the hand going on in 80s covers.

  2. She came into our book store to sign (more than a dozen years ago, this would have been) and railed against most of the cover choices. Especially the one for One More River which I think still uses one of the two bad covers she showed us. It wasn’t just the bad art but apparently many inaccuracies as well. Fun times.