Seven Stories chooses 50 best books for cultural diversity

Seven Stories chooses 50 best books for cultural diversity

Writers such as Malorie Blackman, Sita Brahmachari and John Agard feature in the Seven Stories list of the 50 best children’s books that celebrate cultural diversity in the UK [see below for full list].
 
The initiative was first announced in July to promote books that explore diversity, either in terms of its story or the ethnic and cultural origins of the author or illustrator.
 
Kate Edwards, c.e.o. of Seven Stories, said: “Children’s books shape our earliest perceptions of the world and its cultures, building understanding, empathy and tolerance. Despite this there is still a lack of representation of children from different cultural backgrounds – especially as main characters.”
 
The list was chosen by four judges; Guardian children’s editor Julia Eccleshare, Brent Libraries manager Sarah Smith, Booktrust arts project manager Katherine Woodfine, and freelance children’s book consultant Jake Hope. The books are organised into four categories, 0+, 5+, 8+ and 13+.
 
In the early years category, the titles include Handa’s Surprise by Eileen Browne (Walker Books) and Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Caroline Binch (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books).
 
For readers aged 5+, the texts range from wordless stories, to picture books, graphic novels and short chapter books, and include Betsey Biggalow is Here by Malorie Blackman, illustrated by Jamie Smith (RHCP) and Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe (Puffin).
 
In the 8+ category there are books by Morris Gleitzman, Armin Greder and Beverley Naidoo, and for teenage readers there are titles from Tanya Landman, Sita Brahmachari, John Agard and Malorie Blackman.  
 
Seven Stories will now create four book packs—one for each age group. The packs will be sent to subscribers of Seven Stories’ Hooks Into Books scheme, and will also be sold via its shop.
 
 
The list in full:
 
Early Years (0+)
 
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Caroline Binch (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
Fruits: A Caribbean Counting Poem by Valerie Bloom, illustrated by David Axtell (Macmillan Children’s Books)
The Goggle-Eyed Goats by Stephen Davies, illustrated by Christopher Corr (Andersen Press)
Handa's Surprise by Eileen Browne (Walker Books)
Hue Boy by Rita Phillips Mitchell, illustrated by CarolineBinch (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
Leon and Bob by Simon James (Walker Books)
Not So Fast Songololo by Niki Daly (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
Over the Hills and Far Away, edited by Elizabeth Hammill (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
Ramadan Moon by Na’ima B. Robert, ilustrated by Shirin Adl (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
Rastamouse and the Crucial Plan by Michael De Souza, illustrated by GenevieveWebster (Little Roots)
So Much by Trish Cooke, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury (Walker Books)
Where’s Lenny? by Ken Wilson-Max (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
 
 
Young Readers (5+)
 
Azzi in Between by Sarah Garland (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
Betsey Biggalow is here by Malorie Blackman (Random House Children’s Books)
The Colour of Home by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Karin Littlewood (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
Fly, Eagle, Fly! by Christpher Gregorowski, illustrated by Niki Daly (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
A Hen in the Wardrobe by Wendy Meddour (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
Mirror by Jeannie Baker (Walker Books)
Kasia’s Surprise by Stella Gurney, illustrated by Petr Horacek (Walker Books)
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe (Puffin Children’s Books)
Number 1 Car Spotter by Atinuke (Walker Books)
Under the Moon and Over the Sea: A Collection of Caribbean Poems, edited by John Agard and Grace Nichols (Walker Books)
Walter Tull’s Scrap Book by Michaela Morgan (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
 
 
Older Readers (8+)
 
Boy Overboard by Morris Gleitzman (Puffin Children’s Books)
The Island by Armin Greder (Allen & Unwin Books for Children and Young Adults)
Jorney to Jo’Burg by Beverley Naidoo (Macmillan Children’s Books)
The Life of Stephen Lawrence by Verna Allette Wilkins, illustrated by Lynne Willey (Tamarind)
Little Leap Forward by Guo You, illustrated by Clare Farrow (Barefoot Books)
Oranges in No Man’s Land by Elizabeth Laird (Macmillan Children’s Books)
A Nest of Vipers by Catherine Johnson (Random House Children’s Books)
Talking Turkeys by Benjamin Zephaniah (Puffin)
Talk Story by Candy Gourlay (David Fickling Books)
Too Much Trouble by Tom Avery (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
Trash by Andy Mulligan (David Fickling Books)
The Trouble with Donovan Croft by Bernard Ashley (OUP Children’s Books)
The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce (Walker Books)
The Wheel of Surya by Jamila Gavin (Egmont)
 
 
Teenage Readers (13+)
 
Apache by Tanya Landman (Walker Books)
The Arrival by Shaun Tan (Hodder Children’s Books)
Artichoke Hearts by Sita Brahmachari (Macmillan Children’s Books)
Blood Donors by Steve Tasane (Walker Books)
The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis (OUP Children’s Books)
Half-Caste & Other Poems by John Agard (Hodder Children’s Books)
Moonfleece by Philip Ridley (Methuen)
Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman (Random House Children’s Books)
Palestine by Joe Sacco (Jonathan Cape)
Persepolis 1 & 2 by Marjane Strapi (Vintage)
Refugee Boy by Benjamin Zephaniah (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
(Un)arranged Marriage by Bali Rai (Random House Children’s Books)
The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)