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Reflecting Realities - Survey of Ethnic Representation in UK Children’s Books published 2018

Reflecting realities

In July 2018 we published Reflecting Realities, the first UK study looking at diversity in children’s literature. Funded by the Arts Council, our aim was to quantify and evaluate the extent and quality of ethnic representation and diversity in children’s publishing in the UK. This process involved analysing submissions of all children's literature published in the UK in 2017 that featured Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic  characters to determine to what extent they were represented.

 

 

The report's key points:

  • There were 9115 childrens books published in the UK in 2017. Of these only 391 featured Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic characters
  • Only 4% of the childrens books published in 2017 featured Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic characters
  • Only 1% of the childrens books published in the UK in 2017 had a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic main character
  • Over half the fiction books with Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic characters were defined as ‘contemporary realism’(books set in modern day landscapes/contexts)
  • 10% of books with Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic characters contained ‘social justice’ issues
  • Only one book featuring a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic character was defined as ‘comedy’
  • 26% of the non-fiction submissions were aimed at an ‘Early Years’ audience

 

Please download the full report on the left for the full findings. If you have an enquiry please download our FAQs on the left or email us.

Illustrations © Holly Sterling and reproduced with her kind permission.

Booklet design: Ben Cotterill