Culturally diverse books to expand young readers’ imaginations

You can explore a list of inspiring books that celebrate diversity

The 2021 Premiers’ Reading Challenge just around the corner, and the recent marking of Cultural Diversity Week(21 March – 28 March), is a great time for Victorian students to start exploring some of the wonderful stories that celebrate the richness of our multicultural society.

Premiers' Reading Challenge books

Victoria is known for its multiculturalism, with almost half of the state’s population having at least one parent born overseas. Victorians come from more than 200 countries, speak 260 languages and follow 135 different religions.

To help your child learn about other cultures, including their own, the Department of Education and Training has put together a list of suggested books that celebrate diversity, in preparation for the 2021 Premiers’ Reading Challenge.

Talk to your child's school to check if they are registered, if the school is not participating this year, you can register your child as a home-based reader, find out how on the Challenge webpage.

Head to your local library to find these great titles and read them with your young child.

Early years to Grade 2

Alma and How She Got Her Name

Premiers' Reading Challenge book

Juana Martinez-Neal (2018)

Birds in the Bush

Aunty Fay Stewart-Muir – illustrated by Jeannette Rowe (2019)

All the Ways to be Smart

Davina Bell – illustrated by Allison Colpoys (2018)

The Patchwork Bike

Maxine Beneba Clarke – illustrated by Van T. Rudd (2016)


Patrick Guest – illustrated by Jonathan Bentley (2020)

Aussie kids: Meet Taj at the Lighthouse

Maxine Beneba Clarke – illustrated by Nicki Greenberg (2020)

Middle to upper primary

Malala’s Magic Pencil

Malala Yousafzai – illustrated by Kerascoët (2019)

A Different Pond

Bao Phi – illustrated by Thi Bui (2017)


Kirli Saunders; illustrated by Dub Leffler. (2020)

Black Cockatoo

Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler (2018)

The crossover (age 12+)

by Kwame Alexander; illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile. (2020)

Fly on the Wall

Remy Lai (2020)

Merci Suárez Changes Gears (ages 9-12)

Meg Medina (2020)

The Hero Next Door (ages 8-12)

Edited by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (2019)

Secondary school (Years 7 to 10)

Catching teller crow (age 14+)

Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina. (2018)

Metal Fish, Falling Snow (age 14+)

Cath Moore (2020)

The F Team

Rawah Arja (2020)