10 Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Realistic Dialogue

You’re a writer working on a manuscript and you’ve finally got your two most important characters in the same room. There’s tension between them. One character has a question and the other has the answer. The conflict your plot has been riding on has finally come to a head—these characters need to say what’s been on their minds for pages!

But how do you make sure that your characters say what they need to in a way that’s believable to the reader? Nothing ruins a moment like this more than when the dialogue doesn’t flow or sound believable. If this is a problem you’re grappling with, don’t worry. We asked two previous New Voices Award-winning authors, Pamela M. Tuck (As Fast As Words Can Fly) and Glenda Armand (Love Twelve Miles Long) for their tips and tricks on writing successful, realistic dialogue.

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The Book So Good He Stole It: Our Intern on “Family Pictures”

summer 2017 internSantiago 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

Free Webinar for Writers: A Conversation With Our Editors

As the submission deadlines draw near for LEE & LOW’s New Voices and New Visions writing contests, our editors are on the lookout for the next great manuscript! Could it be yours?

Shaping Up Your Manuscript webinar Continue reading

Dual Language Book Sets for the Classroom

Many people know Lee & Low Books for our wide selection of diverse and multicultural children’s books. But did you also know we’re a great source for Spanish books and dual language collections?

We offer hundreds of titles in Spanish at all reading levels. Our original, authentic stories will help you teach in a bilingual or dual language program, deepen a student’s engagement to Spanish, scaffold a student into English, and bridge classroom read-alouds with non-English-speaking parents at home. Our text sets include original titles, translations of Lee & Low Books’ classics, and bilingual books for English Language Learners (ELLs), English as a Second Language Learners (ESL), and English as a New Language Learners (ENLs).

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Faith in the American Dream with D. H. Figueredo

When This World Was NewIn this guest post, author D. H. Figueredo discusses the message behind his book, When This World Was New, and his hope in the American Dream.

My story, When This World Was New, might have several messages, or meanings, which have been assigned to the narrative by readers and not by me.  But I do have a conscious message I want to impart to you, an informal legacy of sorts.  During this particular moment in the history of our wonderful country and in the history of communities throughout this land and in the history of immigration to this nation…well, my message is best depicted by a drawing made by the illustrator of my book Enrique A. Sanchez, from the Dominican Republic.

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Illustrator Keith Mallett Takes Us Behind the Art of Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee!

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

Building a Biography: An Interview with New Voices Award Winner Andrea Loney and Senior Editor Jessica Echeverria

At Lee & Low Books we are always interested in biographies of unsung heroes. Stories of lesser-known individuals who used their talents and overcame obstacles to achieve their dreams and serve their society fill our shelves of published titles. Each year our New Voices Award judges consider dozens of biographical submissions on the lookout for a winning combination of compelling characters and well-researched storytelling. But how do these components come together to create a manuscript? How does a writer condense someone’s entire life into a picture book? Does the writer or editor decide what information goes in the story and back matter? What is back matter, anyway? To answer these questions, and for an inside look at the editorial process, we interviewed Andrea Loney, author of the 2014 New Voices Award-winning biography Take A Picture of Me, James VanDerZee! and Jessica Echeverria, our Senior Editor who helped turn Andrea’s manuscript into an absorbing debut!

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Our 10 Favorite Multicultural Books for Second Grade

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 second 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 prek-2 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

While we have hundreds of titles to choose from, here are 10 of our absolute favorite diverse books for second grade!  Continue reading

Activism in Children’s Books: 5 Revolutionary Biographies

This week marks the release of Martí’s Song for Freedom/ Martí y sus versos por la libertad, our new bilingual picture book biography of the Cuban revolutionary and poet José Martí. In celebration, we’ve pulled together a list of five of our favorite picture book biographies about revolutionary figures who started movements. Use these award-winning books to teach about social activism, core values like perseverance and grit, and the importance of art and science in our society!

5 Revolutionary Picture Book Biographies Continue reading

Behind the Cover of REBEL SEOUL

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:

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Exploring Children's Books Through the Lens of Diversity