Black British Characters in Children’s Books

By Lucy McGraw

In honour of Black History Month, this month’s booklist features children’s books of all Interest Levels that have a Black British main character or characters. This year’s theme is ‘Sharing Journeys’, focusing on highlighting the experiences of those who paved the way for today’s diverse Black British community in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Schools can find more resources for Black History Month on International Black History Month and Black History Month‘s websites.

Coming to England: An Inspiring True Story Celebrating the Windrush Generation : Benjamin, Baroness Floella, Ewen, Diane: Books

Coming to England: An Inspiring True Story Celebrating the Windrush Generation by Benjamin Floella, illustrated by Diane Ewen
LY | 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.

My Hair by Hannah Lee, illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan
LY | Quiz # 238736 | BL 3.3 | Faber and Faber
A child is having a birthday party and needs to decide which hairstyle they want, so looks to friends and family for inspiration.

Benjamin Zephaniah: My Story by Benjamin Zephaniah
LY | Quiz # 221749 | BL 5.2 | Collins
Learn all about Benjamin Zephaniah’s life — from his school days to his career as a poet and writer.

Ade Adepitan: A Paralympian’s Story by Ade Adepitan
LY | Quiz # 224510 | BL 5.6 | Collins
Find out Ade’s story, from growing up in Nigeria with a disability, to developing his passion for sport, to receiving an MBE, in this inspirational autobiography.


Image for Respect : the Walter Tull story

Black and British: An Illustrated History by David Olusoga, illustrated by Jake Alexander and Melleny Taylor
MY | Quiz # 242017 | BL 7.3 | Macmillan Children’s Books

Embark on a stunning visual journey through 1,800 years of Black British History, from the Roman Africans guarding Hadrian’s Wall right up to today.

Happy Here: 10 Stories from Black British Authors and Illustrators 
MY | Quiz # 241043 | BL 4.7 | Knights Of

Discover ten stories of family, friendship, laughter, magic and peril in different genres and styles all about joy from Black authors and illustrators.

Journey Back to Freedom by Catherine Johnson, illustrated by Katie Hickey 
MY | Quiz # 242814 | BL 5.2 | Barrington Stoke

Pahua Moua has a bit of a reputation for being a weirdo. A lonely eleven-year-old Hmong girl with the unique ability to see spirits, she spends her summer days babysitting her little brother and playing with her best friend, a cat spirit.

Black History Matters by Robin Walker
MY | Quiz # 242037 | BL 8.2 | Franklin Watts
Black history is an integral part of world history. Discover the injustices of the past and present, the stories of inspiring figures such as Martin Luther King, and how we can learn from them.

Respect: The Walter Tull Story by Michaela Morgan
MY | 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.



My Father’s Daughter by Hannah Pool
MY+ | Quiz # 217595 | BL 6.0 | Penguin Books
True life story of a black woman seeking her Eritrean relatives after her adoption by a white English family.

Windrush Child by Benjamin Zephaniah
MY+ | 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? Contains violence and racist language.



The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta
UY | Quiz # 237238 | BL 4.7 | Hodder Children’s Books
Join Michael’s world as he travels from school to university where he comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen and becomes a drag artist. Plot contains sexual content, strong language and drug use.

Theo Walcott by Andy Croft
UY | Quiz # 221734 | BL 4.0 | Barrington Stokes

The story of Theo Walcott’s career and life.

Musical Truth: A Musical History of Modern Black Britain in 28 Songs by Jeffrey Boakye
UY | Quiz # 242564 | BL 7.6 | Faber and Faber 
This exhilarating playlist tracks some of the key shifts in modern British history and explores the emotional impact of 28 songs and the artists who performed them. Contains themes of racism and violence.

We are currently updating our topics and subtopics on Bookfinder with the aim of making them more inclusive and useful for our customers. Please direct any suggestions you have to us via social media.

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Happy quizzing!

Posted on 27 September 2022 at 8:55 am
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