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Black History Month

Son of the Circus

For Black History Month we have put together a booklist of historical stories from Black History around the world.

From picture books to teen novels, spanning fiction and non-fiction, these books are bound to captivate and inform.

  • Sawbones

    Author: Catherine Johnson

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • Sawbones

    Author: Catherine Johnson

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 11+

    In 18th century London, 16-year-old Ezra is working as apprentice to a highly respected surgeon, William McAdam. 

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  • Freedom (1783)

    Author: Catherine Johnson

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 9-12

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  • Freedom (1783)

    Author: Catherine Johnson

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 9-12

    This is a brilliant adventure story that manages to give young readers a really important insight into slavery without being so up…

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  • How High the Moon

    Author: Karyn Parsons

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 9-12

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  • How High the Moon

    Author: Karyn Parsons

    Interest level: 9-12

    Reading age: 9-12

    Inspired by the tragic true story of the youngest American ever to be executed, this ambitious novel weaves together family drama …

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  • Ella: Queen of Jazz

    Author: Helen Hancocks

    Interest level: 7+

    Reading age: 6+

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  • Ella: Queen of Jazz

    Author: Helen Hancocks

    Interest level: 7+

    Reading age: 6+

    A focus on early prejudice towards Ella Fitzgerald and her unlikely friendship between Marilyn Monroe. The illustrations' glorious…

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  • A Medal for Leroy

    Author: Michael Morpurgo Illustrator: Michael Foreman

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 8+

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  • A Medal for Leroy

    Author: Michael Morpurgo Illustrator: Michael Foreman

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 8+

    A moving story of love, loss and discovering your identity, inspired by the true story of Walter Tull, the first black officer in …

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  • Queer Heroes

    Author: Arabelle Sicardi Illustrator: Sarah Tanat-Jones

    Interest level: 6-11

    Reading age: 7+

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  • Queer Heroes

    Author: Arabelle Sicardi Illustrator: Sarah Tanat-Jones

    Interest level: 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…

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  • Coram Boy

    Author: Jamila Gavin

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Coram Boy

    Author: Jamila Gavin

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    Coram Boy is the story of Toby, saved from an African ship as a child, and Aaron, the illegitimate son of the heir to a great esta…

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  • Grandad Mandela

    Author: Zazi Ziwelene & Zindzi Mandela Illustrator: Sean Qualls

    Interest level: 5-8

    Reading age: 6+

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  • Grandad Mandela

    Author: Zazi Ziwelene & Zindzi Mandela Illustrator: Sean Qualls

    Interest level: 5-8

    Reading age: 6+

    This insightful and uplifting picture book recounts the life of Nelson Mandela through the eyes of his great-grandchildren, Zazi a…

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  • A Nest Of Vipers

    Author: Catherine Johnson

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • A Nest Of Vipers

    Author: Catherine Johnson

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 10+

    We meet Cato Hopkins in Newgate Prison in September 1712, on the morning of the day he is due to be hanged for fraud.

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  • Buffalo Soldier

    Author: Tanya Landman

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • Buffalo Soldier

    Author: Tanya Landman

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 11+

    A moving, gritty and convincing teenage historical drama where love and loyalty take on prejudice and greed.

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  • The World Beneath

    Author: Janice Warman

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • The World Beneath

    Author: Janice Warman

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    This short novel could introduce an important part of our very recent history, apartheid in South Africa, for the first time to ma…

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  • Chains

    Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Chains

    Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 10+

    A brilliantly told, exciting story, with a brave and dignified heroine, which reveals the complexities of this chapter of American…

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  • Pirates!

    Author: Celia Rees

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • Pirates!

    Author: Celia Rees

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 11+

    Pirates! traces the adventures of Nancy Kington and Minerva Sharpe as they sail the high seas, often fighting for their lives, in …

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