All posts by Jalissa

An Interview with A.M. Dassu, author of Boy, Everywhere

Today is the release day for Boy, Everywhere by debut author A. M. Dassu! In this powerful middle-grade debut, Sami and his family embark on a harrowing journey to save themselves from the Syrian civil war.

Watch author A. M. Dassu talk about why she wrote Boy, Everywhere. And read on to learn more about what moved Dassu to write this story, her experience and work with refugees, and the feedback she’s received from Syrian readers.

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Launching Our First Kickstarter Campaign: Clockwork Curandera Vol. 1: The Witch Owl Parliament

We’re excited to share our new graphic novel, Clockwork Curandera Vol. 1: The Witch Owl Parliament, coming out October 19, 2021 from Lee & Low Books! It’s a steampunk graphic novel reimagining of Frankenstein set in colonial Mexico, with simultaneous English and Spanish editions, created by an award-winning Latinx team.

Today, we’re launching a Kickstarter campaign to help bring this special book to even more readers, which will run for thirty days. And we’re excited that it’s already been designated one of Kickstarter’s Projects We Love!

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Cover Reveal: Black Was the Ink by Michelle Coles

Today we’re so excited to reveal the cover for our upcoming young adult novel, Black Was the Ink by Michelle Coles with illustrations by Justin Johnson, coming September 2021!

In Black Was the Ink, sixteen-year-old Malcolm is sent on a journey through Reconstruction-era America with the help of a ghostly ancestor. At the same time, he must work to save his family’s farm in present-day Mississippi from being claimed by the State.

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Lee & Low Books is an Official MWBE Vendor for My Brother’s Keeper

Lee & Low Books is proud to be an official vendor of My Brother’s Keeper and one of the only Minority-owned Business Enterprise (MBE) certified publishers of multicultural children’s books. Schools across the country will now be able to bring more equity, inclusion, and diversity into their classroom libraries.

My Brother’s Keeper launched in February 2014 to address persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color and to ensure all youth can reach their full potential. The MBK Alliance, now an initiative under the Obama Foundation, focuses on building safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color where they feel valued and have clear pathways to opportunity.

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Encouraging Literacy in the Youngest Readers with I’ll Build You a Bookcase

Slider Image of all four bilingual editions of I'll Build You a Bookcase to the left of image of people of diverse backgrounds in a park surrounding two bookshelves

Last year, we were thrilled to announce our collaboration with William Penn Foundation and OpenIDEO on the Early Childhood Book Challenge. The winning story, I’ll Build You a Bookcase, releases today!

Written by early literacy specialist and parent educator, Jean Ciborowski Fahey, and illustrated by the award-winning Simone ShinI’ll Build You a Bookcase is for children birth to age 3. Told in simple, sweet rhyme, it celebrates the joy of reading and discovering new stories and is designed to inspire parents and caregivers to read to their child every day.

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New Release: If I Were a Tree

Today we’re excited to release If I Were a TreeTwo siblings journey into the woods in a tender story of branching out and new growth from acclaimed writer Andrea Zimmerman and New York Times bestselling illustrator Jing Jing Tsong.

If I Were a TreeAbout the Book:

If I were a tree, I know how I’d be.
My trunk strong and wide, my limbs side to side,
I’d stand towering tall, high above all,
My leaves growing big, and buds on each twig.
If I were a tree, that’s how I’d be.

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The Importance of Black Joy in Children’s Books: A Conversation with Kelly J. Baptist and Darnell Johnson

A few years ago, conversations surrounding the importance of joyful books that feature Black characters finally started to pick up steam. Though BIPOC readers, specifically Black readers, have noticed the lack of joyful diverse books for some time, publishing is finally getting to a  place of recognition that Black characters are more than just oppression and a teaching moment for outside readers. BIPOC are just like everyone else with varied lived experiences that aren’t always rooted in pain. In this guest blog post, we hear from author Kelly J. Baptist and illustrator Darnell Johnson to discuss the importance of Black joy in children’s books and how that translated into their newest title The Electric Slide and Kai.

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Writing Poetry in the Classroom: A Lesson With Author Mark Karlins

Kiyoshi's Walk coverIn this guest post, author and poet Mark Karlins shares how his latest title, Kiyoshi’s Walk, can be used to engage students (and anyone!) to write poetry in the classroom and at home. Mark Karlins also shares how the traditional Japanese poetry form, renga, can help create community in a classroom especially in time for National Poetry Month! 

As I was writing Kiyoshi’s Walk, all I was thinking about was writing an engaging story about a child who wanted to learn to write poetry, a story which has a strong grandfather-grandchild relationship and a progressive structure that keeps people reading and listening. Now that Kiyoshi’s Walk has been published, I’ve begun to think about how the story can expand and become a base for teaching writing both at home and in the classroom. A walk outdoors with a parent and child, a stroll through the playground of a school, even an indoors excursion from one window to the next, can provide experiences for the writing of haiku. Grandfather Eto and Kiyoshi demonstrate a way this can happen.

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Congratulations to NAACP Image Award Winner She Was the First!

We’re so excited to share that She Was the First!: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm by Katheryn Russell-Brown and illustrated by Eric Velasquez is the 52nd Annual NAACP Image Award Winner in the Outstanding Literature Work – Children’s category!

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Decolonize Your Bookshelf: Supriya Kelkar’s New Book Illuminates the Brutal Realities of Colonialism in India

Strong as Fire, Fierce as Flame coverIn this guest blog post, author Supriya Kelkar writes about the story behind her latest middle grade novel Strong as Fire, Fierce as Flame as well as the need to have conversations surrounding the atrocities committed in the name of colonialism and whose story is routinely told and whose story is left out.

When I was growing up, I never got to see myself in a book. Although I’m sure books with South Asian American characters, written by South Asian Americans, were being written, they weren’t being published. Because of this erasure, I never thought my story mattered.

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