It’s Black History Month, and that means another giveaway from Lee & Low Books! We’re giving away three sets of three books featuring African Americans, and the contest will run through February 28, 2011.
But wait. Doesn’t that mean that the winners won’t get their books until after Black History Month?
Yes! We think Black History Month is important, but black history is part of American History, and shouldn’t get relegated to one month out of the year. So enter below to win three great books to read all year round!
Here’s how it works:
You must enter the contest by midnight, February 28th, 2011. There are five ways to enter:
Tweet/ReTweet about the contest on Twitter (make sure you include @LEEandLOW).
Comment on this post, telling us your favorite Black History reads or how you’d use the books below.
The time has finally come to announce this year’s winners of our very own New Voices Award! As you may know, the annual New Voices Award is given out each year by Lee & Low to an unpublished author of color for a picture book manuscript. You can see more about the whys of the award at my post here, so without further ado:
We took a short break from blogging in the wake of last week’s big event in the children’s book world: the American Library Association’s annual announcement of their Youth Media Awards—or, as some like to call it, “The Oscars of Children’s Literature.” No outlandish outfits at these Oscars, but a few of our books do now have nice, shiny accessories on their covers:
One of the many reasons why I love Thanksgiving is that, in my mind, it’s really the start of winter coziness. Despite the fact that I’m always grumbling by February, I really do love this season.
But we’ve had a weirdly warm fall thus far here in NYC, which has forced me to turn to books to get myself in the winter spirit. Here are my top 5 books that get me in the mood for the snow and slush ahead— and of course, all of them are best enjoyed in pajamas, with a warm cup of hot chocolate in hand:
This weekend, The NYU Institute of African American Affairs hosted the A is for Anansi Conference on Literature for Children of African Descent. It was a great conference and I was thrilled to be a part of it – it’s always exciting to be in a room full of people who care about books, kids, and social justice issues. A few of the highlights I caught:
Author and publisher Andrea Davis Pinkney started things off with a good news/bad news keynote, sharing a few reasons why some say we are in a “Golden Age of African American Children’s Literature” – a new generation of talented authors and illustrators, more award recognition, etc. – but also shared these dismal numbers that tell us that the number of books by/about people of color has not increased at all since 1994. 1994! In other words, we’ve got our work cut out for us.
I spoke next on a panel about publishing/selling literature about children of African descent. Just Us Books owner Cheryl Willis Hudson moderated, and agent and former bookseller Joe Monti started off with some anecdotes about the resistance big book buyers have to selling covers with people of color. Ultimately, he said, he doesn’t believe race really makes a difference in sales. “A good cover will sell books, and a bad one won’t,” he said.
I had an interesting discussion the other day. Let me just start off by saying that I feel pretty strongly anti-censorship and would never advocate the banning of books. But I was speaking with a friend about the second Twilight installment and how uncomfortable it made me. At the beginning, Vampire Edward leaves Bella, after which she spends a year putting herself in all kinds of danger just to bring him back. She actually comes close to killing herself so he’ll come back to her. That is not OK with me. I said to my friend, “I’m afraid that teen girls will look at Bella as a role model and see this as an ideal relationship,” and it seemed to me that this was a story that could do real damage to readers.
Happy Friday! We begin this week with some progress on the publishing front: lots of conversations going on right now among booksellers about how to sell multicultural titles, especially to white readers. Check out this great post by Elizabeth Bluemle as well as a discussion by the fine folks at Random House. It’s heartening to see so many different kinds of book people—publishers, booksellers, and readers—assuming responsibility and making it their mission to support diversity.