A free anthology of books by black British authors is to be provided to every primary school in England.
Reading charity BookTrust said the initiative was part of a drive to increase the diversity of voices in children’s literature.
The collection, called Happy Here, is aimed at children aged seven and older and will be published on 5 August.
It will feature writers including Yomi Sode, Clare Weze, Dean Atta, Patrice Lawrence, and Sharna Jackson.
The project is a collaboration between BookTrust, publisher Knights Of, and charity Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE).
Jill Coleman, director of children’s books at BookTrust, said: “Happy Here is going to thrill and inspire children in families and schools across the country and we want to make sure it is read by thousands of children.
“We are proud to be working with Knights Of and CLPE as part of our effort to drive a long-term, sustainable increase in the diversity of voices published in children’s literature.”
Aimee Felone, the co-founder of Knights Of, said: “Being able to commission work that has no motive other than to amplify, uplift and celebrate what it means to exist in the UK today as black British is liberating for our team.
“Each and every author and illustrator has focused not on the trauma or hardship of their existence, which is too often highlighted in children’s fiction, but the experience and possibility of happiness for their characters.”
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