As the summer, well what we had of it comes to an end …

This month’s recommended reads will kickstart your Autumn reading with some inspirational and empowering books to uplift, encourage and in some cases make you laugh out loud.

Black Joy by Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff and Timi Sotire

Whether in love, literature, friendship, music, carnival, travel, dance, work, nature, food, Black Joy can be found in so many places. Edited by award-winning journalist Charlie Brinkhust-Cuff and up-and-coming talent Timi Sotire, this anthology is as uplifting as it is empowering.

28 inspirational voices including – Diane Abbott, Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, Bukky Bakray, Munya Chawawa, Chanté Joseph, Tobi Kyeremateng, Jason Okundaye, Tope Olufemi, and Leigh-Anne Pinnock – come together to celebrate being Black British, sharing their experiences of joy and what it means to them.





We’re Going To Find the Monster by Malorie Blackman and illustrated by Dapo Adeola

Over the shimmering ocean, up the huge, high mountain, through the deep, dark forest . . . WE’RE GOING TO FIND THE MONSTER!

Two intrepid adventurers transform their house into a wild wonderland – and their big brother becomes a mighty monster by the power of their own imagination. With its cumulative refrain and funny, relatable characters, this is a contemporary celebration of creativity, fantasy, and family, and an absolute joy to read aloud.

Written by the bestselling author of Noughts & Crosses, Malorie Blackman, this story was originally published as Marty Monster. This new version has been stunningly brought to life by the award-winning illustrator of Look Up!, Dapo Adeola.


Superheroes: Inspiring Stories of Secret Strength by Sophia Thakur and illustrated by Denzell Dankwah

Superheroes is a new, bold collection of daring tales of over fifty iconic British icons, who have harnessed their curiosity and ambition and turned it into their own superhero power.

The book features inspirational figures such as Princess K, who went from tapping her foot under the desk at school, to dancing centre stage at Glastonbury; Dina Asher-Smith, who started out crawling at lightning speed and became the fastest British woman in history; Reggie Yates, who used his power of empathy to connect instantly both in person and through the TV; Riz Ahmed, whose ability to code-switch between cultures and creative outlets let him excel as a scholar, actor, activist, and rapper; Liam Charles, who followed his childhood passion in the kitchen to become a Bake Off master.

This is a book filled with inspiring journeys, to encourage and empower young people to harness their power and become their own superheroes.

(8% of the RRP for all print sales in the UK of Superheroes will be donated to MERKY FOUNDATION LIMITED (Registered Charity No. 1186891)


Grown: The Black Girls’ Guide to Glowing Up by Melissa Cummings-Quarry & Natalie A. Carter

Grown: The Black Girls’ Guide to Glowing Up offers honest practical advice to empower young Black girls to live their very best life. From understanding identity to the politics of hair to maintaining squad goals to dealing with microaggressions to consent to figuring out career choices, Grown has got it.

Written by Natalie A. Carter and Melissa Cummings-Quarry, the two share stories – the wins and the Ls – and encourage young girls to own their choices, live their truth without fear, and to be grown on their own terms without limits or apologies. With a foreword from the inimitable Spice Girl Melanie Brown and contributions from inspirational Black women such as Diane Abbott MP, Dorothy Koomson, and Candice Carty-Williams and gorgeous illustrations from Dorcas Magbadelo, Grown is a celebration of Black British girlhood.



Stay Woke Kids by Kazvare Made It

Are immigrants taking our jobs, or are they all slobs? What does ‘I’m colourblind‘ mean and why does it make no sense? And just how can you spot a Karen from a mile away?

This illustrated collection of verses by Kazvare Made It tackles these issues and more. Laced with memorable memes, pop culture references as well as Beyonce and Jay-Z lyrics, this is a delightfully caustic and refreshing book that will have readers thinking deeply and laughing out loud.





Misfits: A Personal Manifesto by Michaela Coel

Misfits is a passionate declaration against fitting in by Michaela Coel, best known as the creator and star of I May Destroy You and Chewing Gum.

Inspired by Coel’s acclaimed McTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh Festival lecture, Misfits builds on the themes of race, class and inclusion immersing readers in her deeply personal vision through powerful allegory and anecdotes from her East London upbringing to her discovery of theatre and love for storytelling. With her trademark insight and wit, Coel shares her reckoning with trauma and metamorphosis into a champion for herself, inclusivity and radical honesty, and in telling her journey invites us to reflect on our own.
 
Misfits is a call for honesty, empathy and inclusion, as Coel holds up the path of the creative as an emblem of our need to regard one another with care and respect – and transparency.

Promising reviews:

Razor-sharp and as funny as I May Destroy You … A gifted writer‘ Sunday Times 

A remarkable talent‘ Guardian 

A magnificent thinker‘ gal-dem 


All the books mentioned in this list are available from Hive and other online retailers and bookstores.