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Diversity booklist for classroom reading

Diversity booklist for classroom reading

Books featuring people from a range of different backgrounds are often in the minority on classroom bookshelves. Below are some of our favourite books featuring people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. If we have missed any of your favourites please let us know!



Look Up
Look up by Nathan Bryon

Ages 2 - 5

Rocket's enthusiasm brings neighbours and family together to witness a once-in-a-lifetime sighting of a comet. 



Super Duper You
Super Duper You by Sophy Henn 

Ages 3 - 5

This rhyming picture book celebrates all the different, extraordinary and sometimes contradictory things we are. 

 

The proudest blue
The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad

Ages 3 - 5

This story is about two sisters first day of school and one's first day wearing the hijab.

 

 

Coming to England
Coming to England: An Inspiring True Story Celebrating the Windrush Generation by Baroness Floella Benjamin

Ages 3 - 6

When she was ten years old, Floella Benjamin, and her older sister and two younger brothers, set sail from Trinidad to London. Coming to England wasn't at all what Floella had expected. This is a true story with the powerful message that courage and determination can always overcome adversity.



Izzy Gizmo
Izzy Gizmo by Pip Jones

Ages 3 - 7

The book features a girl inventor whose primary carer is her grandpa. It shows the character trying again and again. 



Through my window
Through My Window by Tony Bradman, Eileen Brown

Ages 3 - 7

This multicultural book shows life on the child’s street as they wait for their mum to come home from work. 



Sulwe
Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o

Ages 3 - 7

This is a powerful, moving picture book about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within made to inspire children to see their own unique beauty.



Your name is a song
Your name is a song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

Ages 4 - 7

Frustrated by a day full of teachers and classmates mispronouncing her beautiful name, a little girl tells her mother she never wants to go back to school. So her mother teaches her about the musicality of African, Asian, Black-American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names on their lyrical walk home through the city. 



Handas Surprise
Handas Surprise by Eileen Browne

Ages 4 - 7

Handa, who's part of the Luo tribe in south-west Kenya, decides to take seven pieces of delicious fruit to her friend, Akeyo, who lives in the neighbouring village. 




The Hula-Hoopin' Queen
The Hula-Hoopin' Queen by Thelma Lynne Godin

Ages 4 - 8

This book set in New York is all about a girl who loves hula hooping. 

Hair Love
Hair Love by Matthew Cherry

Ages 5 - 7

Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair—and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere.

There is also a Hair Love animation available to watch.



Like a girl
Like a girl by Lori Degman

Ages 5 - 8

This book profiles 24 women who took risks, acted up, broke barriers, and transformed the world.

 

 

Amazing Grace
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

Ages 5 - 8

Grace loves stories, whether they're from books, movies, or the kind her grandmother tells. When her school decides to perform Peter Pan, Grace longs to play the lead, but her classmates point out that Peter was a boy and he wasn't black.



The Boy At the Back of the Class
The Boy At the Back of the Class by Onjali Rauf

Ages 8 - 11

This book offers a child's perspective on the refugee crisis, highlighting the importance of friendship and kindness in a world that doesn't always make sense.



Windrush Child
Windrush Child by Benjamin Zephaniah

Ages 8 - 12

Leonard is shocked when he arrives with his mother in the port of Southampton. His father is a stranger to him, it’s cold and the Jamaican food doesn’t taste the same as at home. Leonard does his best not to complain, to make new friends, to do well at school – even when people hurt him with their words and with their fists. (Due to be released Nov 5th 2020)




Fly Me Home
Fly Me Home by Polly Ho-Yen

Ages 9 - 11

Feeling lost and alone in a strange new city, Leelu wishes she could fly away back home – her real home where her dad is, thousands of miles away.



How High the Moon
How High the Moon by Karyn Parsons

Ages 9 - 12

It's 1944, and in a small, Southern, segregated town, eleven-year-old Ella spends her summers running wild with her cousins and friends. Ella visits Boston and sees what life outside of segregation is like, and begins to dream of a very different future. But her happiness is shattered when she returns home to the news that her classmate has been arrested for the murder of two white girls

 

The Tiny Activists instagram account is great for book ideas. 

If you are interested in improving the gender balance in your book selection have a look at our combat harmful gender stereotypes with these children's books blog.


Catherine Lynch

Hi! I'm a former primary school teacher and resource creator at PlanBee. I'm a qualified Play Therapist and I am interested in mental health and wellbeing in schools and government education policy. I enjoy creating practical lessons, especially topic lessons that have a science or English focus.

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