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Black History Booklist

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Best Children’s Books about Black History

We’ve put together a list of the best children’s books about black history both in the UK and around the globe. We’ve also included some key titles that support conversations about systematic racism in a child-friendly way.

Trace key historical events in Timelines from Black History, explore more about Britain’s Black history in Black and British or join young Paloma as she discovers her family’s history in Our Story Starts in Africa. These books can be used for Black History Month, when many schools and families dedicate time to research Britain’s black history and to find out more about particular black people who have made a difference. We believe these books are just as important all year round, too. 

If you are looking for more about Black British history, we have a separate Black British history booklist with even more suggestions.

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Children's Picturebooks about Black History

Dame Floella Benjamin, K. N. Chimbiri, E. L. Norry & Judy Hepburn
Short story collection
Explore the lives of the Windrush generation in this full-colour anthology. With a foreword from Baroness Floella Benjamin, DBE.This book presents 12 moving tales of sacrifice and bravery, inspired by first-hand accounts of the Windrush generation."Home ain't jus' where you live. Home is your heart an' yer history."Each inspiring story helps to bring the real experience of Black British people into focus.Produced in partnership with Black Cultural Archives to honour the Windrush generation.Includes ten photo-packed fact sections.The contributors: K. N. Chimbiri, Kevin George, Salena Godden, Judy Hepburn, Ashley Hickson-Lovence, Kirsty Latoya, Katy Massey, E. L. Norry, Quincy the Comedian, Jermain Jackman. With cover art by Joelle Avelino.Black Cultural Archives is the only national heritage centre dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of Black people in Britain.50p from every copy sold goes to BCA.
Baroness Floella Benjamin
 & Diane Ewen
Picturebook

Baroness Floella Benjamin offers her own story of the 6000-mile journey from Trinidad to England, told for the youngest children in a picture book called Coming to England – An Inspiring True Story About the Windrush Generation.

The story explores and celebrates what it means to be a British person with Black Caribbean heritage, as well as opening doors to learning about the impact of Operation Windrush and experiences of racism. Speaking about the background to the book, Baroness Floella says,”Britain has always been a nation that’s evolved due to different races coming in, from as far back as you can go. I hope Coming to England makes people of colour feel worthy, appreciated and that they belong and that it makes white people say, ‘That could be me, what would it be like if I moved somewhere else?’.”

Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
 & Pili Aguado
Picturebook
Part of the critically acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the incredible life of Harriet Tubman, the Underground Railroad conductor who 'never lost a single passenger.'Little Harriet was born into slavery on a plantation in Maryland. Though life was hard, Harriet persisted. She used all of her strength and bravery to escape slavery and journey north on the Underground Railroad. Harriet made the dangerous mission back to the South many times, fighting her whole life to bring others with her to freedom. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back , including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the abolitionist's life.
Patrice Lawrence
 & Jeanetta Gonzales
When Paloma goes to visit her family in Trinidad, she doesn’t feel that she fits in. But Tante Janet has a story to tell her: An ancient story of warrior queens and talking drums, of treasures and tales that span thousands of years… a story that Paloma shares in, because her story starts in Africa, too.. Join Tante and her inquisitive niece as they share the story of how her family came to the Caribbean, through the dark days of colonization and slavery, to the emergence of a thriving, contemporary community of many faces, places and successes.
Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
 & Mai Ly Degnanan
Picturebook
In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy bestselling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Martin Luther King Jr., the inspiring minister and civil rights activist.Little Martin grew up in a family of preachers: his dad was a preacher, his uncle was a preacher, his grandfather was a preacher... so maybe he'd become a great preacher too. One day, a friend invited him to play at his house. Martin was shocked when his mother wouldn't let him in because he was black. That day he realized there was something terribly unfair going on. Martin believed that no one should remain silent and accept something if it's wrong. And he promised himself that - when he grew up - he'd fight injustice with the most powerful weapon of all: words. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back , including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the inspiring activist's life.Little People, BIG DREAMS is a bestselling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people , from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats . The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardback versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children.Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

