20-Must-Read Books for Black History Month

Our Acting Education & SEND Manager, Amanda, explains why it is so important to talk to children about race, and shares her book recommendations for Black History Month.

At Pop Up, we know that books are a great way to start conversations with children, particularly when it comes to complex subjects. In honour of BHM, I want to share a selection of some of the best books for opening up a discussion about race, racism and resistance to pupils.

Whether you are a teacher or a parent, no matter what your background, giving your children the opportunity to explore the issues around race is vitally important. All too often, adults shy away from talking to the younger generation about racist socialisation and racial bias because they believe ‘it’s too serious of a conversation’ or ‘it’s not that bad in the UK’. But in a world where 33.5% of UK primary school children are from a minority ethnic background, but only 10% of children’s books in 2020 featured children characters of colour, it is clear that something urgently needs to change.

We know that by normalising diversity and inclusion, and naming race and racism, we can counter racist socialisation and racial bias. As we see year after year in our education work, opening up a discussion about race can also encourage your pupils to talk to you openly about their own experiences.

The below books are differentiated for EYFS/KS1/KS2 children and KS3/Young Adults, and their interests; from fiction to cultural history, from seminal lives to inspiring its readers on what they can do to help.

I believe that it is only by facing issues of race and racism head on, and through kindness and mutual respect for the Black community, that we can help our children to become more empathetic and resilient.



BHM books for young adults