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First Look at OVER THE MOON by Natalie Lloyd

May 31, 2018

The folks over at Scholastic Press approached me about doing a cover reveal for Natalie Lloyd's newest middle grade novel, entitled OVER THE MOON. 

 

And, once again, I get the opportunity to judge a book by it's cover? I'm in!

 

Yeah... I know. It's a little blurry. I pixelated things to keep you guessing. It's more fun that way. 

 

I've got a whole description to share with you, but first let's read a blurb and talk about what we see on this cover, shall we? Students? I hope you'll join us big folks in making predictions. 

 

BLURB:

 

Twelve-year-old Mallie knows better than to dream. In Coal Top, you live the story you’re given. That means boys toil in the mines and girls work as servants for rich people. Mallie can't stomach the idea of that kind of life, but what choice does she have? Her family is counting on her wages to survive.

 

COVER:

OBSERVATIONS:

 

This cover art was done by Gilbert Ford, the same talented artist behind the picture books Mr. Ferris and His WheelThe Marvelous Thing That Came From a Spring, and Soldier's Song, and middle grade novels and series including the Secret series by Psyeudonymous Bosch, the Mr. Lemoncello series by Chris Grabenstein, and Natalie's other novels, among a large stack of others that are probably well-loved in your library all year long. Gilbert's got a character style, and with an eye-catching cover like this one it's no wonder readers know his work so well.

 

Okay. Let's break down this cover. Let's look for clues. Let's study it with the same intense astuteness that only a middle grade reader knows when it comes to book covers. I'm keeping the rest of the description from you so that we can really let our imaginations run wild with all we're taking in.

 

The first thing I notice is a girl (presumably Mallie) who appears to be riding over a town while sitting atop a magnificent star pegasus, only this constellation is sit-on-top-able. She's got a bag on her arm, full to the brim and overflowing with what look like stars. Those stars pull are eyes right onto the golden caps of those mountains. The mountains are tall and they're beautiful. I think it's safe to say that whatever threat Mallie will face does not have anything to do with those mountains. And as I'm thinking about it, Mallie's technically under the moon in this picture. I mean... perhaps she is over the moon about being under the moon atop a star pegasus (cuz you would be, right?), but I wonder if she ever ponders what it may mean to travel over the moon? Doesn't matter. Let's look at the bottom of the page.

 

There's a town below and scattered throughout the town are eyes. Eyes on the trees. Eyes on the river. Eyes near the houses. It's creepy. And stands in contrast to that smile on Mallie's face. I don't like it. I don't trust those woods. There's something going on there that I think is probably not okay.

 

But on a completely different note, my eye has picked up on something that's most likely just a design choice to make it look cool, but did you notice that two of the letters in Natalie's name are slanted? Intentional? I wonder. 

 

Regardless, my interest is totally piqued. 

 

DESCRIPTION:

 

Here's the full description provided by the publisher:

 

Twelve-year-old Mallie knows better than to dream. In Coal Top, you live the story you’re given. That means boys toil in the mines and girls work as servants for rich people. Mallie can't stomach the idea of that kind of life, but what choice does she have? Her family is counting on her wages to survive.

 

It wasn’t always this way. Before the Dust came, the people of Coal Top could weave starlight into cloth. If you wore these dreaming clothes to sleep, you’d wake up with the courage to seek adventure . . . or the peace to heal a broken heart.

 

So when Mallie is selected for a dangerous competition in which daring (and ideally, orphaned) children train flying horses, she jumps at the chance. Maybe she’ll change her story. Maybe she’ll even find the magic she needs to dream again.

 

But the situation proves even more sinister than Mallie realizes, especially when Mallie uncovers a dangerous mystery at the heart of Coal Top's struggles -- a mystery that the charismatic Mortimer Good will do anything to protect.

 

From Natalie Lloyd, New York Times bestselling author of A Snicker of Magic and The Key to Extraordinary comes an adventure that’ll make your heart soar . . . and your imagination take flight.

OVER THE MOON is set to publish in March 2019 from Scholastic Press, which means we'll probably start seeing ARCs circulating this fall and winter, just as we're settling into a new school year. Be on the lookout until then!

 

THANKS, Natalie! THANKS, Gilbert! And THANKS, Scholastic Press!

 

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