Category Archives: Holidays and Celebrations

Recommended books and activities for holidays and celebrations throughout the year.

Three Great Books to Celebrate the Olympics

It’s Olympics time! Have you all been glued to your televisions and various electronic devices for the last 5 days? Or, conversely, have you been dodging your televisions and electronic devices, trying to avoid spoilers?

Either way, the Olympics are one of my favorite things. And while it’s tons of fun rooting for all the current big names (Michael Phelps! Kerri Walsh! Gabby Douglas!) it’s also worth spending a few minutes remembering some great Olympic athletes from the past who paved the way. Here are three to start with:

Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds1. Sammy Lee (Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds): Diver Sammy Lee was born on August 1, 1920 in Fresno, California. Growing up, Sammy was barred from the public pool six out of seven days of the week because he was not white; despite that, Lee became a world-class diver and at the 1948 Olympic Games in London, became the first Asian American to win a gold medal. There’s a great picture of Sammy Lee, now 91, in this now-and-then piece on athletes from the last London Olympics.

Continue reading

What does Ramadan celebrate?

from Sharing Our Homeland
from Sharing Our Homeland

Today marks the first day of Ramadan, a month-long celebration for Muslims around the world. Ramadan occurs during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is a time for prayer, fasting, and self-reflection. According to Islamic tradition, Ramadan is when Allah, God, revealed the first verses of the Qu’ran, the holy book, to the prophet Muhammed.

Continue reading

One More Sensational Summer Read Aloud!

For the last installment in our series on Sensational Summer Read Alouds, literacy expert Jaclyn DeForge shares one final title that has a high student-interest level, can be used to hit multiple Common Core learning standards, and is super rich in terms of content, just like A Full Moon is Rising and Silent Star.

Balarama: A Royal ElephantToday’s Pick: Balarama: A Royal Elephant

Continue reading

Why Do You Love Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?

Ferris Bueller coverFor those of you who didn’t know, Cat Girl’s Day Off takes place on the set of a remake of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Since its release in 1986, this movie has achieved the status of cult classic and become the source of countless pop culture references and movie quotes (Bueller? Bueller?)

For me, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off evokes fond images of playing hooky in sunny Chicago, adventures you could only have with your best friends, and the loveable Ferris himself. I would love to be Ferris
Bueller!! But what exactly is it about the movie that makes it an all-time favorite?

Cat Girl's Day Off CoverAuthor Kimberly Pauley tells us her top five reasons why she chose the film to tie in to Cat Girl’s Day Off:

Continue reading

What Are Your Top 3 Beach Reads?

In celebration of July 4th and all of summer’s fun activities, I asked a few Lee & Low authors and staff members what their favorite beach reads are. I’m sure it was difficult to pick just three, but here’s what they came up with:

Don Tate, author of It Jes’ Happened, says: “Reading here has been slow lately. But here’s what’s tops on my summer reading list, books written by friends and critique partners in my local writing community.”

  1. Laugh With The Moon by Shana Burg
  2. Chronal Engine by Greg Leitich Smith
  3. Think Big by Liz Garton Scanlon

 Jaclyn DeForge, our Resident Literacy Expert, explains why she made her choices:During the summer, despite my best intentions, I seldom actually make it to the beach, so here are my favorite travel-centric reads that help me imagine I’m on vacation.”

  1. A Sense of Direction:  Pilgrimage for the Restless and the Hopeful by Gideon Lewis-Krauss
  2. Continue reading

Happy First Day of Summer!

Image from Yum! ¡Mmmm! ¡Que Rico!

Continue reading

Happy LGBT Pride Month!

June is LGBT Pride Month, and throughout this month people everywhere (including President Obama) have been celebrating the positive impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have had in the world. The fight for LGBT rights has always been a matter of civil rights and equality, as our publisher noted in a recent post, and it’s nice that we live in an era when that’s acknowledged by so many people.

Continue reading

The biggest full moon of the year

In our busy day-to-day life, certain things often slip by unnoticed. When is the last time you stepped outside to admire a full moon?

A Full Moon is Rising image

If you can’t remember the last time you admired the moon, tomorrow night is the night to do it. Thanks to the fact that our lunar neighbor will be especially close to Earth (a mere 221,802 miles away!), tomorrow’s moon is expected to be the biggest, brightest full moon of the year, also known as a supermoon.

Continue reading

And meanwhile, over at Pinterest…

In case you missed it, on Pinterest this week we created a booklist of books with Passover themes:

Continue reading

Happy Spring from Lee & Low!

Tashi image

Continue reading