Black History Month Book Giveaway!

In addition to giving away signed copies of Janna and the Kings on the main site, we’re giving away three sets of six books each on this here blog at the end of February. Why a Black History Month giveaway at the end of February? Because Black History is still worth teaching all year long!

Here’s how it works:

  • You enter the contest by midnight, February 28th, 2010. There are four ways to enter:
    • Tweet/ReTweet it on Twitter (make sure you include @LEEandLOW).
    • Comment on this post, telling us your favorite Black History Reads or why you want to read these books.
    • Subscribe to this blog (make sure you tell us in comments, so we know it’s you).
    • Post about this on your own blog (if you’re not hosted by WordPress, make sure you tell us in comments).

    You get one entry per action—do all of the above and you have four chances to win.

  • We randomly pick three winners.
  • We send each winner one of the three sets of books, shown below.
  • The winners use these awesome Black History books all year round.
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This Week in Diversity: The Power of Words and Languages

This week we’re starting close to home: from the New York Times, an article on the lack of diversity at top New York City Schools—and a reminder that a lack of diversity doesn’t mean that everyone is white.

A long but very interesting paper looks at the role parents’ English ability plays in the juvenile justice system.

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February Break

It’s a dreary, snowy day outside the office windows—the kind of day that makes me want to curl up with a book (or two or three) and a steaming mug of hot cocoa. And is that book (or two or three) something new and provocative, something I’ll need to think about and stretch my mind around?

Nope. Not a chance.

That book (or two or three) is comfort reading. Pulled from the stack of books that I reread over and over. They are dogeared, their spines are broken, many show water damage or the covers have fallen off. They are well loved and comfortable. They are old friends.

I asked around the office; here’s what some of us at Lee & Low turn to on snowy days, sick days, and other days when comfort reading is just the right thing to do.

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This Week in Diversity: The Pervasiveness of Racism

Welcome to Black History Month!

Heritage Months have their bad sides and good sides, but we’re starting out this week’s linkup with one of the good things to come out of Black History Month: The Brown Bookshelf‘s Twenty-Eight Days Later project, highlighting a Black children’s book author or illustrator every day in February. Check their blog for great contributors to the field. Today they’re talking with one of our own authors, Natasha Anastasia Tarpley. Shadra Strickalnd, Tony Medina, and Christine Taylor-Butler will be featured later in the month.

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Video Thursday: Racial Tension Headaches

This week we bring you another humorous look at race relations in the US: [vodpod id=Video.2542712&w=425&h=350&fv=]

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Raising Children Away from Home

White Americans tend to raise children in nuclear families—just parents and kids—but in many cultures and many immigrant groups, extended families are deeply involved. Only One Year, one of our new Spring books, is about a Chinese American family sending their two-year-old boy to live for a year in China, with his grandparents and surrounded by aunts, uncles, and cousins. In a new BookTalk, author Andrea Cheng talks about the families who inspired her to write this book, as well as cultural differences, siblings, and her own family.

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Perception and Reality

The number of children’s books featuring racial, ethnic, or cultural diversity has not kept pace with the growing diversity of the United States population. Census data from 2008 shows that 34% of the population is minorities. In contrast, the number of children’s books reflecting diversity is about 13% of the books published each year. Since 1994, when the Cooperative Children’s Book Center started to keep statistics of children’s books published by and about people of color, I’ve watched this percentage inch up and down. But there has never been a significant improvement or decline.

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Jason at Multiculturalism Rocks!

Nathalie Mvondo over at Mutliculturalism Rocks! has posted a great interview with our very own publisher (and regular blogwriter) Jason Low!

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This Week in Diversity: Forgotten Shades of Grey

It’s bitterly cold outside (at least here in New York), so stay inside and read! Here’s this week’s selection of articles and essays.

Last month we shared an Indian ad for White Beauty, a skin-lightening cream. Now, a study is highlighting the dangers of these types of products, many of which contain steroids or mercury. A NYTimes Op-Ed looks beyond the products and into the roots of their popularity with an exploration of colorism, the tendency to be biased towards people with lighter skin, even within one’s own racial or ethnic group.

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Video Thursday: Iranian in America

It’s a couple years old (Bush was president, remember those years?), but Iranian American comedian Maz Jobrani still hits several nails on the head when talking about being Middle Eastern in America:

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Exploring Children's Books Through the Lens of Diversity