‘Young, Gifted and Black’ is the celebratory, inspirational book the next generation (and previous generations) have been needing; especially as we need a bigger push for change to increase black representation and inclusivity across all fields. Families can marvel in the achievements of their ancestors through the beautiful illustrations and be inspired to delve further into obtaining their own brilliant goals by the narrative. Beginning with the infamous Mary Seacole in 1805, this book ventures through the years marking the celebrated and forgotten black figures in history who have been pioneers of their professions despite all the walls of prejudice being placed in their way. The names and lives of men and women who have formed the modern world jump from each page, every turn confronting the reader with more astounding people and their monumental accomplishments. The first ever black film director to win a golden globe sits beside the first African American to stage a public flight;...
For those undecided on their reading but keen to have their brain’s stoked, Here I Stand by Amnesty International is a collection of short stories exploring our rights and freedoms, recently introduced policies and the institutional and individual responsibilities we all have.
The stories in this collection are written by a brilliant array of authors (Frances Hardinge, Jackie Kay, Neil Gaiman and others), each explaining their choice of theme and setting. These stories will make you think about what, in this political setting really matters, and remind us to follow the human instinct for kindness and justice while questioning the rules society lays out for us.
Similarly to The Hate U Give after years of politics being addressed mainly in YA dystopian fiction, it is exciting to see a book that reflects the interests of an increasingly politically engaged teenage population.
Troublemakers by Catherine Barter follows Alena, brought up by her brother Danny and his partner Nick. As London is shaken by violent attacks, the past of her mother’s activism gains new interest for Alena. Creating a vibrant portrait of communities and the effects that political decisions can have on individuals and their families, Troublemakers is fresh, thoroughly human story and London centric in all the best ways.
Every now and again, a book comes along that you want to stand on rooftops to shout about. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is one of these books. It is an important book, a vital book, a book that would help society along the evolutionary path, if only everyone would read it.
The main character is Starr who leads two different lives – on an estate where drug dealing and related crimes are part of every day life and in her majority white private school. Having witnessed her unarmed friend Khalil killed by the police officer Starr has to cope with pressures of the investigation as well as the multiple challenges that her family face from the local community.
This is a story about racism in 21st century America, throughout all the layers of society, whether it is institutionalised or more local and reinforced by the media. This is also a young woman's search for her own identity and voice whilst dealing with trauma.
But it is not just in the themes and subject matter that The Hate U G...