Sadly, I don't have access to the first book at the moment.
So I'll start with Book Two.
From page 21 of The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey:
To Reynie's surprise, Sticky looked exactly as he'd looked a year ago: a skinny boy with light brown skin, anxious eyes (though perhaps the anxiety came from not yet having recovered his breath), and a completely bald head.
On the inside of the book, the illustrations (which I do love) reflect that description. This one is from page 17:
So far, so good, right? Yeah. Until you close the book and look at the front cover:
Erm, WHAT? Let's look a little closer:
Um, yeah. So not right. I mean, WHY? Did his SKIN TONE affect the COLOR SCHEME?
Book Three. Same deal.
From page 9 of The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma:
Sticky looked to have suffered even worse. His sweat-soaked clothes clung like a wet suit to his skinny frame; his light brown skin had gone a sickly shade of gray; and behind his wire-rimmed spectacles, which sat askew on his nose, his eyes seemed dazed and glassy.
Once again, the inside of the book looks right. From page 41:
But, again -- close the book and look at the cover:
EXTREME CLOSE UP:
As Travis over at 100 Scope Notes said, "it wasn’t enough to make him white, they made him albino with rosy cheeks". I add to that: WTF, Little, Brown?! W. T. F. Please explain. But, really, the same question can be asked of us: Poor Sticky has been bleached on these book covers since 2007 -- clearly readers have not made it clear to Little, Brown that this is a problem. (Not that they should NEED to be told. But, you know. I figured that while I was slinging blame around, I may as well take my portion.)
You can contact Little, Brown Books for Young Readers here:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
237 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017