October is Black History Month, an opportunity to celebrate and learn about the achievements and contributions of the black community in the UK and around the world. It’s also important to celebrate black authors and their books this month.
This book list has some fantastic book suggestions for primary and secondary school readers, including non-fiction books celebrating courageous and inspiring individuals, and stunning contemporary fiction featuring black protagonists by black authors.
A first non-fiction series with large photos and simple text, introducing key figures to early readers. Each title is written in conjunction with a literacy consultant and features book band guidance and downloadable activity sheets online.
For age 5+
Black Stories Matter
Discover inspiring black men and women through history, from artists to inventors, in this beautifully illustrated biography collection.
For age 7+
This series brings together a wide range of events and experiences from the past to promote knowledge and understanding of black culture today.
For age 11+
Black History Matters
A chronicle of thousands of years of black history, from African kingdoms, to slavery, apartheid, the battle for civil rights and much more. Important and inspiring black personalities, from Olaudah Equiano to Oprah Winfrey, are highlighted throughout, while achievements and progress are balanced alongside a look at the issues that many black communities continue to face.
For age 11+
The History of the African and Caribbean Communities in Britain
A look at the history of African and Caribbean communities in Britain, with information on why people came to Britain, the problems they faced, and the contribution they have made to British society. Includes case studies and some rarely published photographs.
For age 12+
For more non-fiction books, download a flyer here
Fiction Reading List
The Black Flamingo
A stunning coming-of-age novel written in verse, The Black Flamingo follows Michael from boyhood through to university as he explores and comes to understand his identity as a mixed-race gay man, finding his wings at the SU Drag Society as The Black Flamingo. Accessible and beautifully written, Dean Atta’s first YA book is a must-read.
Read post: Dean Atta: On Writing The Black Flamingo
Eight Pieces of Silva
From the multi-award-winning author of Orangeboy, an addictive mystery that refuses to let you go long after you turn the final page. Can Becks piece the jigsaw together and find her sister before Silva loses herself?
Patrice Lawrence is a leading name in UK YA, writing brilliant stories and bringing a unique perspective on life as a teenager today.
Download the Eight Pieces of Silva playlist
Black Panther meets Ready Player One in this novel about virtual reality, safe spaces and celebrating your identity. A fierce teen game developer battles a real-life troll intent on ruining the Black Panther-inspired video game she created and the safe community it represents for black gamers.