Nelson Mandela
 & Paddy Bouma
Graphic Novel
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela is the amazing story of a true hero of our times; his famous biography has been specially adapted for children in a beautiful illustrated picture book format. Discover how a little boy whose father called him "troublemaker" grew up to fight apartheid, become South Africa's first black president and campaign for freedom and justice throughout the world.Adapted by poet Chris van Wyk and illustrated by South African artist Paddy Bouma, with an introduction from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Long Walk to Freedom introduces children to the life of one of the world's most beloved leaders.

Children's Information Books about Black History

DK
Non-fiction

Writer of the foreword, Mireille Harper, loved listening to the empowering stories of inspirational Black People that her mother told her growing up. But where are these people in most mainstream or school history books? Erased, ignored, forgotten, omitted?

This important book seeks to begin to redress the imbalance in written history, where very often, significant contributions by black men and women have been overlooked and marginalised.

Through vibrantly designed and graphically stunning double-page timeline spreads, we learn about inspiring, powerful, talented and world-changing figures such as Mansa Musa, Taytu Betul, Mary Seacole and Nelson Mandella. We meet inspirational black men and women from the fields of music, dance, engineering, mathematics, politics and sport, as well as Ancient African rulers and present day activists.

The journey of the US Civil Rights Movement is portrayed over several pages through the book – from those who spent their lives working to abolish slavery, through to Martin Luther King Junior and today’s activists who continue the fight for Black Lives Matter. We also learn how gifted writers such as Maya Angelou and Stormzy have used their creative voices to highlight injustice and inspire change.

We travel around the world – from African Empires, to the Caribbean, the USA and the UK – learning about the lives and values of these significant individuals. Each fascinating double page timeline is completely different in design, and through facts, quotes and images, marks key aspects of each person’s life story, shows their success and resilience in the face of adversity and demonstrates their enduring legacy.

K. N. Chimbiri
 & Joelle Avelino
Non-fiction
Explore the incredible history of Afro hair.The Story of Afro Hair celebrates the fashion and styles of Afro hair over the last 5,000 years. From plaits to the Gibson Girl, cornrows to locks, the hi-top fade to funki dreds, The Story of Afro Hair is the ultimate book of Afro hairstories. Kicking off with an explanation of how Afro hair type grows and why, The Story of Afro Hair then takes us right back to the politics and fashion of Ancient Egypt. Speeding forwards to modern times we experience the Kingdom of Benin, Henry VIII's court, the enslavement of African peoples, the Harlem Renaissance, the beginnings of Rastafarianism, Britain in the 1980s - and much more.With profiles of inspirational key figures in the Afro hair beauty industry, such as Sara Spencer Washington, Madam CJ Walker, Viola Desmond, Lincoln Dyke, Dudley Dryden and Anthony Wade.
Atinuke
 & Mouni Feddag
Non-fiction
This non-fiction book is British-Nigerian storyteller Atinuke's personal love letter to the African continent, and its 55 countries in all their variety. It divides Africa into five sections: South, East, West, Central and North, each with its own introduction. This is followed by a page per country, containing a delightful mix of friendly, informative text and colourful illustrations.
Lania Narjee, The Black Curriculum CIC
 & Chanté Timothy
Non-fiction

“Legacies: Black British Pioneers” is an engaging and thought-provoking children’s book by author Lania Narjee and illustrator Chante Timothy, embarking on an inspiring exploration of Black British History. This bold, colourful work tells the stories of the trailblazers, innovators, and champions that have helped shape Britain, many of whom have previously been overlooked in mainstream education. Narjee’s writing harmoniously pairs with Timothy’s vibrant illustrations to bring each figure to life, navigating through four significant domains: The Arts, STEM, Sport, and Politics & Social Justice.

