picture book version with illustrations by Diane Ewen (Macmillan), and Benjamin Zephaniah offers a fictional account of a Windrush journey in Windrush Child from Scholastic. On the subject of history, in Journeys: The Story of Migration to Britain (Rising Stars) Dan Lyndon-Cohen deftly covers 1066 to the present day in a clear, highly informative and engaging style.

Other highly recommended books from 2020 include When Life Gives You Mangoes by Kereen Getten (Pushkin) an intriguing tale of friendship set in Jamaica and that also subtly explores the relationship between Britain and the Caribbean. A.M. Dassau’s Boy Everywhere (Old Barn Books) in which Sami, a ‘typical 13 -year-old’ has to flee Damascus and travels to Britain. Written over five years, Dassau’s meticulous research ensures this tales is one of hopeful realism. Exploring hopefulness in uncertain times, Smriti Prasadam Halls and David Lichfield combine in Rain Before Rainbows, a powerful picture book for younger readers. This year’s Little Rebels Prize winner, The Boy Who Loved Everyone written by Jane Porter and illustrated by Maisie Paradise Shearring, is a quietly radical picture book, set in a diverse nursery school setting.

In Beyond the Secret Garden we have tended to focus on books authored by writers based in the UK. However, we’d like to round off the year with some excellent books from beyond these shores. A Thousand Questions by Saadia Faruqi (Quill Tree) is a middle grade tale of friendship across class and national identities between two girls, one Pakistani one American, that takes place in Karachi. Set in Southern California, Efren Divided (Quill Tree) by Ernesto Cisneros, depicts Efren who is American-born with parents who are undocumented. His worst nightmare comes true one day when Amá doesn’t return from work and is deported across the border to Tijuana, México.

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusuf Salaam (Harper Collins) is a powerful YA novel in verse about a Black, Muslim teen wrongfully sentenced to prison in the USA. Salaam is one of the Exonerated Five (previously known as the Central Park Five) who were the subject of the Netflix series When They See Us.

Books mentioned Blueblood: A Fairy Tale Revolution, Malorie Blackman, illus Laura Barrett, Vintage Children’s Classic, 978-1784876418, £12.99 hbk Duckling: A Fairy Tale Revolution, Kamila Shamsie, illus Laura Barrett, Vintage Children’s Classic, 978-1784876319, £12.99 hbk Zombierella, Joseph Coelho, illus Freya Hartas, Walker Books, 978-1406389661, £7.99 pbk The Challenger, Taran Matharu, Hodder Children’s Books, 978-1444938999, £12.99 hbk Moonchild: Voyage of the Lost and Found, Aisha Bushby, Egmont, 978-1405293211, £6.99 pbk The Book of Hopes, edited Katherine Rundell, Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 978-1526629883, £12.99 hbk

Thank You, Joseph Coelho, illus Sam Usher, Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 978-0711262034, £6.99 pbk Sona Sharma, Very Best Big Sister, Chitra Soundar, illus Jen Khatun, Walker Books, 978-1406391756, £5.99 pbk Black and British, David Olusoga, Macmillan Children’s Books, 978-1529063394, £6.99 pbk

The Story of the Windrush, K. N. Chimbiri, Scholastic, 978-0702307133, £6.99 pbk

The History of African and Caribbean Communities in Britain, Hakim Adi, Wayland, 978-1526317971, £8.99 pbk Coming to England, Floella Benjamin, Macmillan Children’s Books, 978-1529009415, £12.99 hbk Windrush Child, Benjamin Zephaniah, Scholastic, 978-0702302725, £6.99 pbk Journeys: The Story of Migration to Britain, Dan Lyndon-Cohen, Rising Stars, 978-1510452381, £7.50 When Life Gives You Mangoes, Kereen Getten, Pushkin Press, 978-1782692645, £7.99 pbk

Boy Everywhere, A. M. Dassu, Old Barn Books, 978-1910646649, £7.99 pbk Rain Before Rainbows 978-1406382358, £12.99 hbk

The Boy Who Loved Everyone, Jane Porter, illus Maisie Paradise Shearring, Walker Books, 978-1406392876, £7.99 pbk A Thousand Questions, Saadia Faruqi, Quill Tree Books, 978-0062943200, £12.99 hbk Efrén Divided, Ernesto Cisneros, Quill Tree Books, 978-0062881687, £13.99 hbk Punching the Air, Ibi Zoboi and Yusuf Salaam, Harper Collins Children’s Books, 978-0008422141, £7.99 pbk

Karen Sands-O’Connor is the British Academy Global Professor for Children’s Literature at Newcastle University. Her books include Children’s Publishing and Black Britain 1965- 2015 (Palgrave Macmillan 2017).

Darren Chetty is a teacher, doctoral researcher and writer with research interests in education, philosophy, racism, children’s literature and hip hop culture. He is a contributor to The Good Immigrant, edited by Nikesh Shukla and the author, with Jeffrey Boakye, of What Is Masculinity? Why Does It Matter? And Other Big Questions. He tweets at @rapclassroom.

Books for Keeps No.245 November 2020 17

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