• Inspire Teen Reads

Inspire Teen Reads 5th Annual Book Pitch: Our Book Jacket Honourable Mentions

New to this year's Annual Book Pitch Competition is the Book Jacket Design category, in which young people nationwide are invited to redesign a book jacket for their favourite book. We received some outstanding submissions from youth across Canada revisioning the look of their favourite books, and we'd like to share them with you.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Phillip K. Dick

Designed by Danielle Alexander

"The novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Phillip K. Dick follows Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter assigned to kill escaped androids As he takes on the greatest task he’s ever faced, he begins to question his hatred for androids, and the morality of hunting them down and killing them. John R. Isidore is a “special”, a human with low intelligence, his brain mutated by the radioactive dust that plagues the planet. He is unwanted by society, so lives alone, until a strange girl moves in next door, and he starts to learn more about these escaped androids living around him. While these two men lead very different lives across the city, they also find comfort in the religion of Mercerism, but even that becomes questioned. In this classic science-fiction novel Philip K. Dicks delves into themes of empathy, religion, and death, as well as introducing

readers to a bleak future earth.

One of my favourite aspects of this book was worldbuilding. I was entranced with the way Philip K. Dick used setting to bring his themes to life, and the ways the characters interacted with this setting. On my cover I wanted to paint empty apartments, surreal, cold, and unnerving. John R Isidore feels such intense loneliness in his apartment building, the silence oozing from the walls. I wanted to depict the small horrors of living in isolation. The window into the desertrepresents the apocalyptic world outside the city, and a window into the comfort people feel through religion in this story. On the back of the book I painted a sheep surrounded by indistinguishable rubbish, the ruins that make up the planet. At first glance the sheep appears

ordinary, but upon further inspection it has green eyes and wires on its legs. This is a reference to the title and to question the line between real and electronic, something the characters struggle to find throughout the novel."

Rebel Of The Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Designed by Emily Rae

"Rebel of the Sands (RotS) follows Amani, a sharpshooter trying to escape the rural desert village of Dustwalk for a better life in Izman, the nation's bustling capital. She gets her chance when she encounters Jin, a mysterious foreigner who gives her the opportunity to strike out into the world—at the cost of being dragged into a rebellion that would grow bigger than either of them could have imagined.

RotS blurs the line between myth and reality when the characters discover that some beings only spoken of in fables are actually real, and I wanted to reflect that by making the cover simplistic, with images that were easy to understand; I added the worn texture to imitate the cover of a child’s storybook. The book revolves around Amani’s journey, both emotional and physical, and I hoped to convey that by placing Jin and Amani at the furthest possible point from their goal of reaching Izman, telling of the adventure to come. Amani describes herself multiple times as being a “desert girl”, so I chose the red colour palate to be all-encompassing: despite her growth as a character in RotS and throughout the series, Amani never forgets the past that made her strong, independent, and fearsome. Growing up as a girl in the tiny town of Dustwalk with no true family and no prospects, she made the conscious decision to teach herself to shoot. Throughout the novel, her guns and talent as a sharpshooter are something that is wholly hers and become a symbol of her newfound self-determination and defiance of traditional gender roles in her world, so it was important to me that she was presented holding her guns on the cover. Jin is shown holding his sword but is slightly behind Amani—despite engineering the circumstance to help Amani flee Dustwalk, Jin is in no way a “knight in shining armour,” or Amani’s protector. If anything, she protects him, and I wanted to make it clear with their stances who was looking out for who.

At its core, Rebel of the Sands is the story of people overcoming insurmountable odds. The figures of Amani and Jin seem tiny juxtaposed against the impassive expanse of the desert and the seemingly unattainable Izman, but with their weapons drawn, they make it clear that they won’t give up on their quest without fighting to the bitter end."