Coming to England by Floella Benjamin

Coming to England

Written by Floella Benjamin
Illustrated by Michael Frith

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2016 Floella Benjamin’s touching, well-observed and generously un-judgemental memoir is a classic which is a pertinent now as when it was first published 21 years ago. In a simple story Floella recounts her own experience of her family moving from Trinidad to London when she was a little girl. She brings to life her experience in the family’s original home in Trinidad; the brightness of the light, the joy of Carnival and, above all, the warmth of her family. She records the pain of separation as, initially, her parents went on ahead to England leaving her and some of her siblings behind and she describes the difficulties of adjusting to the new country when she finally arrives. It is a smart child’s view of migration which is as valuable now as when it was written as well as a stark reminder of the entrenched prejudices of the 1960s. ~ Julia Eccleshare

Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for October 2016

Kim by Rudyard Kipling

The Fox and the Ghost King by Michael Morpurgo

Coming to England by Floella Benjamin

Owl Bat Bat Owl by Marie Louise Fitzpatrick

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen

The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher

The War Next Door by Phil Earle


Coming to England by Floella Benjamin

Floella Benjamin was just a young girl when she, her sister and two brothers arrived in England in 1960 to join their parents, whom they had not seen for fifteen months. They had left the island paradise of Trinidad to make a new home in London - part of a whole generation of West Indians who were encouraged to move to Britain and help rebuild the country after the Second World War.

Reunited with their mother, Floella was too overwhelmed at first to care about the cold weather and the noise and dirt from the traffic. But, as her new life began, she was shocked and distressed by the rejection she experienced. She soon realized that the only way to survive was to work twice as hard and be twice as good as anyone else. This inspirational story is a powerful reminder that courage and determination can overcome adversity.

A twentieth-anniversary edition of Floella Benjamin's classic memoir. Includes a new foreword by the author and some additional historical information. Beautifully illustrated by Michael Frith.

About the Author

Floella Benjamin

Floella Benjamin was born in Trinidad in 1949 and came to England in 1960. She is an actress, presenter, writer, producer, working peer and an active advocate for the welfare and education of children. She is best known as a presenter of the iconic BBC children's television programmes Play School and Play Away, and she continues to make children's programmes. Her broadcasting work has been recognized with a Special Lifetime Achievement BAFTA and OBE. She was appointed a Baroness in the House of Lords in 2010. In 2012 she was presented with the prestigious J. M. Barrie Award by Action for Children's Arts, for her lasting contribution to children's lives through her art. Floella has written thirty books, including Coming to England, which is used as a resource in schools in social and cross-curricular areas. The book was adapted into an award-winning film for BBC Education.

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Book Info


144 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Floella Benjamin
More books by Floella Benjamin

Author's Website


Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan

Publication date

6th October 2016




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