From the medical advancements of Dr Cecil Belfield Clark to the ground-breaking music of Evelyn Dove and Arlo Parks, from athletes like Maurice Burton to activists Olive Morris and Claudia Jones, the book weaves a rich tapestry of Black British contribution and achievement in these areas. Contemporary figures such as Stormzy and Marcus Rashford also feature, bridging the past and the present and highlighting the enduring legacy of Black British pioneers.

The foreword by Lewis Hamilton adds a personal touch to the narrative, further cementing the book’s relevance and connection with today’s world. Aimed at children aged 8 and above, “Legacies: Black British Pioneers” maintains an accessible tone without compromising the depth of its content, presenting the information clearly and in an engaging format to facilitate independent learning and classroom discussions. The book also serves as a catalyst for change and a celebration of Black British heritage. Its empowering message is a stepping stone for children to discover, learn, and be inspired. This book is an invaluable addition to any library, classroom, or personal bookshelf, filling a crucial educational gap and providing a much-needed resource for teachers and students.

David Olusoga & Jake Alexander
 & Melleny Taylor
Non-fiction

This new illustrated children’s edition of David Olusoga’s account of Black British history is an essential book for schools – not only as an accessible and informative non-fiction read for KS2, but also as a book that I would thoroughly recommend for improving primary teachers’ own historical subject knowledge and especially those with input into their school’s curriculum design. As expressed perfectly by Lavinya Stennett (CEO of the Black Curriculum) in the Afterword, ‘This book is a testimony to the rich experiences of Black people of Britain in different periods of our history, and a reminder of the dearth of Black history in our curriculums.’

In the book, Olusoga explains the overlooked history of Black people in Britain from Roman times to the present day. Readers may be surprised to imagine the multiculturally diverse make-up of Roman Britain – and indeed to question why sources of history in primary schools may paint a historically misrepresentative picture of Roman society. Equally interesting is the development of notions of race throughout the periods of history, as the book walks chronologically through key eras. Did you know that it was only during the time of James I that the term ‘white’ was used as a description of racial identity, or that long after the abolition of slavery, the Victorians were propagating their own racist theories to justify profiting from slave-powered commerce?

The new illustrated version adds an impressive visual element with full-colour illustrations, maps, portrait galleries, timelines, and photographs. This edition makes the history behind the book accessible to a younger audience still and makes for a highly recommendable and informative non-fiction read.


Children's Chapter Books about Black History

Catherine Johnson
Chapter book

Catherine Johnson scooped the Little Rebels Award in 2019 with this short, middle-grade chapter book about the historical horrors of slavery.

The story follows a young boy called Nat, who is enslaved on a Jamaican plantation. When Nat is brought to England in the 1700s, he hopes to finally find freedom from bondage. Instead, Nat discovers the disappointing truth that slavery is still very much alive in England – and he witnesses the heavy role that Britain plays in operating the slave trade.

Little Rebels Judge Darren Chetty comments that the story “explores the humanity of those whose humanity was denied through chattel slavery. It subtly examines the similarities and the differences between class oppression and a system of slavery rooted in racism. It tells a story of Britain that continues to be neglected.”

While the main character is fictional, the details of the story are very much rooted in historical events and features real-life people and places. We recommend this book as a go-to for upper KS2 classes learning about Britain’s role in the slave trade. Teachers are likely to find very helpful the informative historical notes at the end of the book.

Leila Rasheed
Chapter book

Empire’s End: A Roman Story is part of the VOICES series that celebrates the lives of BAME protagonists during key eras of British history. This book tells the tale of a young North African girl who sets out on a danger-filled journey to Britain during Roman times. This is a gripping adventure that offers a new perspective into the myriad of Roman narratives shared in schools and is full of details that immerse readers in knowledge of life in Roman times. The story helps to develops an understanding of the Roman world as one that was full of many different cultures, religions and ethnicities.

