Plan Your Month Roundup: December Books and Resources

Now that your stomach is filled with turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, it’s time to get ready for the December holidays! Here are some book recommendations and resources for the December holiday season.

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Celebrating 25 Books Over 25 Years: Juna’s Jar

Lee and Low 25th anniversaryLEE & LOW BOOKS celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and to recognize how far the company has come, we are featuring one title a week to see how it is being used in classrooms today, as well as hear from the authors and illustrators. Today we’re featuring one of our recent favorites, Juna’s Jar! Published in 2015, this sweet story with universal appeal and a touch of magical realism received widespread acclaim and continues to resonate with readers of all ages. Continue reading

Interview: Author LaTisha Redding on Immigration, Grief, and the Healing Power of Art

In Calling the Water Drum, Henri and his parents leave their homeland, Haiti, after they receive an invitation from an uncle to come to New York City. As they attempt to flee Haiti in a boat, Henri loses his parents out at sea, and after his loss can only communicate with the outside world through playing his drum. In this interview, author LaTisha Redding discusses how she tackles heavy themes in children’s books and what inspired her to write Henri’s story.

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Celebrating 25 Books Over 25 Years: Summoning the Phoenix

Lee and Low 25th anniversaryLEE & LOW BOOKS celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and to recognize how far the company has come, we are featuring one title a week to see how it is being used in classrooms today as well, as hear from the authors and illustrators.

Today we are highlighting Summoning the Phoenix: Poems and Prose About Chinese Musical Instruments, an award-winning title from our Shen’s Books imprint, written by Emily Jiang and illustrated by April Chu. In 2013, we acquired the California-based Shen’s Books, which emphasizes cultural diversity and tolerance, with a focus on introducing children to the cultures of Asia. Continue reading

Shame the Stars: Teaching Forgotten Narratives

Guest BloggerIn this guest post, educator and writer Tami Charles presents text-dependent questions and inquiry-based activities for students to practice close reading and critical thinking with the book Shame the Stars. Continue reading

Celebrate National Adoption Day with our Adoption Book List

November 19th is National Adoption Day! And to celebrate, we are highlighting books that help children learn about and reflect on how families come together.

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Finding the Lost Voices with YA Historical Fiction

pia ceres summer internPia Ceres was LEE & LOW’s summer intern. She is a recipient of the We Need Diverse Books Internship Program grant. She’s a senior at Brown University, where she studies Education & Comparative Literature, with a focus in French literature. When she’s not reading, you can find her watching classic horror movies from under a blanket, strumming pop songs on her ukulele, and listening to her grandparents’ stories about the Philippines. In this blog post, she asks the question “can fiction be a pathway to fact?” while looking at YA historical fiction.

High school students in Providence, Rhode Island, rallied in January to launch a campaign called #OurHistoryMatters, advocating for greater representation of the contributions of people of color in history curricula. Like many urban school districts, Providence serves a diverse student body where 74% of students identify as Black or Latino and 17% as Native American. Yet when student activists studied an American history textbook used in their school district, they reported that out of nearly 2,000 pages, fewer than 100 mentioned people of color.

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Celebrating 25 Books Over 25 Years: Parrots Over Puerto Rico

Lee and Low 25th anniversaryLEE & LOW BOOKS celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and to recognize how far the company has come, we are featuring one title a week to see how it is being used in classrooms today as well, as hear from the authors and illustrators. Continue reading

Interview: Donna Janell Bowman on the Amazing William “Doc” and Jim Key

Step Right Up cover imageStep Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness is a biography of William “Doc” Key, a formerly enslaved man and self-trained veterinarian who taught his horse, Jim, to read, write, and do math. Together they became a famous traveling performance act and proponents for the humane treatment of animals around the turn of the twentieth century. In this interview, author Donna Janell Bowman discusses the power of Doc and Jim Key’s message of kindness and what inspired her to write about one of the most famous performing duos in the country.

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Close Reading in High School: Ink and Ashes

Featured title: Ink and Ashes

Written by: Valynne Maetani

Synopsis

When Japanese American Claire Takata finds out that her deceased father was once a member of the yakuza, a Japanese crime syndicate, danger enters her life that could end up killing someone. Winner of Tu Books’ New Visions Award, Ink and Ashes is a fascinating debut novel packed with romance, intrigue, and heart-stopping action.

Themes: trust, honesty, honor, family, teamwork, forgiveness Continue reading

Exploring Children's Books Through the Lens of Diversity