Deadline Extended for Our New Voices and New Visions Award Writing Contests

New Voices and New Visions Award Writing Contests

The deadline for our twenty-second annual New Voices Award and our ninth annual New Visions Award have been extended! The new deadline to submit your manuscript is August 15, 2021.

The New Voices Award and the New Visions Award encourage writers of color and Indigenous/Native writers to submit their work to Lee & Low Books, a publisher that takes pride in nurturing new talent. Winners of each award receive a $2,000 cash prize and a first time publishing contract with Lee & Low Books.

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Free Upcoming Webinar: Using Children’s Literature to Foster Empathy and Challenge Anti-Immigrant Bias

Join us for an energetic discussion about how to engage students in anti-bias thinking through literature in which they may recognize themselves and learn more about the lives, experiences, and perspectives of people who are immigrants.

This webinar is part of the Educator Summit on Challenging Anti-immigrant Bias in Schools and Society hosted by Re-Imagining Migration and the Anti-Defamation League.

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Press Release: “I’ll Build You a Bookcase” Demonstrates How to Support Early Language Development Through Reading

I'll Build You a Bookcase

PHILADELPHIA, July 13, 2021 – Families with infants and toddlers across Philadelphia have begun to receive a new book during their pediatric visits. The board book, entitled I’ll Build You a Bookcase, is inspired by Philadelphia families and carries an important message for adults within its sweet rhythm and rhyme: You are your child’s first and most important teacher. Written by Jean Ciborowski Fahey and designed for children from birth to age three, the book was born from an unconventional collaboration and contest for children’s book manuscripts that yielded entries from around the world.

With support from the William Penn Foundation, many partners came together to create and distribute a book with a powerful purpose, including an internationally recognized innovation firm, a family literacy specialist, the largest multicultural children’s book publisher in the U.S., an award-winning illustrator, and the nation’s leading pediatric literacy model. Continue reading

NEW Professional Development from American Institutes for Research

With the release of the new COLLTS curriculum for PRE-K, professional developers from The Center for English Learners at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) are available to come to your district or school to prepare your early childhood education teachers and/or coaches to implement the COLLTS program.

AIR offers half-day or full-day training sessions to prepare teachers, coaches, and other staff to implement the COLLTS program. Follow-up coaching is also available.

The AIR and Bebop Books team work closely with districts and schools to provide customized support that prepares instructional staff to meet the demands of high academic standards for English learners.

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Press Release: Lee & Low Books Acquires Cinco Puntos Press

New York, NY (June 28, 2021)—In major news for independent publishing, diversity-focused publisher Lee & Low Books has acquired the assets of El Paso-based Cinco Puntos Press. The acquisition brings together the lists of two award-winning independent publishers who are deeply respected for their commitment to a wide range of voices, and adds more than 130 titles to Lee & Low’s list. Lee & Low Books will become the publisher and primary distributor of all Cinco Puntos Press titles, which previously were distributed by Consortium.

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Lee & Low Books at the ALA 2021 Virtual Conference

Even though the American Library Association conference is still virtual this year, we wouldn’t want our readers to miss out on our offerings! View our catalog, request digital copies of our newest titles, and check out our virtual resources for librarians, educators, and teachers alike below. If you’re attending ALA virtual conference, visit our booth to enter our ALA raffle for a chance to win a bundle of Lee & Low books!

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Lee & Low Books 2021 Title Showcase (with a peek at our 2022 books!)

Thank you to everyone who joined us last week for the Lee & Low Books 2021 Showcase. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, librarian, or bookseller, this webinar will help you discover great new books to diversify your shelves (with an additional sneak peek of our 2022 titles):

Browse or download a printable PDF of our 2021 Titles. Find our Lee & Low catalogs here.

Have additional questions or comments? Please leave them below!

Parents and Caregivers: Use This Tool to Build a More Diverse Home Book Collection

Educators Grade Level Resources, images of survey forms against an orange background

We are so excited to announce that we have adapted our beloved Classroom Library Questionnaire into a tool for families and caregivers! Our newly launched Home Library Questionnaire is now available for free to download.

The Home Library Questionnaire will help you:

  • Reflect on your home library
  • Broaden the types of books you read with your children
  • Diversify your child’s independent reading and advocate for more inclusivity in school booklists
  • Choose books that are inclusive of all people, backgrounds, and cultures

Here are some additional tips about reading with your child and making the most out of your reading experience:

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Watch the Webinar: Best Practices for English Learners in PreK

Thank you to everyone who joined us for last week’s webinar, “Best Practices for English Learners in Prekindergarten” with experts Dr. Patricia Garcia-Arena, Principal Researcher, and Dr. Rebecca Bergey, Senior Researcher, at the Center for English Learners at the American Institutes for Research. You can access the webinar below, or here on Youtube.

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Diverse Texts Aren’t Just for Elementary School: Building Inclusive Curricula for Middle and High School

In this guest post, Paul Bambrick-Santoyo and Stephen Chiger, co-authors of Love and Literacy: A Practical Guide for Grades 5-12 to Finding the Magic in Literature, share different ways that high school educators can approach text selection and build inclusive curricula.

Here’s a thought experiment: Consider the two high school book lists below.  Which one would you prefer for a child you love?

All of the texts above are powerful, and all could make for fruitful study. But readers of this blog won’t likely need to be convinced of the advantages of list 2. A great curriculum makes space for more than one voice; it invites students to see themselves and each other through new eyes.

Why, then, do so many middle and high schools still look more like reading list 1?

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Exploring Children's Books Through the Lens of Diversity