Catherine Johnson
 & Katie Hickey
Chapter book

The topic of polar exploration is a popular one in primary schools with teachers and pupils easily being able to reel off a list of famous arctic explorers: Shackleton, Scott, Cook, Peary. But how often do you hear the name Matthew Henson among the list, the man who travelled with Captain Peary and claimed to be the first to reach the North Pole?

In Race to the Frozen North, best-selling author Catherine Johnson offers a fictionalised retelling of Matthew Henson’s story, including how his achievements were unfairly suppressed for decades because of the colour of his skin. Published in Barrington Stoke’s ‘super-readable’ and dyslexia-friendly style, this is an accessible read for children in KS2.

Michaela Morgan
 & Karen Donnelly
Chapter book
Tully and his brother don't have much. But they do have each other. And Tully has an amazing talent. Football. But when the First World War begins, Tully must fight for respect on the battlefield not the pitch ... Based on the amazing true story of Walter Tull, a First World War hero and one of the first black British professional football players. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 8+
Catherine Johnson
 & Katie Hickey
Chapter book Dyslexia-friendly

Olaudah Equiano was cruelly snatched from his home in Essaka, Africa, aged only 11, in 1756. Initially taken with his older sister, Ifeoma, they soon became separated. Olaudah never heard from her again. From there he was taken to England, first enduring a long voyage where he was treated horribly, along with the other slaves. He was sold several times before being taken to America to be a house slave. The master was cruel and the slaves were too scared to even speak to each other. Next he was bought by an English naval officer and taken to sea. Here he finally made friends and began to learn to read and write, as well as experiencing many adventures and great peril.

Olaudah’s story does not end there. He is bought and sold a couple more times before he is taken to the West Indies. Here he sees a chance of freedom. It turns out he has a flair for business and becomes his master’s trusted slave. Working hard, he finally earns enough money to buy his freedom and returns to England as a free man. Here he wrote a book about his experiences and worked hard in the campaign against slavery.

This is an incredible true story, vividly brought to life by Catherine Johnson. It would be a brilliant addition to any UKS2 or KS3 classroom, especially if studying slavery. A difficult subject matter sensitively brought to life for children.


Benjamin Zephaniah
Chapter book

This masterpiece is written by Benjamin Zephaniah, and it delivers a powerful story about what it was like to be part of the Windrush Generation. Based on real events of the time, this fictional story features Leonard – a boy who was born in Jamaica and grew up in England.
We first meet Leonard when he is a child in his native Jamaica, living with his mother and grandmother, surrounded by the sea. The women in his life have instilled a deep sense of his Carribean heritage and history, teaching him the stories that have verbally been handed down through generations…

Patrice Lawrence
Chapter book

Part of the ‘Voices’ series, which celebrates the experiences of BAME figures in British history and written as a first-person narrative, Diver’s Daughter gives a uniquely fascinating perspective into life in Tudor times.

Eve, our narrator, and her mother start the story in South London. Eve’s mother was stolen from Mozambique as a child and so the story offers insight into the lives of black families in England during this time, something that is rarely mentioned in either historical fiction or non-fiction texts about the period and something that, in the notes at the back of the book, the author further discusses.

Patrice Lawrence paints a vivid picture of life within the cramped and dirty London streets, which transports the reader into Tudor times. The action moves from London down to the South Coast and brings in the story of the sinking of the Mary Rose, as well as the fascinating lives of the divers who went to search for its treasures.

It is a gripping story to enjoy, with intrigue and so much suspense, and offers so many opportunities for discussion about the Tudor period. The author has included lots of Tudor vocabulary, which can be investigated within the topic.

The book would be highly recommended as a class novel or used as a guided reading text within upper KS2, although could also be enjoyed by confident readers within Year Four and Five.

