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BookTrust Represents: Teen

Follow Me Down

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 teen/ya books by authors and illustrators of colour. 

Picture book list

Middle Grade list

  • Bitter Sixteen

    Author: Stefan Mohamed

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Bitter Sixteen

    Author: Stefan Mohamed

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    Funny, sharp and totally original, Bitter Sixteen is the beginning of a trilogy about a tremendously appealing smart-mouthed Welsh…

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  • Black Sheep

    Author: Na’ima B Robert

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Black Sheep

    Author: Na’ima B Robert

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    Dwayne is sixteen, disengaged from home and school, and a reluctant member of a Brixton gang. When he meets ambitious Misha, the t…

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  • Bone Talk

    Author: Candy Gourlay

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Bone Talk

    Author: Candy Gourlay

    Interest level: 10+

    Reading age: 10+

    Samkad is a boy from a remote Filipino "headhunter" tribe called Bontok in the highlands of the Philippines, back in around 1899 –…

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  • Booked

    Author: Kwame Alexander

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Booked

    Author: Kwame Alexander

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    From fast-paced football matches to school and family drama, this novel written in verse has something for everyone and will grip …

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  • Chasing the Stars

    Author: Malorie Blackman

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 14+

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  • Chasing the Stars

    Author: Malorie Blackman

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 14+

    Blackman's skilful retelling of Shakespeare's Othello in a futuristic space setting is thrilling and romantic. The characters are …

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  • Follow Me Down

    Author: Tanya Byrne

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 14+

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  • Follow Me Down

    Author: Tanya Byrne

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 14+

    Adamma isn't too impressed to be leaving her life in New York for an exclusive English boarding school. But then she meets Scarlet…

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  • Heart-Shaped Bruise

    Author: Tanya Byrne

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • Heart-Shaped Bruise

    Author: Tanya Byrne

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 13+

    Lying forgotten on top of a wardrobe at the Archway Young Offenders institution is a notebook. Inside its pages, the notorious Emi…

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  • Inheritance

    Author: Balli Kaur Jaswal

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Inheritance

    Author: Balli Kaur Jaswal

    Interest level: 14+

    Reading age: 10+

    As a newly-independent Singapore struggles to establish its own identity and economic stability, a single father in the Punjabi Si…

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  • Jade

    Author: Millie Murray

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Jade

    Author: Millie Murray

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 12+

    Jade's mum was forced to give up a promising career as a model when she became pregnant and ended up a teen mum, married too young…

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  • Liccle Bit

    Author: Alex Wheatle

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Liccle Bit

    Author: Alex Wheatle

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 12+

    At school Lemar, also known as Liccle Bit due to his height, is like any teenage boy. He's in love with a girl who barely notices …

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  • Long Way Down

    Author: Jason Reynolds Illustrator: Chris Priestley

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • Long Way Down

    Author: Jason Reynolds Illustrator: Chris Priestley

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    Written in verse, Long Way Down is breathtakingly gripping and spectacular. You almost read it without breathing; the ac…

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  • On the Come Up

    Author: Angie Thomas

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • On the Come Up

    Author: Angie Thomas

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    On the Come Up is a classic in the making, an inspiring coming-of-age story that gets right to the heart of what it means to …

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  • Orangeboy

    Author: Patrice Lawrence

    Interest level: 15+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • Orangeboy

    Author: Patrice Lawrence

    Interest level: 15+

    Reading age: 13+

    A boy that no one notices becomes a target on the run, when a tragic event prompts him to mix with a world of street gangs and dru…

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  • Rani and Sukh

    Author: Bali Rai

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • Rani and Sukh

    Author: Bali Rai

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

    A vivid, fast-moving take on the Romeo and Juliet story, exploring the experience of young urban British Asians as they negot…

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  • Rose, Interrupted

    Author: Patrice Lawrence

    Interest level: 13-17

    Reading age: 10+

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  • Rose, Interrupted

    Author: Patrice Lawrence

    Interest level: 13-17

    Reading age: 10+

    A dramatic, thoughtful and compelling coming-of-age novel, in which 17-year-old Rose must learn to navigate the unspoken rules of …

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  • That Asian Kid

    Author: Savita Kalhan

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • That Asian Kid

    Author: Savita Kalhan

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    Fifteen-year-old Jeevan witnesses two teachers snogging (and more) in the woods, and films it on his phone. But should he share th…

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  • The Hate U Give

    Author: Angie Thomas

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • The Hate U Give

    Author: Angie Thomas

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 12+

    The Hate U Give is rightly named by many critics as one of the most important books of 2017. It's a profound, deeply compelling mo…

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  • The Hidden Star

    Author: K Sello Duiker

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • The Hidden Star

    Author: K Sello Duiker

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 11+

    Part mystery, part quest, this book uses magic realism to tell an absorbing story about friendship and courage, which is filled wi…

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  • The Jungle

    Author: Pooja Puri

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • The Jungle

    Author: Pooja Puri

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 12+

    Mico is a young African boy who's lost his family and livelihood, and is trying to get to safety in England. Stuck in the notoriou…

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  • The Novice

    Author: Taran Matharu

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  • The Novice

    Author: Taran Matharu

    Interest level:

    Reading age:

    If you enjoyed Eragon by Christopher Paolini or you are a fan of The Hobbit then this is the book for you.

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  • The Poet X

    Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

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  • The Poet X

    Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 13+

    Xiomara, a teenage girl of Dominican heritage, is starting to notice boys, but her strict Catholic parents have decided on no cont…

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  • You Must Be Layla

    Author: Yassmin Abdel-Magied

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

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  • You Must Be Layla

    Author: Yassmin Abdel-Magied

    Interest level: 9+

    Reading age: 9+

    Layla's first week at her new school isn't going well - she's the only child there to wear a Muslim headscarf, and she's already b…

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  • You’re Not Here

    Author: Tariq Mehmood

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 12+

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  • You’re Not Here

    Author: Tariq Mehmood

    Interest level: 13+

    Reading age: 12+

    17-year-old Jake Marlesden's soldier brother has been killed while out in action in Afghanistan, and Jake is in love with Leila Kh…

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  • Wolf Light

    Author: Yaba Badoe

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 11+

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  • Wolf Light

    Author: Yaba Badoe

    Interest level: 12+

    Reading age: 11+

    Three girls, far apart in the world, are born with magical powers into a sisterhood. Together, they must defend the planet they sh…

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