5 brilliant books chosen by Joseph Coelho

Published on: 09 January 2024

Waterstones Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho has chosen five fantastic books by people of colour to find in your local library or bookshop.

Check out his Bookmaker Like You virtual event and find more information about authors and illustrators of colour through our BookTrust Represents programme.

Joseph Coelho and the front covers of The Past Master, Stop! That's Not My Story, Flight, Sala Mountain Warrior, and The Girl Who Became a Fish

1. The Past Master by Patience Agbabi

The fourth installment in Patience Agbabi's Leap Cycle series is a time-travelling adventure – will time-travelling Elle get to protect the past and save our future?

Check out our review of the first book

2. Stop! That's Not My Story by Smriti Halls, illustrated by Erika Meza

A gorgeous picture book about finding yourself in a story, touching on some well-known fairytales and beautifully illustrated by Erika Meza.

3. Flight by Mya-Rose Craig, illustrated by Lynn Scarfield

Ever wondered about the migrations of birds? In this beautiful narrative non-fiction picture book you can discover the ins and outs of bird migration, following the routes of seven different birds.

4. Sala, Mountain Warrior by Wakanyi Hoffman, illustrated by Onyinye Iwu

A beautiful picture book about perseverance, set in the Samburu region of northern Kenya. Will Sala climb the mountain near her home? What stories will she unleash?

5. The Girl Who Became a Fish by Polly Ho-Yen, illustrated by Sojung Kim-McCarthy

When her brothers leave her behind, Ita begins a journey that will see her transform into a fish! A magical chapter book.

Join Joseph Coelho for a very special Bookmaker Like You virtual author visit with special guests Sabine Adeyinka and Jasmine Richards on Wednesday, 24 January. The event is free for schools.

Find out more and register here


BookTrust Represents

BookTrust Represents has been created to promote and improve the representation of people of colour in children’s books.

It is important that all children have the opportunity to read a diverse range of books where they and their communities are represented.

Find out more