Catherine Johnson
Chapter book
1720. Blue Mountains, windward Jamaica. In the sweltering heat Captain Shettlewood leads a troop of British soldiers through the thick trees towards the river. They are hunting slaves who have escaped from the brutal plantations. Their mission: to find them, and kill them.But up ahead, hidden among the rocks above the water, a group of men with cutlasses and muskets wait patiently for the instructions of their leader. Queen Nanny is a 'wise woman' with a reputation for ancient obeah magic, and a guerilla fighter with a genius for organisation. So the battle for Jamaica begins, the First Maroon War, in which the maroons - escaped slaves - will make a final, do-or-die stand against the slavers and soldiers of Empire.
Beverley Naidoo
Chapter book

This thought-provoking novel is set in South Africa in the time of Apartheid. The gripping and empathetic story will draw pupils into engaging imaginatively with what life would have been like for families living during this time of racial segregation. A very popular choice for upper KS2.

Iszi Lawrence
Chapter book
A riveting pirate tale set in the eighteenth century during the golden age of piracy in the Caribbean, perfect for fans of Emma Carroll and Jacqueline Wilson.It’s 1718: pirate ships sail the oceans and brutal slave masters control the plantations.Eleven-year-old Abigail Buckler lives with her father in the Caribbean. Her clothes are made of finest muslin so she can’t play in them, not that there’s anyone to play with anyway. She isn’t even allowed to go out alone. But when pirates attack Abigail’s life will change forever. Suddenly her old certainties about right and wrong, good and bad start to unravel.Maybe Abigail doesn’t have to be so ladylike after all…Packed with historical detail about the Atlantic slave trade, the ravages of empire and human cost of providing luxuries like sugar, cotton and tobacco to Europe, Blackbeard’s Treasure is a page-turning, swashbuckling adventure which takes a look at the real pirates of the Caribbean.

J. T. Williams
 & Simone Douglas
Chapter book

The first book in the ‘Lizzie and Belle Mysteries’ series sees the young best friends and amateur detectives use their skills to investigate odd goings-on in a theatre, which in turn reveals further mysteries and crimes which they must solve.

Set in Georgian London, this book illuminates the multiracial history of Britain, and the struggles and injustices faced by Black people in a place where many powerful people thrived on keeping slavery alive. It also demonstrates that White people had an important role, as well as responsibility, to offer support to Black anti-slavery activists and to challenge the White slave owners of the time. Many of the characters and events in this book are based on real people and things that happened, and there is a lot of scope to research real stories. The real Elizabeth Sancho was daughter of the African-British writer and abolitionist Ignatius Sancho. Dido Belle was the daughter of Maria, an enslaved young African woman, and John Lindsay – captain in the British Royal Navy.

This is a fantastic mystery story, which could also lead to discussions about race, theatre, slavery and family history.

Author JT Williams also visited our blog to discuss the role of fiction in bringing history to life for children.

Children's Biography Books Celebrating Black Lives

Jamia Wilson
 & Andrea Pippins
Non-fiction

This is an eye-catching anthology that celebrates the inspirational achievements of fifty-two trailblazing black women and men, including artists, sports legends, scientists and activists among many others. In the introduction, the author notes that “all children deserve to see themselves represented positively in stories. That’s why we’re highlighting the talent and contributions of black changemakers from around the world—for readers of all backgrounds to discover.”

Each page contains a short biography of an influential figure, perfectly accessible in language and length to suit primary-aged children. The text on each page is set against a brightly-coloured background containing a dynamic portrait of the featured individual, accentuated by colours and patterns – such as crowns and stars – that add to the celebratory feel of the book.

