Diverse Children’s Books to Give as Gifts, Ages 6-12

Still searching for the best books to gift to young readers? We’ve got you covered!

Last week we shared our gift recommendations for children ages 0-5. If you’re looking for colorful, striking, authentically diverse books for the children in your life ages 6-12, check out our suggestions below! Continue reading

Calling All Publishers, Agents, and Review Journals: Join Us for Diversity Baseline Survey 2.0

Five years ago, Lee & Low Books launched the first Diversity Baseline Survey to examine four aspects of diversity among publishing industry staff: race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability. Administered to over 13,000 publishing employees at thirty-five different publishing companies and eight major review journals, the Diversity Baseline Survey inspired many conversations and initiatives to help build a more inclusive book industry.

Five years later, it is time for us to redo the survey to see what has changed. We have big plans this time, including a Kickstarter (launching early 2019) to raise money to hire a professional survey/evaluation company and an initiative to include literary agents, who play an important role in gatekeeping.

We are putting an open call out to publishing houses and literary agencies of all sizes: will you participate in 2019?

Diversity in Publishing 2015 Continue reading

Genielysse Reyes Receives 2018 Lee & Low and Friends Scholarship from Simmons College

We’re excited to announce that Simmons College Graduate Programs in Children’s Literature has awarded Genielysse Reyes as the 2018 recipient of the Lee & Low and Friends Scholarship.

A partnership between the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children’s Literature and children’s book publisher Lee & Low Books, the scholarship provides opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds to participate in Simmons’ prestigious children’s literature graduate program. Lee & Low Books is the largest multicultural book publisher in the country and a leader in the effort to diversify the publishing industry. Simmons shares this goal and is committed to creating opportunities for all students so that a multiplicity of voices can be heard in the publishing industry and in books published for children and young adults.

This year, we interviewed Genielysse Reyes about her love of children’s literature, her thoughts on providing equitable access for people of color in publishing, and her goals as a part of the Simmons program.

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Diverse Children’s Books to Give as Gifts, Ages 0-5

Holiday Guide 0-5

Books make the best gifts! With the holiday season in full swing, we get a lot of questions about the best books to gift to young readers. If you’re looking for vibrant, beautiful, authentically diverse books for the children in your life, keep reading for our suggestions for ages 0-5 and stay tuned for the other entries in this series when we’ll cover additional age ranges! Continue reading

EmbraceRace and Lee & Low on Finding and Reading Great Stories with Kids

EmbraceRace

Earlier this week, Literacy Specialist Katie Potter joined EmbraceRace in conversation about how to find and share books that develop kids’ racial and social justice sensibilities and help them become the community members our increasingly multiracial democracy needs.

If you missed the webinar live (or just want to watch it again), you can watch the recording of the webinar here.

We’re offering 20% off and free shipping* for webinar registrants through December 11! Just visit the Lee & Low website and use the code EMBRACERACE at checkout.

Not sure where to begin? Start with these booklists featured in the webinar:

Books that inspire resilience in kids of color
Books that encourage kids of all colors to be inclusive and empathetic
Books that support kids to think critically about racial inequity
Books that animate kids (and adults!) to be racial justice advocates for all kids

For more about using books to engage kids in conversation about differences, click here for Katie’s tip sheet.

About EmbraceRace: EmbraceRace is a multiracial community of parents, teachers, experts, and other caring adults who support each other to meet the challenges that race poses to our children, families, and communities.

Have additional questions or comments? Please leave them below in the comments!

*Free shipping on US addresses only. Coupon code not valid on Bebop Books titles and full collections.

Reading Sight Words Automatically and Accurately

Reading Conferences #4

In the fourth post of our Reading Conferences with Beginning Readers blog series, renowned literacy expert Jennifer Serravallo shares how to read sight words automatically and accurately. This post is taken from our free, downloadable “Success Starts Early: Reading Conferences with Your Beginning Readers” guide.

What are sight words and why are they important?

Sight words are words that children have learned to recognize without having to decode. Sight words are some of the most frequently used words in English and some of the first words early readers learn to recognize on sight and read. Level A, B, and C books are filled with these familiar words. When children read books at these levels, they should be able to recognize the words they have learned and read them automatically. Continue reading

Behind the Novel Effect Soundscape: Baseball Saved Us

Novel Effect, a free voice interactive storytelling app, syncs theme music and sound effects to stories as you read them aloud. By now, you may have explored some of the Lee & Low titles available on the app, including Baby Born, The Story I’ll Tell, Sparkle Boy, and Baseball Saved Us (and more on the way!). What you may not know is that Novel Effect works with award-winning composers from film and gaming to custom create each and every soundscape.

Novel Effect

We sat down with composer Ian Silver and Audio Lead Matthew Boerner, two of the talents behind several Novel Effect soundscapes, to ask them about creating the Lee & Low soundscape for Baseball Saved Us.

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An Interview with Award-Winning YA Author Guadalupe García McCall

guadalupe garcia mccallAuthor Guadalupe García McCall’s debut Under the Mesquite came out seven years ago, but she has continued to take the young adult world by storm, going on to win the Pura Belpré Award for Under the Mesquite; winning multiple awards for her magical Mexican-American retelling of The OdysseySummer of the Mariposas; and earning wide acclaim for Shame the Stars, a retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet set during the Mexican Revolution.

Released this year, Guadalupe García McCall once again highlights a story that reflects her Mexican heritage and the rich history of Mexico with All the Stars Denied, a companion novel to Shame the Stars. We interviewed her to talk about this latest title as well as her writing process.  Continue reading

Add Magic to Read Alouds with Novel Effect

In this guest blog post, certified special educator and Chief of Education for Novel Effect Melody Zagami Furze  introduces Novel Effect, a free voice interactive storytelling app that can “add music, sounds, and even characters’ voices, simply by reading a book out loud” to enrich the storytelling experience with kids. Lee & Low is excited to have soundtracks for several of our books available now on Novel Effect!

As an early childhood educator and now a parent, I know how exhausting it can be to squeeze in all the classroom activities you need in a single day. We created Novel Effect so that story time can be an achievable daily goal for you and your students, especially the ones who may find it extra hard to sit still until the end of a book.

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G. Neri on the Inspiration Behind Grand Theft Horse: “Gail’s a Superhero to Me”

This fall we released a new graphic novel by Coretta Scott King award-winning author G. Neri called Grand Theft Horse, which retells the life of his cousin Gail, a pioneer who challenged the horse racing world for the sake of one extraordinary horse. The graphicGrand Theft Horse novel has already received two starred reviews:

The graphic novel world isn’t full of true stories about nearly sixty-year-old, women of color who refuse to back down from wealthy, white men exploiting (and further corrupting) a corrupt system. Grand Theft Horse feels all the more timely and urgent because of it.” —Booklist starred review

Superb. Ruffu’s tenacity and the book’s satisfying conclusion will appeal to fans of John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell’s “March” trilogy.” —School Library Journal starred review

In this blog post, author G. Neri shares some of the inspiration behind his newest graphic novel.

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Exploring Children's Books Through the Lens of Diversity