Tag Archives: Tu Books

Anti-Racism Diverse Books for Grades 6-8+

Are you looking to add anti-racist books to your library but don’t know where to start? Have you been thinking about how to have meaningful conversations with young people about race, but lack confidence in how to begin? The books in our Anti-Racism Reading List will help you take the first steps or continue the critical discussions about anti-racism work relevant to your setting.

In this blog post, we’ve rounded up books from our anti-racism reading list for grades 6 and up. You can find more of our anti-racism titles in our Anti-Racism Diverse Reading List and the corresponding book collection.

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New Release: Strong as Fire, Fierce as Flame by Supriya Kelkar

Today we’re excited to release Strong as Fire, Fierce as Flame by award-winning author Supriya Kelkar (Ahimsa, American as Paneer Pie)!

This moving and meticulously researched middle grade historical fiction novel takes a deep look at the impact of colonialism in India. When a rebellion against British colonizers spreads in 1857 India, 12-year-old Meera must choose between relative safety in a British household or standing up for herself and her people.

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Cover Reveal: The Shadow Prince by David Anthony Durham

Five deadly tests. Only One Shadow Prince. 

Today we’re so excited to reveal the cover for our upcoming middle grade novel, The Shadow Prince by David Anthony Durham, coming September 2021!

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Our Favorite Social Justice Books for Middle School and High School

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:

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Cover Reveal: Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis with Traci Sorell

We’re excited to reveal the full cover for Indian No More, a moving middle grade novel about Regina, a ten-year-old Umpqua girl, whose family is forced to relocate from Oregon to Los Angeles during the Indian termination era of the 1950s. Written by the late Charlene Willing McManis, and completed by author Traci Sorell, Indian No More (September 2019) draws upon Charlene’s own tribal history and we are so excited to see it all coming together!

In this blog post, editor Elise McMullen-Ciotti dives into the symbolism and meaning behind the cover of Indian No More and how the cover came to be.

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Lee & Low Books Announces 2019 New Visions Award Winner and Honor

New York, NY—Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books, is thrilled to announce the results of its sixth annual New Visions Award for new authors of color. This year, Monica Zepeda has won the New Visions Award for her manuscript, Boys of the Beast. Michelle Jones Coles’ manuscript Woke received the New Visions Award Honor.

Established to increase the number of authors of color writing for children and teens, the New Visions Award is given to a middle grade or young adult manuscript by a new author of color or Native author. Winners receive a cash prize and a publishing contract with Lee & Low Books, a children’s book publisher specializing in diversity. Previous winners include Ink and Ashes by Valynne Maetani, named one of the Best Books of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, and Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar, named a Notable Social Studies Trade Book.

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Diverse Children’s Books to Give as Gifts, Ages 12 and Up

Looking for the best books to gift teen readers? Check out our suggestions below for intriguing, electrifying, diverse books for the teens in your life!

And if you missed our gift guide for younger children, you can find our gift recommendations for children ages 0-5 here and our recommendations for children ages 6-12 here

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G. Neri on the Inspiration Behind Grand Theft Horse: “Gail’s a Superhero to Me”

This fall we released a new graphic novel by Coretta Scott King award-winning author G. Neri called Grand Theft Horse, which retells the life of his cousin Gail, a pioneer who challenged the horse racing world for the sake of one extraordinary horse. The graphicGrand Theft Horse novel has already received two starred reviews:

The graphic novel world isn’t full of true stories about nearly sixty-year-old, women of color who refuse to back down from wealthy, white men exploiting (and further corrupting) a corrupt system. Grand Theft Horse feels all the more timely and urgent because of it.” —Booklist starred review

Superb. Ruffu’s tenacity and the book’s satisfying conclusion will appeal to fans of John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell’s “March” trilogy.” —School Library Journal starred review

In this blog post, author G. Neri shares some of the inspiration behind his newest graphic novel.

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Teacher’s Guide for Ahimsa Now Available

Ahimsa Cover ImageLast 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

Book Pairing: In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson + Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh

Step Up to the Plate, Maria SinghIn this blog post, our Literacy Specialist, Katie Potter, discusses how educators can use texts, like Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh, to keep lessons fresh and engaging.

Out with the old, in with the new? How about—supplement and complement the old with the new?

When I read our middle grade novel, Step up to the Plate, Maria SinghI was immediately reminded of In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson that I read with my fifth-grade literature circle in NYC (and in middle school almost 20 years ago!) and the challenges teachers face to make required core texts fresh and relevant to students, especially when a text (no matter how many awards) may “feel” old to students.

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