SPOTLIGHT ON: OUR COMMUNITY
CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK LIST
Sharing stories can be a great way to learn about equality and diversity. We have put together a selection of books that celebrate Nottingham’s ethnically diverse communities and empower children to talk about diversity, prejudice, racism and black history.
Special collections for children and adults are available at Hyson Green, Radford, Bulwell Riverside and Southglade Park libraries. Titles are also available from other libraries or can be requested through click and collect.
King of the Classroom by Barnes, Derrick
It’s the first day at school for one little boy, and his mum and dad are determined that he be excited and happy about it. Mummy says her little boy is going to be King of the Classroom!
This wonderfully empowering picture book for little ones not only assuages their possible fears about starting school or nursery but models a celebratory approach to the big day with an upbeat story about being confident.
The Extraordinary Gardener by Boughton, Sam
Joe is a boy just like any other, but Joe loves to imagine. Joe lives in a pretty ordinary tower block, in a rather ordinary city. His world is rather grey. However, he spends his time imagining a wonderful world filled with exotic plants and unusual animals.
Once day Joe decides to plant a seed on his balcony, he waits and waits but nothing happens! Joe gives up and goes back to his daily life, but one day when he least expects it he spots that the seed has turned into the most beautiful tree. Joe begins caring for the tree and growing lots of other plants on his balcony and soon everyone in the neighbourhood is getting involved.
A charming story about the importance of nature, teaching us that if we work hard enough our dreams really can come true!
Incredible You by Brisenden, Rhys
Ever had a bad day and just wished that you were someone else? Perhaps a mountain gorilla? Or a fierce tiger?
But wait – just think of all the amazing things that YOU can do!
I Am Perfectly Designed by Brown, Karamo
A joyful celebration of loving who you are, exactly as you are. This empowering story sees a boy and his father take a walk through the city chatting about all the ways in which they are perfectly designed for each other.
From playing in the park and getting ice cream to dressing up for Halloween and staring at the moon, the father and son remember past events and look forward to the future together.
Clean Up! by Bryon, Nathan
Join lovable, passionate Rocket as she sets off on a mission to save a Caribbean island from plastic pollution!
When Rocket goes for a holiday to visit her grandparents, she’s shocked by the pollution that is spoiling their island home and putting the local sea life at risk. Can she think of a way to save the day?
Hair Love by Cherry, Matthew
It’s up to Daddy to give his daughter an extra-special hairstyle in this story of self-confidence and the love between fathers and daughters. Zuri knows her hair is beautiful, but it has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way.
Mum always does Zuri’s hair just the way she likes it – so when Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he’ll do anything to make her – and her hair – happy.
Little Leader: Dream Big by Harrison, Vashti
‘Dream Big, Little One’, there’s so much you can do. Just look at all the women who came before you.
Based on the New York Times bestselling sensation ‘Little Leaders: Bold Women’ in Black History this board book will inspire all little people of today to become the leaders of tomorrow.
My Hair by Lee, Hannah
Will it be dreads or a twist out? Braids or a high-top fade?
Joyous and vibrant, this captures perfectly the excitement of getting ready for a celebration, as well as showcasing a dazzling array of intricate hairstyles.
Julian At The Wedding by Love, Jessica
Julian and his nana are attending a wedding. Better yet, Julian is in the wedding along with his cousin Marisol.
When wedding duties are fulfilled and with a new dog friend in tow, the pair takes off to roam the venue, exploring everywhere from underneath tables to enchanting willow trees to … muddy puddles? After all, it wouldn’t be a wedding without fun, laughter and a little magical mischief.
With ingenuity and heart, author-illustrator Jessica Love tells a charming story of friendship, acceptance and celebration.
Julian Is A Mermaid by Love, Jessica
While riding the subway home with his Nana one day, Julian notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train carriage.
When Julian gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies and making his own fabulous mermaid costume.
But what will Nana think about the mess he makes – and even more importantly – what will she think about how Julian sees himself? Tenderly told with charm, tenderness and humour.
Albert Talbot: Master Of Disguise by Manley, Ben
Not keen on swimming lessons? Now you are Zandrian Delaclair, Antarctic Submariner – destroyer of the abominable Vampire Cuttlefish! Albert goes through his day from getting up, to going to school and finally to bed, facing various challenges.
But by imagining himself as powerful heroes he is able to wear each persona and feel brave in adversity, dangerous when powerless, transgressive when bound by the rules.
