It is Okay to Put a Black Face on a Book Cover! Publisher Changes Its Mind

The new cover for Liar

The internet recently erupted over the controversy surrounding the cover choice for the forthcoming young adult novel, "Liar" by Justine Larbalestier. Read all about it here. In a nutshell, the book donned a cover featuring a young white girl, even though the main character is black.

After seeing how disgusted people were—including the author—Bloomsbury, the publisher, has decided to change the cover to better reflect the story inside. Check out the new cover to the right.


In a statement to Publishers Weekly, Bloomsbury said, “We regret that our original creative direction for “Liar”—which was intended to symbolically reflect the narrator's complex psychological makeup—has been interpreted by some as a calculated decision to mask the character's ethnicity. In response to this concern, and in support of the author's vision for the novel, Bloomsbury has decided to re-jacket the hardcover edition with a new look in time for its publication in October. It is our hope that the important discussions about race and its representation in teen literature continue. As the publisher of “Liar,” we also hope that nothing further distracts from the quality of the author's nuanced and accomplished story, and that a new cover will allow this novel's many advocates to celebrate its U.S. publication without reservation.”

Call it a small victory?

is a writer, speaker, author of books for adults and youth, and the book columnist for The Root. Her most recent book is \"The Message: 100 Life Lessons from Hip-Hop’s Greatest Songs.\" Visit her at

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