All posts by hannahehrlich

What we’re doing to celebrate Earth Day

Happy Earth Day, everyone! In celebration of the day, I thought I’d ask around the office to see what Lee & Low staff members are doing to keep things green, and got some great answers:

“Tonight, I’m going to be unplugging my TV, laptop and phone and curling up with glass of certified organic wine and a good environmentally focused book, either Out of Eden: An Odyssey of Ecological Invasion by Alan Burdick (which I need to finish!) or Elizabeth Kolbert’s Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature and Climate Change (an old favorite).”—Jaclyn DeForge, Educational Sales Associate

“I started using reusable bags a few years ago at the suggestion of my cousin. I found out that the U.S. wastes approximately 100 billion plastic bags every year, so I’ve been using a reusable bag ever since to cut down on waste. The one I have is really convenient too- it folds up to the size of the palm of my hand, so I can just keep it in my purse. It’s prettier than a plastic bag, too!” —Lucy Amon, Marketing & Publicity Assistant

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Coming Soon: Tu Books!

We are THRILLED, thrilled I say, to unveil the covers of our first three Tu Books! Tu Books is our newest imprint and will be publishing multicultural middle grade and young adult science fiction, fantasy, and mystery. We now introduce our Fall 2011 launch list—drumroll, please:

Tankborn, by Karen Sandler

Tankborn coverBest friends Kayla and Mishalla know they will be separated when the time comes for their Assignments. They are GENs, Genetically Engineered Non-humans, and in their strict caste system, GENs are at the bottom rung of society. High-status trueborns and working-class lowborns, born naturally of a mother, are free to choose their own lives. But GENs are gestated in a tank, sequestered in slums, and sent to work as slaves as soon as they reach age fifteen.

When Kayla is Assigned to care for Zul Manel, the patriarch of a trueborn family, she finds a host of secrets and surprises—not least of which is her unexpected friendship with Zul’s great-grandson. Meanwhile, the children that Mishalla is Assigned to care for are being stolen in the middle of the night. With the help of an intriguing lowborn boy, Mishalla begins to suspect that something horrible is happening to them.

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5 Great Titles for Women’s History Month

It’s hard to believe we’re already in March! Warm weather may still be a few weeks away (although I’m ready any time now…) but there’s already plenty to celebrate this month—including, of course, Women’s History. Here are five of my favorite titles to give some color to your March reading list:

Catching the Moon

Catching the Moon: The Story of A Young Girl’s Baseball Dream, by Crystal Hubbard, illus. by Randy DuBurke

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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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