Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Celebrating Our Scholars this Back to School Season

It’s BACK TO SCHOOL season! And though school may look different right now, it’s still important to celebrate our young scholars and the importance of learning. Here are a few titles from the Just Us Books list that do just that:

Meet Jamal – an energetic boy who shows how demanding and eventful his day is as a student.  Read more

Eight-year-old Carol Ann finds out how much ‘aloha’ means as she makes a place for herself at her new school.  Read more

The AFRO-BETS Kids have an exciting school project: to present what they want to be when they grow up! And they have a lot of Black leaders and achievers as examples .Read more

Being a teenager is tough enough. But imagine starting freshman year at a new high school that's not just in a new city, but a new country? That's life for 14-year-old Thandie, who just moved from Capetown, South Africa to Buena Vista, California. Read more

Friday, June 5, 2020

A Meditation for #KidLit4BlackLives

offered by Wade and Cheryl Hudson
authors and founders of Just Us Books
June 4, 2020

We lift up the Creator who made us all to be beautiful and safe.
But must witness that beauty and safety, assaulted, century by century, generation by generation, even day by day, by racism, hatred, insensitivity, intolerance and indifference.

We lift up our families, the village and the world community that
must fight to make sure that the inherent beauty in us all can flower and bless us all.

We lift up our children who are our hope and whose beauty gives life to all that is around them. So, we embrace and love the children!

We lift up the sanctity of all life, but especially Black life, Black bodies that have been, over centuries too long, trivialized, brutalized, monetized and destroyed simply because they are Black.

We lift up freedom and justice, for which our ancestors fought, and for which we must continuously pursue, without hesitation, without ceasing, until they are realized.

We lift up this call to action, the commitment needed to do the work to create a world where our beauty as human beings is valued and can spring forth and all of us can feel safe.

This call to action resounds across the ages in “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” the Black National Anthem.   

Lift ev’ry voice and sing, Till earth and Heaven ring
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;

Let our rejoicing rise, High as the list’ning skies,
let it resound loud as the Rolling sea.

Sing a song, full of the faith that the dark past has taught us;
Sing a song, full of the hope that the present has brought us.

Facing the rising sun, of our new day begun,
Let us march on, [let us protest on, let us fight on,] 
till victory is won.



The KidLit Community Rally for Black Lives was organized by Kwame Alexander, Jacqueline Woodson, Jason Reynolds and hosted by The Brown Bookshelf. A replay is available here.

Visit The Brown Bookshelf for additional anti-racist resources for children, families and educators.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Wade and Cheryl Hudson Launch Interview Series: “Just Us &”

We’re excited to announce “Just Us &,” a new interview series hosted by Wade and Cheryl Hudson, authors and founders of Just Us Books. The series will feature conversations between the Hudsons and book creators, as well as others who help get books into the hands of readers, such as librarians, educators and booksellers. 
“The Just Us & series is an extension of our storytelling and community building,” says Wade Hudson, CEO of Just Us Books. “These conversations help us connect, learn more about each other and the important work we’re all doing. We leave each conversation not only inspired but with a better understanding of how we can support each other. We hope our viewers will too.”

The weekly series will launch on Just Us Books’ YouTube page, Tuesday, June 2.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Remembering Tom Low

Our hearts were saddened to hear of the transition of Tom Low, co-founder of Lee & Low Books.

We have known Tom since before he and Phillip Lee founded their independent children’s press in 1991. Both Tom and Phil came to visit Just Us Books’ office in East Orange, NJ to share their vision and to get feedback about the industry. Soon after, they hit the ground running, becoming one of the first independent multicultural children’s publishers in the industry.

Over the years, as our two presses grew, and in many ways helped to shake up the children’s industry, we stayed in contact with each other. We encouraged each other and continued to share information about the industry. At conferences, our two companies were often among a handful whose sole purpose was publishing books that recognized our country’s and our world’s diversity, those who were overlooked and or marginalized. Sometimes, we would chat at each other’s booths when we should have been at our own, conducting business.

We will always remember Tom’s positive attitude and his unfailing belief that he and Phil could build Lee & Low Books into a publishing giant. Indeed, they did.

When our anthology We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices launched, Tom sent an email of congratulation and encouraged us to continue our important work. He had retired by then. But he still cared deeply.

Tom Low was one of the pioneers in the push for diversity, inclusion and equity in children’s book publishing. His legacy will live on as the publishing company that he and Phillip Lee founded, Lee & Low Books, continues to discover new voices, tackle new topics, give opportunities to writers and illustrators, and produce so many wonderful books that all of our young people need.

We will remember his laugh, his sense of humor, and friendship and his trailblazing work.

Thank you, Tom! We salute you!

Wade & Cheryl Hudson

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

AFRO-BETS Kids Coloring Page

Meet Langston, Nandi, Tura, Stef, Robo and Glo: the AFRO-BETS Kids!

Thank you to illustrator Nancy Devard for creating this fun coloring page taken from the picture book Afro-Bets Kids: I'm Going to Be, written by Wade Hudson.

Download a PDF you can print here

Learn more about the book here

Friday, March 20, 2020

Resources and Guidelines to Support At-Home and Remote Learning

To help support our children, parents and families, educators, librarians and greater community during this challenging time, Just Us Books has compiled below links to resources and guidelines that support at-home and remote learning.

Free activity guides for our titles are available hereThese guides contain discussion questions, writing activities, project ideas and other suggestions that can be used with our books. They might also inspire ideas that you can use for other books you're reading.

We are also making our Black History Handbook available again for free download. We know Black history is not just for Black History Month. This book provides activities and resources for stand-alone and supplemental activities that focus on Black history.

Read Alongs:
If you are an educator or librarian who would like to use our books as part of an online read along or other online instruction, we ask that you follow these guidelines:
  • Please send a courtesy email to with your name, school/library, city, state, along with title and author/illustrator of the book(s) you plan to read online and the date of your reading. 
  • Please mention at the beginning of the video that you are reading with permission from Just Us Books, and note the title, author, and illustrator of the book.
  • Please only post the video through your school’s private platform or through another group or platform with limited access for your students only.
  • Please delete your video or disable access by December 31, 2020.
  • Please also send a follow-up email with a link to your video (even if it is private) 
  • Readings on social media are allowed using the ‘live’ function only (ex: Facebook Live, Instagram Live, etc.) The video may not be archived or posted permanently on any social platform. Please also send us a courtesy email as noted above.
  • By posting a reading, you are agreeing to abide by the above guidelines.

Please tag @JustUsBooks in social media posts of/about your readings. We’d love to see what you’re doing!

If you are a book retailer, literacy group, or other organization interested in doing online reading of our books, please contact us at for separate permission.

Book Packages
We have curated two book packages -- picture books and for middle reader - especially for at-home learning. The packages include discounted books, printed activity guides for each title and free shipping. Learn more

We are encouraged by all the ways our reading community is providing support, comfort and hope during this time. Thank you all!