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Middle Grade Cover Reveal – Susie B. Won’t Back Down






Written by Margaret Finnegan

Publication Date:  10/5/21 From Atheneum BYR


SusieBWontBackDown cvr



Can you tell how excited we are to share the middle-grade cover reveal for Susie B. Won’t Back Down, Margaret Finnegan’s second middle-grade novel?



This upbeat middle-grade book cover shouts “I mean business!” Today readers get their first look at Susie B., Finnegan’s 10-year-old protagonist who’s determined to bring about change by running for student government. The bold, bright colors in a variety of geometric shapes convey a sense of optimism, that anything is possible. I love how artist Bev Johnson incorporated the title into a campaign poster and positioned Susie B., in a confident pose looking directly at the reader. Is she as capable as she appears? We may not know just yet how she’ll approach her candidacy, but there’s every indication her experience will be as colorful as the novel’s cover.



When fifth-grader Susie B. decides to run for Student Council President, she thinks she’ll finally earn herself some eternal glory, just like her hero Susan B. Anthony, the famed women’s rights activist. But winning won’t be easy, especially when everyone is already voting for Susie’s opponents, one of whom begins to make some pretty stinky choices just to get elected. And when she learns that the heroic Anthony made some pretty stinky choices of her own, it just makes everything harder.   


Author Margaret Finnegan
Margaret Finnegan ©2019 Skye Moorhead


Margaret Finnegan is the author of We Could Be Heroes, a Junior Library Guild selection. Her work has appeared in FamilyFun magazine, the LA Times, Salon, and other publications. She lives in South Pasadena, California, with her family and dog Walt. She makes very good chocolate cakes, and while she ran for student council in ninth grade, she lost.



Follow on Twitter: @FinneganBegin

Follow in Instagram: @FinneganBegin

Add Susie B. to your TBR list on Goodreads:



Susie B. Won’t Back Down cover artist, Bev Johnson, is a graduate of RISD who enjoys swimming, chocolate, writing, and being inspired by music. She has designed many children’s book covers, including Best Babysitters Ever by Caroline Cala and Pippa Park Raises her Game by Erin Yun. Learn more about her work at and on Instagram @beverlylove.


See Margaret’s previous cover reveal for We Could Be Heroes here.

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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Looks wonderful! I love what you say about the cover, and I’m interested to see what Susie B. does in response what she learns about politics, and about Susan B. Anthony, too.

    1. Yes, Mary, I’m curious too, especially since when we moved back to L.A. from London my daughter got involved in student government which proved to be a real eye-opener for her.

  2. We loved Margaret Finnegan’s last book, We Could Be Heroes, so we’re looking forward to this one as well! I recall the posters I created for my student government campaigns, and how student government really helped me find my identity and my “tribe” in high school. There are so many books who equate confident girls with bossy ones, so it’ll be nice to add another pro-girl leadership book to our collective library shelves.

    1. I loved WE COULD BE HEROES too, Susan, and know Susie B. will pull me right in. Bev Johnson’s bold cover art lets us know that Susie is a colorful character ready to take on new challenges.

  3. This looks so cool! We could use more stories about girls in government and I love the art style.

  4. I love the self-confident stance of the main character. The bold and vibrant colors and typography used on the book’s cover further emphasize Susie’s self-assured, can-do attitude. The stories and influence of strong, female figures in government are very much sought-after today and this book will help satisfy that longing for such heroines.

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