Category Archives: Diversity

2017 Diverse Summer Reading List Grades PreK-8

June is finally here, summer is (almost) here, and that means that summer reading 2017 page 1the 2017 Diverse Summer Reading List PreK-8 from LEE & LOW is here!

Click here to download, print, and share the 2017 Diverse Summer Reading List Grades PreK-8 along with the LEE & LOW Reading Log and Certificate of Achievement. 

This list is not only an excellent tool to help you include diverse books in your summer suggested reading lists, but a way to begin diversifying the books available to students in your classroom libraries. It is important to remember that diverse books are not only for diverse readers. Reading books featuring diverse characters and communities mirror experiences in their own lives, allowing children to see themselves reflected in the stories they love, but they also provide windows into other life experiences to understand and be more accepting of the world around them. Continue reading

Come Meet LEE & LOW BOOKS at ALA 2017!

It’s that time of year again! The annual American Library Association conference is just around the corner and we would love to meet you! If you will be in Chicago this year, come visit us in booth #3115 where we’ll give away ARCs, bookmarks, posters, postcards, and other free swag!

Continue reading

Diversity in Publishing: A Closer Look at LEE & LOW’s Staff

In our earlier blog post, Diversity in Publishing: How Diverse is LEE & LOW’s Authors, Illustrators, and Staff, we shared a mini breakdown of our authors and illustrators as well as our staff. In the past, we’ve received a few questions asking about the percentage of authors/illustrators of color we publish as well as the percentage of people of color on our staff. And we hoped that this post would answer a few of those questions.

After posting the percentage, we received a few more questions: what is the breakdown per department? What is the breakdown by race and ethnicity? How many members of your staff are LGBTQ+ identifying, and/or disabled?

Continue reading

Our 10 Favorite Multicultural Books for First Grade

Reading books with children at a young age not only helps them be better prepared for school, but it also opens their minds to new cultures and experiences. Exposing children in first grade 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 learning.

Lee & Low Books is a children’s book publisher specializing in diversity. We offers hundreds of great books for first graders, along with free teacher guides and lesson plans for each book! 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 all our books and collections for grades PreK – 2, and check out our other book lists by grade: Continue reading

Diversity in Publishing: How Diverse is LEE & LOW’s Staff, Authors, and Illustrators?

At the beginning of 2015 we conducted our Diversity Baseline Survey to measure the amount of diversity among publishing staff across the industry. The numbers told us something we already knew: publishing suffers from a major lack of diversity, not just in books but also in staff.

But we’ve also received this question: How diverse are the authors and illustrators that Lee & Low publishes? And how diverse is our Lee & Low staff?

As the largest multicultural children’s book publisher in the United States, we think this information is important to share. Below you’ll find our demographic breakdown of our authors and illustrators as well as our staff. Continue reading

Out Today: Arrow of Lightning (Killer of Enemies Book #3) by Joseph Bruchac

Today is the release day for Arrow of Lightning, the exhilarating final book in the Killer of Enemies trilogy, and we couldn’t be more excited!

arrow of lightning Continue reading

The Education of Beautiful Jim Key with Donna Janell Bowman

STEP RIGHT UP cover In this guest post, originally posted on author Donna Janell Bowman’s blog and reposted here with permission, Donna Janell Bowman shares her beliefs about the extraordinary skills of Jim Key, a horse who learned how to read, write, and do math.

Continue reading

Classroom Library Assessment: How Culturally Responsive is Your Library?

Teachers, let’s talk about a popular topic across education blogs and Pinterest: the classroom library. A quick search on the Internet results in numerous tips, tricks, and ideas for different ways to configure and organize your classroom library. It’s an intensive and thoughtful process that involves thinking about genre, reading levels, interest levels, grade-level content, categories, and themes.

Unfortunately, we often see classroom libraries that group diverse books into categories that isolate or limit their use. Simply having a book bin labeled “cultures from around the world” or “black history month books” does not mean your library is culturally responsive. We need to think critically about how these books reflect the diversity of our students, their backgrounds, and the communities in which we live while exposing them to new ideas and concepts. Does your classroom library contain books that include main characters of color or with disabilities? Do your books featuring people of color only focus on issues of race, prejudice, or discrimination? Do they go beyond ethnic heritage months? Do they only focus on cultural traditions and foods? Continue reading

Interview: Uma Krishnaswami on Citizenship, Culture, and Community

Today is the release day of Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh, a middle grade historical novel about nine-year-old Maria Singh who longs to play softball. To celebrate, we interviewed author Uma Krishnaswami to find out more about her writing process and her inspiration behind Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh.

Continue reading

Illustrator Elisa Chavarri Takes Us Behind the Art of Rainbow Weaver/Tejedora del arcoíris

Released last fall from LEE & LOW BOOKS, Rainbow Weaver/Tejedora del arcoíris is a beautiful story of recycling, conservation, and family tradition. Ixchel wants to follow in the long tradition of weaving on backstrap looms, just as her mother, grandmother, and most Mayan women have done for more than two thousand years. But Ixchel’s mother is too busy preparing her weavings for the market. Ixchel first tries weaving with a variety of materials, but then she  notices the colorful plastic bags littering her neighborhood and suddenly has an idea that ends up benefitting everyone.

We asked illustrator Elisa Chavarri to take us behind the scenes of her art process bringing Rainbow Weaver to life: Continue reading