September is here and with the close of summer comes the close of our New Voices Award submissions window on September 30, 2017. It’s also a time when those who have submitted manuscripts—and those still in the process of doing so—may be grappling with some personal questions:
Should I submit my story if I’ve never written for children before?
I’ve always been an artist, but can I be a writer?
What happens to the winner and honor after the award?
Where can I find good advice from someone with experience?
These questions and others like them are not easily addressed in a FAQ page. So to provide this year’s participants with some insight to the contest and creative process, we reached out to former New Voices Award winners, honors, and artists who faced some of these same questions not too long ago. These three accomplished storytellers have forged successful careers as children’s book authors, illustrators, and even author/illustrators. In the following interview, author Paula Yoo (Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds), illustrator Shadra Strickland (Bird and Sunday Shopping) and author/illustrator Don Tate (It Jes’ Happened) share how participating in the New Voices Award helped shape their success.
Released last month, Martí’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad is a picture book biography of José Martí, a renowned political figure and revolutionary who dedicated his life to the promotion of liberty. Known for his leadership in the fight for Cuban independence, Martí is celebrated throughout Latin America. To many Latinos, particularly Cuban Americans, he represents the bridge between the cultures of Latin America and the United States. Martí’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad received five starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Shelf Awareness, Booklist, and Kirkus Reviews.
For this post, we asked author Emma Otheguy, editor Jessica Echeverria, and translator Adriana Dominguez to take us through the translation process for Martí’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad:
It’s that time of the year again! September is around the corner and the summer season is winding down. Help kick the year off to a great start with our Back-to-School Reading Lists for Grades PreK-8 and suggestions from Lee & Low Books. Curated by our in-house literacy specialists, these book lists have something for everyone and will make sure that all students feel at home in their new classrooms.
The Back-To-School Reading Lists are available for Grades PreK-2, Grades 3-5, and Grades 6-8, and they are free to download and share!
Reading books with children at a young age not only helps them better prepare for school, but it also opens their minds to new cultures and experiences. Exposing children early 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 third graders. 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 3-6 classroom collections to see what we offer, and check out our other book lists by grade:
Our 10 Favorite Multicultural Books for Preschool
Our 8 Favorite Multicultural Books for Kindergarten
Our 10 Favorite Multicultural Books for First Grade
Our 10 Favorite Multicultural Books for Second Grade
While we have hundreds of titles to choose from, here are 10 of our absolute favorite diverse books for third grade!
Santiago Montoya is LEE & LOW’s summer intern and a recipient of the We Need Diverse Books Internship Program grant. A rising junior at Brandeis University, Santiago is majoring in Hispanic Studies and Sociology with minors in Comparative Literature & Culture and Legal Studies. He is originally from Medellín, Colombia, but moved to the US permanently to complete his education. He occasionally goes back to Colombia to reconnect with his roots and his loved ones. LEE & LOW’s title Family Pictures/Cuadros de Familia was the inspiration for this blog post because it reminded him of an important quality of being Latino, which is family and togetherness. Continue reading
Released this month from LEE & LOW BOOKS, Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee! is a picture book biograpy of James VanDerZee, a groundbreaking photographer who chronicled an important era in Harlem and showed the beauty and pride of its people. He took photographs of legendary figures of the Harlem Renaissance—politicians such as Marcus Garvey, performers including Florence Mills, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, and Mamie Smith—and ordinary folks in the neighborhood too.
We asked illustrator Keith Mallett to take us behind the scenes of his art process bringing Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee to life: Continue reading
Pacific Rim meets Korean dramas in Rebel Seoul, the electrifying new sci-fi thriller out this September from the Tu Books imprint of LEE & LOW BOOKS. When Jaewon is recruited into the most lucrative weapons development division in Neo Seoul, he’s eager to claim his best shot at military glory. His objective is simple: report on Tera, the test subject in the government’s supersoldier project. But when he becomes Tera’s partner and starts to fall for her, Jaewon begins to question his loyalty to an oppressive regime. He must decide where he stands: with the people, or the totalitarian government that claims to end all war.
We asked Tu Books editor and publisher Stacy Whitman to take us through the process of bringing the cover of Rebel Seoul to life:
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?
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
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!