Children's books

Children's Books

Key Stage 1

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love (Walker Books)

A jubilant celebration of self-love and individuality. A little boy is enraptured by the sight of three women dressed as mermaids on his way home with his Abuela. When he arrives home, daydreaming of the magic he's seen, he decides to create his own fabulous mermaid costume.

My Friend Earth By Patricia MacLachlan; Illustrated by Francesca Sanna (Chronicle Books)

Our friend Earth does so many wonderful things! She tends to animals large and small. She pours down summer rain and autumn leaves. She sprinkles whisper-white snow and protects the tiny seeds waiting for spring.Readers of all ages will pore over the pages of this spectacular book. Its enticing die-cut pages encourage exploration as its poetic text celebrates everything Earth does for us, all the while reminding us to be a good friend in return.

Riley Can be Anything by David Hamilton; Illustrated by Elena Reinoso (The Ella Riley Group)

The inspiring rhyming story follows Riley as he discovers some of the wonderful things he can do when he grows up. With the help of his big cousin Joe, Riley is taken on a series of imaginative journeys that allow him to realise he can be anything he wants to be.

Ravi's Roar by Tom Percival (Bloomsbury Publishing)

Most of the time Ravi can control his temper but, one day, he lets out the tiger within … Being a tiger is great fun at first – tigers can do ANYTHING they want! But who wants to play with a growling, roaring, noisy, wild tiger who won't share or play nicely? Ravi is about to discover something very important about expressing his feelings and making amends. A clever and engaging book about dealing with emotions and learning to express and understand your feelings.

Key Stage 2

A Galaxy of Her Own Amazing Stories of Women in Space by Libby Jackson (Century)

A Galaxy of Her Own tells fifty stories of inspirational women who have been fundamental to the story of humans in space, from scientists to astronauts to some surprising roles in between.From Ada Lovelace in the nineteenth century, to the women behind the Apollo missions, from the astronauts breaking records on the International Space Station to those blazing the way in the race to get to Mars, A Galaxy of Her Own reveals extraordinary stories, champions unsung heroes and celebrates remarkable achievements from around the world.

Stories for Boys who Dare to be Different by Ben Brooks; Illustrated by Quinton Winter (Querchus)

Prince charming, dragon slayer, mischievous prankster... More often than not, these are the role-models boys encounter in the books they read at home and at school. But what if you're the introvert kind? What if you prefer to pick up a book rather than a sword? What if you want to cry when you're feeling sad or angry? What if you like the idea of wearing a dress? Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different offers a welcome alternative narrative. It is an extraordinary compilation of 100 stories of famous and not-so-famous men from the past to the present day. Entries include Frank Ocean, Salvador Dalí, Rimbaud, Beethoven, Barack Obama, Stormzy, Ai Weiwei and Jesse Owens...

The Infinite by Patience Agbabi (Canongate Books)

FIGHT CRIME, ACROSS TIME! Leaplings, children born on the 29th of February, are very rare. Rarer still are Leaplings with The Gift - the ability to leap through time. Elle Bíbi-Imbelé Ifíè has The Gift, but she's never used it. Until now. On her twelfth birthday, Elle and her best friend Big Ben travel to the Time Squad Centre in 2048. Elle has received a mysterious warning from the future. Other Leaplings are disappearing in time - and not everyone at the centre can be trusted. Soon Elle's adventure becomes more than a race through time. It's a race against time. She must fight to save the world as she knows it - before it ceases to exist . . .

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

What if the princess didn't marry Prince Charming but instead went on to be an astronaut? What if the jealous step sisters were supportive and kind? And what if the queen was the one really in charge of the kingdom? Illustrated by sixty female artists from every corner of the globe, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls introduces us to one hundred remarkable women and their extraordinary lives, from Ada Lovelace to Malala, Amelia Earhart to Michelle Obama. Empowering, moving and inspirational, these are true fairy tales for heroines who definitely don't need rescuing.

