Author Sharna Jackson: Bringing diversity into children’s books

Sharna Jackson and her debut book

Author Sharna Jackson is something of a rarity.

As a black children’s writer, she’s already in a minority. But her debut book High-Rise Mystery, a detective story starring young black sisters and featuring a diverse cast, puts Jackson in an extra select league.

“When I was young, I kept on reading and watching but the representation wasn’t there,” Jackson tells BBC News. “It was hard to find role models outside popular culture.

“When I read, the default in my head was ‘white’. Unless the character was black, it wouldn’t be stated.”

According to the recent report BookTrust Represents, covering 2007-2017, just 5.6% of published UK children’s authors and illustrators are from a black and minority ethnic (BAME) background. More

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – April 2019

On 2 April it is World Autism Awareness Day and with that in mind we have chosen Rosie King as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

Rosie is a writer and public speaker from Wakefield. She is currently studying creative writing at university and wants to go on to teach and support people with learning disabilities, as well as pursuing her career in writing, and speaking.

Rosie and her brother Lenny are autistic and their sister Daisy has Kabuki syndrome. Rosie is passionate about sharing their unique experiences of life and increasing public understanding.

Rosie has delivered a very well received TED talk, has spoken at conferences and has been interviewed widely in the media. She is one of the writers of popular CBeebies series Pablo, and also voices one of the characters.

Rosie has worked with the National Autistic Society in various ways, starting when she was a teenager in the Young Campaigners Group.

In the intervening years, she’s spoken at Professional Conferences, led a Q&A on the Society Twitter channel, and supported campaigns. Rosie has worked on many media opportunities, including BBC Breakfast and the One Show.

Rosie is a passionate speaker who offers a positive and thought-provoking insight into autism.

To find out more about Rosie see here

To find out more about World Autism Awareness Day see here