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Same Book, New Look: The Updated Covers of 2019

I like it when familiar books get new covers. It’s an instant mystery: why did this book get a new cover? Sometimes it’s to appeal to a different audience. Other times to mark an anniversary. And occasionally a book might just use some sprucing up. I have six books that are being recovered in 2019, but I’m sure there’s more out there – let me know in the comments and I’ll add them.


Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

The reason is simple – this cover is to appeal to an adult audience. The edition for kids will continue on with the cover you’re familiar with. Remember when I accidentally bought the adult edition of Roald Dahl’s Boy for my library? Flashback time.

From the Mixed-Up Files

Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg 

They’re calling this one a deluxe keepsake edition. I think this one is just for kicks (/$). The simplicity reminds me a little of that cool 30th anniversary Hatchet cover Simon & Schuster also put out a little while ago.


Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

The new cover and bonus content are for the 20th anniversary of this seminal YA novel. The original cover is iconic at this point, but they really did the book justice with this new one as well.

May Amelia

Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm

Every so often, Newbery Medal/Honor winners will get a fresh repackage – that’s what the publisher is calling this update.

To Dance

To Dance by Siena Cherson Siegel, illustrated by Mark Siegel

This one is pretty subtle. Not a new cover, but just new colors for this Seibert Honor winner. This is a great book that I think is still under the radar, so I’m happy to see it get some attention. For reference, here’s the original cover.

Abe Lincoln

Time Twisters (series) by Steve Sheinkin

Another case of sprucing, I believe. These new editions are a it less wacky than the originals.

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. Carl in Charlotte says:

    After this article, I went back and looked at some other Unfortunate Covers and had a great time. But go back and look at that cover for Fourth Grade Rats–see that bully in the pleated jeans and Members Only jacket? See how that haircut makes his ears look? And see those eyebrows? Do you think that kid is really an evil Vulcan?

  2. Cindy Dobrez says:

    What Mama Left Me by Renee Watson (2012) has been reissued with a new cover that is certain to draw attention and find new readership.