Celebrating and Reflecting Our Diversity: Book List for 8 -12 Year Olds

By Spread Book Joy

By Spread Book Joy

Our choice of books is critical in order to promote children’s senses of identity and self-worth; they are also invaluable in promoting and encouraging discussions about discrimination which we know are crucial to challenging discrimination in all its forms. 

Lightning Girl

Katy Birchall and Alesha Dixon

£6.99 £6.50

9+ Aurora Beam discovers that her mum is a secret superhero and finds out she has her own powers. When she meets her mum's evil twin, she has to choose between being a super hero or a super villain...

The Boy At the Back of the Class

Onjali Q. Rauf and Pippa Curnick

£7.99 £7.43

9+ A new boy joins the narrator's class and they discover that he is a refugee called Ahmet who was separated from his family. His new friends think they might be able to help. This is a wonderful, heart-warming and important book highlighting the plight of refugees.

Sky Song

Abi Elphinstone

£6.99 £6.50

9+ Eska, Flint and Blu set out to save the kingdom of Erkenwald from the Ice Queen. Blu has Down's Syndrome. It is refreshing to see a strong character such as Blu represented with love and sensitivity where her condition is just incidental to the story.

The Undefeated

Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson

£7.99 £7.43

Ode to Black History from celebrated author Kwame Alexander.

High-Rise Mystery

Sharna Jackson

£6.99 £6.50

9+ It's the hottest summer on record in London and someone in Nik and Norva's high-rise block, the Tri, has been murdered. Can they solve the mystery before the summer holiday is over?

Mic Drop

Sharna Jackson

£6.99 £6.50

9+ Nik and Norva's adventures continue in this second book.

The London Eye Mystery

Siobhan Dowd

£6.99 £6.50

9+ Ted and his sister Kat are waiting for their cousin Salim to finish his ride on the London Eye. But when the doors open, Salim is nowhere to be found. Ted's brain 'runs on a different operating system' to other people's and this might just save the day. A neurodivergent narrator who let's us glimpse the world as he sees it.

The Goldfish Boy

LISA THOMPSON

£6.99 £6.50

9+ Matthew has crippling OCD which means he stays home most of the time looking out of his window. Which makes him the last person to see his neighbour's son before he disappears. Can Matthew solve the mystery?

Wonder

R J Palacio

£7.99 £7.43

9+ August Pullman has never been to school before because he has Treacher-Collins Syndrome and spent most of his life having surgeries and being home-schooled. We join him as he starts in fifth grade and tries to make friends and deal with bullying. One of the best books to teach children empathy.

A Pocketful of Stars

Aisha Bushby

£6.99 £6.50

9+ Safiya's mum doesn't understand her passion for gaming and she feels like an outsider at school. When her mum ends up in a coma, Safiya finds herself in a magical world that reminds her of one of her games and meets a mysterious, rebellious girl who looks familiar.

A Kind of Spark

Elle McNicoll

£6.99 £6.50

9+ Addie is a neurodivergent girl who campaigns to have a memorial to women killed in witchcraft trials in her town because she empathises with them being seen as different. At the same time she is the target of cruel behaviour from a girl in her class. An important book which demonstrates the challenges faced by autistic children and adults.

Bill's New Frock

Anne Fine

£5.99 £5.57

7+ Bill wakes up one day and he is a girl. His mum makes him wear a frilly, pink dress to school and Bill discovers that things are somehow different when you are a girl.

Tall Story

Candy Gourlay

£6.99 £6.50

9+ Andi loves basketball and wishes she could be taller. When her half-brother Bernardo comes to live with them from the Phillipines, she hopes he is tall and likes basketball too. Turns out, he is actually taller than anyone she has ever seen! Told from both perspectives, we see how the siblings negotiate a clash of cultures and their own personal issues to build a relationship.

Song for A Whale

Lynne Kelly

£6.99 £6.50

9+ Iris was born deaf and lived with her deaf grandparents her whole life, until her grandfather dies and life just isn't the same. Then she finds out about a whale that can't communicate with other whales and she sets out on a journey determined to help.

Asha & the Spirit Bird

Jasbinder Bilan

£6.99 £6.50

9+ Asha's father has not been heard from in months and someone is threatening to ruin the family farm. With her friend Jeevan, Asha sets out on a journey through the Himalayas to find her father, guided by the spirit of her grandmother in the form of a majestic lamagaia - a huge bearded vulture. A fantastic book with a strong female lead.

Tamarind & the Star of Ishta

Jasbinder Bilan

£6.99 £6.50

9+ Tamarind has never met her mother's family before. When she goes to India to spend the summer with them, she discovers family secrets and a mysterious girl in the garden.

The Christmasaurus

Tom Fletcher and Shane Devries

£6.99 £6.50

7+ Ten-year-old William Trundle loves dinosaurs and enjoys his life at home and school until a bully called Brenda joins his class. Suddenly, William, a wheelchair-user, is made to feel different and alienated. He meets the Christmasaurus, who also feels different, and together they embark on an adventure.

The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch

Tom Fletcher and Shane Devries

£6.99 £6.50

The next in the Christmasaurus series continues the adventures of William Trundle.

Gender Swapped Fairy Tales

Karrie Fransman and Jonathan Plackett

£20.00 £18.60

These traditional tales have not been tampered in any other way aside from swapping the genders and the difference is said to be dazzling! Out on the 5th of November from Faber & Faber.

On the Move: Poems About Migration

Michael Rosen and Quentin Blake

£9.99 £9.29

In his new poetry collection, Michael Rosen explores his own family's experiences with migration, the Second World War and the Holocaust and global experiences of migration. A timely anthology.

Black and British: A short, essential history

David Olusoga

£6.99 £6.50

This is definitely one of the best books I have read recently and I think it is crucial for all classrooms to have a copy. I often struggle to find British focussed books in Black History Month and this is a refreshing and necessary book which details Black British history from the time of the Romans through to the present. Highly recommended!

Noor Inayat Khan

Sufiya Ahmed

£6.99 £6.50

The true story of British muslim World War Two hero, Noor-un-Nissa Inayat Khan, who became an undercover agent in France, transmitting vital information back to the Allies as a radio operator. An important and woefully overlooked hero an excellent historical figure study.

The Girl Who Stole an Elephant

Nizrana Farook

£7.99 £7.43

9+ Chaya and her friends go on an adventure through the jungle with an elephant after stealing the queen's jewels.

A Medal for Leroy

Michael Morpurgo

£6.99 £6.50

No Ballet Shoes in Syria

Catherine Bruton

£7.99 £7.43

The Boy in the Dress

David Walliams and Quentin Blake

£6.99 £6.50

Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories

R. J. Palacio

£7.99 £7.43

Amari and the Night Brothers

BB Alston

£12.99 £12.08

This Book Is Feminist: An Intersectional Primer for Next-Gen Changemakers

Jamia Wilson and Aurelia Durand

£8.99 £8.36

Proud of Me

Sarah Hagger-Holt

£6.99 £6.50

Children of the Quicksands

Efua Traore

£7.99 £7.43

Little People, BIG DREAMS: Treasury: 50 Stories from Brilliant Dreamers

Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara and Lisbeth Kaiser

£28.00 £26.04

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