Children’s Books about Black British History

By Kerry McGuire

October is Black History Month in the UK, and to celebrate our team wanted to focus a booklist on titles specific to Black British history. Check out the list below for our favourite fiction and non-fiction, along with the books’ Accelerated Reader quiz information.


Lower Years

Coming to England by Floella Benjamin, illustrated by Diane Ewen
Quiz # 239439 | BL 3.5 | Macmillan Children’s Books
When Floella and her siblings set sail from Trinidad to England, they begin a new life with their family in London. But coming to the UK isn’t at all what Floella expected.

Hoorah for Mary Seacole by Trish Cook
Quiz # 215927 | BL 2.7 | Franklin Watts
Mary is a brave nurse. When war starts in the Crimea she sails far across the sea to offer her help and save soldiers’ lives.


Middle Years

Ignatius Sancho by Judy Hepburn
Quiz # 240790 | BL 4.8 | Scholastic Children’s Books
Eight-year-old Ignatius lives with three sisters, but not as a member of their family. Soon the threat of being sent back to the West Indies to be enslaved is all too real, and Ignatius must escape if he is to build a brilliant life for himself.

Respect: The Walter Tull Story by Michaela Morgan
Quiz # 237590 | BL 3.8 | Barrington Stoke
The grandson of a slave, Walter Tull was one of the first Black professional football players, and the first Black officer in the British Army. Based on real events, this is an inspiring story of courage and resilience.

Black History (series) by Dan Lyndon
BL 7.4 – 9.1 | Franklin Watts
The series brings together a wide range of events and experiences from the past to promote knowledge and understanding of Black culture today.

Empire’s End: A Roman Story by Leia Rasheed
Quiz # 241192 | BL 5.7 | Scholastic Children’s Books
Camilla recounts her life story, beginning on the day her family left North Africa to journey to Rome. There, she becomes involved with the Emperor and Empress and has to navigate a world of secrets and danger in this cold place she must now call home.

Two Sisters: A Story of Freedom by Kereen Getten
Quiz # 241191 | BL 5.4 | Scholastic Children’s Books
When sisters Ruth and Anna are both shipped off to Georgian London, their differences force them apart, but whispers of freedom are on the streets. Contains themes of racism, enslavement and negative stereotypes.


Middle Years Plus

Windrush Child by Benjamin Zephaniah
Quiz #239425 | BL 4.8 | Scholastic Children’s Books
Leonard is shocked when he arrives in the Southampton port with his mum, his father is a stranger to him and everything is different to Jamaica. Can he learn to enjoy his life when so much is against him?

This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake up, Take Action, and Do the Work by Tiffany Jewell
Quiz # 238988 | BL 6.8 | Frances Lincoln
Find hope in stories of strength, love, joy and revolution that are part of our history.

Freedom by Catherine Johnson
Quiz # 237117 | BL 4.5 | Scholastic Children’s Books
When Nat is sent to England with his master, he dares to dream that life will be different. But being a slave in London isn’t much better than being a slave in Jamaica, and Nat jumps at his first chance to run.


Upper Years

Black and British by David W. Bygott
Quiz # 204791 | BL 8.5 | Oxford University Press
This book is an account of the history of the Afro-Caribbean community in the United Kingdom. It describes the struggle for freedom and dignity, both in the Caribbean and in Britain.

Black and British: A short, essential history by David Olusoga
Quiz # 239426 | BL 8.2 | Macmillan Children’s Books
Discover 1800 years of Black history in this insightful and invaluable story of the Black experience in Britain, including the forgotten Africans in the Roman legions, the horrors of slavery and racism, and the multicultural society of the present day. This won a Quiz Writer’s Choice Award earlier this year!

Why not get in touch via Twitter to let us know what your school is doing for Black History Month? If you have some titles you’d like to see quizzed, please use the request a quiz form.

Happy quizzing!

Posted on 5 October 2021 at 4:23 pm
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