BookTrust Represents: Research into representation of people of colour among children’s book authors and illustrators

We know from years of experience that representational voices in children’s books are important for all children from all backgrounds. That’s why we have set up this far-reaching research project with University College London.

The British children’s book sector is thriving. More children’s books are sold in the UK than ever before. 

However, our research shows that the group of people that create these books do not reflect the makeup of the UK.

Key findings from our research

The research project looks at the representation of authors and illustrators of colour in children’s books published in the UK over an 11-year period, between 2007 and 2017. This report, commissioned by BookTrust, seeks to establish a clear picture of who writes and illustrates the books our children read.

The analysis reveals:

Read the full news story

Read the full BookTrust Represents report

This 2019 report was authored by Melanie Ramdarshan Bold, a Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor at University College London, and was commissioned by BookTrust, the UK's largest children's reading charity. 

'It’s clear from this research that there is still a way to go before we have a truly representative canon of children’s literature. However, this report also highlights the positive things that are happening across the sector... 
'We’re interested in making real change, so we’re using this pioneering research as a springboard for our BookTrust Represents project to support and encourage more authors and illustrators of colour to become successful children’s book creators.' Diana Gerald, BookTrust CEO

BookTrust Represents

Our three-year project promotes and supports children’s authors and illustrators of colour, so young readers find the books that represent them.

Learn more about BookTrust Represents