Support for schools

We want to get every child in your school reading. And for that we need a range of different voices, not just for children to see themselves in books, but for all children to have the rich reading experience they deserve.

Alex Wheatle school visit

Why representation matters

Inclusive children's literature is vital. Children's books can act as mirrors, to reflect the readers' own lives and also as windows so readers can learn about, understand and appreciate the lives of others. They can shape how young readers from minority backgrounds see themselves as well as how readers from the more dominate culture see and understand diversity. The absence of an inclusive range of characters or creative role models in children's literature has the potential to deter children from minority backgrounds from reading and experiencing the associated benefits.

Read BookTrust's research with UCL on representation of people of colour among children's book creators

Read CLPE's research on ethnic representation of characters in children's literature here Reflecting Realities

If you're a teacher or school librarian, here's how you can shine a spotlight on diverse authors/illustrators and improve representation in your school.

Happy Here

Happy Here is an exciting new book for primary school aged children featuring inspiring stories from emerging and established black British authors and illustrators. We've partnered with CLPE to bring representation and inclusive stories into the classroom through teaching esources, author visits, and more.

Find out how you can get involved

Arrange a school visit

Bring reading to life in your school with an author visit.

Find out how to organise an author or illustrator visit

Find ways to connect with authors and illustrators on social media

Get in touch with Authors Aloud who can organise a visit for you

Make sure you use our Breaking New Ground brochure to discover more authors and illustrators of colour to bring to your school and also keep an eye on these pages!

Order diverse book packs

Get curated books for key stages 1-4

These useful book packs were selected by Letterbox Library, supported by BookTrust Represents:

UK Voices: British Authors and Illustrators of Colour Pack Key Stage 1 & 2

UK Voices: British Authors and Illustrators of Colour Pack Key Stage 3 & 4

More books to try

We've put together lists of some great books from writers and illustrators of colour that you might like to try.

BookTrust Represents: Picture Books

Check out some of our favourite picture books by authors and illustrators of colour. 

BookTrust Represents: Middle Grade

Have a look at the great middle grade books by authors and illustrators of colour. 

BookTrust Represents: Teen

Browse our list of brilliant teen/ya books by authors and illustrators of colour. 

Discover new authors and illustrators of colour

Sharna Jackson

Sharna Jackson is the Artistic Director of Site Gallery, Sheffield and a board member of Sheffield Doc/Fest, Upswing Aerial Arts and New Writing North. She has previously worked as a creative producer with the Tate, BAFTA, The Design Museum, The Royal Collection Trust, Museum of Childhood, V&A, Science Museum, Penguin amongst others. An advocate for dive…

Read more about Sharna Jackson

Poonam Mistry

Poonam Mistry is a freelance illustrator living in Leicester who graduated in 2010 with a degree in graphic design and illustration from the University of Hertfordshire. Her style incorporates her love of nature and her Indian roots and explores the relationships between pattern, shapes and colour. Poonam’s upbringing and childhood have heavily influenced he…

Read more about Poonam Mistry

Na’ima B Robert

Na’ima B Robert is an African Muslim woman of mixed descent who grew up in Zimbabwe. She sees writing for children as ‘writing a love letter to the next generation’. She writes to reflect experiences that are often unspoken, unexplored and uncelebrated and to show ‘the complexity and beauty of our struggles and triumphs as nonmembers of the dominant culture’…

Read more about Na’ima B Robert

The Breaking New Ground brochure is the product of a joint initiative by Speaking Volumes, BookTrust and Pop Up Projects that showcases over 100 contemporary British writers and illustrators of colour, all creating quality literature, stories and images for children and young adults.

Stay in touch

Sign up to our schools mailing list and be the first to hear about BookTrust Represents news and opportunities for schools.

See our newsletters