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

Social Activism Books for Second 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 second grade below and for more social activism titles, check out our full printable Social Activism Diverse Reading List!

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Diverse Books for Social Emotional Learning in Grades 2 and 3

SEL in second and third grades

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a hot topic, but it’s certainly not new. Skills like empathy, cultivating and maintaining positive relationships, recognizing and managing emotions, problem solving, approaching tasks with grit and perseverance, and taking on others’ perspectives have always, and will always, be crucial to kids’ success. Research shared by CASEL reports that SEL programs lead to “immediate improvements in mental health, social skills, and academic achievement,” and “up to 18 years later, students exposed to SEL in school continue to do better than their peers on a number of indicators: positive social behaviors and attitudes, skills such as empathy and teamwork, and academics.” SEL is certainly worthy of time and attention from those who support children’s development.

Books are valuable tools for guiding conversations about SEL topics. Children can examine and learn from characters’ actions and experiences and relate them to their own. Of course, book selection is key. When kids see both themselves and others in diverse books, it says, “You matter. Reflect on your experiences.” and “Others matter. Listen and learn.” Therein lies the heart of SEL.

 As students grow and change, so do their social emotional learning needs. Linking diverse books to SEL goals and challenges across different ages is a powerful way to support students as they navigate each developmental stage. This blog series explores how diverse books can be used to support social emotional learning at different grade levels. Continue reading

Meet Lee & Low Books at TLA 2019!

The Texas Library Association Annual Conference is next week and we’re so excited to meet everyone! The conference takes place in Austin at the Austin Convention Center and our books and signings will be at the Publishers Spotlight Booth #2541!

See below for our signing schedule as well as a few other events that our authors and illustrators will be participating in:

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Submissions Open for Our New Voices and New Visions Award Writing Contests

Do you or someone you know write for young readers? Are you an author of color or Native author hoping to break in to the publishing industry for the first time? Submissions for our twentieth annual New Voices Award and our seventh annual New Visions Award are now open! Don’t miss this terrific opportunity to have your work considered for publication by Lee & Low Books.

The New Voices Award and the New Visions Award encourage writers of color and Native nations 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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Exploring Children's Books Through the Lens of Diversity