Today, I’m excited to be hosting the official cover reveal for The Turning by Emily Whitman – a charming new middle grade story, coming soon from Harper Collins. We even have a chance for you to win an ARC of The Turning (once they’re available) – but first, here’s Emily to talk more about her cover (then keep scrolling to see the beautiful cover for yourself!):
You write a book. Maybe you work on it for a long time. Like, say, seven years. Over that time it becomes a living creature with a soul, a spirit. But it doesn’t yet have a face. How will someone passing a bookshelf get a whisper of this book’s promise?
It’s out of your hands. Someone else is translating your book into a new language—Coverese? Coverish?—that can say in one glance what kind of magic lies inside. So your fingers are crossed, and you try really hard not to bug your editor too often, asking when you’ll see it, and you whisper little prayers, and then—
I think it’s time to switch from you to me, because this is a story of prayers coming true.
There it was, an email from my amazing editor. I read the words “jacket comp,” and the name of the artist, Vashti Harrison, and how she captured the book’s longing and atmosphere, and then I stopped reading because I couldn’t wait another second. I clicked—
It’s night. Moonlight silvers the water, but the Moon is hidden. There, kneeling in the shallows, is Aran—a selkie boy, but without the seal pelt that will let him swim with his clan. He’s alone at the place where ocean and land meet. Between two worlds. Vashti’s cover has the what—Aran, moonlight, stars, waves—but in a split second it also conveys Aran’s longing, and the vast, haunting, wonderful mystery of the sea…
And then my eye took in Aran’s reflection in the water, and I let out a shriek, right there at my kitchen table. Because his reflection isn’t a boy, it’s a seal. The form he’s been longing for his whole life, the pelt that will let him dive deep and journey with his clan. Instead he’s in the dangerous world of humans, trying to act like he belongs. Like he’s one of them.
In an instant this cover says it all.
And the title! The lettering is textured—dappled like a seal pelt. Aran lifts his eyes to that breaking wave and the perfect curve of the G, hinting at the hidden Moon. The whole Greenwillow team knocked it out of the park.
How, how, will I be able to wait for July to see this book on a bookstore shelf? To see it in a young reader’s hands? To see their eyes widen the instant they realize the reflection is a seal, and they wonder, “The Turning? What does that mean?” They’ll take down the book, lift the cover, and start to read…
No, I won’t be able to wait at all!
Does he belong to the land or to the sea?
Readers who loved Kelly Barnhill’s The Girl Who Drank the Moon and Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Echo will be transported to the place where the water and land meet in this exquisitely crafted coming-of-age tale about a selkie boy.
Aran has never truly fit in with his selkie clan. He was born in his human form, without a pelt to transform him into a sleek, strong seal. Each day, he waits, left behind while his selkie family explores the deep ocean. What if his pelt never comes? Does the Moon even see him? Is he putting his clan at risk? When his mother undertakes a journey to the far north to seek help, Aran is left in the care of a reclusive human woman on remote Spindle Island. Life on land is full of more wonders—and more dangers—than Aran could have ever imagined. Soon Aran will be forced to decide: will he fight for his place on land, or return to his home in the sea?
In Emily Whitman’s novels for kids and teens, myth and magic are part of everyday life. The Turning is her first Middle Grade novel. Her debut YA, Radiant Darkness, was number one on the IndieBound Kid’s Next List. Wildwing won the Oregon Book Award and was a Bankstreet College Best Children’s Book. Emily grew up in Boulder, Colorado. A Harvard grad with a history MA, she loves researching her books, whether by mining library treasures or learning to fly falcons. She has worked in bookstores and behind library reference desks. Now she teaches writing workshops. Emily lives with her family in Portland, Oregon. www. emilywhitman.com.
Tell us in the comments below your reaction to the cover, then fill out the Rafflecopter form below to complete your entry and earn more chances to win. LOTS of extra entries available if you help spread the word about the cover reveal, too!
Contest is open to the U.S. only and runs through midnight (PT) on Wednesday, November 1st.