Specialists in African
and Caribbean Literature since 1966

Books of the month

No Place To Call Home

By JJ Bola

Jean starts at a new school and struggles to fit in. He develops an unlikely friendship with rowdy class mate James, who gets him into a string of sticky situations; fights, theft, and more. At home, his parents, Mami and Papa, who fled political violence in Congo under the dictatorial regime of Le Marechal, to seek asylum as refugees – which Jean and his star-student little sister, Marie, have no knowledge of – pressure him to focus on school and sort his act out. Jean is then suspended, and Marie, who usually gets on his nerves, helps him keep his secret, which draws them closer together.

As the family attempts to integrate and navigate modern British society, as well as hold on to their roots and culture, they meet Tonton, a sapeur, womaniser, alcohol-loving, party enthusiast, who, much to Papa’s dislike, after losing his job, moves in with them. 

With colourful characters and seamless prose, No Place To Call Home is a tale of belonging, identity and immigration, of hope and hopelessness, of loss –not by death, but by distance– and, by no means the least, of love.

You Can do Anything (Hip and Hop)

By Akala

A new picture book series from the MOBO award-winning hip hop artist Akala, bursting with bright colour artwork from acclaimed illustrator Sav.

Hip, a wise hippo; and Hop, his energetic bird friend are taking part in the Blueberry Hill bike race. Hop struggles at first, but with help from Hip, they learn that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it! Focus on your dreams and go!

This series aims to inspire children to grow up as happy, emotionally intelligent and socially responsible human beings. Part prose, part rap, this book is packed full of rhyme and rhythm, making it perfect to read with young children.


Beacon of Hope

By Ruth Bush & Jay Bernard

Londoner Jay Bernard was poet in residence at the George Padmore Institute in 2016 as part of the 50 years celebration of New Beacon Books. She was the GPI’s first poet of residence.

During her time with the GPI Jay produced a body of ingenious work in response to material found in the archive, in particular the New Cross Massacre collection.  Not only does Jay's work represent a new generation’s creative response to the material but her piece encapsulates the essence and sensitivity of the massacre and its horror. Writing in the voices of those killed, and using archive film, video and audio, Jay re-visits the New Cross Massacre and asks what we can learn from it in a new age of Brexit, Trump and the resurgent far right.