Read Woke ™ branches out this season to fiction in the new chapter book series Bo at the Buzz! The series follows Bo, whose life is always buzzing. And not just because he lives upstairs from The Buzz, a barbershop. Young readers will love following Bo’s daily life and adventures in these early chapter books.
Today creators Cicely Lewis, Elliott Smith, and illustrator Subi Bosa share how they crafted the world of the Buzz and the characters who live there.
In the new History in Pictures series, readers will take a close look at the past. These books go beyond the basics and inform readers how historical events relate to social justice issues today. As part of the Read Woke™ Books collection, these titles were created in partnership with the Read Woke librarian, Cicely Lewis. Lewis created a Read Woke challenge at her school to engage students with what was happening in the world around them. Read Woke Books challenge social norms, give voice to the silenced, and share the perspective from underrepresented groups. Learn more and find free teaching guides here and get an inside look at the History in Pictures series below.
We’re thrilled to share a guest post from Dr. Artika Tyner. Dr. Tyner is a passionate educator, award-winning author, a civil rights attorney, a sought-after speaker, and an advocate for justice. She is the founder of the Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute and an author of many incredible Lerner titles including books in the series The Fight for Black Rights and the biography Stacey Abrams: Champion of Democracy. Below, Dr. Tyner shares some details from her recent visit to Ghana.
Leaders are Readers. This statement represents the mission and vision of our nonprofit organization, Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute. We are committed to inspiring the next generation of leaders through the transformative power of reading. We achieve this goal by supporting schools and libraries, promoting literacy, donating diverse books, and hosting our annual youth leadership summit around the world.
In the series American Slavery and the Fight for Freedom, new in January 2022 from the Read Woke™ Books collection, readers are shown the history of slavery and its lasting legacy in the United States. Like all Read Woke™ Books, this six-book series was created in partnership with Cicely Lewis, the Read Woke librarian. In this post, see examples of the ways primary sources are utilized in the books (including audio clips you can preview yourself). Plus, keep reading to learn about the Read Woke™ teaching guide, available now to all educators.
The use of primary sources is a major part of the American Slavery and the Fight for Freedom series. These sources highlight the experiences of enslaved people and the lives of Black people beyond the aftermath of the Civil War (1861–1865). In each book, readers will find two voices quotes. In the example below from Resistance to Slavery: From Escape to Everyday Rebellion, the quote expands on the information given in this text by allowing readers to see an enslaved person’s reflection of their time in slavery.
By Megan Ciskowski, Associate Publicist
In 2017 Cicely Lewis began developing a program called Read Woke that encouraged readers to explore books written by diverse voices and with diverse characters. Since that time the program has taken off and found great success with librarians across the United States. In 2020 Lewis won School Library Journal’s School Librarian of the Year for her ingenuity and resourcefulness.
This fall Lewis and Lerner Publishing Group partner up to create Read Woke Books™, a collection that seeks to challenge social norms, give voice to the silenced, provide information about groups that have been disenfranchised, disrupt the status quo, and share perspectives from underrepresented or oppressed groups. The first series, Issues in Action, is written by Cicely Lewis and Elliott Smith, an experienced freelance author in the Washington D.C. area. Read on to find series information, author interviews and more!