Nikki Gamble talks to Benjamin Zephaniah about his novel Windrush Child. Zephaniah explains the importance of authenticity in historical accounts and why it is the voices and stories of ordinary people that illuminate the past and help us move towards a brighter, more equal future.

Leonard is shocked when he arrives with his mother in the port of Southampton. His father is a stranger to him, it’s cold and even the Jamaican food doesn’t taste the same as it did back home in Maroon Town. But his parents have brought him here to try to make a better life, so Leonard does his best not to complain, to make new friends, to 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?