KS1 / KS2 : Books starring South Asian characters

With South Asian characters at the forefront and with themes of learning, these bold and brilliant stories will inspire and entertain readers of every age.

Billy and the Beast by Nadia Shireen

Whilst on a lovely walk in the woods, Billy and her trusty sidekick Fatcat hear a terrible rumble . . . a terrible rumble coming from a Terrible Beast! He’s making a Terrible Soup out of all of Billy and Fatcat’s friends. Can Billy (and her hair) save the day?

Chapatti Moon by Pippa Goodhart, Lizzie Finlay (Illustrator)

In this hilarious modern take on the runaway pancake story, Mrs Kapoor and a host of animals and friends give chase to a cheeky chapatti! Little readers will love the excitement and fun as they follow the trail of the chapatti bouncing and bursting through the book – where will its adventure end?


Jellybean Goes to School by Margaret Roc, Laura Hughes (Illustrator)

Before the term starts, Jellybean longs to go to school and make new friends. But on her first day, the playground seems so big and noisy – she doesn’t want to leave Mum’s side. With the help of her teacher, who brings magic into the classroom, and her special new friend Alex, can Jellybean settle in? This imaginative and inspiring picture book is perfect for little ones starting nursery or school.

Malala's Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai (Author), Kerascoët (Illustrator)

Hilo: Saving the Whole Wide World (Hilo Book 2) by Judd Winick

D.J. and Gina are TOTALLY ordinary kids. But their friend Hilo is an alien robot from another world! Just when he seems to be settling into life here on Earth, some VERY STRANGE creatures start appearing from portals that are popping up all over town. They’re threatening to destroy everything – can the trio save the day?

Blackberry Blue and Other Fairy Tales by Jamila Gavin, Richard Collingridge (Illustrator)

This collection of original, beautifully written stories will lead you into a captivating world. You’ll encounter talking animals and wicked witches, magicians and enchanted forests as you watch Blackberry Blue rise from the bramble patch, follow Emeka the pathfinder on his mission to save a lost king and join Princess Desire as she gallops across the Milky Way on her jet-black horse… Perfect for readers of all ages, these magical tales will thrill and enchant again and again.

Sami’s Silver Lining (The Lost and Found Book Two) by Cathy Cassidy, Erin Keen (Illustrator)

Syrian refugee Sami is doing his very best to start a new life in England, but he’s haunted by his painful past. Even though he’s made friends in the Lost and Found band, memories of his treacherous journey across icy waters are never far away. As romance blossoms with the girl of his dreams, can the promise of a brighter future help to thaw Sami’s heart? This moving and heart-wrenching story is the next must-have book in Cathy Cassidy’s brilliant Lost and Found series.

Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties by Humza Arshad, Henry White

Humza Khan is the greatest eleven-year-old rapper Eggington has ever known: he is Little Badman and soon everyone will know his name.

The problem is, school has got really weird: one by one, all the teachers are disappearing and suspicious aunties are taking over. It isn't so bad though, Humza can still record his first song and the aunties are very generous with snacks.

But when they start to mess with his music, Humza has to get to the bottom of what's going on. With the help of his friends Umer and Wendy, Humza must hunt for the truth. Can he stop the aunties before they carry out their evil plan?

Little Badman and the Time-travelling Teacher of Doom by Humza Arshad, Henry White

'You've probably heard of me, right? Little Badman. No? Oh. Well . . . doesn't Matter. You will do one day. I'm gonna be big.' I'm Humza Khan, the greatest eleven-year-old rapper Eggington ever had. I've also faced deadly alien slugs, killer aunties and double maths. But now, I (and my best friend Umer I guess) face something even scarier - my dad! He's pretty fed up with us being naughty, so he's sending us away . . . to school. But this is not ordinary school. This is a special summer school in Pakistan, and man something weird is going on - someone has been messing with time! I may have to save the world again . . .

Amazing Muslims Who Changed the World by Burhana Islam (Author) Nabi H. Ali (Illustrator) Reya Ahmed (Illustrator) Saffa Khan (Illustrator) Aaliya Jaleel (Illustrator) Deema Alawa (Illustrator) Aghnia Mardiyah (Illustrator)

Do you think you know who first thought of the theory of evolution? Have you ever wondered who created the oldest university in the world? Is Joan of Arc is the only rebel girl who led an army that you've heard of? If so, then you need this stunningly illustrated treasure trove of iconic and hidden amazing Muslim heroes!  There are so many amazing Muslim men and women who have changed our world, from pirate queens to athletes, to warriors and mathematicians. Who will your next hero be?

How To Be Extraordinary by Rashmi Sirdeshpande, Annabel Tempest

This picture book is bursting with illustrations and the true life-stories of people from around the world and throughout history, including: Aeham Ahmad, David Attenborough, Mo Farah, Keiko Fukuda, Stephen Hawking, Frida Kahlo, Abdul Kalam, Judith Kerr, Wangari Maathai, Nelson Mandela, David Nott, Michelle Obama, Krystyna Skarbek, Alan Turing, Sau Lan Wu

How to Change the World by Rashmi Sirdeshpande, Annabel Tempest

Could you and your friends change the world? This book will inspire you with 15 true stories of groups of amazing humans who've changed the world. Discover the astonishing things humans can achieve: from the campaign for women's votes, to the efforts to heal the ozone layer. Or travel back to the start of democracy in Ancient Greece, and into space to see the incredible teamwork on the international space station. Above all, uncover just some of the MANY ways we can work together to change our world - all brought to life with astonishing story-telling and illustration.