As the United States continues to feel the ripple effects of its family separation policy, caretakers are tasked with the difficult job of helping young people make sense of what’s happening—a tall order when we often struggle to understand ourselves. Adults may feel an initial impulse to shield children from today’s news, but we know that this is not a solution, and may instead contribute to more confusion and fear.
So, how can we address this topic in a respectful, honest, and age-appropriate way? Here are a few tips:
This Sunday is Father’s Day and we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite books for Father’s Day. Celebrate your fathers, grandfathers, and father-figures by reading stories that make you feel at home through the traditions of diverse cultures and places around the world!
Did we miss one of your favorite titles? Let us know in the comments!
January marked the release of Confucius: Great Teacher of China by renowned children’s book author and illustrator, Demi. This beautifully illustrated biography pays homage to a man whose philosophy shaped the course of Chinese history. In this previous blog post, Demi speaks about the sources that served as inspiration for Confucius.
The Confucius Teacher’s Guide offers resources and tips on how to guide discussions about Confucius and his work in the classroom. This title and teacher’s guide is perfect for a unit on biographies, China, ancient civilizations, philosophers, and more. Our teacher’s guide also features summary and background information, prereading and discussion questions, ideas for reader’s response and writing activities, strategies for ELL/ESL, and interdisciplinary activities and connections. Below we’ve shared a few activities and resources from the Confucius Teacher’s Guide. Continue reading
Today we’re excited to announce the release of our new title, Every Month is a New Year: Celebrations Around the World, written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Susan L. Roth. In many places around the globe, the new year starts on January 1. But not everywhere! Chinese New Year is celebrated in January or February. Iranians observe Nowruz in March. For Thai people, Songkran occurs in April. Ethiopians greet the new year at Enkutatash in September. All these celebrations, and many others, have deep-rooted traditions and treasured customs.
It’s May and with the arrival of spring comes the opening of the nineteenth annual Lee & Low New Voices Award! We reviewed submissions from the past few years and identified several common pitfalls amongst the contest entries that did not win. We compiled these into the list below so that writers interested in submitting to our contest can avoid them:
Six years ago, we released Summer of the Mariposas from our Tu Books imprint. Set in Texas, Summer of the Mariposas is a Mexican retelling of the Odyssey, but it’s also a celebration of sisterhood and maternal love. It went on to win numerous awards, including the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Finalist, Lone Star Reading List, and the Amelia Bloomer Project – Feminist Task Force.
Now, we’re excited to say that this beautiful story has been translated into Spanish! We’re releasing El verano de las mariposas this May, and it will be our first young adult novel to be translated into Spanish. We interviewed author Guadalupe García McCall and translator David Bowles on the translation process, what it was like working together, and their upcoming projects. Continue reading
While reading books with children will help them better prepare for school and opens their minds to new cultures and experiences, it’s important to keep cultivating that love of reading into middle school. Exposing children to both “mirror” and “window” books—that is, books in which they can see themselves, and books in which they can learn about others—is the best way to create engaged readers and support social and emotional growth.
Lee & Low Books offers hundreds of great books for middle schoolers. Our books include English, Spanish, and bilingual titles; books about many different cultures; books that span a wide range of subjects and themes; and both fiction and nonfiction. Browse our middle school classroom collections to see what we have to offer, and check out our other book lists by grade:
While we have hundreds of titles to choose from, here are 10 of our absolute favorite diverse books for middle school!
Released last fall from the Children’s Book Press imprint of LEE & LOW BOOKS, Family Poems for Every Day of the Week/Poemas familiares para cada día de la semana is a celebratory collection of poems that highlights the daily life of children every day of the week while also honoring the experiences of Latino poet Francisco X. Alarcón, who passed away in January 2016. We interviewed illustrator Maya Christina Gonzalez about the important role that family and friends play in Family Poems for Every Day of the Week and what the creative process was like: Continue reading
Released this winter from the Shen’s Book imprint of LEE & LOW BOOKS, Confucius: Great Teacher of China is a beautiful picture book biography that provides a warm introduction to the philosopher some call “China’s uncrowned king.” Confucius was born in 551 BCE, at a time of great war and famine in China. As he observed the suffering around him, he realized the best way to transform a society was to teach. He believed if rulers were good people—wise, trustworthy, and generous—they could lead by example, he said. Twenty-five hundred years later, Confucius’s ideas about education, government, right behavior, and compassion continue to inspire millions every day.
Demi is the author and illustrator of more than one hundred books for children. How has she created so many award-winning books? We asked her to share a little bit about her creative process and sources of inspiration: Continue reading
Last November, Amy Lee-Tai, author of A Place Where Sunflowers Grow, participated in a program called The Big Read, a program that exposes communities across the country to great works of literature and encourages them to read for pleasure and enrichment. Below is her blog post where she reflects on the experience: