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weekly-geeksI think the Weekly Geeks are reading my mind or, at least, we’re on the same frequency this week. I wrote about books covers twice last week, including a post on how pictures should be included on the classics in order to capture our attention.

This week, Weekly Geeks are asked topick a book – any book – and search out multiple book cover images for that book, which can span a decade or two or they could span multiple continents.

“Which cover is your favorite? Which one is your least favorite? Which one best ‘captures’ what the book is about?”

I contemplated showcasing Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy but since I just finished Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, why not showcase it. I’ve seen about twelve different covers of Frankenstein at school, and each one has something different that’s eye catching about it.

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The first one is the edition I have. Actually, the one I have looks like this but there’s really no difference between the two other than the headers. Produced by Kaplan, the even pages contain SAT/ACT vocabulary words and their definitions, while the odd pages hold the actual story. I’m not a fan of this issue because I think it buys too much into the Hollywood version of what Frankenstein’s monster looks like.

The second one is the most popular version at my school, and while it pulls from the text to show how Frankenstein’s monster was created, I find it a little boring. With the third one, I have no idea what they’re trying to show. Maybe the death and destruction left in the monster’s wake, but the three hooded figures on the front look like grave robbers.  The fourth one reflects the beginning of the novel and the end, which I think is a nice tie into how the story is told. It’s probably my favorite. The fifth one is probably my second favorite because I think it shows the more crazed and scary side of Frankenstein’s monster, but the last one leaves mes cratching my head.

My third favorite, but the one I’ll probably wind up purchasing, is the Borders Classics version. The picture is kind of out there, but I love the color – a purple that’s gothic and dark but still light and airy.

Winner of the Newbery Medal, I never read Island of the Blue Dolphins as a child, although I’m positive I wouldn’t have liked it then either. As everyone in Karana’s tribe is evacuating the island, she looks back and realizes her little brother has been left behind. She jumps out of the boat and swims back to the island, where they live there alone until her brother is killed. After his death, she makes friends with an otter and one of the wild dogs that may or may not have killed her brother. Of course, as the days turn into months and the months turn into years, her animal friends move on or pass away, which only makes her even more lonely.

In his footnotes, O’Dell says Island of the Blue Dolphins is based on the “the girl Robinson Crusoe [who] actually lived alone upon this island from 1835 to 1853, and is known to history as The Lost Woman of San Nicolas.” I cannot fathom what that life would be like, but I thought O’Dell’s interpretation was pretty boring. All the action occurred in the beginning and the remainder of the novel is spent waiting for Karana to be rescued.

Although, come to find out, being “rescued” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Karana’s entire tribe was killed when their boat sunk off the cost of present-day California, and she is unable to communicate with her rescuers, which only further plunges her into loneliness. It’s such a sad, lonely little book that I immediately shoved aside my other books and went to go bug my family into doing something together.

Others’ Thoughts:

Book Mentioned:

  • O’Dell, Scott. Island of the Blue Dolphins. New York, NY: Yearling, 1995. Print. 184 pgs. ISBN:9780440439882. Source: Purchased.
Book Cover © Yearling. Retrieved: February 9, 2009.
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