It’s that time of year again! The annual ALA conference is just around the corner and we would love to meet you! We’ll be in at Booth #1469! Continue reading
Another year, another successful ALA annual! We were so excited to be in San Francisco this year, especially in light of the recent SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage! What better city to be in than the one that elected Harvey Milk to public office and issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2004, kickstarting a fight for LGBTQ marriage rights in California? Continue reading
Yesterday was the ALA Youth Media Awards, or the “Oscars of Children’s Literature” as they’re sometimes called. It was a big day for diversity. Diverse books and authors were honored across the board and we couldn’t be happier. Continue reading
Another year, another fantastic ALA Annual, this time in Las Vegas! While “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” we thought it would be OK to break that code, just this one time, in order to share our experiences with you.
Even though the weather was hot (hello triple digits!), attendance was high and spirits were up! We teamed up with the folks of the #weneeddiversebooks campaign to hand out buttons, which were a huge hit! In fact, School Library Journal reported that, “If you ran into a youth services librarian at the American Library Association (ALA) Conference in Las Vegas, odds were good that they were sporting a colorful ‘We Need Diverse Books’ button.”
We kept a white board in our booth, and got some great answers from librarians on why we need diverse books:
Quite a few of our authors and illustrators made it out to Las Vegas and our schedule was packed with signings! Don Tate, Glenda Armand, Frank Morrison, René Colato Lainez, Karen Sandler, Mira Reisberg, John Parra, Susan L. Roth, Cindy Trumbore, and Emily Jiang all stopped by the booth to sign books. In true Vegas style, we kept the party going at the LEE & LOW table!
It’s hard to believe that the ALA Annual Conference is just around the corner, but we’re looking forward to a fun-filled weekend in Las Vegas! We have an exciting signing schedule, which you can check out below:
SATURDAY, JUNE 28
This year in Chicago, we hosted a joint book buzz session with Cinco Puntos Press entitled, “Talk is Cheap: A Conversation With Two Multicultural Book Publishers.” The idea was to bring people together to discuss how two small publishers are addressing diversity issues in publishing, and how we can all work together – publishers, librarians, and readers – to bring about real change.
For those who were not able to attend in person, here’s a recap of what was discussed:
Jason Low, publisher of LEE & LOW BOOKS, spoke first. The first thing he emphasized is that, when it comes to more diversity, talking about the problem itself is not enough. Talk must equal action. He gave examples of this mentality from Lee & Low Books’ 20-year history, citing times when the company has identified “gaps” in representation and taken concrete steps to change things for the better: launching several imprints that cover everything from guided reading books in the classroom (our Bebop imprint) to science fiction and fantasy (Tu Books); acquiring Children’s Book Press so their award-winning bilingual titles wouldn’t be lost; and starting the New Voices and New Visions Awards to encourage unpublished authors of color and to help them break into the industry.
Jason closed by citing our recent CCBC study, which shows that the number of children’s books by and about people of color has not grown in eighteen years: “Children’s books are not keeping pace with the demographics of this country.” He stressed that in order to enact real change, “we have to cultivate a renewed sense of reader activism.” What does that mean, exactly? That we need to find ways to recommend these books, to make sure they’re visible. He noted that earlier this summer, his son came home with a summer reading list that was completely white. When something like that happens, he said, we as readers and librarians must speak up and ask for more diversity.
Will you be at ALA 2013 this year in Chicago? If so, we’d love to meet you! We’ll be in booth #2305. Here’s what’s happening:
Killer of Enemies, by Joseph Bruchac (fall 2013)
Bruchac’s newest YA novel retells the story of Lozen, the monster slayer of Apache legend, with a post-apocalyptic steampunk twist.
The Monster in the Mudball, by Susan Gates (fall 2013)
In this middle grade fantasy/mystery, Jin accidentally awakens a monster and must team up with the Chief Inspector of Ancient Artifacts to save his baby brother and, perhaps, the world.
We had a great time this year at the American Library Association in Anaheim! It’s been a while since we were out on the West Coast, and it was fun to be able to see old friends who we haven’t seen in a while and make some new ones, too. Attendance was high, enthusiasm was up, and we had a lot of fantastic conversations about both bookish and non-bookish things. A few things I learned from the people I met at ALA, in no particular order:
1. E-books haven’t wiped out hard copies of books yet – especially picture books, and especially in school libraries. “Please don’t stop printing your books,” one school librarian told me. “We can’t do anything with e-books; we need hard copies.”
2. Everyone loves nonfiction these days. Or, if they don’t love it, they’re still looking for more of it, thanks to the new Common Core State Standards.
3. The West Coast equivalent of the Mets/Yankees “Subway Series,” a game between the Angels and the Dodgers, is called a “Freeway Series.” Go figure!