Windrush Child


In this moving and heart-stopping adventure, Benjamin Zephaniah weaves a tale showing us what it was like to be a child of the Windrush generation. Leonard is shocked when he arrives with his mother in the port of Southampton. They have come to join his father who arrived on the MV Empire Windrush two years earlier.  For Leonard, his father is a stranger, it’s cold in Britain and even the Jamaican food doesn’t taste the same as it did back home.

But his parents have brought him to Britain to try to make a better life.  Leonard does his best not to complain.  He tries to make new friends and do well at school – even when people hurt him with their words and with their fists. How can a boy so far from home learn to enjoy his new life when so many things count against him?

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Windrush Child

Benjamin Zephaniah

(Scholastic Voices)

Windrush Child is a timely, moving and gripping adventure from one of our favourite poets.  Leonard disembarks in Southampton in 1958 with his mother, following his father who had arrived on the MV Empire Windrush two years earlier.  Coming from a proud family in Jamaica, Leonard finds it hard to settle in cold, often unfriendly Britain.  His parents want to make a new start in Britain and give maximum opportunity for Leonard to do well.
Leonard tries his best at school and to make new friends, but he faces hostility and racism.  Then secrets emerge from within his family and times get harder.  Leonard’s optimism and determination are inspirational, but can he find the strength to overcome what life in Britain throws at him?
Windrush Child is part of the excellent ‘Voices’ series from Scholastic.  These are gripping adventures that reflect the authentic, unsung stories of the past.  Other titles in this series on the Bookwagon site include Empire’s End and Now or Never.


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