The Open Minds Project
Every child should see themselves in their book collection
Here are our top selections when donating books to schools, academies and nurseries. Please get in touch if you are a school or interested in adding to our list.
All Are Welcome
By Alexandra Penfold, illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman
Join the call for a better world with this New York Times bestselling picture book about a school where diversity and inclusion are celebrated. Perfect for every kid, family or classroom!
Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
By Margot Lee Shetterly with Winifred Conkling, illustrated by Laura Freeman
Based on the New York Times bestselling book and the Academy Award-nominated movie, author Margot Lee Shetterly and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award winner Laura Freeman bring the incredibly inspiring true story of four black women who helped NASA launch men into space to picture book readers!
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By Venessa Taylor
Shay and Frankie are best friends and football crazy! They eat, sleep and breathe football (even when they’re at school!). They dream about playing football, love a kick-about in the park, watch all the big games on TV… all that’s missing in their lives is the chance to play for a real football team. All Cultures United is the best club around for miles and all the footie fans want to on their team… including Shay and Frankie. Are they good enough to impress Coach Reece at the AC United trials? Can their friendship survive the competitiveness of football? Will they ultimately fulfil their goal to become Baller Boys?
By Nathan Bryan, illustrated by Dapa Adeola
Join lovable, passionate Rocket as she sets off on a mission to save a Caribbean island from plastic pollution! When Rocket goes for a holiday to visit her grandparents, she’s shocked by the pollution that is spoiling their island home and putting the local sea life at risk. Can she think of a way to save the day?
This is a heartwarming, timely and empowering picture book, showing how we ALL can make a difference.
Young, Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present
By Jamia Wilson, illustrated by Andrea Pippins
Meet 52 icons of colour from the past and present in this celebration of inspirational achievement—a collection of stories about changemakers to encourage, inspire and empower the next generation of changemakers. Jamia Wilson has carefully curated this range of black icons and the book is stylishly brought together by Andrea Pippins’ colourful and celebratory illustrations. Written in the spirit of Nina Simone’s song “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black,” this vibrant book is a perfect introduction to both historic and present-day icons and heroes. Meet figureheads, leaders and pioneers such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks, as well as cultural trailblazers and athletes like Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams. All children deserve to see themselves represented positively in the books they read. Highlighting the talent and contributions of black leaders and changemakers from around the world, readers of all backgrounds will be empowered to discover what they too can achieve. Strong, courageous, talented and diverse, these extraordinary men and women’s achievements will inspire a new generation to chase their dream… whatever it may be.
Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation
By Ducan Tonatiuh
When her family moved to the town of Westminster, California, young Sylvia Mendez was excited about enrolling in her neighbourhood school. But she and her brothers were turned away and told they had to attend the Mexican school instead. Sylvia could not understand why—she was an American citizen who spoke perfect English. Why were the children of Mexican families forced to attend a separate school? Unable to get a satisfactory answer from the school board, the Mendez family decided to take matters into its own hands and organize a lawsuit.
In the end, the Mendez family’s efforts helped bring an end to segregated schooling in California in 1947, seven years before the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education ended segregation in schools across America.
Using his signature illustration style and incorporating his interviews with Sylvia Mendez, as well as information from court files and news accounts, award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh tells the inspiring story of the Mendez family’s fight for justice and equality.
What Momma Left Me
By Renée Watson
Serenity is good at keeping secrets, and she’s got a whole lifetime’s worth of them. Her mother is dead, her father is gone, and starting life over at her grandparents’ house is strange. Luckily, certain things seem to hold promise: a new friend who makes her feel connected, and a boy who makes her feel seen. But when her brother starts making poor choices, her friend is keeping her own dangerous secret, and her grandparents put all of their trust in a faith that Serenity isn’t sure she understands, it is the power of love that will repair her heart and keep her sure of just who she is.
Renée Watson’s stunning writing shines in this powerful and ultimately uplifting novel.
Africa, Amazing Africa
By Atinuke, illustrated by Mouni Feddag
This book is British-Nigerian storyteller Atinuke’s personal love letter to the African continent, and its 55 countries in all their variety. It divides Africa into five sections: South, East, West, Central and North, each with its own introduction. This is followed by a page per country, containing a delightful mix of friendly, informative text and colourful illustrations. With just a couple of facts per page, the book is perfectly geared toward readers aged six and up, and imagined as a diving-off point to inspire children to find out more about each and every country.
So, welcome to Africa, Amazing Africa: the richest king, the tallest sand dunes and the biggest waterfall on the planet are all here, alongside drummers, cocoa growers, inventors, balancing stones, salt lakes, high-tech cities and nomads who use GPS!
Tafara and the Patchwork Blanket
By Fadzisai Gutuka
Tafara lived with her parents and little sister, Tanaka. More importantly, she lived right next door to her grandparents, Gogo and Khulu. She loved going to their house every day after school and especially on Saturday afternoons, after all, her lessons were done.
Gogo was always up to something wonderful, like baking, cooking or making decorations. What was so special about her was that she would always let Tafara and Tanaka join in on the fun.
This Saturday, Gogo was doing Tafara’s favourite ‘Gogo-thing’: sewing. She loved the noise of the machine and the amazing pieces that Gogo came up with. On this occasion, her creation was no less glorious than all the others before, but this one had a little extra magic sewn in its seams. It was something that helped her see just why the world was full of beautiful colours…and all the shades in between.
Hoorah for Mary Seacole
By Trish Cooke, illustrated by Anni Axworthy
Mary is a brave nurse. When a war starts in the Crimea she sails across the sea to help, and even enters the battlefield!
Hopscotch Histories are brand new stories in historical settings, told in under 400 words, perfect for children who are building up their reading confidence