Today, I am so honored to be hosting the official reveal for Melissa Walker’s new middle grade novel, Let’s Pretend We Never Met. Before we get to the cover, here’s more about the book:
If it were up to Mattie Markham, there would be a law that said your family wasn’t allowed to move in the middle of the school year. After all, sixth grade is hard enough without wondering if you’ll be able to make new friends or worrying that the kids in Pennsylvania won’t like your North Carolina accent.
But when Mattie meets her next-door neighbor and classmate, she begins to think maybe she was silly to fear being the “new girl.” Agnes is like no one Mattie has ever met—she’s curious, hilarious, smart, and makes up the best games. If winter break is anything to go by, the rest of the school year should be a breeze.
Only it isn’t, because when vacation ends and school starts, Mattie realizes something: At school Agnes is known as the weird girl who no one likes. All Mattie wants is to fit in (okay, and maybe be a little popular too), but is that worth ending her friendship with Agnes?
And now for that cover …
Wonderful, no? Here’s some thoughts on the cover from Melissa herself!
This story, at its heart, is about the bravery involved in being a true friend—especially when you’re 11. I loved this cover illustration by Lucy Truman from the start, mostly for the way it nails the characters and their interior lives through exterior expression.
Agnes, the blonde new friend next-door, has her own kooky sense of style, and she’s clearly not concerned with what the world is thinking about her. She’s focused on a little nest of birds’ eggs, which of course make an appearance in the book.
Mattie, the brunette main character, is not perfectly polished, but she’s dressed to fit in. She’s biting her lip (I love that!) and looking sideways at Agnes. She’s worried about what people think, about how her peers might see her and judge her (and Agnes).
There is more to the story, but these two girls are the center of it and I am so grateful to Lucy the art department at Harper, especially cover designer Alison Klapthor, for pulling the design elements together in such a lovely way. I’m thrilled with the font, the colors, the composition… and now I’ve used all the art words I know. Thanks for sharing the cover!
And here’s some early praise for the book:
“Mattie Markham is sweet and winning, very real, and a sixth-grade heroine. Add this book to your treasure shelf.”
– Natalie Standiford, author of The Secret Tree
“A heartwarming and completely charming story about moving on, growing up, and being yourself.”
– Sarah Mlynowski, New York Times bestselling author of the Whatever After series
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