Watch the Webinar: LGBTQ+ Children’s Books

Thank you to everyone who joined us last week for our webinar, “LGBTQ+ Children’s Books: A Conversation with Authors.” If you missed it live, or just want to watch it again, here is a recording of the webinar:

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Diverse Summer Reading Recommendations for Grades 3-5

Diverse Summer Reading List

As we continue our “For Fans Of” Summer Reading blog series, we’ll spotlight books for children in grades 3 through 5 in this post. In order to keep kids thinking critically about the books they’re reading during the summer months, it’s great to pose a few questions to engage in a conversation about books in a low-stakes discussion:

  • How were the main characters similar? How were they different?
  • What kinds of problems did the characters face in both of the books? Were any of their problems similar? Why or why not?
  • Would you recommend this book to a friend? What would you tell them about it? Why did you enjoy it?

See our Diverse Summer Reading List for the full list of titles from grades PreK to grade 8.

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How to Critically Select Children’s Books with Representations of Disability Experiences

In this guest blog post, Monica Kleekamp, a PhD candidate in the department of Learning, Teaching & Curriculum at the University of Missouri-Columbia, discusses the importance of inclusive children’s literature and how to critically select texts with regards to representations of disability experiences.

What is inclusive children’s literature? What is it not? Why is it important?

 As students look to the shelves in their classrooms and school libraries, they seek representations of themselves—characters who look, feel, and experience the world in similar ways. The field of children’s literature continues to problematize the ways our bookshelves perpetuate representations of white, cisgender, heterosexual, and middle-class characters. A term often added to the end of this list is “able.”

Inclusive children’s literature that features characters who are either physically and/or intellectually diverse—characters who have been labeled as disabled—remain few and far between. Additionally, those texts that do exist often follow tropes of pity or dehumanization. These texts have also been heavily critiqued for their over-representation of white male characters who access prosthetics. Continue reading

Register for Our Upcoming Webinar: LGBTQ+ Children’s Books

LGBTQ Webinar image

Just in time for Pride Month, join Lee & Low Books for a special free webinar focused on LGBTQ+ books for youth! Join Katie Potter, Lee & Low’s Literacy Specialist, in conversation with Lee & Low authors Kyle Lukoff (When Aidan Became a Brother), Lesléa Newman (Sparkle Boy), and Maya Christina Gonzalez (Call Me Tree/Llámame Árbol), as they discuss the inspiration behind their books and the importance of LGBTQ+ representation in children’s literature.  Continue reading

Upcoming Book Release: Stone River Crossing by Award-Winning Author Tim Tingle

The award-winning picture book Crossing Bok Chitto captured the strength, bravery, and heart of the Choctaw Nation as they helped enslaved people find their way to freedom. Set to be released at the end of this month, Stone River Crossing (Tu Books) by acclaimed Choctaw storyteller Tim Tingle, is the new middle grade expansion that illuminates a snapshot of Native and African American history, reminding readers that the strongest bridge between cultures is friendship.

stone river crossing

Martha Tom knows better than to cross the Bok Chitto River to pick blackberries. The Bok Chitto is the only border between her town in the Choctaw Nation and the slave-owning plantation in Mississippi territory. The slave owners could catch her, too. What was she thinking? But crossing the river brings a surprise friendship with Lil Mo, a boy who is enslaved on the other side. When Lil Mo discovers that his mother is about to be sold and the rest of his family left behind. But Martha Tom has the answer: cross the Bok Chitto and become free.

Crossing to freedom with his family seems impossible with slave catchers roaming, but then there is a miracle—a magical night where things become unseen and souls walk on water. By morning, Lil Mo discovers he has entered a completely new world of tradition, community, and . . . a little magic. But as Lil Mo’s family adjusts to their new life, danger waits just around the corner.

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Cover Reveal: Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis with Traci Sorell

We’re excited to reveal the full cover for Indian No More, a moving middle grade novel about Regina, a ten-year-old Umpqua girl, whose family is forced to relocate from Oregon to Los Angeles during the Indian termination era of the 1950s. Written by the late Charlene Willing McManis, and completed by author Traci Sorell, Indian No More (September 2019) draws upon Charlene’s own tribal history and we are so excited to see it all coming together!

In this blog post, editor Elise McMullen-Ciotti dives into the symbolism and meaning behind the cover of Indian No More and how the cover came to be.

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Social Activism Books for Third Grade

Books can encourage kids of all ages to enact change in their communities. Because it’s never too early to make a difference, we’ll be sharing a list of social activism books for each grade level. Check out our social activism book roundup for third grade below and for more social activism titles, check out our full printable Social Activism Diverse Reading List!

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Teaching My Kindergarten Class about the Refugee Experience

In this guest post, Rona K. Wolfe, Junior Kindergarten Teacher at the Milwaukee Jewish Day School, explores methods of teaching her kindergarten students about the experiences of refugees around the world.

Rethinking

As a kindergarten teacher, I wanted to expose my students to global experiences. What does that look like in a class with our youngest students? After careful thought, I wanted the young children in my class at the Milwaukee Jewish Day School to learn about the difficulties and experiences of refugees living in our community.

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Diverse Summer Reading Recommendations for Grades PreK-2

Diverse Summer Reading List

Let’s kick off summer with our engaging, printable Diverse Summer Reading List that will get all kids engaged in reading! Our list includes both fiction and nonfiction, bilingual Spanish/English titles, and a diverse range of cultures—in other words, the right book for every reader! The collections are available on our website for purchase:

Summer Reading Collection Grades PreK-2
Summer Reading Collection Grades 3-5
Summer Reading Collection Grades 6-8

Want to expand your Summer Reading list, but not sure where to begin? Keep reading for pairings of diverse bestsellers with our favorite new picks for grades PreK-2, and stay tuned over the upcoming weeks when we’ll spotlight Grades 3-5 and Grades 6-8! Continue reading

Kindergarten Guided Reading Books

Are you looking for high-quality, culturally responsive guided reading books for kindergarten? Bebop Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books, offers leveled reading books in both English and Spanish for readers at every level.

Our Early Emergent Leveled Reading Collection, with books in Guided Reading Levels A, B, and C, is a great place to start building your kindergarten library. Early Emergent leveled reading books are perfect for beginning and soon-to-be readers. Our Early Emergent collections offer books in both English and Spanish for classroom use, with culturally authentic texts and illustrations.  Continue reading

Exploring Children's Books Through the Lens of Diversity