Illustrated Books Cover Middle-School Readers

Publishing experts maintain that covers sell books, including covers that sell illustrated books, but that wouldn’t matter to middle-school readers. They have no money to cover the cost of books. But even if they had money, would they go and spend it on a book anyway? So what does designed-to-sell-sell-sell book covers mean to them-them-them?

If parents were to bring home a book they bought for their middle-school reader after they went and spent their money on the book because the outside cover sold them on the inside content, lets hope their middle-school reader also likes the cover, and then maybe they might also enjoy the content, which they likely will if the imagery on the cover is literally incorporated into the content of the book. If all that should happen, there is a middle-school reader who just might be the new owner of an Adapted Classics book (hooray!).

That’s because the cover of an Adapted Classics book directly represents the content inside the cover.The material on the cover, both front and back sides, is always drawn directly from the content of the book. Adapted Classics books feature illustrated literature for middle school, which the cover truly represents. You’ll find no fake advertising there. None.

Content and Covers

So that’ll do it for our covers. But there’s more to say about the content within our covers. Educational experts distinguish between “illustrated books”, where pictures complement text, and “picture books”, where pictures come first. In Adapted Classics books, these mediums overlap.

Initially, covers do attract potential readers; they entice one to open and scan the book. That’s what every book publisher hopes for. If the book rests within the hands of a middle school reader and that book happens to be published by Adapted Classics, then often the illustrations within will cause emotional or personal reactions like joy, laughter, or fright. Or just plain old curiosity. Then next, hopefully, the youngster will keep going and begin to read the school or library book in hand (remember, they have no money, and a clerk in the bookstore won’t allow them to get too far along into the book for nothin’).

After a youngster begins to read, the words and illustrations in our books take over. Working together, they hopefully cast something like a spell, as often happens. The printed text in our stories specify the context or scene from which the middle-school reader will interpret the illustrations. Then the young reader will probably make final conclusions by going back with personal interpretations of the illustrations to bounce against connection points within the text. In the end, both these mediums, text and illustration, provide unique information that middle-school readers can use to form hypotheses and make decisions. Moreover, when these two-stepping, synchronized mediums are combined, it makes for some real synergy that will dance round and round inside the minds of young readers whether they know it or not. Sweet!

Learning How to Look

Adapted Classics books place value on the skill of “learning how to look”.  Consequently, teachers can use our books to help students appreciate art as well as comprehend and analyze literature. Yes, verbal literacy may be essential for effective communication. But visual literacy fuels the imaginations of those people who communicate most effectively. It’s a literacy worth retaining and further developing.

Middle-school readers don’t need to leave the visual awareness of childhood behind with their picture books. Illustrated literature will help them focus on visual and verbal literacy simultaneously. In doing so. it should also help them retain the visionary power of their childhood imaginations.

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