In a major change in the leadership of its editorial department, children’s book publisher Lee & Low Books announced that Cheryl Klein, the former executive editor at Scholastic, will join the company March 1 as editorial director. Klein will succeed longtime Lee & Low v-p and editorial director Louise May, who is stepping down from the position after 18 years to become an editor-at-large at Lee & Low.
Klein will oversee Lee & Low’s editorial program, while working to grow its mission to increase diversity in the school, library, and trade book publishing markets. Lee & Low recently developed the Diversity Baseline Study, which provided a detailed assessment of diversity in the book publishing industry.
For the past 16 years, Klein has worked at Scholastic’s Arthur A. Levine Books, and served as the U.S. continuity editor for the last two books of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.
"When we began our search, we wanted someone who was on the same page as us regarding the state of diversity in publishing and what needs to be done to continue to improve representation in children’s books—Cheryl gets it," Lee & Low publisher Jason Low said. "We are looking forward to working with her."
May was instrumental in launching Bebop Books, Lee & Low’s educational imprint, and will continue to work with Lee & Low authors and illustrators as an editor-at-large. She began her career at Lee & Low as senior editor before moving to her current executive position.
Among the many acclaimed titles May has worked with are the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor book Little Melba and Her Big Trombone and the Robert F. Sibert Medal winner Parrots Over Puerto Rico.
Low called May "a crucial member of the Lee & Low family" who "has played key roles in growing our company and our lists with powerful books that speak to all children."