A distinguished independent panel of experts have selected a list of 50 books for all children, from birth to teens, living in the UK today. Books published since 1950 to the present day were considered.

Kate Edwards, CEO Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books said: “Children’s books shape our earliest perceptions of the world and its cultures, building understanding, empathy and tolerance. Despite this there is still a lack of representation of children from different cultural backgrounds – especially as main characters. By drawing attention to some best loved and well crafted children’s books, our Diverse Voices season will curate an exciting and diverse list of books that will help to inform the choices of librarians, teachers, booksellers and readers when they pick books to recommend, stock, read and enjoy. Britain’s rich and diverse cultural heritage is something to be celebrated and championed.”

Diverse Voices – 50 of the Best Children’s Books includes: much-loved picture books to share, poetry, must-read novels, fascinating biographies, future classics and challenging books that are likely to provoke discussion.

The list has inspired a number of project and partnership work over the summer in conjunction with The Reader Organisation, Discover London, New Writing North and Gem Arts – outcomes of which will be presented in Seven Stories Book Den exhibition space.

Diverse Voices – 50 of the Best Children’s Books includes: much-loved picture books to share, poetry, must-read novels, fascinating biographies, future classics and challenging books that are likely to provoke discussion. The list has inspired a number of project and partnership work over the summer in conjunction with The Reader Organisation, Discover London, New Writing North and Gem Arts 

Seven Stories use children’s books to inspire creative processes.

“These books offer a rich world to inhabit, enjoy and explore. With these projects Seven Stories worked with our project partners to offer Reading for Pleasure and arts based responses. The responses from children, young people and families demonstrate the power these art forms have to make a group a community, a creative response a moment of realisation, a story a part of a personal journey. I hope that children, carers and educators are inspired to get hold of the books, try some of the ideas in the resources and experience for themselves, the art in this collection of stunning books.”

Debbie Beeks, Learning & Participation Manager, Seven Stories.

Children’s books take us places

Click here to download the full project pack. 

GemArts
Artist Jayamini De Silva, chose 7 of the Top 50 Diverse Voices books to share with Bensham community group to inspire and create art works on the theme of home.
The Reader Organisation
The Reader Organisation worked with two groups to explore 'Persepolis', 'The Veil', 'Where's Lenny' and 'Leon and Bob'
New Writing North
New Writing North and poet Denga Stone worked with Seven Stories to set up a one-off workshop where young people could respond creatively to The 50 Best Diverse Children’s Book List.
Discover Story Centre
Discover Story Museum in London worked with their children’s forum. The children were asked to think about what they thought of when they thought of 'home'.