All posts by Jalissa

Social Activism Books for Fifth Grade

Books can encourage kids of all ages to enact change in their communities. Because it’s never too early to make a difference, we’ll be sharing a list of social activism books for each grade level. Check out our social activism book roundup for fifth grade below and for more social activism titles, check out our full printable Social Activism Diverse Reading List!

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Interview: Author Bethany Hegedus on Writing Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou

Rise! From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya AngelouReleased in time for the 50th anniversary of the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is one of our newest titles Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou by author Bethany Hegedus and illustrated by Tonya Engel. In this interview, author Bethany Hegedus talks about her newest title Rise!, how she felt to receive a foreword from Dr. Maya Angelou’s grandson Colin Johnson, and her writing and research process.

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A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Rise! From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou

Rise! From Caged Bird to Poet of the PeopleWe’re excited to celebrate the upcoming release of Rise! From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou, the first in-depth picture book biography of Maya Angelou, ahead of the fiftieth anniversary celebration of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Writer, activist, trolley car conductor, dancer, mother, and humanitarian–Maya Angelou’s life was marked by transformation and perseverance. In this comprehensive picture-book biography geared towards older readers, Bethany Hegedus lyrically traces Maya’s life from her early days in Stamps, Arkansas, through her work as a freedom fighter to her triumphant rise as a poet of the people.

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Social Activism Books for Fourth Grade

Books can encourage kids of all ages to enact change in their communities. Because it’s never too early to make a difference, we’ll be sharing a list of social activism books for each grade level. Check out our social activism book roundup for fourth grade below and for more social activism titles, check out our full printable Social Activism Diverse Reading List!

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Reading Recovery® Bebop Books Collection for your Classroom Library

Reading Recovery® Bebop Books Levels are in—Just In Time for Back to School Orders!

Lee & Low Books is proud to be the nation’s largest publisher of multicultural children’s books. With the launch of our new Reading Recovery® Bebop Books collection, schools across the country will now be able to bring more equity, inclusion, and diversity into their classroom libraries.

Reading Recovery® is an early intervention program for first-grade children. All texts submitted must go through a rigorous research-based process and only titles of the highest-quality are selected.

We are honored to have our Bebop titles accepted for the book list, and ensure even more access to scores of authentic, culturally responsive, contemporary books at the levels students need.

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Diverse Summer Reading Recommendations for Grades 6-8

Summer Reading List

We’re closing out our Summer Reading “For Fans Of” series with our last age group, grades 6 to 8! In our last post, we posed some questions that could ask to get kids thinking across their texts to keep their brains energized during the summer. Additional questions and probes are listed below:

  • How did the authors use symbolism in their books? What were some of the symbols in the two books? Did they relate in any way? Why or why not?
  • Did the main characters change over the course of the books? How?
  • What big lesson did you learn from this book? How did that impact you?

See our Diverse Summer Reading List for the full list of titles from grades PreK to grade 8. Continue reading

Watch the Webinar: LGBTQ+ Children’s Books

Thank you to everyone who joined us last week for our webinar, “LGBTQ+ Children’s Books: A Conversation with Authors.” If you missed it live, or just want to watch it again, here is a recording of the webinar:

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Diverse Summer Reading Recommendations for Grades 3-5

Diverse Summer Reading List

As we continue our “For Fans Of” Summer Reading blog series, we’ll spotlight books for children in grades 3 through 5 in this post. In order to keep kids thinking critically about the books they’re reading during the summer months, it’s great to pose a few questions to engage in a conversation about books in a low-stakes discussion:

  • How were the main characters similar? How were they different?
  • What kinds of problems did the characters face in both of the books? Were any of their problems similar? Why or why not?
  • Would you recommend this book to a friend? What would you tell them about it? Why did you enjoy it?

See our Diverse Summer Reading List for the full list of titles from grades PreK to grade 8.

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How to Critically Select Children’s Books with Representations of Disability Experiences

In this guest blog post, Monica Kleekamp, a PhD candidate in the department of Learning, Teaching & Curriculum at the University of Missouri-Columbia, discusses the importance of inclusive children’s literature and how to critically select texts with regards to representations of disability experiences.

What is inclusive children’s literature? What is it not? Why is it important?

 As students look to the shelves in their classrooms and school libraries, they seek representations of themselves—characters who look, feel, and experience the world in similar ways. The field of children’s literature continues to problematize the ways our bookshelves perpetuate representations of white, cisgender, heterosexual, and middle-class characters. A term often added to the end of this list is “able.”

Inclusive children’s literature that features characters who are either physically and/or intellectually diverse—characters who have been labeled as disabled—remain few and far between. Additionally, those texts that do exist often follow tropes of pity or dehumanization. These texts have also been heavily critiqued for their over-representation of white male characters who access prosthetics. Continue reading

Cover Reveal: Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis with Traci Sorell

We’re excited to reveal the full cover for Indian No More, a moving middle grade novel about Regina, a ten-year-old Umpqua girl, whose family is forced to relocate from Oregon to Los Angeles during the Indian termination era of the 1950s. Written by the late Charlene Willing McManis, and completed by author Traci Sorell, Indian No More (September 2019) draws upon Charlene’s own tribal history and we are so excited to see it all coming together!

In this blog post, editor Elise McMullen-Ciotti dives into the symbolism and meaning behind the cover of Indian No More and how the cover came to be.

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