Category Archives: Race

What We Believe: A Black Lives Matter Principles Activity Book

What We BelieveLee & Low Books is proud to announce the forthcoming publication of What We Believe: A Black Lives Matter Principles Activity Book, written by Laleña Garcia and illustrated by Caryn Davidson. Created by two teachers with more than thirty-five years of educational experience between them, the book presents the underlying ideas of Black Lives Matter in down-to-earth, child-friendly language, with writing prompts and artistic activities accompanying each principle. Supporting materials guide adults in talking about the movement with children and encourage kids to dream big and take action within their communities.

What We Believe will be published in paperback and e-book on October 27, 2020, and is now available for preorder at all retailers (PB ISBN 9781643794778; e-book ISBN 9781643794785). Lee & Low Books will donate a portion of its proceeds from the book to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc. Continue reading

How Labeling Books as “Diverse” Reinforces White Supremacy

In this guest post, librarian Alexandria Brown discusses the issues with labeling books as “diverse” and other ways we can build and promote a more equitable library collection. 

Every so often, the question of whether or not to add a spine label designating “diverse” books makes the rounds. Many condemn the practice, but lots of library staff persist in labeling. Like most diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues in librarianship, many of my colleagues are still operating within a white (and cisgender and heterosexual) supremacist framework. It is an understandable predicament to be in – after all, many library degree programs are not as strong as they could be in advocating for DEI and decolonization. So let’s examine the question of diversity labeling and see if we can’t get to a better understanding of why it’s problematic.

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Lee & Low Books Statement on Racial Injustice

At this difficult and painful moment for our country, Lee & Low Books condemns the ongoing state-sanctioned violence towards Black people across the nation. We are in solidarity with Black communities and everyone working to protect Black lives. Continue reading

Social Activism Books for Kindergarten

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

EmbraceRace and Lee & Low on Finding and Reading Great Stories with Kids

EmbraceRace

Earlier this week, Literacy Specialist Katie Potter joined EmbraceRace in conversation about how to find and share books that develop kids’ racial and social justice sensibilities and help them become the community members our increasingly multiracial democracy needs.

If you missed the webinar live (or just want to watch it again), you can watch the recording of the webinar here.

We’re offering 20% off and free shipping* for webinar registrants through December 11! Just visit the Lee & Low website and use the code EMBRACERACE at checkout.

Not sure where to begin? Start with these booklists featured in the webinar:

Books that inspire resilience in kids of color
Books that encourage kids of all colors to be inclusive and empathetic
Books that support kids to think critically about racial inequity
Books that animate kids (and adults!) to be racial justice advocates for all kids

For more about using books to engage kids in conversation about differences, click here for Katie’s tip sheet.

About EmbraceRace: EmbraceRace is a multiracial community of parents, teachers, experts, and other caring adults who support each other to meet the challenges that race poses to our children, families, and communities.

Have additional questions or comments? Please leave them below in the comments!

*Free shipping on US addresses only. Coupon code not valid on Bebop Books titles and full collections.

How to Use Wordless and Minimal-text Picture Books

In this age of rigor, text complexity, and higher standards for younger and younger readers—why do wordless picture books continue to be so popular?

Wordless, or minimal-text, picture books:

  • enable children to explore the art of storytelling and world-building
  • are a wonderful medium for expression and creative thought
  • are a natural introduction to inferencing, a metacognitive skill that is often taught in the later grades
  • help readers practice reading facial cues and studying visual context clues for vocabulary and plot development
  • engage visual learners or visually-motivated readers
  • alleviate struggling readers who may feel overwhelmed by dense text and long print sections
  • offer a launch pad to a lifelong love of other visually-rich formats, including comics and graphic novels

Why choose a wordless, or minimal-text, picture book for your next storytime?

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Free Upcoming Webinar: Lee & Low Books 2018 Showcase

Join Lee & Low Books editors for a showcase of our 2018 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

Book List: 10 Picture Books That Are Not About Oppression

Diverse Picture Books Not About Oppression

In looking for books with protagonists of color, most readers find that the books they see about protagonists of color surround their marginalization (in fact, this recent New York Times piece on the topic went viral). Though it is vastly important for children to understand the history and complexity of oppression, racism, and discrimination, children, especially children of color, also deserve to see themselves thrive, to experience the joy of being a part of a loving community, and to not be stuck in a cycle of oppressive narratives that can shape how others view them. Below we’ve compiled a list of diverse books that reflect the daily lives of children and feature kids just being kids! Continue reading

Women’s Empowerment Diverse Book List for Grades PreK-8

LEE & LOW BOOKS is proud to announce the launch of our Women’s Empowerment Diverse Reading Text Sets for Grades PreK-8! Continue reading

Interview: Author Janet Halfmann on Lilly Ann Granderson’s Legacy

Midnight TeacherToday is the release day of Midnight Teacher: Lilly Ann Granderson and Her Secret School, a picture book about the little-known story of Lilly Ann Granderson, an African-American teacher who risked her life to teach others during slavery. To celebrate, we interviewed author Janet Halfmann to find out more about the story behind Midnight Teacher.

Many of us have not heard of Lilly Ann Granderson’s story. How did you find out about her legacy? What inspired you to write about Lilly Ann Granderson?

I learned about it in bits and pieces. I have long been interested in early black educators, partly because so many books about teachers in the early schools for African Americans are about white teachers from the North. I wanted to shine the spotlight on an amazing early black teacher. The first mentions I found about Lilly Ann Granderson were under the name Milla Granson, the name used by a northern abolitionist who met this teacher and wrote about it in her book. Once I started researching, I learned that Lilly Ann Granderson was known as the Midnight Teacher because she held her secret classes from midnight until two in the morning. That fact made the story all the more intriguing to me, and I thought it would be for kids too. All accounts I found about this teacher ended shortly after the Civil War, so I am honored to have had the opportunity to flesh out Lilly Ann Granderson’s amazing and inspiring story and share it with the world.

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