Among the Shelves – Children’s Books

One of our key roles, as a library, is to enable access to information. We stock a wide range of materials, do not censor published content, promote understanding and provide good quality information that helps people educate and inform themselves. To challenge prejudice and discrimination we will be celebrating black authors, diversity and cultural role models with a selection of good books – all of which can be found on our shelves.

This will include fictional and factual titles for all ages in three different blogs, in our second blog we’re looking at some amazing children’s titles. These books are all available through the BorrowBox App or if you prefer physical books our new Ready Reads book collection service gives you access to a selection of books – chosen for you by our team.

If you missed our first blog with Adult Non-Fiction titles, you can find it here.

Superheroes are Everywhere
by Kamala Harris

Before Kamala Harris became a district attorney and a United States senator, she was a little girl who loved superheroes. And when she looked around, she was amazed to find them everywhere! In her family, among her friends, even down the street–there were superheroes wherever she looked. And those superheroes showed her that all you need to do to be a superhero is to be the best that you can be.

Available as eAudiobook
Suitable for ages: 3+

I Believe I Can
by Grace Byers

I Believe I Can is an affirmation for boys and girls of every background to love and believe in themselves.Actress and activist Grace Byers and artist Keturah A. Bobo return with another gorgeously illustrated new classic that’s the perfect gift for baby showers, birthdays, or just for reading at home again and again.My presence matters in this world. I know I can do anything, if only I believe I can.

Available as eAudiobook
Suitable for ages: 4+

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
by Vashti Harrison

Featuring 40 trailblazing black women in the world’s history, this book educates and inspires as it relates true stories of women who broke boundaries and exceeded all expectations. Debut author/illustrator Vashti Harrison pairs captivating text with stunning illustrations as she tells the stories of both iconic and lesser-known female figures of black history – from nurse Mary Seacole, to politician Diane Abbott, mathematician Katherine Johnson and singer Shirley Bassey.Among these biographies, readers will find heroes, role models and everyday women who did extraordinary things.

Available as eBook and physical books
Suitable for ages: 4+

Runaway Robot
by Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Runaway Robot is a funny and heartwarming adventure about two best friends helping put themselves back together.

Available as eBooks, eAudiobook and physical book
Suitable for ages: 7+

I can make this promise
by Christine Day

All her life, Edie has known that her mom was adopted by a white couple. So, no matter how curious she might be about her Native American heritage, Edie is sure her family doesn’t have any answers.
Until the day when she and her friends discover a box hidden in the attic—a box full of letters signed “Love, Edith,” and photos of a woman who looks just like her.
Suddenly, Edie has a flurry of new questions about this woman who shares her name. Could she belong to the Native family that Edie never knew about? But if her mom and dad have kept this secret from her all her life, how can she trust them to tell her the truth now?

Available as eBook and eAudiobook
Suitable for ages: 7+

Pavi Sharma’s guide to going home 
by Bridget Farr

12-year-old Pavi Sharma is an expert at the ‘front door face’: the mix of puppy dog eyes and a lemonade smile, the exact combination to put foster parents at ease as they open their front door to welcome you in. After four foster families and two shelter stays, Pavi is a foster care expert, and runs a ‘business’ teaching other foster kids all she has gleaned. With a wonderful foster family in mom Marjorie and brother Hamilton, things are on the upswing for Pavi. Then during a visit to her old group home, Pavi meets Meridee: a new five-year-old foster kid, who is getting placed at Pavi’s first horrendous foster home. Pavi knows no one will listen to a kid, so she makes it her responsibility to save Meridee. With help from brooding eigth grader Santos, Hamilton, and his somewhat obnoxious BFF Piper, this rag-tag group will set off on an important mission to keep Meridee from the home that haunts Pavi’s nightmares.