Margot Shetterly
 & Laura Freeman
Picturebook
Based on the New York Times bestselling book and the Academy Award-nominated movie, author Margot Lee Shetterly and illustrator Laura Freeman bring the incredibly inspiring true story of four black women who helped NASA launch men into space to picture book readers!Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at math...really good.They participated in some of NASA's greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America's first journeys into space. And they did so during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But they worked hard. They persisted. And they used their genius minds to change the world.In this beautifully illustrated picture book edition, we explore the story of four female African American mathematicians at NASA, known as "colored computers," and how they overcame gender and racial barriers to succeed in a highly challenging STEM-based career.
Vashti Harrison
Picturebook
Meet the little leaders. They're brave. They're bold. They changed the world.Did you know the treatment for leprosy was developed by a young scientist called Alice Ball? And Josephine Baker- world famous cabaret singer and dancer- was also a spy for the French resistance?Featuring 40 trailblazing black women in the world's history, this book educates and inspires as it relates true stories of women who broke boundaries and exceeded all expectations. Debut author/illustrator Vashti Harrison pairs captivating text with stunning illustrations as she tells the stories of both iconic and lesser-known female figures of black history, including:Nurse Mary Seacole Politician Diane Abbott Mathematician Katherine Johnson Singer Shirley BasseyInspire your own little leader with the stories of these amazing women.
Vashti Harrison
Non-fiction
Meet the little leaders. They're brave. They're exceptional. They changed the world.Did you know that the father of African cinema was originally a bricklayer? Or that Vogue's editor-at-large read his first Vogue magazine in his local library?Learn all about the exceptional black men who broke barriers and fought injustice to realise their dreams and make the world a better place. With Vashti Harrison's beautiful illustrations and illuminating writing, discover the stories of black men from all walks of life, including:Doctor Harold Moody Diplomat Kofi Annan Activist Paul Stephenson Architect Sir David Adjaye Comic book author Dwayne McDuffie Musician PrinceYour own little leaders will be inspired to take on the world after learning about these incredible men.
Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
 & Camila Rosa
Picturebook

Pelé by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara is one of the books in the best-selling series, Little People, BIG DREAMS. These books explore the lives of people who achieved great things, but focus on when they started out as children with a dream.

This book looks at one of the greatest footballers of all time, Pelé – Brazil’s all-time King of Football. It is perhaps different from other books about him as it highlights not only his incredible football skills, but his work off the pitch helping those who needed it most. The book traces his early life from growing up on the poverty-stricken streets of Rio’s suburbs, to becoming a UNESCO goodwill ambassador and scoring over 1000 goals as a professional footballer. Readers will enjoy reading about Pelé’s childhood memories of playing football with a ball made from a sock stuffed with newspapers and tied with string. They will learn how at sixteen he was selected to play for his national team in the World Cup and that his early dream of leading his country to victory was realised as that year Brazil won the World Cup for the first time ever.

The book goes on to show that Pelé was an inspirational hero off the pitch too, working to unite people through the game and to give his voice to the underprivileged. The stylish illustrations will appeal to children through their use of bold lines and strong colours. At the back of the book there is a photographic timeline and a detailed biography of the man who has been described as the greatest footballer who has ever lived. Inherent in the book is the inspiring message about dreaming big and using given talents and skills for the benefit of others.

 


Helaine Becker
 & Dow Phumiruk
Picturebook

This recommendable narrative non-fiction book celebrates the life of Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who played a crucial role in the smooth running of the Apollo 11 mission to land on the moon.

The story emphasises Katherine’s lifelong passion for mathematics – how she loved to count as a child and how she overcame barriers of inequality and prejudice to reach her dream of using her mathematical talents while working for NASA.

A fantastic biography that celebrates mathematics, space, women in STEM and following dreams.

