I love comparing and contrasting YA books covers, and it’s not unusual to see a cover change from hardcover to the paperback release. But sometimes YA books are so popular that a publisher will reissue them with updated covers long after the paperback release date, in an effort to appeal to a new audience. Sometimes, these reissues will also include new material, such as author’s notes, updated text, or forewords. Classics get reissued all the time, and when it comes to YA novels, it’s a nice way to get teen readers to pick up a book that might be older but still excellent and relevant—especially as cover trends change rapidly. This year, we’ve got four amazing reissues that I’m excited to see, not only because the covers are so pretty, but because I hope that this means more teens will discover some incredible books from my own teen years (and yes, typing that sentence made me feel old!). I have a feeling that I’m going to need to buy copies of all of these books because LOOK at those gorgeous covers!
Rain is Not My Indian Name by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Originally published in 2001, this is an exciting and fresh cover update to Cynthia Leitich Smith’s novel about a teenage girl who is grieving the death of her best friend. When she gets a job photographing a local intertribal summer camp for her town’s newspaper, she becomes embroiled in controversy, and she must decide if she wants to keep her distance from her own intertribal community, or embrace it. I think this cover makes the book look a little younger than the original cover, but that it’ll also appeal to upper middle grade and younger YA readers. It also will appeal to fans of the author’s more recent YA novel, Hearts Unbroken. The reissue includes updated text and a new author’s note.
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Published in Australia in 2006 as On the Jellicoe Road, this incredible novel came to the U.S. in 2008 and nabbed the Michael A. Printz award for that year, the highest honor awarded to a YA book by the American Librarian Association. It’s also one of my favorite YA novels of all time. The new cover is an illustrated, more artsy take on the original U.S. cover, which also features poppies (vital to the plot!). The novel follows Taylor Markham, a teenage girl who was abandoned by her mother and dives into her complicated history to discover the truth. This reissue will be out on April 27, 2021.
Finding My Voice by Marie Myung-Ok Lee
Technically, this reissue came out last month, but I’m afraid it might have gotten swept under the rug in the holiday excitement. Widely regarded as the first #OwnVoices YA novel about an Asian American teenager, Finding My Voice was originally published in 1992 and went out of print for many years despite receiving many accolades. It has been brought back into print by Soho Teen, and I am so excited to see this new cover, publication under the author’s full name, and that the book now includes a foreword by YA author Kat Cho.
The Jessica Darling Series by Megan McCafferty
Alongside Meg Cabot’s novels and the Gossip Girl series, I can’t think of a series more formative to the turn of the millennium YA! Originally published in 2001, Sloppy Firsts follows Jessica Darling in the wake of her best friend’s move, leaving her all alone to survive high school and the ups and downs that come with it. The idea of a contemporary series that followed a character’s love life, family life, and assorted misadventures was very early 2000s, and honestly? I miss it. I also love the new cover, which evokes a more contemporary illustrated style! Look for this reissue on May 4, 2021! Bonus—a reissue of Second Helpings will be out in July, Charmed Thirds will drop in September, and Fourth Comings will be out in November.
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