Available as eAudiobook and physical book
Suitable for ages: 7+

Cookie!
by Konnie Huq

Cookie’s life is basically over. Her best friend in the whole world is moving to Solihull because one of her dads has a new job there. Solihull?! Where even is that?! Cookie begs her parents for a pet to fill the void but they have given her an absolute NO. It would be way too expensive and way way too messy. But Cookie has never been a fan of the word ‘no’ so she visits the pet shop anyway and sets her heart on the sweetest cutest kitteniest kitten ever: Bluey. But then . . . DISASTER! The most ANNOYING boy she’s ever met in her entire nine years goes into the pet shop, buys Bluey and renames her Nigel! And then he joins her year at school! And if that wasn’t bad enough, he moves in next door to her. AAAAGGGGHHHHH! But it’s not all bad . . . Cookie gets the chance to go on her favourite TV show, Brainbusters. It’s only a chance though – she’ll have to win the school science competition first. It shouldn’t be too hard . . . all she has to do is keep her head down, and not get too over-excited. Unfortunately that’s not Cookie’s strong point . . .

Available as eBooks, eAudiobook and physical book
Suitable for ages: 7+

Freedom
by Catherine Johnson

Nathaniel doesn’t want to move to England with his master’s family, leaving behind his mother and sister on the Jamaican plantation. But then he remembers what his mother told him: once a slave sets foot on English soil, they’re free. Perhaps he can earn his fortune and buy his family’s freedom, too. When Nat arrives in London, he soon discovers that his mother was wrong. Nat refuses to live like a caged bird, and seizes the first opportunity to escape. Alone on the streets of London, he hears the story of a nightmare ship, the Zong, where over a hundred slaves were thrown overboard. Now, those responsible face a trial. Will the world continue to turn a blind eye to the horrors of slavery? And can Nat really evade his masters forever?

Available as eBook and physical book
Suitable for ages: 8+

Pie in the Sky
by Remy Lai

When Jingwen moves to Australia, he feels like he’s landed on Mars. School is torture, making friends is impossible, since he doesn’t speak English, and he’s stuck looking after his (extremely irritating) little brother, Yanghao. To distract himself from the loneliness, Jingwen daydreams about making all the cakes on the menu of the bakery his father had planned to open before he unexpectedly passed away. The only problem is his mother’s rule: no using the oven while she’s at work. As Jingwen and Yanghao bake more elaborate cakes, they’ll have to cook up more elaborate excuses to keep their baking a secret–and continue the dream their father started.

Available as eBook, eAudiobook and physical book
Suitable for ages: 8+

Crossover
by Kwame Alexander

‘With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering.Cuz tonight I’m delivering’12-year-old Josh and his twin Jordan have basketball in their blood. They’re kings of the court, star players for their school team. Their father used to be a champion player and they each want nothing more than to follow in his footsteps.Both on and off the court, there is conflict and hardship which will test Josh’s bond with his brother. In this heartfelt novel in verse, the boys find that life doesn’t come with a play-book and it’s not all about winning.

Available as eBook and physical book
Suitable for ages: 9+

Asha & the Spirit Bird
by Jasbinder Bilan

Asha lives in the foothills of the Himalayas. Money is tight and she misses her papa who works in the city. When he suddenly stops sending his wages, a ruthless moneylender ransacks their home and her mother talks of leaving.
From her den in the mango tree, Asha makes a pact with her best friend, Jeevan, to find her father and make things right. But the journey is dangerous: they must cross the world’s highest mountains and face hunger, tiredness – even snow leopards.

And yet, Asha has the unshakeable sense that the spirit bird of her grandmother – her nanijee – will be watching over her.

Available as eBook and physical book
Suitable for ages: 9+

No Ballet Shoes in Syria
by Catherine Bruton

When Aya stumbles across a local ballet class, the formidable dance teacher spots her exceptional talent and believes that Aya has the potential to earn a prestigious ballet scholarship. But at the same time, Aya and her family must fight to be allowed to remain in the country, to make a home for themselves, and to find Aya’s father – separated from the rest of the family during the journey from Syria. With beautiful, captivating writing, wonderfully authentic ballet detail, and an important message championing the rights of refugees, this is classic storytelling – filled with warmth, hope and humanity.

Available as eBook and physical book
Suitable for ages: 9+

These are just some of the titles in our collection, check out the full collection over on BorrowBox, and find out more about black British authors and their amazing work in our 2019 Black History Month Blog!

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