Dream to Change the World: The Story of John La Rose children's book

November 23, 2021

‘…we are more similar than different…’ Ken Wilson-Max

The George Padmore Institute (GPI) has published a children’s book! Dream to Change the World is part of an Arts Council England project grant to demonstrate the importance of Black British history and inspire new generations with stories of diversity and inclusion. It also showcases how archives can play a key role for authors.

Our Writer in Residence, award-winning Ken Wilson-Max, has written and illustrated the book for children aged 5 to 8 years old. Dream to Change the World is the story of the childhood of John La Rose. Born in Trinidad, John’s influence on black communities in London and internationally is unparalleled in Black British history. He was an activist, publisher, trade unionist and writer. His tireless commitment to racial equality and social justice in Britain and beyond is inspirational. John’s archives are held at the GPI, the archive he co-founded, and from which Ken Wilson-Max has created a magical and engrossing book. Young readers will also learn about John's achievements throughout his life from a fascinating timeline at the end of the book.

About writing the book, Ken Wilson-Max said: ‘Having grown up in a large, culturally blended family meant it was not difficult to create empathy-based stories, where those reading could imagine for a moment what it feels like to be those they read about. When I was approached to become the Writer in Residence at the George Padmore Institute it felt like a significant career milestone would finally be crossed. Working with the GPI team has been a very rich and rewarding experience. My hope for the books is to show people that we are more similar than different and equally entitled to history, culture, pride and dignity. These stories are accessible to all children and encourage them to step into another experience of the world.’

The cover of Dream to Change the World. The happy, curious face of a young black boy.
Cover of Dream to Change the World

Order the book!

This wonderful children’s book for 5- to 8-year-olds is available to purchase for only £5.50 plus postage and packaging.

Purchase the book via our Shop on the Discover page

If you are a UK library and would like one free copy for the cost of post and packaging (£2.50), please email with your details to info@georgepadmoreinstitute.org


Born in Zimbabwe, Ken Wilson-Max lives in north London. He has written and illustrated over 50 books for children, including the global hit Astro Girl, about a young black girl dreaming of space travel. He releases work from other creators through Alanna Max, his publishing company, and since 2014 has been publishing the Chicken Newspaper for children all over the world. He is the George Padmore Institute’s 2020-21 writer-in-residence.

For more information, please visit https://www.kenwilsonmax.com/