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.

Choose diverse books

Order in curated book packs 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

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

BookTrust Represents is a three-year project created to promote children's authors and illustrators of colour. As part of the project we have put together booklists highlighting some of our favourite picture books by authors and illustrators of colour. 

BookTrust Represents: Middle Grade

BookTrust Represents is a three-year project created to promote children's authors and illustrators of colour. As part of the project we have put together booklists highlighting some of our favourite picture books by authors and illustrators of colour. 

BookTrust Represents: Teen

BookTrust Represents is a three-year project created to promote children's authors and illustrators of colour. As part of the project we have put together booklists highlighting some of our favourite picture books by authors and illustrators of colour. 

Arrange an author 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 Author's 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!

Discover new authors and illustrators of colour

Zanib Mian

Zanib Mian fell in love with writing at primary school. After studying molecular cell biology at University College London, she taught science in secondary school before deciding to move into children’s publishing. Zanib felt that characters from all minorities were missing from books for young children and launched Sweet Apple Publishers with a clear commit…

Read more about Zanib Mian

Sita Brahmachari

Sita Brahmachari is a multi-award-winning writer of novels, plays, novellas and short stories. Sita's first novel, Artichoke Hearts, won the Waterstones Children's Book Award and was voted in the Guardian's top 50 books celebrating diversity since the 1950s. Her subsequent Carnegie-nominated novels are: Jasmine Skies, Red Leaves…

Read more about Sita Brahmachari

Joseph Coelho

Joseph Coelho is an award-winning children's author, performance poet and playwright based in London. His debut poetry collection, Werewolf Club Rules, was the 2015 winner of the CLPE CLiPPA Poetry Award. His second book, Overheard in a Tower Block, was shortlisted for the 2018 CLPE CLiPPA Poetry Award and is longlisted for the 2019 UKLA Book Awards. Joseph …

Read more about Joseph Coelho

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.

Authorfy

Authorfy Club is the new creative writing after school club that's sweeping the nation. With writing challenges set by bestselling children's authors and workshops packed with games, activities, group work and more, Authorfy is inspiring the next generation of storytellers and bringing children closer to their favourite writers than ever before.

What's more, if you order a box, you'll get all of the resources in the post, there's zero planning or marking required, and you can raise £1000+ for your school at the same time. 

Find out more about Authorfy