Category Archives: Book News

Interview: Author Sherry Thomas on Mulan and Writing The Magnolia Sword

magnolia swordReleased last week, The Magnolia Sword is the first young adult novel to reimagine the ballad of Mulan. We interviewed bestselling author Sherry Thomas on what piqued her interest in writing about Mulan and the different iterations of the beloved woman warrior in pop culture.

What was your approach when researching for The Magnolia Sword? What resources or organizations did you turn to while writing the story? 

Sherry Thomas: I consulted everything from reddit threads to academic publications, along with various sources in the Chinese language, including my personal copy of Chinese Idiomatic Expressions Dictionary.

Northern Wei, the time period typically agreed on for the setting of the Ballad of Mulan, is not a major dynasty. So I would get whole books on food, clothing, etc. in ancient China and be able to use only a few pages. (Thank goodness for interlibrary loans!)

Another important source of research is actually Google Earth, which allows me to investigate the actual shape and elevation of the terrain that I would put my character into, and see photos people have taken of the general area. Continue reading

Watch the Webinar: Lee & Low Books 2019 Showcase

Thank you to everyone who joined us last week for our webinar, “Lee & Low Books 2019 Showcase.” Whether you’re a parent, teacher, librarian, or bookseller, this webinar will help you discover great new books to diversify your shelves:

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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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Free Upcoming Webinar: Lee & Low Books 2019 Showcase

Join Lee & Low Books editors for a showcase of our 2019 books! Whether you’re a parent, teacher, librarian, or bookseller, this webinar will help you discover great new books to diversify your shelves. Catch newly released spring titles that you won’t want to miss, and get a sneak peek at our fall books. This one-hour webinar will include picture books, middle grade, and young adult titles. Continue reading

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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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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The Beauty and Power of Children’s Book Illustrations: Sonia Lynn Sadler Award 2019

The third annual Sonia Lynn Sadler Award (SLS Award) took place on Saturday, April 27th at Salisbury University’s Children’s Book Festival in Salisbury, Maryland. The award honors the legacy of Sonia Lynn Sadler, an artist and children’s book illustrator who passed away in 2013. Sonia illustrated the picture book Seeds of Change and images from that book will be incorporated into a forthcoming chapter book, The Story of Environmentalist Wangari Maathai. Sonia’s powerful scratchboard art continues to inspire young children to wonder and dream. Her illustrations are a mirror, a window, and a door to encourage working together.

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Upcoming Book Release: Stone River Crossing by Award-Winning Author Tim Tingle

The award-winning picture book Crossing Bok Chitto captured the strength, bravery, and heart of the Choctaw Nation as they helped enslaved people find their way to freedom. Set to be released at the end of this month, Stone River Crossing (Tu Books) by acclaimed Choctaw storyteller Tim Tingle, is the new middle grade expansion that illuminates a snapshot of Native and African American history, reminding readers that the strongest bridge between cultures is friendship.

stone river crossing

Martha Tom knows better than to cross the Bok Chitto River to pick blackberries. The Bok Chitto is the only border between her town in the Choctaw Nation and the slave-owning plantation in Mississippi territory. The slave owners could catch her, too. What was she thinking? But crossing the river brings a surprise friendship with Lil Mo, a boy who is enslaved on the other side. When Lil Mo discovers that his mother is about to be sold and the rest of his family left behind. But Martha Tom has the answer: cross the Bok Chitto and become free.

Crossing to freedom with his family seems impossible with slave catchers roaming, but then there is a miracle—a magical night where things become unseen and souls walk on water. By morning, Lil Mo discovers he has entered a completely new world of tradition, community, and . . . a little magic. But as Lil Mo’s family adjusts to their new life, danger waits just around the corner.

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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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An Interview with the Laceras, Creators of Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies!

From the TV show The Walking Dead to YA books Warm Bodies and Rot and Ruin, zombies are a huge part of pop culture. Lee & Low is excited to add to the zombie narrative with our upcoming picture book, Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies!, by debut husband and wife team Megan and Jorge Lacera!

lacera interview

 

Coming April 2019 in both English and Spanish, Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies! is about Mo Romero, a zombie who loves nothing more than growing, cooking, and eating vegetables. The problem? Mo’s parents insist that their niño eat only zombie cuisine, like arm-panadas and finger foods. They tell Mo over and over that zombies don’t eat veggies. But Mo can’t imagine a lifetime of just eating zombie food and giving up his veggies. As he questions his own zombie identity, Mo tries his best to convince his parents to give peas a chance. We chatted with Megan and Jorge about creating their first picture book together and where they got their inspiration from.

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