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The Power of Representation: Diving into Inclusive Class Reads

Feb 5th 2024

These books are about similarities, individuality and what makes families special. An imaginative adventure about a young girl with two Mums, different perspectives on separating parents, and a girl living in poverty who makes a difference are some of the storylines in these books.

Choosing great texts promotes discussion, develops pupils’ oracy skills and develops pupils’ love of reading. That is why we have included a free guide on discussing books and developing oracy for EYFS – KS2 at the end of the blog.

The Invisible by Tom Percival (Year 3 & 4)

This is an award winning story about a young girl called Isabel whose family are poor. They have to move from their family home because they can no longer afford to live there. Isabel feels invisible in a different part of town. Alone and immersed in her invisibility, she begins to find other people just like her who have blended into the background and all but disappeared. She decides to help bring colour back to everyone’s lives… A poignant story about a little girl living in poverty who decides to do something important. She decides to make a difference.

 

Is that Your Mama? by Patrice Lawrence and Diane Ewen (Year 1 & 2)

Josie is happy with her family and she loves having time at home. Being mixed race means that her family all look different. Josie discovers that in lots of social situations, she is asked the same questions…’Is that your Dad?’, ‘Is that your brother?’, ‘Is that your Mama?’… Josie is upset by this and she can’t ignore it. She is convinced that her family all need to look the same to be happy. So her family make a plan!

A story about a young girl finding her place in the world and realising the importance of her family. This book would be perfect to use with younger children to encourage conversation about how families all differ.

Two places to call home by Phil Earle and Jess Rose (Year 1 & 2)

Being brave when you have two of everything is hard. Florrie is worried. As well as two pets, two brothers and two parents, she has two houses. Despite reassurances from both her parents that they will still be a family, Florrie doesn’t think they will and she certainly doesn’t feel brave. As she moves between Mum’s house and Dad’s, she goes on adventures to learn to be brave. This is a well crafted story about separation with colourful pictures. It is ideal to use with younger primary children. In the end, Florrie overcomes her fears and learns to appreciate her two of everything.

Who’s Your Real Mum? Bernadette Green and Anna Zobel (Year 2, 3 & 4)

Little Elvi has two Mums. She also has an inquisitive friend called Nicholas. He wants to know who Elvi’s ‘real Mum’ is but she won’t say! However, the questions don’t stop and Elvi continues to answer in increasingly imaginative and creative ways, much to the frustration of Nicholas. This is a beautifully illustrated story about a girl’s adventures in to her fantastical answers as Nicholas is dragged along with her. Does Nicholas get his answer? The answer he really wants? You’ll have to read it and see! A story about a family and how, ultimately, the most important thing in that family is love.

Who Are You? by Smriti Halls and Ali Pye (EY & Year 1)

Another fabulous picture book by Smriti Halls with fabulous illustrations by Ali Page. Who are you? is an exploration into individuality and how different we all are. A great choice of picture book to share with EYFS and year one children where each page is a visual feast looking at all the things that make us unique. The topics covered range from families to faces, hobbies to celebrations to name just a few. The questions on each page encourage conversation and give children a chance to share their individuality. A perfect book to return to each day or to use alongside PSHE. It will help to make younger children aware of how we are all different and celebrating that fact.

Rory’s Room of Rectangles by Ian Eggleton and Jessica Knight (Year 3 & 4)

This is a story of blended families and big feelings. Rory now has a Dad and a Step-Dad. When Father’s Day begins to loom, he doesn’t know who to make a card for. He sees Dad every weekend and they have lots of fun. But Mum now lives with her new boyfriend, Tony who does lots of fun things with Rory too. Rory is confused, angry and struggling to manage his feelings. He takes his anger out on the Father’s Day card. Tony understands how Rory feels and he uses his ‘rainy day money’ to take him to an art gallery where he helps Rory to talk about his feelings using the emotions in the paintings. A perfect book to use with lower key stage two children to explore the emotions and feelings a child conflicted by parental separation might feel.

You can find all of these wonderful and diverse stories from our book partner Peters.

If you are looking to make your curriculum more inclusive, we have a range of planning based on diverse and engaging texts. Find out more here.