We believe that education is so important in helping us to understanding people’s lives and the issues that they deal with every day, in understanding racism, institutional racism, systemic racism, for example… In the wake of the protests around the world about the death or George Floyd, many have asked for book recommendations suitable for young people and we’ve had some brilliant suggestions from our Facebook group, Raising Teens in Lockdown. Here’s are a few of them. Thanks to everyone on for contributing.

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Refugee Boy by Benjamin Zephaniah

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging by Afua Hirsch

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y Davis

There’s a great piece by Gary Younge about his year of reading books by African women. He writes: “Faced with an array of choices and limited time, when it comes to literature, there’s a part of me that I’m not particularly proud of that chooses not to make the effort, even when there is little to no translation necessary. Somewhere deep in my subconscious I must have decided that books by African women would be harder than those by some other demographics. They weren’t. On some level I must have had reading African women down as self-improving but not necessarily enjoyable, when in fact it was mostly the latter and often both.”

There’s also a really good list here on the embracerace website.

Please leave a comment if you have any others to add ❤️

In our third episode of this special lockdown series of Raising Teens, we look at how families with separated parents are coping. With the lockdown starting to be relaxed in coming weeks, topics include co-parenting, differing attitudes to lockdown rules and guidelines, keeping safe in the pandemic and missing a parent, children or siblings you don’t live with. Guests and teens explore creative ways to keep in touch and what’s behind conflict and flare-ups at home.

It’s a really positive episode full of great advice. Host Guy Lloyd talks to guests, Alex Psaila from Relate, Stephen Woodward, Relationship and Parental Counsellor from Brighton & Hove Council, and parent of five, Michelle.

You can hear Raising Teens on BBC Radio Sussex and Surrey at 7.30pm on Mondays and Wednesdays and online on BBC Sounds.

🔊 Listen to Raising Teens: Separated Parenting in Lockdown on BBC Sounds

Listen to previous episodes of Raising Teens in this special lockdown series:

🔊 Listen to Lockdown Home Schooling on BBC Sounds

🔊 Listen to Anxiety in a Pandemic on BBC Sounds

Help & Advice

Relate, offers relationship support and counselling

Brighton & Hove council’s advice for separated or separating parents who want to find ways to improve their relationship and get on better.

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.

NSPCC, advice and information on separation and divorce, including your rights around child contact.

Young Minds, advice on supporting a child during separation and divorce.

Make (Good) Trouble teen reporter, Lola Ray, spoke to Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, and asked her about her work as “the eyes and ears of kids in the system” during her six year term and her hopes for the future for young people. They discussed lockdown and how it’s affecting teens, parents and teachers.

Longfield says that her main focus in her six years as Children’s Commissioner for England, has been to “shine a light on those vulnerable kids. I really felt that they were so overlooked. Often invisible, if you like, to the services. They’re the children who fell through the gaps, got excluded from school, were in secure accommodation, the ones that were in secure accommodation. And in a way, the system couldn’t cope with the kids, rather that the kids couldn’t cope with the system.”

She calls for the government to look at these children’s situations, find these children and give them the support they need. She calls for there to be a vulnerable children and family recovery programme.

With school exclusions on the rise, Anne Longfield argues that schools should have a positive inclusion policy, whereby children that are excluded are helped to get back to their school as soon as possible. “I want them to be looking at when children need support and really providing that. If there is an exclusion, I want that to be a trigger… But if there is a reason why that child can’t continue in mainstream education… then I want them to get the best support they can… Alternative provision costs about six times as much as school per pupil. So we should expect it to be fantastic. We should expect it to be the best therapist, the best personal tutoring – all of those things to give to those kids who are having a tough time in school, the boost they need to get them back.”

Asked what she would do if she could make just one change to help young people, Longfield said: “I would like young people, and kids generally, to have their place at the top table, that they’re actually part of the decision-making and that there is a recognition that kids are 20 percent of our population but they’re 100 percent of our future. And if we fail kids, what does that mean for society in the future? Whether you think about it in terms of young people themselves, or indeed of all of us, we’re all going to benefit if we can give kids the opportunities they need and the springboard into adult life.”

Find out more about the work of the Children’s Commissioner for England.
Follow @ChildrensComm on Twitter
Follow @childrenscommissionersoffice on Facebook

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