Category Archives: Tu Books

Anything related to our Tu Books imprint, publishing books for older readers with a focus on speculative fiction.

An Interview with A.M. Dassu, author of Boy, Everywhere

Today is the release day for Boy, Everywhere by debut author A. M. Dassu! In this powerful middle-grade debut, Sami and his family embark on a harrowing journey to save themselves from the Syrian civil war.

Watch author A. M. Dassu talk about why she wrote Boy, Everywhere. And read on to learn more about what moved Dassu to write this story, her experience and work with refugees, and the feedback she’s received from Syrian readers.

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Cover Reveal: Black Was the Ink by Michelle Coles

Today we’re so excited to reveal the cover for our upcoming young adult novel, Black Was the Ink by Michelle Coles with illustrations by Justin Johnson, coming September 2021!

In Black Was the Ink, sixteen-year-old Malcolm is sent on a journey through Reconstruction-era America with the help of a ghostly ancestor. At the same time, he must work to save his family’s farm in present-day Mississippi from being claimed by the State.

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Decolonize Your Bookshelf: Supriya Kelkar’s New Book Illuminates the Brutal Realities of Colonialism in India

Strong as Fire, Fierce as Flame coverIn this guest blog post, author Supriya Kelkar writes about the story behind her latest middle grade novel Strong as Fire, Fierce as Flame as well as the need to have conversations surrounding the atrocities committed in the name of colonialism and whose story is routinely told and whose story is left out.

When I was growing up, I never got to see myself in a book. Although I’m sure books with South Asian American characters, written by South Asian Americans, were being written, they weren’t being published. Because of this erasure, I never thought my story mattered.

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New Release: Strong as Fire, Fierce as Flame by Supriya Kelkar

Today we’re excited to release Strong as Fire, Fierce as Flame by award-winning author Supriya Kelkar (Ahimsa, American as Paneer Pie)!

This moving and meticulously researched middle grade historical fiction novel takes a deep look at the impact of colonialism in India. When a rebellion against British colonizers spreads in 1857 India, 12-year-old Meera must choose between relative safety in a British household or standing up for herself and her people.

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Cover Reveal: The Shadow Prince by David Anthony Durham

Five deadly tests. Only One Shadow Prince. 

Today we’re so excited to reveal the cover for our upcoming middle grade novel, The Shadow Prince by David Anthony Durham, coming September 2021!

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An Interview with Julieta from Julieta and the Diamond Enigma (plus…recipes for blueberry pancakes and elotes!)

In this interview with the sweet and spunky Julieta from Julieta and the Diamond Enigma by Luisana Duarte Armendáriz, the nine-year-old titular character talks about her love of elotes and blueberry pancakes (with recipes to share!), her favorite art piece in the Louvre, and her excitement for the reopening of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

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Lee & Low Books Announces 2020 New Visions Award Winner

After this week’s sad news about our co-founder, we are happy to be able to share some happy news to end the week!

Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books, is thrilled to announce the results of its seventh annual New Visions Award for new authors of color. This year, Tracy Occomy Crowder has won the New Visions Award for her manuscript, Montgomery and the Case of the Golden Key.

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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

Diverse Summer Reading Recommendations for Grades 6-8

Summer Reading List

We’re closing out our Summer Reading “For Fans Of” series with our last age group, grades 6 to 8! In our last post, we posed some questions that could ask to get kids thinking across their texts to keep their brains energized during the summer. Additional questions and probes are listed below:

  • How did the authors use symbolism in their books? What were some of the symbols in the two books? Did they relate in any way? Why or why not?
  • Did the main characters change over the course of the books? How?
  • What big lesson did you learn from this book? How did that impact you?

See our Diverse Summer Reading List for the full list of titles from grades PreK to grade 8. Continue reading

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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