Meet the Imprints: Lerner Publications

With exceptional print and digital resources, Lerner Publications is the flagship imprint of Lerner Publishing Group. Kid-friendly, dynamic designs and engaging text explore topics such as STEM, animals, sports, history, holidays, biographies, hands-on activities, and more. Striking designs and eye-catching photography deliver high-interest presentations that delight readers and educators alike. Innovative features, diagrams, and digital extensions support comprehension and encourage reader engagement. Read on for an interview with associate editorial director Jon Fishman, and learn about the newest books coming out this spring.

What is your editorial vision for your imprint?

Lerner Publications has been creating educational content for young readers for more than sixty years, and the imprint has a well-earned reputation for high quality and accurate, timely information. As associate editorial director, my first priority is to maintain and enhance that reputation by continuing to provide the quality content customers expect.

Many young readers in this country are struggling. Reading skills have been degrading for decades, and the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the problem. Now more than ever, Lerner Publications is dedicated to creating engaging content that will draw in readers of all skill levels to help them explore the world—content that educators need and kids want to read.

What makes your imprint different from others in publishing?

No other imprint can match the diversity of topics and voices that Lerner Publications provides. We offer high-quality books generated by a diverse group of authors and content creators. Lerner has content for elementary and middle school readers of all skill levels, from sports and hands-on activities to STEM topics, biographies, and much more.

How do you decide what to acquire?

Acquisitions research is a year-round pursuit at Lerner Publications. We’re constantly gleaning information about what to publish from teachers and librarians, retail customers, sales reps, friends and family, and random people on the street after telling them what we do for a living. And, of course, we do a lot of market research to determine what our customers need and want.

How did you wind up in your current role?

I have a BA degree from the University of Minnesota in English literature and US history. During college, I took a summer job packing orders at Lerner’s book warehouse. After graduating, I wanted a job where I could use the skills I learned in college directly, and Lerner had an editorial opening. I started with the company in 2001 as an assistant to two managing editors, and I’ve loved my job ever since.

What is the state of publishing in your genre right now?

The school and library market is as strong as it’s ever been. Teachers and librarians have a huge variety of genres, topics, and publishers to choose from. It’s a great time to be a young reader.

What are you reading right now, for work or for pleasure?

I’m reading Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest, Klara and the Sun. His writing is delightfully melancholy, and it always makes me think. Next up is Stephen King’s new book, Fairy Tale. Like millions of others, I’m a huge fan.

Books from Lerner Publications You Shouldn’t Miss

My World (Pull Ahead Readers — Nonfiction)

  • Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 1
  • Reading Level: Kindergarten

Explore aspects of everyday life, including clothes, food, homes, holidays, school, and transportation. Simple text and full-color photos support young children learning to read.

Sesame Street® World of Science

  • Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 2
  • Reading Level: Kindergarten

Explore the wonderful world of science! Ernie, Big Bird, and the rest of your Sesame Street friends make key science concepts like color, light and shadow, and states of matter accessible and engaging for young learners.

Read about Sports (Read for a Better World™)

  • Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 2
  • Reading Level: Grade 1

Introduce young readers to popular sports! These accessible titles explain the equipment needed and the basic rules of eight sports. Social and emotional connections encourage readers to think about what it would be like to play on a team.

Emotion Ocean

  • Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 3
  • Reading Level: Grade 1

Helping kids name, understand, and express their emotions is an important part of social and emotional learning. These entertaining stories feature ocean animal characters experiencing big feelings in situations kids will relate to. Readers will discover strategies to help manage their own emotions.

Lightning Bolt Books® — Dirt Bike Zone

  • Interest Level: Grade 1 – Grade 3
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

Zoom into the world of dirt bike racing! Readers will speed through this series as they learn about everything about this exciting sport including rules, bikes, popular events, and famous racers. Engage literacy and engagement beyond the text with fun back matter and diagrams.

Lightning Bolt Books® — Exploring Space

  • Interest Level: Grade 1 – Grade 3
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

Inspired by NASA’s latest technology, these books will thrill readers interested in space exploration and amazing machines! With every title, readers are introduced to the cutting-edge tools scientists use to investigate space such as the Mars Perseverance rover and its incredible helicopter, Ingenuity. Discover the history of these inventions, how they are used in the field, and what they might look like in the future. Encourage further reading with engaging back-matter.

Lightning Bolt Books® — Minecraft 101

  • Interest Level: Grade 1 – Grade 3
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

From construction to playing in different modes, learn about the fun aspects of Minecraft in the Minecraft 101 series—part of the Lightning Bolt Books® collection. With bright designs, engaging photos, and lively text, Lightning Bolt Books® bring nonfiction topics to life!

Sports VIPs (Lerner™ Sports)

  • Interest Level: Grade 2 – Grade 5
  • Reading Level: Grade 3

Explore the lives of the world’s best and hottest sports superstars in this incredible series. Each title takes readers through the athlete’s childhood and early sport experiences through their rise to fame and current records. Witness how they rule their sports, prepare for big events, and help their communities.

In the Spotlight (UpDog Books™)

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 5
  • Reading Level: Grade 1

Striving readers will love learning about all the biggest stars in pop culture in this energetic series. Solid biographical details are delivered with a high-interest approach in these profiles of favorite gamers, singers, and more.

Searchlight Books™ — Spotlight on Climate Change

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 5
  • Reading Level: Grade 3

Describing causes and consequences to solutions and more, these books provide up-to-date information about an important and evolving topic: climate change. A back-matter feature encourages kids to take action against climate change.

Top Secret (Alternator Books®)

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 6
  • Reading Level: Grade 4

The world is full of unanswered questions!

Examine some of the top secrets and unsolved mysteries in history with this spooky series. Readers will gather facts and learn from researchers as they dive deep into the Bermuda Triangle, wander into Area 51, and other locations around the globe. Features like sidebars and timelines encourage critical thinking to solve the mysteries.

Ultimate Predators

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 6
  • Reading Level: Grade 4

Discover some of the fiercest predators in the animal kingdom! Drawn in through remarkable photographs and exciting, narrative text, readers will be fascinated by how these animals hunt and train their young to track and kill prey.

History in Pictures (Read Woke™ Books)

  • Interest Level: Grade 4 – Grade 8
  • Reading Level: Grade 4

Analyze historical events in US history with a focus on photos that help tell stories of people from underrepresented groups. Readers are asked to think critically about who took the photos, why they were taken, and what viewpoint is represented. Students will see how key events in history connect to the overarching social justice issues we face today. Special features in the books prompt reader reflection, and a Take Action sidebar provides ideas for how to become involved.

View all Lerner Publications books on our website.

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