Tusk Tusk by McKee, David
Once, elephants came in two colours: black or white. They loved all other creatures – but each set wanted to destroy the other. Peace-loving elephants ran and hid in the deepest jungle while battle commenced.
The war-mongers succeeded: for a long time it seemed that there were no elephants in the world at all, not of any colour. But then the descendants of the peace-loving ones emerged from the jungle, and by now they were all grey.
Zeki Loves Mummy by McQuinn, Anna
Share the delight of a day with Zeki and his mummy!
From when he wakes up in the morning, Zeki and his mummy fill their days with giggling, building dens, yoga, cycling, snacking, splashy painting and reading. At the end of the day, Mummy’s hugs are the comfiest.
All Are Welcome by Penfold, Alexandra
Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcome. A school where children in patkas, hijabs, baseball caps and yarmulkes play side by side. A school where students grow and learn from each other’s traditions. A school where diversity is a strength.
Warm and inspiring, All Are Welcome lets young children know that no matter what, they have a place, they have a space, and they are welcome in their school.
Astro Girl by Wilson-Max, Ken
Astrid has always loved the stars and space. “I want to be an astronaut!” she says.
While Mama is away, Papa and Astrid have fun acting out the challenges an astronaut faces on a space mission – eating food from a tube, doing science experiments, living and sleeping in near-zero gravity. Astrid can do it all! Then it’s time to meet Mama at the airbase. But where has Mama been?
Too Small Tola And The Three Fine Girls by Atinuke
Three charming stories about a young girl who lives in a flat in Lagos with her sister, Moji, who is very clever; her brother, Dapo, who is very fast; and Grandmummy, who is very bossy. Too Small Tola is just the right size to fit under the bed and rescue Grandmummy’s most prized possession when it goes missing. Her abilities in maths prove to be very helpful when Grandmummy becomes ill.
In the title story, though Grandmummy can’t afford to buy Tola new clothes, Tola turns out to be just as fine as the three fine girls she so greatly admires. A book full of heart and humour
High-rise Mystery by Jackson, Sharna
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.
Slam Dunk Dilemma! by Moore, Jenny
Zac dreams of being a tall basketball player like his brother, Cam, who can easily perform slam dunks. Zac can’t magically grow any taller but he can buy the Ultra Bounce trainers he’s seen at the charity shop. They fit perfectly and soon Zac finds himself jumping higher than ever and scoring so many goals.
Are the shoes really magical? And if so, does that mean he’s cheating? Zac’s in a total dilemma!
Patina by Reynolds, Jason
Patty 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 Patty has to work with her teammates to win.
Cool To Be Kind: how to negotiate the world of friendships and relationships by Bates, Liz
This illustrated storybook introduces Coco, Otto, Ollie and Ling as they negotiate the sometimes tricky world of friendships and relationships, observing the unkindness of some and using their superpower – kindness – to change the lives of others.
The Midnight Realm by Chapman, Linda
When animals start disappearing from the reef into the mysterious Midnight Realm, Naya and her friends investigate! There they find a glowing cave with a tentacled monster lurking within. Then it traps Luna and the friends launch into action.
Naya will have to get inventive if she’s going to pull off her rescue mission…
500 Words: Black Lives Matter by Evans, Chris
A collection of 100 inspiring, moving and poignant short stories, submitted to the 500 Words: Black Lives Matter competition which ran on Virgin Radio in July 2020.
Features a foreword from Chris Evans plus writing tips from author judges Malorie Blackman, Charlie Higson, Francesca Simon and Frank Cottrell-Boyce.
Ghost Boys by Rhodes, Jewell Par
Jerome doesn’t get into trouble. He goes to school. He does his homework. He takes care of his little sister. Then Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat.
As a ghost, watching his family trying to cope with his death, Jerome begins to notice other ghost boys. Each boy has a story and they all have something in common. Bit by bit, Jerome begins to understand what really happened – not just to him, but to all of the ghost boys.
A poignant and gripping story about how children and families face the complexities of race in today’s world.
Me, My Dad And The End Of The Rainbow by Dean, Benjamin
Things aren’t going great for Archie Albright. His dad’s acting weird, his mum too, and all he wants is for everything to go back to normal, to three months before when his parents were happy and still lived together.
When Archie sees a colourful, crumpled flyer fall out of Dad’s pocket, he thinks he may have found the answer. Only problem? The answer might just lie at the end of the rainbow, an adventure away.