This Black History Month, we have been listening to and finding out about the voices and lives that are often ignored.
One way to do this is through the power of reading. A good book can help us to understand cultures that might be different from our own and open our eyes to a different perspective on life.
SMC librarian, Ms Thow, has collated a range of book recommendations to help us explore different perspectives. The list is split by suggested year group ages, although they can all be enjoyed by adults too. We hope you might find a new title to read over half-term.
'High Rise Mystery' by Sharna Jackson
The detective duo everyone is dying to meet! Summer in London is hot, the hottest on record, and there's been a murder in THE TRI: the high-rise home to resident know-it-alls, Nik and Norva. Who better to solve the case? Armed with curiosity, home-turf knowledge and unlimited time - until the end of the summer holidays anyway. The first whodunnit in a new mystery series by Sharna Jackson.
'What is Race? Who are Racists? Why Does Skin colour Matter? And Other Big Questions Answered' by Nikesh Shukla and Claire Heuchan
An important and timely book on race and racism, encouraging children to think for themselves about the issues involved.
'The Rebound' by Kwame Alexander
Charlie Bell is still mourning his father and struggling to figure out how he feels for his best (girl) friend, CJ. When he gets into trouble one too many times, he's packed off to stay with his grandparents for the summer. There his cousin Roxie introduces him to a whole new world: basketball. A legend on the courts is born. But can Charlie resist when trouble comes knocking once again?
'My Name is Tani' by Tanitoluwa Adewumi
In My Name is Tani, we witness the crossfire between miracle and mayhem. A young boy with only a dream in his heart recounts his harrowing escape from Boko Haram’s grips and changes his destiny in the process when he finds purpose in the most unlikely of places a chess championship
'The Hate U Give' by Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl's struggle for justice.
'This Book Is Anti-Racist' by Tiffany Jewell
Who are you? What is racism? Where does it come from? Why does it exist? What can you do to disrupt it? Learn about social identities, the history of racism and resistance against it, and how you can use your anti-racist lens and voice to move the world toward equity and liberation.
'Noughts and Crosses' by Malorie Blackman
Sephy is a Cross - a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a Nought - a 'colourless' member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood. But that's as far as it can go. Until the first steps are taken towards more social equality and a limited number of Noughts are allowed into Cross schools. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity by Noughts, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum - a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger.
'100 Great Black Britons' by Patrick Vernon and Angelina Osborne
A long-overdue book honouring the remarkable achievements of key Black British individuals over many centuries, in collaboration with the 100 Great Black Britons campaign founded and run by Patrick Vernon OBE.
'The Underground Railroad' by Colson Whitehead
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. All the slaves lead a hellish existence, but Cora has it worse than most; she is an outcast even among her fellow Africans and she is approaching womanhood, where it is clear even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a slave recently arrived from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they take the perilous decision to escape to the North.
'Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race' by Reni Eddo-Lodge
Exploring everything from eradicated black history to the inextricable link between class and race, Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race is the essential handbook for anyone who wants to understand race relations in Britain today.
'Girl, Woman Other' by Bernardine Evaristo
From Newcastle to Cornwall, from the birth of the twentieth century to the teens of the twenty-first, Girl, Woman, Other follows a cast of twelve characters on their personal journeys through this country and the last hundred years. They're each looking for something - a shared past, an unexpected future, a place to call home, somewhere to fit in, a lover, a missed mother, a lost father, even just a touch of hope . . .
'Natives' by Akala
Covering everything from the police, education and identity to politics, sexual objectification and the far right, Natives speaks directly to British denial and squeamishness when it comes to confronting issues of race and class that are at the heart of the legacy of Britain's racialised empire.
Thank you to Miss Thow for these recommendations. We hope that you share them with your friends and family.