The trailer for the upcoming remake of Annie is out, and we’re quite excited for the fabulously diverse cast! Quvenzhané Wallis, the talented young actress who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress (the youngest nominee ever!) for Beasts of the Southern Wild, plays the star role of Annie. Jamie Foxx is cast as Will Stacks, the modern version of Daddy Warbucks, Rose Byrne cast as Stacks’ trusty assistant, and Cameron Diaz plays the dreadful Miss Hannigan.
Since the diversity pieces out there today can be rather disheartening (like our Diversity Gap in the Oscars infographic), we decided to take a look at things that are a bit more positive. And as the 86th Academy Awards are on Sunday, this “Lee & Low Likes” honors Cheryl Boone Issacs, the first African-American president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It’s important to note that she’s just the third woman to be elected; Bette Davis served for just two month in 1941 and screenwriter Fay Kanin held the position for four years in 1979-1983. Sadly, it’s been 30 years since a woman has held the president position in the Academy.
Every February, LEE & LOW hosts a giveaway to celebrate Black History Month. This year, we continue to honor Black History Month by offering our biggest giveaway yet: two chances to win a copy of Dear Mrs. Parks: A Dialogue With Today’s Youth, signed by Rosa Parks.
To enter, visit our Facebook page here.
We’re so excited for the upcoming release of Rebellion, the final title in the Tankborn trilogy, which comes out this May! Here’s what to expect:
In the wake of a devastating bomb blast, severely injured Kayla has been brought to the headquarters of the organization that planted the bomb—and many others like it in GEN food warehouses and homes. Her biological mother tells her that Devak is dead and that Kayla must join her in the terrorist group, which is ramping up for something big. Now Kayla must pretend that she embraces this new role in an underground compound full of paranoia as she plots a way to escape and save her friends.
Meanwhile, Devak has emerged from his healing in a gen-tank, only to be told that Kayla is dead and his family has fallen from grace. Can he overcome his grief at the loss of his power to see the clues that point to Kayla being alive?
As Kayla and Devak overcome the multiple obstacles between them while trying to free GENs without further bloodshed, the Tankborn trilogy rushes to a thrilling conclusion!
In this post, Tu Books Publisher Stacy Whitman shares the process of creating the cover:
As we discussed in the cover reveal post about Awakening (book 2 in the Tankborn trilogy), we showcased two different characters on the covers of book 1 and book 2. Originally, I thought perhaps we should showcase Devak, Kayla’s love interest and the major trueborn character, on book 3.
This cold weather makes us want to sip on hot chocolate under a warm blanket with a brand new book. And what better book than King for a Day, out today from Lee & Low Books!
In this beautiful story, Rukhsana Khan takes us to Lahore, Pakistan for Basant, the springtime kite-flying festival. Guiding his kite into leaps and swirls, our hero Malik slashes strings to capture the other kites in the sky, including those flown by the bully next door.
Dyspraxia is a disorder that affects motor skill development. Estimates indicate that it affects up to ten percent of the population, and up to two percent severely, but despite its prevalence, dyspraxia remains relatively unknown by most people (even though actor Daniel Radcliffe has publicly discussed his dyspraxia). A little about the disorder:
- Dyspraxia is also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), Motor Learning Difficulties, or Perceptuo-Motor Dysfunction.
- Dyspraxia is a disorder that affects motor skill development and people with the disorder have trouble planning and completing fine motor tasks, such as controlling a pen or pencil, tying shoelaces, or using utensils when eating.
- Symptoms can affect people differently at different stages and severity varies from person to person.
- Although dyspraxia is not a learning disability (LD), features of dyspraxia are often seen in those who struggle with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other conditions that impact learning.
- There is no cure for dyspraxia. However, identifying the disorder early on can help tremendously. Depending on how severe the case is, work with occupational, speech and physical therapists can improve a person’s ability to function and live independently.
Jin, the main character in the middle grade novel The Monster in the Mudball, has dyspraxia (or, as he calls it, “clumsy child syndrome”). Author S.P. Gates was inspired to create a dyspraxic hero because her own son, Alex, is dyspraxic. We asked her to share her insight about dyspraxia and her son’s experience growing up dyspraxic:
We’ve got some exciting news to share: Lee & Low Books has acquired children’s book publisher Shen’s Books. This is a new milestone for us: we published our first book twenty years ago and are thrilled that two decades later, we continue to grow and maintain our commitment to diversity in children’s books.Originally based in California, Shen’s Books was founded as a retailer in 1985 and began publishing books in 1997. Its books emphasize cultural diversity and tolerance, with a focus on introducing children to the cultures of Asia. Titles include the popular Cora Cooks Pancit, about a young girl cooking up a favorite Filipino dish with her mother, and the Cinderella series, which features retellings of the Cinderella story from cultures around the world.
Guest blogger Katie Cunningham is an Assistant Professor at Manhattanville College. Her teaching and scholarship centers around children’s literature, critical literacy, and supporting teachers to make their classrooms joyful and purposeful. Katie has presented at numerous national conferences and is the editor of The Language and Literacy Spectrum, New York Reading Association’s literacy journal.
Lulu Delacre is the author and illustrator of many award-winning children’s books, including How Far Do You Love Me? and Arrorró, mi niño. In this guest blog post Lulu shares the valuable lessons she’s learned in her journey from illustrator to author.
“Me? Write a Story? In a language not my own? I can’t! I graduated from art school!”
That was my reaction to the suggestion of editors and art directors from children’s publishers in New York who saw my sketches back in 1984. From the doodles of my boredom a character had been born, complete with a name and attributes, and I shopped him around in the hopes of illustration assignments.
The scheduled interviews led to a meeting with Barbara Lucas, former assistant editor to the legendary Ursula Nordstrom at Harper & Row. Barbara was the first of several great editors throughout my career who have provided me with enlightening advice. “Your character needs a friend,” Barbara said. At that suggestion my self-imposed handicap began to erode. I thought, what if Nathan is asleep one night and a mouse comes into his room and sets up house in his toy chest? That question, the many sketches that followed, the clumsy first manuscript, and my editor’s guidance, led to the first book I ever wrote and illustrated: Nathan and Nicholas Alexander.