Category Archives: Diversity, Race, and Representation

Conversation about diversity, multiculturalism, race, and inclusion.

An Interview with Hena Khan, Author of ‘Under My Hijab’

Today is the official release of Under My Hijabthe new picture book written by Hena Khan and illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel. With cheerful rhyming text and charming illustrations, Under My Hijab provides a friendly introduction to hijabs for all readers, and celebrates the many Muslim women and girls who choose to wear them.

Under My Hijab Interview

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Watch the Webinar: Teaching Social Activism through Children’s Books

Thank you to everyone who joined us last week for our webinar, “Teaching Social Activism through Children’s Books”! If you missed it live (or just want to watch again), here is a recording of the webinar:

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Tackling the Challenges of Implementing Diverse Libraries at Your School

implementing a diverse library

New year, new goals! If one of your professional goals this year is to add more diversity to your school or classroom library, we’re here with some inspiration to get you started. In the following blog post, originally posted at the Center for the Collaborative Classroom and cross-posted with permission, our Director of Curriculum and Literacy Strategy Jill Eisenberg shares tips and suggestions for how to move forward without becoming overwhelmed:

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Announcing Our 2018 New Voices Award Winner and Honor

New Voices Award WinnerNew York, NY—January 22, 2019—LEE & LOW BOOKS is pleased to announce that SD Youngwolf of Moffat, Colorado is the winner of the company’s nineteenth annual New Voices Award. His picture book manuscript, The Echo People, is the story of two children who go on a special journey with their grandfather and, through their different experiences, learn how we create our own realities through the words and actions we give to the world.

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Free Upcoming Webinar: Teaching Social Activism through Children’s Books

Join us for our free webinar about our Social Activism Diverse Reading List and different methods of teaching social activism in the classroom while highlighting relevant books and engaging activities on Wednesday, January 23rd at 4PM EST.

Katie Potter, Literacy Specialist at Lee & Low, and Ina Pannell-St. Surin, NYC-based special education teacher and Responsive Classroom teacher consultant, will lead a dynamic conversation about how to use books to discuss and inspire social activism in students with both historical and present-day contexts.

Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Time: 4:00 PM EST
Duration: 1 hour
How to Join: Register here.

Registration is free, but space is limited so register today! If you can’t join live, you can still register to receive a link to the recording after the webinar takes place.

Hope to see you there!

Sneak Peek: Lee & Low’s Spring 2019 Titles

It’s the new year, and what better way to bring in the new year than to check out new and exciting books coming out in 2019! Here’s a sneak peek of our Winter and Spring 2019 titles ranging from delightful picture books to heart-pounding middle grade.

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Diverse Children’s Books to Give as Gifts, Ages 6-12

Still searching for the best books to gift to young readers? We’ve got you covered!

Last week we shared our gift recommendations for children ages 0-5. If you’re looking for colorful, striking, authentically diverse books for the children in your life ages 6-12, check out our suggestions below! Continue reading

Calling All Publishers, Agents, and Review Journals: Join Us for Diversity Baseline Survey 2.0

Five years ago, Lee & Low Books launched the first Diversity Baseline Survey to examine four aspects of diversity among publishing industry staff: race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability. Administered to over 13,000 publishing employees at thirty-five different publishing companies and eight major review journals, the Diversity Baseline Survey inspired many conversations and initiatives to help build a more inclusive book industry.

Five years later, it is time for us to redo the survey to see what has changed. We have big plans this time, including a Kickstarter (launching early 2019) to raise money to hire a professional survey/evaluation company and an initiative to include literary agents, who play an important role in gatekeeping.

We are putting an open call out to publishing houses and literary agencies of all sizes: will you participate in 2019?

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Genielysse Reyes Receives 2018 Lee & Low and Friends Scholarship from Simmons College

We’re excited to announce that Simmons College Graduate Programs in Children’s Literature has awarded Genielysse Reyes as the 2018 recipient of the Lee & Low and Friends Scholarship.

A partnership between the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children’s Literature and children’s book publisher Lee & Low Books, the scholarship provides opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds to participate in Simmons’ prestigious children’s literature graduate program. Lee & Low Books is the largest multicultural book publisher in the country and a leader in the effort to diversify the publishing industry. Simmons shares this goal and is committed to creating opportunities for all students so that a multiplicity of voices can be heard in the publishing industry and in books published for children and young adults.

This year, we interviewed Genielysse Reyes about her love of children’s literature, her thoughts on providing equitable access for people of color in publishing, and her goals as a part of the Simmons program.

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Authors Guadalupe García McCall and David Bowles on the Mexicanx Initiative at WorldCon

Each year, WorldCon (the World Science Fiction Convention) gathers fans and creators of science fiction and fantasy. Among many things that happen at WorldCon is the awarding of the Hugos, something like the Oscars for speculative fiction. The first convention took place in New York City in 1939, and every year after, it has been held in a different city, organized by volunteers. In 2018, Worldcon 76 was held in San Jose, California.

Now, the thing to remember is that people of color—especially Latinx folx—have been largely absent from WorldCon during its 76 years. But this year, one of the guests of honor was illustrator John Picacio, the first Mexican American to win a Hugo (and first to serve as MC). He wanted to make sure Mexicans and Mexican Americans would be there in significant numbers.

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Most of the Mexicanx Initiative takes the stage at the beginning of WorldCon.

So John founded the Mexicanx Initiative, at first intending to sponsor just a couple of key creators. But when he announced it, a dozen or so movers and shakers in the world of SF/F stepped up to contribute, and before long there was enough support to bring FIFTY Mexicanx writers, illustrators, megafans, etc. Guadalupe García McCall and David Bowles were invited to be part of this stellar group. They were placed on panels, brought into the spotlight, allowed to stand on the stage in solidarity with Dreamers and refugees.

It was a gamechanging moment.

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