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It feels like such a long time since I’ve posted anything, but since I’m going to be going to the illustration track for the conference, I thought I should go ahead and compare some differences between YA and Middle Grade cover art.

Here we have a pretty typical cover for YA. The main character is featured prominently…very prominently, and then we have the title.

And here’s another one:

Again, we have a rather close up picture of who we can assume is the main character of this book. I do like the city in the background, and I like how the words look to be glass, but this is another book that follows the typical YA cover art pattern. That’s not to say that it’s poorly done, it’s just an obvious trend of YA.

Now onto some Middle Grade cover art.

I believe I mentioned before how much I love this cover. 🙂

It’s a fairly typical (and awesome) Middle Grade cover. The main characters are still on it, but they are less prominent. Also, the image seems to be a little more about the setting than just a close up of the main character.

And here’s another totally awesome example:

This cover has a lot of really bright contrasting colors, which is another common trait in Middle Grade cover art. Also, interesting enough, the main character is no where to be seen. Now admit it, aren’t you curious about what this book is about?

Anyhoo…that’s not to say that there aren’t exceptions to these rules, and a lot of them…<cough> Serephina <cough> awesome YA cover art. But those are just the patterns I’ve noticed when I’ve gone into bookstores browsing the Middle Grade and YA sections. In the YA section, there are a lot of face close-ups, in the Middle Grade section, there are a lot of bright colors.

The other thing that I’ve noticed is that most YA covers seem to be created using a photograph, where as the Middle Grade novels are stylized and look to be drawn by hand. I’m sure you can guess which ones I’m a little more partial to.

So, what amazing cover art have you seen lately? Have you noticed any patterns?