Let's say you have a book told in first person. The narrator describes herself as black, with very short hair, and is mistaken for a boy early on in the book by teachers and fellow students.
The narrator is a compulsive liar, but unlike some of her other claims in the course of the novel, no doubt is ever cast on this description.
And the book is by an author whose protagonists are never white.
Now let's say you're Bloomsbury. Your books for ages 14-18 always have a photographic cover, but they don't always have a face on them. There are no minorities on their covers.
So what do you put on the cover of this book?
Here's the answer:
They're clearly very proud of themselves, since they also put this striking image on their catalog cover.
Well, I am appropriately stricken. And outraged, nauseous, flabbergasted... I wish I could say I can't imagine what they were thinking, but in fact I do have a guess. I just can't imagine why they thought no one would notice.
This is a very good book and an awesome author. But please, don't pay for Bloomsbury's book. Buy the Australian edition.
UPDATE: Bloomsbury has changed the cover! Yay!