All sorts of heroes (older children)

The front cover of High Five to the Hero

These books are perfect for showing children that there are all sorts of heroes in life - and will inspire them to make a difference, too.

All sorts of heroes (younger children)

  • Queer Heroes

    Author: Arabelle Sicardi Illustrator: Sarah Tanat-Jones
    Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    This wonderful celebration of a wide range of LGBTQ+ heroes - both famous and less well-known - is a beautiful book and highlights the lives of some truly inspirational people.

  • Hope Jones Saves the World

    Author: Josh Lacey Illustrator: Beatriz Castro
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Hope has managed to convince her dad to switch to eco-friendly products to save the planet - but getting her sister to ditch her favourite over-packaged make-up is trickier. When Hope begins protesting outside the supermarket, she quickly attracts lots of media attention - but when she's invited to meet the CEO, will she be able to make a difference?

  • Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom

    Author: Teresa Robeson Illustrator: Rebecca Huang
    Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
    Interest age: 5-8
    Reading age: 5+

    This fascinating non-fiction picture book explores the life of an inspirational woman who overcame race and gender barriers to become an internationally acclaimed scientist. Straightforwardly and accessibly explained, with distinctive illustrations. 

  • Football School: Epic Heroes

    Author: Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttelton Illustrator: Spike Gerrell
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    This collection of 50 real-life tales from around the world spans a period of more than 75 years and spotlights the remarkable achievements, both on and off the pitch, of a variety of football heroes.

  • High Five to the Hero

    Author: Vita Murrow Illustrator: Julia Bereciartu
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    What if heroes weren't always the strong and silent type? Vita Murrow brings the stars from some of our favourite stories into the modern day with this thought-provoking collection.

  • Old Enough to Save the Planet

    Author: Loll Kirby Illustrator: Adelina Lirius
    Publisher: Magic Cat Publishing
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    Telling the stories of twelve young activists inspiring change in their communities and around the world, this is a book to treasure and so too are the young people whose stories it contains. Celebrating young activists, in style, it will inform and inspire many more.

  • Run the Show Like CEO Oprah Winfrey

    Author: Caroline Moss Illustrator: Sinem Erkas
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    Following Oprah from her beginnings as the first black news anchor in Nashville to her first break on TV, this amazing illustrated biography gives us the life of a formidable and deeply inspiring woman. 

  • Heroes: Inspirational People and the Amazing Jobs They Do

    Author: Jonny Marx Illustrator: Gerhard Van Wyk
    Publisher: 360 degrees
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    This appealing, colourful book acknowledges the unsung heroes of our everyday lives, going above and beyond to help others behind the scenes. It also acts as an aspirational guide for kids who might not have considered some of these options as viable careers.

  • Earth Heroes: Twenty Inspiring Stories of People Saving Our World

    Author: Lily Dyu Illustrator: Jackie Lay
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    When faced with climate change, the biggest threat that our planet has ever confronted, it's easy to feel as if there is nothing you can do. Luckily, Lily Dyu's Earth Heroes is here to tell us different. It's perfect for young activists in the making, aged 8 and up. 

  • The Night Bus Hero

    Author: Onjali Q. Raúf
    Publisher: Orion
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    Hector is a bully who reports an innocent homeless man to the police because he thinks he's probably responsible for a spate of thefts - but when Hector discovers he's got it wrong, he must race to restore justice.

  • Marta: Ultimate Football Heroes

    Author: Charlotte Browne
    Publisher: Dino Books
    Interest age: 9-12
    Reading age: 8+

    This biography showcases the srength of Brazilian footballer Marta, both on and off the pitch, and should be compulsory reading for every girl. Marta’s steely determination will inspire young people to follow their passions, whether they feature a football or not.

  • Young, Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present

    Author: Jamia Wilson Illustrator: Andrea Pippins
    Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions
    Interest age: 8-11
    Reading age: 8+

    This beautiful and eye-catching hardback celebrates a selection of black icons from history and the present day to inspire all children to discover what they can achieve. 

  • Young Heroes: Inspirational Children from Around the World

    Author: Lula Bridgeport Illustrator: Federica Frenna / Isabel Munoz / Julianna Swaney
    Publisher: Stripes
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    This collection of remarkable young people’s achievements is truly inspirational. With a gentle guide to being a hero yourself at the back of the book, and a look back at great children of the past, these amazing young people give us all hope for the future.

  • Pizazz

    Author: Sophy Henn
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6+

    Meet Pizazz - a superhero who hates her superpower! Sophy Henn’s new illustrated adventure aimed at younger to middle-primary school aged readers is perfect for fans of her previous series Bad Nana, with the same level of illustration and zany text throughout. 

  • Now or Never: A Dunkirk Story

    Author: Bali Rai
    Publisher: Scholastic Children’s Books
    Interest age: 10-13
    Reading age: 9+

    Narrated by Private Fazal Khan, a young Muslim soldier in Company 32 of the Royal Indian Army Service Corps, this is a moving and insightful account of a key event in the Second World War. Fifteen-year-old Fazal runs away from his family in northern India and lies about his age to join up and serve the British Empire, just as his grandfather did during World…

  • Heroes: Incredible True Stories of Courageous Animals

    Author: David Long & Kerry Hyndman
    Publisher: Faber & Faber
    Interest age: 7-11
    Reading age: 8+

    For as long as there have been wars, animals have been saving lives. So begins the short preface to this fascinating and heartwarming book, featuring 33 true stories of heroic animals in wartime.