Category Archives: Dear Readers

Behind the History: A Guest Post by Shirley Reva Vernick

In this guest post, author Shirley Reva Vernick shares her personal connections to historical events and how they led her to write about history in her novels. Her latest historical fiction book entitled The Sky We Shared will be published June 7.

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Art from the Everyday: A Guest Post by Alison Goldberg

In this guest post, author Alison Goldberg explores how found objects can reveal their stories when turned into art, just as El Anatsui’s sculptures reveal the stories of the objects that they are made from. Bottle Tops: The Art of El Anatsui will be published on June 14, 2022 and is available for preorder.

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Predicting the Pandemic in Nobody’s Pilgrims: A Guest Post by Sergio Troncoso

In this guest post, author Sergio Troncoso reflects on writing a pandemic story before the pandemic and the many themes of his latest novel, including “the border beyond the border,” survival, identity, and more. Nobody’s Pilgrims is available for purchase now.

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Finding My Accent: A Guest Post by Yasmín Ramírez

In this guest post, author Yasmín Ramírez describes how embracing her name helped embrace where she comes from and who she has become, tilde and all. Yasmín is a Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Author Fellow and recipient of the Woody and Gayle Hunt-Aspen Institute Fellowship Award. Her debut memoir ¡Ándale Prieta! will be published April 19 and is available for preorder.

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Becoming a “Real” Writer: A Guest Post by Monica Zepeda

In this guest post, author Monica Zepeda talks about her winding journey to becoming what she always was all along: a “real” writer. Monica is the 2019 winner of the New Visions Award for her debut young adult novel, Boys of the Beast, which will be published April 12 and is available for preorder.

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All the Bilinguals I’ve Been: A Guest Post by Author Alessandra Narváez Varela

In this guest post, author Alessandra Narváez Varela talks about her journey growing into her bilingualism and how that grew into her latest novel, Thirty Talks Weird Love

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Diversifying Classic Literature in the Classroom: A Student’s Perspective

Diversifying Classic Literature in the Classroom

In this blog post by Kiana Low, our Lee & Low summer intern, she shares the need for educators to create space for more diverse, contemporary books and voices to balance the “classics.”

The classics. If you attended high school in the United States, your mind may immediately go to Shakespeare, Jane Eyre, or maybe even Nathaniel Hawthorne, whose The Scarlet Letter has been a Puritan warning against female sexuality for nearly two centuries. These are the old guard of high school English classics—literature included in reading lists for generations. There are also  “modern classics”—you may think of J.D. Salinger, Harper Lee, and John Steinbeck.

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Planting Seeds: The Mangrove Tree Preschool

the mangrove treeLast November, shortly after receiving the paperback version of the Jane Addams award-winning The Mangrove Tree, Susan Roth received an unexpected email. It was from Fathima Toprawalla, who has been a director of a Montessori preschool in Calgary, Canada for the last six years. Last year Fathima decided to create a brand-new preschool with the intention that each student would be able to grow a plant or tree of his or her own.  And her special wish was to name her new school The Mangrove Tree Preschool, for the book that she found inspirational for herself as well as for her young students.

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How to Choose the Best Multicultural Books for Your Collection

choosing multicultural books

At Lee & Low Books, our mission is to publish multicultural books that are “about everyone, for everyone.” We’ve published stories for nearly 30 years that highlight people of different backgrounds, cultures, and abilities, and we make a special effort to work with authors and illustrators of color.

With the increase in diverse books being published, one question that comes up a lot when we’re talking to people is “How do I choose good multicultural books?” It is important to choose not just diverse books, but books that are culturally authentic, engaging, and free from problematic stereotypes.

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Building a Biography: An Interview with New Voices Award Winner Andrea Loney and Senior Editor Jessica Echeverria

At Lee & Low Books we are always interested in biographies of unsung heroes. Stories of lesser-known individuals who used their talents and overcame obstacles to achieve their dreams and serve their society fill our shelves of published titles. Each year our New Voices Award judges consider dozens of biographical submissions on the lookout for a winning combination of compelling characters and well-researched storytelling. But how do these components come together to create a manuscript? How does a writer condense someone’s entire life into a picture book? Does the writer or editor decide what information goes in the story and back matter? What is back matter, anyway? To answer these questions, and for an inside look at the editorial process, we interviewed Andrea Loney, author of the 2014 New Voices Award-winning biography Take A Picture of Me, James VanDerZee! and Jessica Echeverria, our Senior Editor who helped turn Andrea’s manuscript into an absorbing debut!

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