Simon Mugford & Football Superstars
 & Dan Green
Non-fiction
Filled with quizzes, stats and little known facts, plus illustrated and told with all the fun of a Tom Gates novel, the Football Superstars series is perfect for young readers five and up.Is Marcus Rashford your ultimate football hero? His rise to the top has already seen him win The FA Cup, EFL Cup and UEFA Europa League for Manchester United as well as become a semi-finalist at the FIFA 2018 World Cup.Discover how the local kid got into Manchester United's famous academy and worked hard to become part of its star-studded first team as well as an England international, plus the amazing way he called on the UK government to end child poverty during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.The Football Superstars series is aimed at building a love of reading from a young age, with fun cartoons, inspirational stories, a simple narrative style and a cast of characters chipping in with quotes, jokes and comments.
Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
 & Lauren Semmer
Picturebook
Discover the incredible life of Kamala Harris, the first woman, first Black person, and first South Asian American to be elected vice president of the USA. Little Kamala used to accompany her parents to civil rights marches in California, strapped into her pushchair so she wouldn't get lost. From an early age, she dreamed of becoming a lawyer to help people in need. Kamala's life was full of firsts, including becoming the first woman, Black woman, and South Asian American to be elected vice president. As Kamala stated to little girls everywhere in her speech – she may be the first but she won't be the last. This powerful book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the politician's life.
J.P. Miller
Non-fiction
A celebration of the lives and achievements of inspirational black people through history who made a difference Black Stories Matter: Groundbreaking Scientists explores the important contributions that black people have made to the field of science throughout history, as well as today. From astronomer and inventor Benjamin Banneker to agricultural science pioneer Dr Segenet Kelemu and father of the internet Philip Emeagwali, each has enriched our knowledge of the scientific world with their sheer talent and resilience. Black Stories Matter is a powerful illustrated collection of stories of inspiring black personalities through history. Perfect for readers aged 9 and above. Contents: Main biographies Benjamin Banneker George Washington Carver Bessie Coleman Kenneth & Mamie Clark Philip Emeagwali Mae Jamison Dr Segenet Kelemu Maggie Aderin-Pocock Mary Seacole Daniel Hale Williams Mini biographies Marie Maynard Daly Dr Alan Goffe Ernest E Just Wangari Maathai Jesse Russell Sr David Unaipon Rachel Watkins Gladys West

Sally J. Morgan
Non-fiction
Be inspired by the lives of trailblazers past and present in this fun and factual biography series!How did Simone Biles become a superstar athlete and gold medallist? On a daytrip to the local sports centre, Simone discovered her natural talent for gymnastics. She signed up for regular training sessions and was soon performing incredible routines at competitions. Despite a challenging start in life, Simone went on to become one of the world's greatest athletes. Find out how this gymnast toughed it out in training and went on to win four Olympic gold medals.TRAILBLAZERS biographies are packed with little-known trivia, fascinating facts and lively illustrations.
Trish Cooke
 & Anni Axworthy
Graphic Novel
Mary is a brave nurse. When a war starts in the Crimea she sails across the sea to help, and even enters the battlefield! Hopscotch Histories are brand new stories in historical settings, told in under 400 words, perfect for children who are building up their reading confidence
Helen Hancocks
Picturebook
Ella Fitzgerald sang the blues and she sang them good. Ella and her fellas were on the way up! It seemed like nothing could stop her, until the biggest club in town refused to let her play... and all because of her colour. But when all hope seemed lost, little did Ella imagine that a Hollywood star would step in to help. This is the incredible true story of how a remarkable friendship between Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe was born - and how they worked together to overcome prejudice and adversity. An inspiring story, strikingly illustrated, about the unlikely friendship between two celebrated female icons of America's golden age.
Sarah Shephard
 & Sarah Papworth
Non-fiction
Serena Williams: tennis player, sports icon, champion.Get your head in the game with one of the greatest athletes of all time, Serena Williams.A Life Story: This gripping series throws the reader directly into the lives of modern society's most influential figures. With striking black-and-white illustration along with timelines and fun facts.
Michaela DePrince
 & Ella Okstad
Chapter book Non-fiction
One windy day, a magazine blew down the road. I reached out and caught it. A pretty picture of a woman was on the front cover of the magazine. She wore a short pink dress that stuck out around her in a circle. She looked very happy.At the age of three, Michaela DePrince found a photo of a ballerina that changed her life. She was living in an orphanage in Sierra Leone at the time, but was soon adopted by a family and brought to America. Michaela never forgot the photo of the dancer she once saw, and decided to make her dream of becoming a ballerina come true. She has been dancing ever since, and after a spell as a principal dancer in New York, now dances for the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam.Beautifully and gently illustrated by Ella Okstad, Ballerina Dreams is the younger-reader edition of Michaela DePrince's highly moving memoir, Hope in a Ballet Shoe.

