Tag Archives: Book Lists by Topic

Three Great Books to Celebrate the Olympics

It’s Olympics time! Have you all been glued to your televisions and various electronic devices for the last 5 days? Or, conversely, have you been dodging your televisions and electronic devices, trying to avoid spoilers?

Either way, the Olympics are one of my favorite things. And while it’s tons of fun rooting for all the current big names (Michael Phelps! Kerri Walsh! Gabby Douglas!) it’s also worth spending a few minutes remembering some great Olympic athletes from the past who paved the way. Here are three to start with:

Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds1. Sammy Lee (Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds): Diver Sammy Lee was born on August 1, 1920 in Fresno, California. Growing up, Sammy was barred from the public pool six out of seven days of the week because he was not white; despite that, Lee became a world-class diver and at the 1948 Olympic Games in London, became the first Asian American to win a gold medal. There’s a great picture of Sammy Lee, now 91, in this now-and-then piece on athletes from the last London Olympics.

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What Are Your Top 3 Beach Reads?

In celebration of July 4th and all of summer’s fun activities, I asked a few Lee & Low authors and staff members what their favorite beach reads are. I’m sure it was difficult to pick just three, but here’s what they came up with:

Don Tate, author of It Jes’ Happened, says: “Reading here has been slow lately. But here’s what’s tops on my summer reading list, books written by friends and critique partners in my local writing community.”

  1. Laugh With The Moon by Shana Burg
  2. Chronal Engine by Greg Leitich Smith
  3. Think Big by Liz Garton Scanlon

 Jaclyn DeForge, our Resident Literacy Expert, explains why she made her choices:During the summer, despite my best intentions, I seldom actually make it to the beach, so here are my favorite travel-centric reads that help me imagine I’m on vacation.”

  1. A Sense of Direction:  Pilgrimage for the Restless and the Hopeful by Gideon Lewis-Krauss
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Announcing Our first DiYA Monthly Book Roundup!

Some of you may be familiar with Diversity in YA (DiYA), a lovely project started last year by authors Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo to bring more attention to diversity in children’s literature. During the year-long DiYA project, Cindy and Malinda were kind enough to do a roundup each month of new titles coming out that featured diversity, and they defined diversity in the following way: (1) main characters or major secondary characters (e.g., a love interest or best friend kind of character) who are of color or are LGBT; or (2) written by a person of color or LGBT author.

Since DiYA is on hiatus, Cindy and Malinda gave us their blessing to continue their monthly roundup. We all felt that it was important to keep the spotlight on diverse books, and we hope you’ll join us in that mission!

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5 Great Titles for Women’s History Month

It’s hard to believe we’re already in March! Warm weather may still be a few weeks away (although I’m ready any time now…) but there’s already plenty to celebrate this month—including, of course, Women’s History. Here are five of my favorite titles to give some color to your March reading list:

Catching the Moon

Catching the Moon: The Story of A Young Girl’s Baseball Dream, by Crystal Hubbard, illus. by Randy DuBurke

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Top 5: Getting in the winter spirit

One of the many reasons why I love Thanksgiving is that, in my mind, it’s really the start of winter coziness. Despite the fact that I’m always grumbling by February, I really do love this season.

far north
From Vanishing Cultures: Far North

But we’ve had a weirdly warm fall thus far here in NYC, which has forced me to turn to books to get myself in the winter spirit. Here are my top 5 books that get me in the mood for the snow and slush ahead— and of course, all of them are best enjoyed in pajamas, with a warm cup of hot chocolate in hand:

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This Week in Diversity: Prizes and Veterans

There’s been a lot of chatter about prizes lately!

The ALA has added another children’s book award—and more diversity. The new Stonewall Award for Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award will be recognizing books for young readers relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience.

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Native American Heritage Books

It’s Native American Heritage month, and do we ever have recommendations for you! You can go to our site and see all our Native American titles, but we’re going to highlight a couple of them today.

Sky Dancers is a majestic story of the Mohawk steal workers who built the skyscrapers of New York City, as seen through the eyes of a young boy. On weekends, John Cloud lives with his parents on the reservation in upstate New York, but during the week his father is off in the city. When his mother takes him to New York, John Cloud is proud to see his father high above the city on a crossbeam of the Empire State Building. The Art Deco-influenced art and John Cloud’s independent mind make this book stand as tall as a skyscraper.

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Hispanic Heritage Month: Reading Lists

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month, the only heritage month that is not contiguous with a calendar month! (It runs from September 15-October 15, because September 15 is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, and Mexico, Chile, and Belize also have independence days following September 15). That means it’s a great time to talk about favorite books featuring Hispanic/Latino characters!

Let’s see, picture books. I grew up on Tomie DePaula, so it’s no surprise that Adelita, his Mexican Cinderella, shows up on my list. And of our Latino books, I’m rather partial to Say Hola to Spanish, Under the Lemon Moon, and The Birthday Swap.

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