Stuck for something to read over the summer holidays? Check out our previews of new books you might want to add to your “to be read” list.
Clean Up! by Nathan Byron and Dapo Adeola (illustrator)
Rocket, our favourite, lovable young activist is back, this time on a mission to save a Caribbean island from plastic pollution. On holiday at her grandparent’s island home, Rocket is shocked to discover the pollution that’s spoiling the island and putting the local sea life at risk. Can she think of a way to save the day?
Promising review: “A heartwarming, timely and empowering picture book that shows how we all can make a difference. If you loved Look Up!, you’ll love this sequel.” – Round Table Books
If I Don’t Have You by Sareeta Domingo
Part of Jacaranda’s #Twentyin2020, Sareeta Domingo’s romance novel beautifully centres vulnerability while exploring the limits of love at first sight.
Ren, an Afro-Brazillian filmmaker is recovering from a broken relationship, while Kayla, a Black British artist and journalist keen to make her mark. Thrown together during a string of interviews they are struck by an irresistible attraction. But with secrets lurking between them, can they really risk losing their miraculous connection?
Promising review: “A captivating, sexy romance that explores the limits of love at first sight” – Jacaranda Books
I Am Not Your Baby Mother by Candace Braithwaite
From the founder of Make Motherhood Diverse, I Am Not Your Baby Mother is a thought-provoking, inspirational guide to life as a black mother. Candace Braithwaite explores the various stages in between pregnancy and waving your child off at the gates of primary school while facing hurdles such as white privilege, racial micro-aggressions and unconscious bias at every point
A brilliantly observant and timely book about the whiteness of the portrayal of maternity in British media. Braithwaite uses her trademark sense of humour and refreshing straight-talking to make a call-to-arms to allow mums like her to take control, and scrap the parenting rulebook and mother their own way.
Promising review: ‘[An] original and much-needed guide to navigating black motherhood‘ – Cosmopolitan
Uncle Gugi’s Wedding by U C Maduforo
Ten-year-old Kaycee is beside herself with excitement at the prospect of going to Nigeria to attend her beloved Uncle Gugi’s wedding and to explore more about her cultural heritage.
During her trip, Kaycee discovers the beauty of her homeland, Igbo customs and language, as well as the celebration and complexities of a traditional Nigerian wedding.
Promising review: “A wonderful warm read about tradition, family and first experiences of an Igbo wedding. An absolute pleasure to read through a child’s eyes.” – Amazon reviewer
Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez
An intersectional coming-of-age story, Rainbow Milk follows nineteen-year-old Jesse McCarthy as he grapples with his racial and sexual identities against the backdrop of a Jehovah’s Witness upbringing and the legacies of the Windrush generation.
Mendez’s tantalising, bold debut is a coming-of-age tale unlike any other, mapping the journey of a young black gay man making a fresh start in London. A fearless meditation on race, class, religion, freedom and sexuality, Rainbow Milk announces the arrival of a truly extraordinary and fervent new voice in fiction.
Promising review: ‘When did you last read a novel about a young, black, gay, Jehovah Witness man from Wolverhampton who flees his community to make his way in London as a prostitute? This might be a debut, but Mendez is an exciting, accomplished and daring storyteller with a great ear for dialogue. Graphic Erotica Alert! Don’t read this book if you like your fiction cosy and middle-of-the-road’ – Bernardine Evaristo