Lisbeth Kaiser
 & Marta Antelo
Picturebook
In this book from the highly acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the incredible life of Rosa Parks, the 'Mother of the Freedom Movement.'Rosa Parks grew up in Alabama, where she learned to stand up for herself at an early age. Rosa went on to become a civil rights activist. In 1955, she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated bus, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Her courageous decision had a huge impact on civil rights, eventually leading to the end of segregation on public transport. She never stopped working for equal rights. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back , including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the activist's life.

Children's Books to Start Conversations about Racism

Jane Lacey
 & Venitia Dean
Non-fiction
This book helps young children find out about and understand racism. It features seven case studies from children who have a range of problems from a girl who is being left out because she is Muslim to the new boy in school from another country who is struggling to fit in. Readers are taught to stand up for what is right in a safe way and become comfortable discussing this serious issue with others. Practical advice is provided in a way that readers of all ages can understand and put into practice. The end of the book features a short playscript to act out and discuss. The book has engaging illustrations throughout. In this series case studies combine with sensible, practical advice to help children find out what to do in difficult situations. Titles include Bullying, My Parent's Divorce, My Stepfamily, When People Die and Our New Baby.
Nikesh Shukla & Claire Heuchan
Non-fiction
An important and timely book on race and racism, encouraging children to think for themselves about the issues involved. Talk about race is often discouraged, but this book aims to bring everyone into the conversation. It explores the history of race and society, giving context to how racist attitudes come into being. It looks at belonging and identity, the damaging effects of stereotyping and the benefits of positive representation. The authors talk sensitively about how to identify and challenge racism, and how to protect against and stop racist behaviour.Aimed at young people aged 10 and upwards.Part of the groundbreaking and important 'And Other Big Questions' series, which offers balanced and considered views on the big issues we face in the world we live in today.
Jordan Akpojaro
 & Ashley Evans
Non-fiction

Racism can sometimes be a difficult subject to broach and to discuss in primary schools. Children have perceptive questions that seem to adults, to require rather complex answers. This book seeks to address these questions and open up a forum to enable children to talk about how they feel as well as address possible misconceptions and myths. It provides the teacher or parent with a starting point from which to support children understand an issue that must not be avoided.

The format is simple: questions under the main headings of the what, why and how of racism and answers provided when you lift the flap. Each page groups together questions under the main headings in order to probe each area more deeply – for example, to consider not just what racism is but what it feels like as well as questions about what we mean by ethnicity and why we use particular terms e.g. heritage and ethnicity rather than ‘race’.

The book seeks to support children in thinking more deeply about their behaviours, like whether it could be racist to copy people’s clothes and traditions. It tackles some of the things that children will hear in wider society – why the Black Lives Matter slogan is not the same as saying that not all lives matter. The book also addresses the causes of racism from slavery to fake news and explores questions about our identities and how each of us can play our part in tackling racism. The book finishes with some fairly unsettling facts – that in the past, humans were exhibited in zoos; that people are still enslaved today; and that in wars, millions have been killed because of racism. The book’s author was supported by the ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ organisation, a child psychologist and a history professor ensuring that the answers are clear, accurate and approached with sensitivity and respect.

This is a powerful and necessary addition to a primary classroom.

Katie Daynes & Jordan Akpojaro
 & Sandhya Prabhat
Non-fiction
Answering young children's questions about racism is hard. This book gives both children and adults the language and sensitivity they need to talk about the topic. It gently explains what racism is, how it happens, why it is NEVER acceptable and what each and every one of us can do to eradicate it.

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