Coming to England
Author: Floella Benjamin
For Juniors/KS2
Price 6.99 paperback
Book(s) at 6.99 paperback
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Coming to England This welcome reissue of Floella Benjamin's childhood memoir reflects on the experience of exchanging her beloved home in Trinidad, for a new life in England. Like many of their generation, her parents are drawn to the promise of work opportunities in post-war Britain, leaving Floella in the temporary care of relatives. She is shocked when she finally does travel to London, to find herself in a grey, cold city where home is two rooms and school is a place where she is mocked for her accent and assumed to be poorly educated. After the racial mix of Trinidad where skin colour was never an issue she is astounded by the ignorance of some English people who treat her and fellow West Indians as if they come from a monolithic culture, instead of acknowledging that each Caribbean island has its own distinctive culture and history. These challenges to her self-esteem bring out a determination to succeed in the young girl and she sets out to negotiate living in two cultures with courage and competitive zeal. The memoir is illustrated throughout with watercolours by Michael Frith, and an afterword gives historical information about the Windrush generation.