It can be difficult to talk to children about tough topics. From bullying and prejudice, to discrimination and racism, children’s books have helped to facilitate these difficult conversations in an accessible and meaningful way. Below we’ve compiled seven of our many books that will help children come away with a better understanding of these complex issues and the world around them.
Don’t forget to round out your collection with our list of 10 diverse picture books that are not about oppression!
The start of the school year is a critical time to establish classroom community and shared values of respect, honesty and trust.
With the one-year anniversary of the violence in Charlottesville coming up and other traumatic news constantly making headlines, many educators are left wondering how to discuss difficult current events with their students and to navigate meaningful, age-appropriate discussions on topics like hate, racism, and prejudice.
Join Lee & Low Books in collaboration with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for the timely webinar: “Teaching Tough Topics with Children’s Literature” that aims to help address these concerns through worthy books, activities, and resources. Continue reading
In this age of rigor, text complexity, and higher standards for younger and younger readers—why do wordless picture books continue to be so popular?
Wordless, or minimal-text, picture books:
- enable children to explore the art of storytelling and world-building
- are a wonderful medium for expression and creative thought
- are a natural introduction to inferencing, a metacognitive skill that is often taught in the later grades
- help readers practice reading facial cues and studying visual context clues for vocabulary and plot development
- engage visual learners or visually-motivated readers
- alleviate struggling readers who may feel overwhelmed by dense text and long print sections
- offer a launch pad to a lifelong love of other visually-rich formats, including comics and graphic novels
Why choose a wordless, or minimal-text, picture book for your next storytime?
Join Lee & Low Books editors for a showcase of our 2018 books! Whether you’re a parent, teacher, librarian, or bookseller, this webinar will help you discover great new books to diversify your shelves. Catch newly released spring titles that you won’t want to miss, and get a sneak peek at our fall books. This one-hour webinar will include picture books, middle grade, and young adult titles. Continue reading
Summer is quickly approaching, which means more time to read picture books aloud to the children in your lives! Below we’ve compiled a list of amazing multicultural books to read aloud to children. And maybe they can even read aloud to you! Continue reading
Kick off the end of the school year with our beautiful printable 2018 Diverse Summer Reading List for Grades PreK-8! This list provides engaging and entertaining suggestions to build off of summer suggested reading lists from your school or library. These books are fun ways to start a great summer of nonstop reading! Our list includes both fiction and nonfiction, bilingual Spanish/English titles, and a diverse range of cultures—in other words, the right book for every reader! The collections are available on our website for purchase:
Summer Reading Collection Grades PreK-2
Summer Reading Collection Grades 3-5
Summer Reading Collection Grades 6-8 Continue reading
In looking for books with protagonists of color, most readers find that the books they see about protagonists of color surround their marginalization (in fact, this recent New York Times piece on the topic went viral). Though it is vastly important for children to understand the history and complexity of oppression, racism, and discrimination, children, especially children of color, also deserve to see themselves thrive, to experience the joy of being a part of a loving community, and to not be stuck in a cycle of oppressive narratives that can shape how others view them. Below we’ve compiled a list of diverse books that reflect the daily lives of children and feature kids just being kids! Continue reading
Last October was the release of Ahimsa by New Visions Award winner Supriya Kelkar. Inspired by her great-grandmother’s experience working with Gandhi, Kelkar shines a light on the Indian freedom movement in this poignant middle grade novel.
In 1942, after Mahatma Gandhi asks Indians to give one family member to the freedom movement, ten-year-old Anjali is devastated to think of her father risking his life for the freedom struggle. But it turns out he isn’t the one joining. Anjali’s mother is. And with this change comes many more adjustments designed to improve their country and use “ahimsa”—non-violent resistance—to stand up to the British government.
Accompanying this title is the Ahimsa Teacher’s Guide, which offers resources and tips on how to guide discussions on the Indian freedom movement, colonialism, civil disobedience, and the connection to the civil rights movement in the United States. 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 shared a few prereading questions, discussion questions, and resources from the Ahimsa teacher’s guide. Continue reading
Today is the release day of Midnight Teacher: Lilly Ann Granderson and Her Secret School, a picture book about the little-known story of Lilly Ann Granderson, an African-American teacher who risked her life to teach others during slavery. To celebrate, we interviewed author Janet Halfmann to find out more about the story behind Midnight Teacher.
Many of us have not heard of Lilly Ann Granderson’s story. How did you find out about her legacy? What inspired you to write about Lilly Ann Granderson?
I learned about it in bits and pieces. I have long been interested in early black educators, partly because so many books about teachers in the early schools for African Americans are about white teachers from the North. I wanted to shine the spotlight on an amazing early black teacher. The first mentions I found about Lilly Ann Granderson were under the name Milla Granson, the name used by a northern abolitionist who met this teacher and wrote about it in her book. Once I started researching, I learned that Lilly Ann Granderson was known as the Midnight Teacher because she held her secret classes from midnight until two in the morning. That fact made the story all the more intriguing to me, and I thought it would be for kids too. All accounts I found about this teacher ended shortly after the Civil War, so I am honored to have had the opportunity to flesh out Lilly Ann Granderson’s amazing and inspiring story and share it with the world.