At LEE & LOW BOOKS, we know the power of a good story. Our books encourage readers to pursue their dreams, seek out information on people and cultures that are different from our own, and inspire change for the better. In this guest post, Gwendolyn Hooks, author of Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas, shares some heartwarming readers’ reactions to her book.
We at Lee & Low Books are often asked how schools and parent-teacher organizations can bring more diverse books to families and students through book fairs. We recently observed a wonderful illustration of a school community actively organizing a culturally responsive, diverse book fair. Today, Maria Falgoust, the librarian at the International School of Brooklyn, a Nursery–8th grade independent school in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, NY, shares with us how her school organizes a book fair to promote diverse, inclusive books for families and students. Continue reading
In 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
We at LEE & LOW BOOKS are excited to share the engaging, culturally relevant work happening in the high school classroom of Jarred Amato, veteran educator in Metro Nashville Public Schools. In his essay, Jarred describes the importance of text selection and how to incorporate social justice and relevant content into the English curriculum at the start of the school year. Originally posted at Jarred’s blog, A Look Inside Mr. Amato’s Classroom, this essay is reposted with permission.
Confession: In eight years of teaching, I have never assigned work from a textbook. I don’t believe in test-prep passages or outdated texts that I know my students will struggle to relate to, connect with, or enjoy, either. My experience is that they generally do more harm than good.
This week, in acknowledgement of Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we are offering a series of blog posts that look at pieces of history that have been hidden, silenced, altered, or swept under the rug. Today we share author Guadalupe García McCall’s reflections on her discovery of a startling piece of Texas history. This piece was originally published as the Author’s Note in her new novel, Shame the Stars. Continue reading
Next Monday is Columbus Day, but in recent years, there’s been a movement to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Columbus Day occupies a dubious spot in our nation’s calendar, ostensibly commemorating both the “discovery” of the Americas by Christopher Columbus and the subsequent destruction and enslavement of countless indigenous people. Today we’re pleased to share this guest post from educator and writer Tami Charles on rethinking how we acknowledge Columbus Day. Continue reading
This week is Banned Book Week, a celebration of the freedom to read and an acknowledgement of the ongoing fight against censorship. There is much to talk about this year, including a fascinating survey by School Library Journal about librarian self-censorship and a PEN America report on challenged diverse children’s books, coupled with recent conversations sparked by author Lionel Shriver’s controversial comments about cultural appropriation and freedom of speech.
So, where are we when it comes to censorship? We asked authors, scholars, teachers, and librarians to share their thoughts with us in today’s roundtable. Participants: Continue reading
Earlier this month, we highlighted the impressive work happening in the classroom of Jessica Lifshitz, veteran educator in Northbrook, Illinois. Following her popular essay on how Jessica empowered her fifth grade students to analyze their classroom library for its culturally responsiveness and relevancy, she shares in this interview with LEE & LOW BOOKS why she wanted to take on this project with her students, where families and administrators fit into this process, and her hopes for her students.
We at LEE & LOW BOOKS are excited and honored to share the impressive work happening in the classroom of Jessica Lifshitz, veteran educator in Northbrook, Illinois. In an excerpt of her essay, Jessica describes how she empowers her fifth grade students to analyze their classroom library for its culturally responsiveness and relevancy. She provides students with background information, including LEE & LOW BOOKS’ visualization of the lack of diversity in children’s books. Originally posted at Jessica’s blog, Crawling Out of the Classroom, this excerpt is reposted with permission.