Last month was the release of I Am Alfonso Joneswritten by Tony Medina and illustrated by Stacey Robinson and John Jennings. In this book, Alfonso Jones can’t wait to play the role of Hamlet in his school’s hip-hop rendition of the classic Shakespearean play. He also wants to let his best friend, Danetta, know how he really feels about her. But as he is buying his first suit, an off-duty police officer mistakes a clothes hanger for a gun, and he shoots Alfonso.
When Alfonso wakes up in the afterlife, he’s on a ghost train guided by well-known victims of police shootings, who teach him what he needs to know about this subterranean spiritual world. Meanwhile, Alfonso’s family and friends struggle with their grief and seek justice for Alfonso in the streets. As they confront their new realities, both Alfonso and those he loves realize the work that lies ahead in the fight for justice.
Accompanying our title is the I Am Alfonso Jones teacher’s guide, which offers resources and tips on how to guide discussions of race, racism, and social justice in the classroom. Our teacher’s guide also features summary and background information, prereading and discussion questions, ideas for reader’s response and writing activities, strategies for ESL/ELL, and interdisciplinary activities and connections. Below we’ve gathered a few prereading questions, discussion questions, activities, and resources from the I Am Alfonso Jones teacher’s guide.
As Fast As Words Could Flywas selected by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation for its latest read aloud on Storyline Online, an interactive literacy website where well-known actors read popular, award-winning children’s books to help students fall in love with reading.
As Fast As Words Could Fly was written by Pamela M. Tuck, illustrated by Eric Velasquez, and read by actor Dulé Hill now on Storyline Online.
Can you believe it’s almost November? The autumn season is officially underway which means the holidays are right around the corner! Plan out your month with these book recommendations and resources to get you ready for the holiday season! Continue reading →
Thanks to movements such as We Need Diverse Books, #1000BlackGirlBooks, and vocal authors, writers, and readers, the conversation regarding diversity in children’s books has gained more traction. Studies such as the Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s Publishing Statistics on Children’s Books and our Diversity Baseline Survey have helped to supplement these conversations, highlighting the need for more representation in children’s literature. We’re starting to see more stories that represent people from different backgrounds and different ways of life, and stories with protagonists and heroes that finally look like us. Here at LEE & LOW BOOKS, our mission is to publish children’s books about everyone and for everyone. So today, LEE & LOW staff share the impact and importance of diversity and what diversity truly means to them.
We at LEE & LOW BOOKS are excited to share the engaging, culturally relevant work happening in the high school classroom of Jarred Amato, veteran educator in Metro Nashville Public Schools. In his essay, Jarred describes the importance of text selection and how to incorporate social justice and relevant content into the English curriculum at the start of the school year. Originally posted at Jarred’s blog, A Look Inside Mr. Amato’s Classroom, this essay is reposted with permission.
Confession: In eight years of teaching, I have never assigned work from a textbook. I don’t believe in test-prep passages or outdated texts that I know my students will struggle to relate to, connect with, or enjoy, either. My experience is that they generally do more harm than good.
On September 28th, The Carle Museum hosted The Carle Honors Annual Benefit Gala in New York City. The Carle Honors is “the Museum’s annual benefit gala. At the heart of the Honors are four awards celebrating individuals whose creative vision and dedication are an inspiration to everyone who values picture books and their role in arts education and literacy.” This year, Lee & Low Books, represented by publisher Jason Low, was one of the four honorees recognized at The Carle Honors. Below are author Gregory Maguire’s remarks on the work and legacy of Lee & Low Books. Continue reading →