High Rise Mystery by Sharna Jackson (Knights Of)

The detective duo everyone is dying to meet! Summer in London is hot, the hottest on record, and there's been a murder in THE TRI: the high-rise home to resident know-it-alls, Nik and Norva. Who better to solve the case? Armed with curiosity, home-turf knowledge and unlimited time - until the end of the summer holidays anyway. The first whodunnit in a new mystery series by Sharna Jackson.

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg (Penguin)

The history-making, ground-breaking speeches of Greta Thunberg, the young activist who has become the voice of a generation 'Everything needs to change. And it has to start today' This book brings you Greta in her own words, for the first time. Collecting her speeches that have made history across Europe, from the UN to mass street protests, No One Is Too Small to Make A Difference is a rallying cry for why we must all wake up and fight to protect the living planet, no matter how powerless we feel. Our future depends upon it.

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson (Pisces Books; Reprint edition)

What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With 96 lavishly designed pages of original art and prose, fifty diverse creators lend voice to young activists. Featuring poems, letters, personal essays, art, and other works from such industry leaders as Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming), Jason Reynolds (All American Boys), Kwame Alexander (The Crossover), Andrea Pippins (I Love My Hair), Sharon Draper (Out of My Mind), Rita Williams-Garcia (One Crazy Summer), Ellen Oh (cofounder of We Need Diverse Books), and artists Ekua Holmes, Rafael Lopez, James Ransome, Javaka Steptoe, and more, this anthology empowers the nation’s youth to listen, learn, and build a better tomorrow.

Winrush Child by Benjamin Zepheniah (Scholastic)

In this heart-stopping adventure, Benjamin Zephaniah shows us what it was like to be a child of the Windrush generation. Leonard is shocked when he arrives with his mother in the port of Southampton. His father is a stranger to him, it’s cold andeventhe Jamaican food doesn’t taste the same as it did back home in Maroon Town. But his parents have brought him here to try to make a better life, so Leonard does his best not to complain, to make new friends, to do well atschool – even when people hurt him with their words and with their fists. How can a boy so far from home learn to enjoy his new life when so manythings count against him? ‘Zephaniah pulls no punches in his depictions of the racism that Leonard suffers both at school and in the streets in a powerful, moving account of family and fitting in’ iNews ‘An invaluable story for any young readers who enjoy adventure and want to learn more about the Windrush generation’s experience.

Key Stage 3 and 4

So Here I Am by Anna Russell; Illustrated by Camila Pinheiro (Aurum Press)

The first dedicated collection of seminal speeches by women from around the world, So Here I Am is about women at the forefront of change – within politics, science, human rights and media; discussing everything from free love, anti-war, scientific discoveries, race, gender and women's rights. From Emmeline Pankhurst's 'Freedom or Death' speech and Marie Curie's trailblazing Nobel lecture, to Michelle Obama speaking on parenthood in politics and Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza's stirring ode to black women, the words collected here are empowering, engaging and inspiring.

What is Race? Who are Racists? Why Does Skin Colour Matter? And Other Big Questions by Nikesh Shukla and Claire Heuchan (Frances Lincoln Children's Books)

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.

Black and British by David Olusoga (Macmillan Children's Books)

A short, essential introduction to Black British history for readers of 12+ by award-winning historian and broadcaster David Olusoga. When did Africans first come to Britain? Who are the well-dressed black children in Georgian paintings? Why did the American Civil War disrupt the Industrial Revolution? These and many other questions are answered in this essential introduction to 1800 years of the Black British history: from the Roman Africans who guarded Hadrian’s Wall right up to the present day. This children's version of the bestseller Black and British: A Forgotten History is Illustrated with maps, photos and portraits.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta (Hodder Children's Books)

Fiercely told, this is a powerful coming-of-age story told in verse, from one of the UK’s leading poets, Dean Atta. Perfect for fans of Sarah Crossan and Poet X. A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen – then at university he finds his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo. A bold story about the power of embracing your uniqueness. Sometimes, we need to take charge, to stand up wearing pink feathers – to show ourselves to the world in bold colour. ‘I masquerade in makeup and feathers and I am applauded.’ “A bold and joyous hymn to self-discovery and acceptance” The Bookseller

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