February 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Lee & Low Wins INDIEFAB Award; “Selma for Students” | News Bites

Honors, Prizes


Jason Low, publisher of Lee & Low Books.

Lee & Low Books was named the INDIEFAB Publisher of the Year by Foreward magazine, recognizing the minority-owned company’s commitment to diverse voices in children’s literature. Lee & Low has been known for its rich, multicultural titles for decades. “For more than 20 years, Jason Low and his talented team have continued an honorable mission of increasing the number of diverse books available for children,” said Foreword Reviews Publisher Victoria Sutherland at the June 26 announcement during the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in San Francisco. “They are being honored by Foreword for more than books, however. We admire their leadership role in the indie publishing community.” Jason Low, publisher, said he was “completely surprised and flattered with the news. This honor inspires us to bring more equity to publishing.”

The National Book Foundation awarded its $10,000 Innovations in Reading Prize to Reach Incorporated. A Washington, DC–based nonprofit, Reach Incorporated hires struggling teen readers as reading tutors for elementary school students—these younger readers achieve 1.5 grade levels of growth per year of program participation. The Foundation also named four Honorable Mentions, each also striving to support reading in communities that need it most. Created in 2007, the Innovations in Reading Prize has supported a diverse range of individuals and organizations working locally, nationally, and internationally to create and sustain a lifelong love of reading. Read the full press release to learn more about the award and finalists.

The Youth Services Section of the New York Library Association announced Vivian Vande Velde as the winner of the 2015 Empire State Award for Excellence in Literature for Young People. Ms. Vande Velde will be honored at a luncheon on Friday, October 23, 2015 during the Association’s annual conference in Lake Placid, NY. First awarded in 1990, the Empire State Award is given to an author and/or illustrator currently residing in New York State to honor a significant body of work in the field of literature for young people. Visit the NYLA website for more information.

Anupama Vaid, CEO of ParentSquare, was one of 12 recipients of the 2015 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards. The awards were created by the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation and are designed to recognize the contributions of women entrepreneurs supporting the Santa Barbara County economy, as well as support the future economic growth through recognition and education of student entrepreneurs. Vaid won in the science and technology category. To view the full list of winners, please visit the foundation’s website. To learn more about ParentSquare and Anupama Vaid, click here.

ABC-CLIO Solutions received two Best Educational Software (BESSIE) Awards from the ComputED Gazette for its world history and world geography databases for high school students. World History: The Modern Era was recognized as the best “Social Studies Website,” and World Geography was recognized as the best “World Geography Website” for the 21st century. This is the fifth consecutive year at least one of the Solutions’ databases has received a BESSIE Award. To learn more about ABC-CLIO Solutions and to view the full list of winners, click here.


In collaboration with Smashwords, the Los Gatos (CA) High School published A Cup of Poetea, an anthology of original poetry written and designed by six LGHS freshmen honors English classes. Proceeds from sales of the ebook will help to finance expenses for the Class of 2018, such as junior and senior prom and future class reunions. The ebook is currently available for purchase on iTunes, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble.

LAUNCHES, Upgrades, and Partnerships

Simon & Schuster has announced that children’s book editor Caitlyn Dlouhy will launch an eponymous imprint, Caitlyn Dlouhy Books. The newly formed imprint will reside within the larger Atheneum Books for Young Readers and will publish roughly 20 titles a year beginning in Spring 2016, with projects ranging from picture books to young adult works. Click here to view the full press release.

In celebration of the home entertainment debut of director Ava DuVernay’s Academy Award–winning film epic Selma and as part of the “Selma For Students” initiative, Paramount Home Media Distribution announced that every high school in the United States, both public and private, will receive a copy of the DVD free of charge. In addition, teachers can receive free companion study guides. Selma won the Academy Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for “Glory” by Common & John Legend. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture and Golden Globe Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director. Learn more about the initiative here.

LightSail announced advances in its personalized learning technology, including numerous motivation and reward features to incentivize students. In addition, LightSail has added new scaffolds for below-benchmark readers, as well as personalized word walls to support each student’s vocabulary acquisition and an in-text chat option for reading groups, allowing students to have social media–style dialogues directly in texts. Visit the website for an overview of LightSail’s new features.

More Bites

The Follett Corporation announced that its board of directors appointed Ray A. Griffith as the Company’s president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. He succeeds Mary Lee Schneider, who retired from Follett as president, chief executive officer, and director. Mr. Griffith, 61, has served as a member of Follett’s board of directors since February 2013. As president and CEO, he will continue to serve on the board. Click here for the full article.

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