Book Review with James Cross

Recent events have caused a sharp focus onto the Black Lives Matter movement. I have taken some time to do some reading, and we have all no doubt seen many reading lists about becoming an anti racist be circulated. These are excellent and provide a great framework for educating yourself about race, privilege and just how insidious society can be in ‘othering’ and excluding those in the minority.

All of those lists are excellent, with a personal favourite being Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge.

What’s also important is diversifying the books we read for pleasure as well as ensuring our children read books with black protagonists.

Here are is a starting point for every age group:

Picture Book
Look Up by Nathan Byron and Dapo Adeola

This is a sweet and charming story of a little girl who wants to go to space when she is bigger, and how her brother shows his support. A sweet story with a strong familial bond being evidenced.

Children’s Fiction
High Rise Mystery by Sharna Jackson

For fans of Robin Stevens this is a contemporary detective story about two siblings graduating from solving petty offences in their tower block to the murders of a Community Arts teacher. Written with pitch perfect children’s voices and slang, this mystery is twisty and exciting. A real treat with a sequel just recently published.

Young Adult
And The Stars Were Burning Brightly by Danielle Jawando

A truly heart wrenching and affecting look at bullying and social media with Nate desperately investigating his brothers suicide. It’s dark, with moments of pure emotion, and some rays of hope. A tough, raw read, but ultimately very important.

Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

A fascinating look at a civil war era plantation through the eyes of Miss May Belle the respected community midwife and her daughter Rue. The story switches between before and after the slaves being freed.
While fiction, the author has done so much research using real accounts, diaries and other sources to provide a rich, thrilling setting.

Must Read

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