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BookTrust Represents: Middle Grade

The Boy at the Back of the Class

BookTrust Represents is a three-year project created to promote children’s authors and illustrators of colour. 

Books play an important role as mirrors for children: these stories and characters will affect how they see themselves and the world around them, their motivation to read, and their aspirations to become authors and illustrators of the future. 

However, finding books that truly reflect the diversity of families in the UK is challenging. Over the past 11 years, fewer than 2% of all authors and/or illustrators of children's books published in the UK were British people of colour.

Find out more

As part of the project we have put together booklists highlighting some of our favourite middle grade books by authors and illustrators of colour. 

Picture book list

Teen list

  • A Dangerous Game

    Author: Malorie Blackman Illustrator: Mike Lowery

    Interest level: 8-11

    Reading age: 8+

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  • A Dangerous Game

    Author: Malorie Blackman Illustrator: Mike Lowery

    Interest level: 8-11

    Reading age: 8+

    Sam’s sickle-cell anaemia means he has trouble keeping up with the other boys in his class, but a school trip into the wild gives …

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  • Corey’s Rock

    Author: Sita Brahmachari Illustrator: Jane Ray

    Interest level: 7-10

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Corey’s Rock

    Author: Sita Brahmachari Illustrator: Jane Ray

    Interest level: 7-10

    Reading age: 8+

    Isla and her family move to the Orkney Islands from Edinburgh after Isla’s five-year-old brother Corey passes away. Soon, she lear…

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  • Cosmic Disco

    Author: Grace Nichols Illustrator: Alice Wright

    Interest level: 7-9

    Reading age: 7-9

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  • Cosmic Disco

    Author: Grace Nichols Illustrator: Alice Wright

    Interest level: 7-9

    Reading age: 7-9

    A poetry collection from the Guyana-born poet Grace Nichols that cover themes of seasons, planets and the cosmos for younger …

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  • Dave Pigeon

    Author: Swapna Haddow Illustrator: Sheena Dempsey

    Interest level: 6-7

    Reading age: 6-7

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  • Dave Pigeon

    Author: Swapna Haddow Illustrator: Sheena Dempsey

    Interest level: 6-7

    Reading age: 6-7

    Dave Pigeon, the brilliant pigeon mastermind, is determined to find and eat all of your biscuits. The expressive illustrations com…

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  • Ghost

    Author: Jason Reynolds Illustrator: Selom Sunu

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • Ghost

    Author: Jason Reynolds Illustrator: Selom Sunu

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 11+

    Three years ago Ghost’s dad chased him and his mum down the road with a gun. His dad got ten years in prison, and Ghost learned ho…

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  • High-Rise Mystery

    Author: Sharna Jackson

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • High-Rise Mystery

    Author: Sharna Jackson

    Interest level: 11+

    Reading age: 11+

    High-Rise Mystery is the perfect ‘whodunnit’. As the two girls sift through red herrings and reveal a series of tower block secret…

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  • Look Both Ways

    Author: Jason Reynolds Illustrator: Selom Sunu

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 9+

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  • Look Both Ways

    Author: Jason Reynolds Illustrator: Selom Sunu

    Interest level: 9-11

    Reading age: 9+

    Ten short stories about that strange time when school finishes and children of a certain age (usually around ten years old) get to…

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  • Patina

    Author: Jason Reynolds

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Patina

    Author: Jason Reynolds

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

    Elite runner Patina is a girl with a lot on her plate and she takes her responsibilities very seriously. The dialogue is cris…

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  • Phoenix

    Author: S F Said Illustrator: Dave McKean

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Phoenix

    Author: S F Said Illustrator: Dave McKean

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

    Lucky is on the run and joins up with a group of aliens - refugees from the ongoing war between aliens and humans - who agree to h…

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  • Shona, Word Detective

    Author: John Agard

    Interest level: 7-11

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Shona, Word Detective

    Author: John Agard

    Interest level: 7-11

    Reading age: 8+

    A delightful celebration of lexicography in a dyslexia-friendly layout, this is a book that will surely inspire all children to fi…

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  • Tall Story

    Author: Candy Gourlay

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 8+

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  • Tall Story

    Author: Candy Gourlay

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 8+

    Engagingly told in alternate chapters by four-foot, thirteen year-old Andi, in the UK, and her eight-foot, sixteen year-old half b…

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  • Toad Attack!

    Author: Patrice Lawrence Illustrator: Becka Moor

    Interest level: 7-10

    Reading age: 7+

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  • Toad Attack!

    Author: Patrice Lawrence Illustrator: Becka Moor

    Interest level: 7-10

    Reading age: 7+

    Leo is astounded when he is hit on the head by a flying toad on his way to school. His best friend Rosa is excited because one of …

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  • The Boy in the Tower

    Author: Polly Ho-Yen

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • The Boy in the Tower

    Author: Polly Ho-Yen

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

    Taking place in a believable urban, multicultural environment that will be familiar to many young readers, Polly Ho-Yen's debut is…

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