New Edition, HarperCollins/Blink, 2017




"No matter a person’s ethnic or cultural background, this book is relatable." Kirkus Review

"Mama’s Child is a deeply felt novel of a daughter on a quest for selfhood and a mother striving to come back to her own. Through alternating perspectives, Lester sensitively illuminates the challenges of living in a world still viewed through the filter of race...reminiscent of Alix Kates Shulman’s Burning Questions (1978) in terms of a woman’s consciousness awakening through a historic social movement." Booklist.

"An astonishing accomplishment...riveting art." Alice Walker

"Long overdue." Emily Raboteau



"Lester conjures a credible plot and complications; divorce is a fact of life and racially mixed heritage is conspicuously becoming one. The simple contrapuntal narrative of Sarah Armstrong's escaping slavery distinguishes the book emotionally and psychologically, raising it above other issue-oriented Young Adult novels. Lester writes with social sensitivity and an ear for teen language and concerns. This is engaging treatment of a challenging subject that comes with little precedent."
* -- Starred Publishers Weekly Review

"The tenderness and truth of your book moved my heart. As well as the enormous love you have."
-- Alice Walker

"Insightful and engaging...Black, White, Other rings true from Page 1. It hooked me very quickly and I think anyone who's felt different as a teenager or has gone through a divorce can empathize with what Nina is going through. This novel is going to appeal to teens and adults alike." -- PopcornReads.com

"Teens will be caught by the alternating stories, and yes, by the messages about...prejudice, then and now, which will make for great group discussion." -- Booklist

"Made me more aware of the challenges biracial teens face." -- A Few More Pages

"Joan Lester knows how to get inside a girl's head. Nina feels like someone you know or really want to know. Readers will cheer her one as she faces the fundamental question of who she is and who she wants to be." -- Marissa Moss, author of the bestselling Amelia's Notebook series.

FIRE IN MY SOUL: ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON (Simon & Schuster)Foreword by Coretta Scott King. Tells the remarkable story of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton: civil rights activist, hard-driving legislator, cutting-edge thinker.

"A well-framed memoir, satisfyingly candid while also abrim with political theory...A gratifying biography." Kirkus Reviews

"A rip-roaring political biography." SF Chronicle

"“Lester’s thorough portrait is a compelling and inspiring homage to a legacy
still in progress.” Publishers Weekly


TAKING CHARGE: EVERY WOMAN'S ACTION GUIDE TO PERSONAL, POLITICAL AND PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS (Conari Press)Best-seller offers proven strategies. Lester urges women to believe there are practical ways to confront even the most stubborn roadblocks.

"Peppered with humorous, helpful anecdotes, provides a lively jump-start to goal-setting." Ms.

THE FUTURE OF WHITE MEN and Other Diversity Dilemmas. This ground-breaking book provides a refreshing look at diversity. Every day we are confronted with new dilemmas--at the office or in our neighborhoods. Most of us are well intentioned; we try to keep abreast of rapidly evolving values and do our best not to offend. Yet the rules are constantly changing.

"In its chatty, no-nonsense way, puts all the taboos on the table...it's tricky territory, but in Lester's hands, the paths are clear." San Francisco Chronicle

"A warm, inviting book by a diversity consultant that doesn't toe the political party lines." Orange County Register

"Lester's generous voice sheds keen insight, humor and practical advice on the polarizing dilemmas of living with diversity." Urvashi Vaid


Selected Works

"A powerful story brilliantly capturing the complications of the mother-daughter relationship from both sides." --Marissa Moss, author of the bestselling Amelia's Notebook series
Selected as Teen Read of the Year by "Coming Together in Skokie," 2015. ***************************************** "In a fast-paced novel-within-a-novel, Nina's great-great-grandmother runs from slavery to freedom, her courage an inspiration to Nina. This multi-layered novel--part contemporary, part historical--is impossible to put down." --Elizabeth Partridge, award winning author of Dogtag Summer
Showcases the many facets of a woman--Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton--who remains an iconic torch-bearer for the Civil Rights and Women's Movements.
Diversity Classic Reissued, July, 2016 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * "This refreshing book captures what most miss--insightful lessons from personal encounters with diversity. Lester is a talented storyteller who shares her learning in an unpretentious way." Ann M. Morrison, author of The New Leaders. ******************************************* "Lester's generous voice sheds keen insight, humor and practical advice on the polarizing dilemmas of living with diversity." Urvashi Vaid
Offers proven, effective strategies for every woman, whether secretary or CEO. Provides encouragement and goal-setting guidelines. "Lucid...poignant."-- MS.