Book Covers and Race

Okay, so this just totally shocked me. Author Justine Larbalestier blogged about book covers and protagonists of color. Apparently, her book Liar has a black protagonist, but the publisher insisted on this cover (supposedly for marketing purposes) in the U.S., which clearly features a white girl. (The cover behind it is the Australian version.)

Seriously? I really have my mouth hanging open. What were they thinking? First of all, let me just say that I'm not a fan of faces on covers anyway. I hate when the cover tries to force me into an image of what the character looks like. I'd rather create my own image in my head. However, I'd be super pissed if I picked up a book and the cover image was completely unrelated to the book. It's a betrayal to the author, to the character, and to the reader. Plus, there are so few YA books with protagonists of color to begin with, shouldn't they promoting that this is one? Craziness.