What We Believe: A Black Lives Matter Activity Book is a collaboration between Laleña Garcia and Caryn Davidson, both professional educators and activists with the Black Lives Matter at Schools NYC organizing group. Learn the story behind What We Believe here and how the author and illustrator define activism and allyship in the first two installments.
Today, in the third installment of our conversation, Laleña and Caryn share tips and suggestions for educators who face institutional opposition when bringing learning about BLM, social justice, and activism into their classrooms: Continue reading
What does it mean to be anti-racist? Several definitions exist, but Ibram X. Kendi’s embodies the actionable steps behind anti-racist work: “The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it– and then dismantle it.” Continue reading
2020 has been a challenging year to say the least, so we’re more than ready to reset and start the new year with some great new books coming out in 2021! Here’s a sneak peek of our Winter and Spring 2021 titles ranging from dance-stepping picture books to heart-stopping middle grade. Continue reading
Join Lee & Low Books editors for a showcase of our 2020 books! Whether you’re a parent, teacher, librarian, or bookseller, this webinar will help you discover great new books to diversify your shelves. Find newly released titles that you won’t want to miss, and get a sneak peek at our 2021 releases. This one-hour webinar will include picture books, middle grade, and young adult titles.
Today, we’re excited to celebrate the release of our new picture book biography, Nacho’s Nachos: The Story Behind the World’s Favorite Snack, written by Sandra Nickel and illustrated by Oliver Dominguez.
This delicious picture book biography sheds light on Ignacio Anaya, who is credited with inventing nachos! Ignacio, nicknamed Nacho, was born in Mexico in 1895, and became head waiter at the Victory Club in Piedras Negras, right across the Rio Grande river from Eagle Pass, Texas.
One afternoon in 1940, during the Victory Club’s quiet hours between lunch and dinner, a regular customer walked in with three friends. They wanted a snack–something new, something different. Nacho rushed to the kitchen and improvised with what was on hand: corn tortillas, cheddar cheese, and jalapeño peppers. In that moment, Nacho’s Special, the dish that later became known simply as “nachos,” was born!
Check out the Nacho’s Nachos Story Time Activity Kit and find activities to do with kids like:
- Draw your dream nachos. What ingredients would you include
- Create a banner declaring your love of nachos.
- Follow Nacho Anaya’s original nachos recipe to get a taste of “Nacho’s Special”
Celebrate with us by eating nachos this week on Instagram. Post a photo of your nachos with the hashtag #nachosnachos and tag @leeandlow to be entered to win a copy of the book!
Listen to debut author Sandra Nickel talk about creating Nacho’s Nachos, and explore additional activities to go with the book at TeachingBook.net.
How do we build a book collection that reflects our children, our values, and our world? In difficult times, books offer an important outlet to young people—but making the right books available is essential. If you’ve ever wondered how to take action in diversifying your library but don’t know how or where to start, you’re not alone.
Join us for a webinar on Tuesday, August 18th at 4:00 PM EDT as we walk through some of the steps to creating a truly inclusive collection. We will use our newly updated Questionnaire as a guide for identifying gaps in our shelves, and share resources for finding and evaluating diverse books. We are also proud to announce the launch of a Spanish version of the questionnaire just in time for the start of the school year.
In this webinar, Literacy Specialist Katie Potter joins 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. You can watch the recording of the webinar here.
Not sure where to begin your search? 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
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!
While the term “social justice” may seem overly complex or political to adults, young people are deeply attuned to concepts of equality and fairness and how these play out within their homes, classrooms, and communities.
Children’s books are an excellent entry point into units on social justice and social activism. Narrative nonfiction provides models of real people who have stood up for what’s right; fiction provides opportunities for discussion about difficult choices and character traits like courage, persistence, and respect.
Below are some of our favorite social justice books for middle school and high school that allow young readers to build an understanding of social justice and activism in the context of gender, socioeconomic status, race, or the environment:
In this guest post, Natasha Thomas, senior at Princeton University, discusses the importance of studying East Asia past and present. Thomas proposes creating a diverse collection that shows the multiple ethnic groups and tensions that contributed to the development of such influential cultures and helps American students understand this region with a rich, complicated history rather than the monolith it’s often portrayed as.
The Diversity Baseline Survey (DBS 2.0) was created by Lee & Low Books with co-authors Laura M. Jiménez, PhD, Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development and Betsy Beckert, graduate student in the Language and Literacy Department of Wheelock College of Education & Human Development
Lee & Low Books released the first Diversity Baseline Survey (DBS 1.0) in 2015. Before the DBS, people suspected publishing had a diversity problem, but without hard numbers, the extent of that problem was anyone’s guess. Our goal was to survey publishing houses and review journals regarding the racial, gender, sexual orientation, and ability makeup of their employees; establish concrete statistics about the diversity of the publishing workforce; and then build on this information by reissuing the survey every four years. Through these long-term efforts, we would be able to track what progress our industry shows over time in improving representation and inclusion. Continue reading