All posts by hannahehrlich

Black History Month Giveaway 2011

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.
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2010 New Voices Award winners!

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 As you may know, the annual New Voices Award is given out each year by Lee & Low to an unpublished author of color for a picture book manuscript.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:

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This Week in Diversity: Awards Edition!

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:

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty, winner of the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor and an ALA Notable Children’s Book

Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace, winner of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent in Illustration

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Can books with photos win awards?

A few weeks ago, Jason and I were chatting about the upcoming American Library Association annual awards and got into a discussion of two 2010 titles in particular, Sharing Our Homeland and ¡Olé! Flamenco. Both are technically eligible in a number of categories, but have photographs instead of illustrations. Can picture books with photos ever really win awards?

from Ole Flamenco
from ¡Olé! Flamenco

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Top 5: Getting in the winter spirit

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.

far north
From Vanishing Cultures: Far North

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:

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You’re Invited: Book Launch and Signing with Janet Costa Bates!

For anyone who will be in or around Southeastern Massachusetts tomorrow, stop by Baker Books in Dartmouth, MA around 2 pm for the Seaside Dream book launch and a signing with Janet Costa Bates!Seaside Dream cover image

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A is for (Amazing) Anansi


from Nicole Tadgell's "No Mush Today"

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.

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Banned Books Week, part II

Yesterday in our post we asked you to guess which Lee & Low book has been challenged. The answer?

Baseball Saved Us

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What I’m Celebrating for Banned Books Week

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.

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This Week in Diversity: More Colorful

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.

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