Category Archives: Diversity, Race, and Representation

Conversation about diversity, multiculturalism, race, and inclusion.

Announcing Lee & Low Books’ 2019 New Voices Award Winner and Honor

New Voices Award sealNew York, NY—January 16, 2020—LEE & LOW BOOKS is excited to announce that Alana Tyson of Alexandria, Virginia, is the winner of the company’s twentieth annual New Voices Award. Her picture book manuscript, The Longest Swim, is the biography of William Goines and his journey to becoming the first African American Navy SEAL.

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Finding the Best Diverse Books for Your Classroom

High Quality Diverse Books

In this guest post originally posted at Achieve the Core, Jill Eisenberg, our Director of Curriculum & Literacy Strategy, shares resources and guidance for teachers on finding high-quality diverse texts and bringing them into the classroom. 

If you were asked to sum up your classroom library or read aloud collection with five adjectives, what would you say? Would the word “diverse” make the list?

Our classroom library bookshelves and mentor texts should feel intentional, purposeful, and transforming; to that end, many educators and administrators are eager to infuse more culturally responsive, multicultural, and inclusive stories into the classroom. It can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin with this process, however. As Director of Curriculum & Literacy Strategy at Lee & Low Books, I step into schools and districts to advise on the key components of a culturally responsive book collection and action steps required to evaluate current collections for equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Whether you survey your collection in grade-level teams, with parent volunteers, or on your own, this blog post will share some of the best resources and strategies we at Lee & Low Books have seen over the past thirty years from schools and districts across the nation. Continue reading

Sneak Peek: Lee & Low’s Spring 2020 Titles

It’s the start of a new decade, and what better way to launch into the new year than to check out new and exciting books coming out in 2020! Here’s a sneak peek of our Winter and Spring 2020 titles ranging from boogie-down picture books to magic-filled middle grade.

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Social and Emotional Learning Books for Middle School and High School

Social and Emotional Learning

Social and Emotional Learning is the process in which people of all ages recognize and manage emotions, make appropriate decisions, behave ethically and responsibly, develop and maintain positive relationships, and avoid negative behaviors.

Social and Emotional Learning strategies are important, but books that show characters demonstrating these strategies further emphasize the need for these positive actions inside and outside of the classroom.

Check out our social and emotional learning books roundup for middle school and high school below and find more social and emotional learning titles in our Social and Emotional Learning Diverse Reading List.

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Book List: Native Books by Native Authors

native books by native authors

November is Native American Heritage Month, which started at the turn of the century as “an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S.” and in 1990, evolved into a month of celebration and appreciation.

For many years, Native people have been silenced, their stories set aside, hidden, or drowned out. That’s why it’s especially important to read stories about Native characters, told in Native voices. Celebrate Native American Heritage Month with this updated list of books by Native authors:

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Teaching Migration Through Children’s Books

In this blog post, Jill Eisenberg, Director of Curriculum & Literacy Strategy at Lee & Low Books, offers guidance on curating text sets aligned to the Re-imagining Migration Learning Arc framework. This blog post first appeared on Re-Imagining Migration Continue reading

The Importance of Diversity in Leveled Readers & Reading Recovery®

In this guest blog post, Dr. Lisa Pinkerton, the Marie Clay Endowed Chair in Reading Recovery® and Early Literacy at The Ohio State University, discusses the importance of expanding diverse stories for young readers in Reading Recovery®

I have long admired Lee & Low Books and their mission to publish contemporary diverse stories that all children can enjoy. As a Reading Recovery® trainer, imagine my delight to discover that Lee & Low Books is now on the RRCNA booklist!

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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

Free Upcoming Webinar: Using Children’s Books to Approach Trauma-Informed Education

Using Children's Books to Approach Trauma-Informed Education

Join us for our critical back to school webinar about Trauma-Informed Education in time for the release of our new Trauma-Informed Education Book List on Wednesday, September 25 at 4:00 PM ET. Katie Potter, Lee & Low’s Literacy Specialist, and Andrea Adomako, an educator who has worked with elementary, middle and high school students, a PhD student in African American Studies, and a Mellon Cluster Fellow in Gender and Sexuality Studies at Northwestern University, will discuss different books and activities that approach various kinds of trauma.

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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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