Let’s Talk: Children’s and Teen Books that Encourage Dialogue

Let's Talk_ Books that Encourage Dialogue

In this guest post, New York Public Library Head of Teen Services Elisa Garcia and Shauntee Burns-Simpson, Manager of the New York Public Library School Support Program, share some of their favorite titles for fostering conversation and dialogue. We are so excited to have them join us on the Lee & Low blog!

Libraries play a role in social responsibility and one of the ways we do this is bringing the community together through books that foster rich conversations about current and past events. When choosing books to have these critical conversations, it is important that these titles represent diversity and will support and foster these conversations. Continue reading

Tips for Reading Poetry Aloud to Children

Since Poetry Month is in full swing, we asked some of our poets at Lee & Low Books  to provide tips for reading poetry to kids and students. Read suggestions from Pat Mora, author of Yum! ¡Mmmm! ¡Qué Rico! Americas’ SproutingsConfetti: Poems for Children (Confeti: Poemas para niños); and upcoming title  Bookjoy, Wordjoy, listen to the wisdom of Marilyn Singer, author of A Full Moon Is Rising and upcoming title Every Month Is a New Year, and find the passion with Guadalupe García McCall, author of Under the Mesquite, Summer of the Mariposas (El verano de las mariposas), Shame the Stars, and upcoming Fall title All the Stars Denied, when reading poetry to kids. Continue reading

Book List: 10 Picture Books That Are Not About Oppression

Diverse Picture Books Not About Oppression

In looking for books with protagonists of color, most readers find that the books they see about protagonists of color surround their marginalization (in fact, this recent New York Times piece on the topic went viral). Though it is vastly important for children to understand the history and complexity of oppression, racism, and discrimination, children, especially children of color, also deserve to see themselves thrive, to experience the joy of being a part of a loving community, and to not be stuck in a cycle of oppressive narratives that can shape how others view them. Below we’ve compiled a list of diverse books that reflect the daily lives of children and feature kids just being kids! Continue reading

A Culturally Responsive Approach to Earth Day: Key Questions for Classroom Discussion

Earth Day: A Culturally Responsive Approach

In this ongoing series, we explore what culturally responsive teaching looks like at different grade levels and during holidays and celebrations. In February, we shared a culturally responsive approach to Valentine’s Day.  Today, educator Lindsay Barrett offers a culturally responsive approach to Earth Day / Earth Month in the classroom. Continue reading

Submissions Now Open for our New Voices and New Visions Award Writing Contests for Authors of Color

Lee and Low Writing Contests

This year, we’re opening submissions for our nineteenth annual New Voices Award and our sixth annual New Visions Award a month early. That means submissions for both awards are now open! The New Voices Award and the New Visions Award encourage writers of color and Native nations to submit their work to a publisher that takes pride in nurturing new talent.

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New Spring Paperbacks from Lee & Low

Spring is finally here! To celebrate the occasion, we’re sharing our new paperbacks for the season. Check out your favorite Lee & Low titles now in paperback:

Amazing Places Continue reading

Upcoming Events: Meet Lee & Low at ASCD and CABE

Join Lee & Low at CABE 2018 and ASCD 2018

We love meeting our readers in person! Lee & Low staff will be at the upcoming ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) Empower 2018 Conference in Boston, followed by the CABE (California Association of Bilingual Educators) 2018 Conference in Sacramento. If you’ll be at either, please come say hello! Continue reading

Teacher’s Guide for Ahimsa Now Available

Ahimsa Cover ImageLast October was the release of Ahimsa by New Visions Award winner Supriya Kelkar. Inspired by her great-grandmother’s experience working with Gandhi, Kelkar shines a light on the Indian freedom movement in this poignant middle grade novel.

In 1942, after Mahatma Gandhi asks Indians to give one family member to the freedom movement, ten-year-old Anjali is devastated to think of her father risking his life for the freedom struggle. But it turns out he isn’t the one joining. Anjali’s mother is. And with this change comes many more adjustments designed to improve their country and use “ahimsa”—non-violent resistance—to stand up to the British government.

Accompanying this title is the Ahimsa Teacher’s Guide, which offers resources and tips on how to guide discussions on the Indian freedom movement, colonialism, civil disobedience, and the connection to the civil rights movement in the United States. Our teacher’s guide also features summary and background information, prereading and discussion questions, ideas for reader’s response and writing activities, strategies for ESL/ELL, and interdisciplinary activities and connections. Below we’ve shared a few prereading questions, discussion questions, and resources from the Ahimsa teacher’s guide. Continue reading

Our 10 Favorite Multicultural Books for Middle School

While reading books with children will help them better prepare for school and opens their minds to new cultures and experiences, it’s important to keep cultivating that love of reading into middle school. Exposing children 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 middle schoolers. 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 middle school classroom collections to see what we have to offer, and check out our other book lists by grade:

While we have hundreds of titles to choose from, here are 10 of our absolute favorite diverse books for middle school!

Favorite Multicultural Books for middle school
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Culturally Responsive Teaching in Grade 4: Studying Informational Text

Culturally Responsive Teaching, Grade 4

In this ongoing series, we explore what culturally responsive teaching looks like at different grade levels and offer concrete examples and resources. Last month we explored culturally responsive teaching around Valentine’s Day. This month, educator Lindsay Barrett offers guidance for a culturally responsive study of informational text at the fourth grade level.

Selecting diverse stories and setting up related discussions are important and logical aspects of ensuring that your classroom is a culturally responsive one. Stories have the power to draw students in, inspire them, make them feel seen and heard, and stretch the boundaries of their thinking. Continue reading

Exploring Children's Books Through the Lens of Diversity