Recommended children's booklists sorted by age or topic

Home > Books

Topic: Diverse & Inclusive Books for Upper KS2

Chapter book

Jamie Lee wants to be normal. But his ADHD makes him feel like his brain is full of butterflies.
Elin Watts wants to be perfect. If she can be, surely her dad will come home.

When Jamie and Elin’s families blend, the polar opposites of chaotic Jamie and ordered Elin collide. As their lives spiral out of control, Jamie and Elin discover that they’re actually more alike than they’d admit. Maybe there’s no such thing as normal, or perfect. And perhaps, just like families, happy-ever-afters come in all shapes and sizes.

Uplifting and moving, The Boy with the Butterfly Mind is an inspiring story of acceptance, blended families, and discovering that in the end, being yourself is more than enough.

Chapter book

Sidesplitting middle grade comedy, with serious heart (and one very funny llama). Illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan, the official illustrator for World Book Day 2022.
Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.
Winner of a Made for Mums Gold Award.

Yasmin Shah is a ten-year-old girl who is part of a big, noisy family and doesn’t ever speak. Levi is a rude, sassy toy llama, who talks A LOT and has come to wreak havoc in Yasmin’s life.

Yasmin tries everything she can to escape Levi, but she can’t help being dragged along on his crazy antics – and every day brings a new surprise, whether that’s an erupting bin, a flying tuna fish, or a hat made from knickers. Life is never boring with Levi around – and could it be that he has a secret plan to help Yasmin find her voice?

Annabelle Sami is a writer, director and performer who currently works in the arts. While reading children’s books when babysitting she realised there was a lack of representation of funny girls and diverse characters in children’s books – and she decided to do something about it. Growing up mixed-race, she never found her own life reflected in a book and now it’s her mission to make sure that every spirited, witty and adventurous girl has her own special book that she can relate to.

Best Diverse Children’s Books for Ages 9-11

We have selected a list of recommended diverse and inclusive books for children in Year 5 and Year 6 (Upper KS2), which feature characters that are traditionally under-represented in children’s books.

This list of the best diverse books for children aged 9 to 11 includes books with minority ethnic main characters and books with representations of cultural diversity, different types of families, physical disabilities, visual impairment and neurodiversity. 

The selection includes the entertaining story of Danny Chung and his Nai Nai in Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths and an exciting fantasy story inspired by Hindu legends in Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom, as well as Sophie’s compelling story of hearing loss in Can You Feel the Noise and the coming-of-age graphic novel following an autistic girl who finds friendship where she least expects it in Speak Up!.

You can find Diverse & Inclusive children’s book lists for other primary year groups here:

 

Schools can purchase full packs of our diverse book lists via Peters.

Chapter book

What would you do if you could never leave your bubble? A poignant, heartwarming tale from inside the hospital walls that teaches children the importance of treating people with kindness and empathy. Perfect for fans of Wonder and The Boy At The Back of the Class .

Amir is mad. He’s crazy. But the hospital wouldn’t let a crazy person in. They must have interviewed him and checked his qualifications. But maybe he didn’t even meet them? Maybe he hasn’t even come from India. He might have arrived on an alien spaceship and snuck in here in the middle of the night.

Eleven-year-old Joe can’t remember a life outside of his hospital room, with its beeping machines and view of London’s rooftops. His condition means he’s not allowed outside, not even for a moment, and his few visitors risk bringing life-threatening germs inside his ‘bubble’. But then someone new enters his world and changes it for ever.

THE BUBBLE BOY is the story of how Joe spends his days, copes with his loneliness and frustrations, and looks – with superhero-style bravery, curiosity and hope – to a future without limits. Expect superheroes, super nurses and a few tears from this truly unique story.

Chapter book

Although Sam has a long-term illness, all he wants is the chance to lead a normal life. So he is thrilled when he finally gets his mum and dad to let him go on the school trip to the Scottish Highlands. Sam’s desperate for an adventure and wants to prove to everyone that he’s just as strong as his friends. But when some of the boys from his class take a reckless risk in order to win a challenge, the trip turns out to be more dangerous than Sam could have imagined. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 8+.

Chapter book

My name is Adam Butters. I live on planet Earth, I like eating spaghetti hoops and I’ve decided I’m going to be a SUPERHERO.

Everyone loves superheroes, they solve problems and make people happy, and that’s good because my mum needs cheering up. Also, I’ve found out that before I was adopted my real mum called me ACE. So now I’ve just got to prove to the world that’s what I am. One mission at a time…

Hilarious, heart-warming and heart-breaking in equal measure, this is a story about the power in all of us to be extraordinary.

Chapter book

It’s not the taking part, it’s the winning that counts for Patina!

Patty, as she’s known to her friends and family, has lost a lot in her life – her dad died when she was young, her mum has lost her legs and now she has to live with her uncle and his wife. On top of that Patty has to go to the poshest school that ever existed. Now her running team has become a relay team and independent “I can do everything by myself” Patty has to work with her team mates to win.

Chapter book

Sam likes being a twin. He likes having two mums. He likes cheese sandwiches and his dog and drawing comics with his friend Pea. He does not like humus – or heights . . .

His twin sister Sammie likes being a twin too. She knows that she’s perfect best friend material for somebody – the girls in her class just haven’t realised yet. And she knows that she’s the best Sam – Sam A.

Both Sam and Sammie – and everybody in their lives seems to be keeping secrets – which ones will come out?

Chapter book

Nominated for the CILIP CARNEGIE MEDAL 2019 and the IBBY Honour List 2020. A novel for all ages about a young girl losing her sight, inspired by the author’s own life story. For fans of Wonder, The Little Prince and The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly

Mafalda is a nine-year-old girl who knows one thing: some time in the next six months her sight will fail completely.

Can Mafalda find a way through a seemingly dark future and still go to school, play football and look after her beloved cat? With the help of her family, and her friends, Mafalda needs to discover the things that will be important to her when her sight has failed.

A moving, empowering tale of courage and determination that will inspire young and old. Translated by Denise Muir.

Chapter book

AJ’s grandfather has always been the one to keep his unusual family together, so when he dies things start to unravel at the edges. AJ is worried about his parents but they don’t really seem to notice. In order to deal with his grief and to keep his anxiety at bay, AJ does what he and his grandfather did best: running. Round and round the Olympic Park, aiming for the cross country trials. Running to escape, AJ only seems to be heading ever closer to disaster.

Running On Empty is a beautiful book about false starts and emotional journeys, with hope as the ultimate finishing line.

From the author of Little Bits of Sky and Talking to the Moon

Cover illustration by Rob Biddulph

Subscribe to our newsletter

Your Review

Stone Girl Bone Girl

review

Year group(s) the book is most suitable for:

Year group(s) the book is most suitable for:

Does the book contain anything that teachers would wish to know about before recommending in class (strong language, sensitive topics etc.)?

Does the book contain anything that teachers would wish to know about before recommending in class (strong language, sensitive topics etc.)?

Would you recommend the book for use in primary schools?

yes

Curriculum links (if relevant)

Curriculum links (if relevant)

Any other comments

Any other comments