BookTrust Represents

BookTrust Represents is a project created to promote and improve the representation of people of colour in children’s books so that all children read a range of books that reflect them and their wider communities. 

Illustration: "Tiles" by Shirin Adl

Why representation matters

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. This is why we’ve launched BookTrust Represents. We want to help get the right books in children’s hands by supporting schools and creators of colour with the knowledge and opportunities needed to alleviate some of these complex barriers.

Read the story: Representation in children's books still not reflective of society, says BookTrust and CLPE

NEW: Read BookTrust's research with CLPE on representation of people of colour among children’s book creators in the UK 

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 

Discover #PassThePen

#PassThePen is a brand new initiative from BookTrust Represents and Waterstones Children's Laureate Cressida Cowell to promote emerging authors and illustrators of colour.

From 16-20 November, high-profile hosts will hand over their Instagram accounts to up-and-coming creators to give them a chance to showcase their work.

Find out more about #PassThePen

Discover the #PassThePen booklist

Authors and illustrators of colour at a BookTrust Represents development day

Authors and illustrators of colour

Are you an author or illustrator looking for support or to expand your knowledge and reach in publishing? Join our growing community and discover the amazing development and networking opportunities available for established and emerging authors and illustrators of colour.

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Illustrator Yasmeen Ismail at a visit to Hawksworth Wood Primary School

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.

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More about BookTrust and what we do

Books can change lives

Our programmes

Find out more about how we support families and practitioners to get children reading for fun.

Why reading matters

Getting children and families reading for pleasure

Find out about the impact of our work and read testimonials to discover how it has made a real difference to practitioners, parents, carers and children.

Bookmark: books and disability

Information on disability and children's books

Find advice and book recommendations for families, teachers, librarians, authors and publishers.