By Author / Illustrator
Floella Benjamin, Diane Ewen
Representation & Inclusion
A story about the triumph of hope, love, and determination, Coming to England is the inspiring true story of Baroness Floella Benjamin: from Trinidad, to London as part of the Windrush generation, to the House of Lords.
Follow ten-year-old Floella as she and her family set sail from the Caribbean to a new life in London. Alone on a huge ship for two weeks, then tumbled into a cold and unfriendly London, coming to England wasn't at all what Floella had expected . . . What will her new school be like? Will she meet the Queen?
Filled with optimism and joy, yet deeply personal and relevant, young children will follow Floella's experiences of moving home and making friends. Alongside vibrant illustrations by Diane Ewen, this powerful story shows little people how courage and determination can always overcome adversity.
Coming to England is the beautiful story of Floella Benjamin's journey to England from Trinidad in 1960. The true story is about a ten year old Floella, who comes over to England with her siblings in the 60's aboard a boat with big dreams and ideas, the chance to one day meet the Queen.
However, once Floella is off the boat and living in one room with her family, she realises sometimes the people aren't so nice and London wasn't really that welcoming. The children at school were not that nice and didn't want to play with her. Once they had settled and time has passed, England didn't seem so bad and it started to feel like home. Floella still had her dream though - to meet the Queen, and luckily for her, she did!!
With the stunning illustrations from Diane Ewen, they bring vibrancy and the book comes alive. The pairing is perfect with their colour and simplicity for children. The story is personal and poignant to our history today and relevant. It is a great story to tell and use with children today to inspire and to show aspirations and motivation with a younger audience.
There aren't enough stories out there like this one to show a younger audience and I am really looking forward to sharing this. My own criticism is that it wasn't longer - I wanted to know more and ask lots of questions!
Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Lauren Maidman, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 5+