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.
Today, we’re so excited to celebrate the release of our new picture book biography, She Was the First!: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm, written by Katheryn Russell-Brown and illustrated by Eric Velasquez.
Shirley Chisholm, a woman of many firsts, was an unforgettable political trailblazer, a candidate of the people and “catalyst of change” who opened the door for women in the political arena and for the first Black president of the United States.
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!
When the Common Core Standards were created, the authors included a list of titles in Appendix B that exemplified the level of text complexity found in Appendix A and inherent quality for reading materials at each grade level. This list was intended as a comparative tool, as a way for teachers and administrators to measure current libraries against countrywide expectations for rigorous literature and informational text. Since its publication, this list, and the titles included and omitted, has created quite a bit of controversy.
The Diversity Baseline Survey was designed to measure the lack of diversity within the publishing industry. The data also allows us to track progress as our industry grows and evolves. In 2016, Lee & Low Books sponsored and organized the first major publishing Diversity Baseline Survey (DBS 1.0). The DBS 1.0 measured the staff diversity of reviewers and publishers and has opened up a renewed interest in how to improve staff diversity. In January 2020, Lee & Low Books organized the second Diversity Baseline Survey (DBS 2.0) and released the results.
Below, you’ll find our Educator Resource Guide for the Diversity Baseline Survey. We’ve gathered discussion questions and activities for educators to use in the classroom (including virtual classrooms too!). Continue reading
Just in time for Poetry Month, we are proud to announce that we have officially relaunched our beloved Poetry Resource Guide! Check out our tips and strategies from renowned poet, educator, and literacy advocate Pat Mora about how to use poetry with students in various educational settings. Dive into creative ways to make poetry fun and engaging for young people, not just during Poetry Month but year-round! Read excerpts from the guide below, as well as some of our new and bestselling poetry titles based on universal themes!
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.
Descubriendo la Lectura, the reconstruction of Reading Recovery® in Spanish, has released levels for its newest title additions!
Lee & Low Books is proud to be the nation’s largest publisher of multicultural children’s books. With the launch of our new Descubriendo la Lectura Bebop Books collection, schools across the country will now be able to bring more equity, inclusion, and diversity into their classroom libraries.
Thank you to everyone who joined us last week for our webinar, “Teaching About Slavery Using Lee & Low Children’s Books”. If you missed it live, or just want to watch it again, here is a recording of the webinar: