First Book, Stories for All Project Chooses LEE & LOW

In a groundbreaking announcement, First Book, a non-profit social enterprise launched the Stories for All Project. The project’s aim is to introduce a significant number of multicultural books into the hands of low-income children. LEE & LOW was chosen as one of two publishers to be a part of this endeavor and receive a $500,000 award.First Book

For us the presence of this project further addresses the fact that diverse books are a necessity. Making multicultural books available to low-income families is a step toward addressing the chasm between people who believe these books are important to actually making the books available to the children who need them.

For years I have been involved in conversations with librarians and educators on the subject of how we need more diverse books. However, there is this strange disconnect where people continue to point out the lack of diverse books without doing the most obvious thing, which is supporting the companies that publish these books in the first place. The support is simple. It involves buying the books. It also involves telling people about the books and recommending them to buy the books. The more this happens the more books we can publish.

What First Book has done is monumental in supporting multicultural books. It is a bold statement that I hope is just the beginning. An infusion of this many diverse books increases the chances of a child being able to see a face like his or her own staring back at them from the pages of a book. This moment of recognition for a child will create a profound experience that will be forever associated with the act of reading. This powerful relationship to books is one that they will hopefully cultivate for the rest of their lives.

On behalf of everyone at LEE & LOW I want to thank CEO Kyle Zimmer, Executive Vice President Chandler Arnold, Vice President Erica Perl, along with all the dedicated people working on the Stories for All Project. First Book’s commitment and dedication to literacy and multicultural literature is to be commended. This will be a game changer for many children who will be receiving their very first book ever.


  1. Posted March 13, 2013 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Wow — this is huge. Congratulations Lee & Low! What an important project and a wonderful acknowledgement of the quality and importance of your collection. So well deserved. If there’s anything Kids Like Us can do to help with distribution in Chicago or beyond, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Such great news!

  2. Posted March 14, 2013 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    What WONDERFUL news! So happy to part of this great time in publishing!

  3. Posted March 19, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations! Not only will the children get their first book but also the parents will get their first opportunity to read the book with the child, sharing a precious moment, even more memorable if the content of the book directly relates to what is familiar in their lives. You have the books to create that moment. Thank you.

5 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] light of our recent grant from First Book we decided to ask our authors to reflect on the idea of receiving one’s very first book. Guest […]

  2. […] light of our grant from First Book we asked our authors to reflect on why diverse books are important. Guest blogger, author/poet Tony […]

  3. […] recent grant from First Book prompted us to ask our authors to reflect on why diverse books are important. Guest blogger, […]

  4. […] U.S. and Canada since 1992—in March purchased $1 million worth of titles from HarperCollins and Lee & Low Books featuring a diverse array of characters and cultures, the first phase of the […]

  5. […] This isn’t the first time that First Book has advocated for diversity in kid lit. Since 1992, the nonprofit has provided more than 100 million new books and resources to serve the kids and families from the lowest 30 percent of the socioeconomic strata in the United States and Canada—about 45 percent of American kids. Last year, First Book’s “Stories for All Project”—as covered by School Library Journal— purchased $1 million worth of diverse titles from HarperCollins and Lee & Low Books. […]

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