Billy Elliot by Melvin Burgess

*This website is supported by our users. We sometimes earn a small commission when you click through affiliate links. Please read more in our disclaimer.

Recommended by  Amanda Lawson (@Mrs_Lawson79)

Form and genre: Prose

Length: 181 pages


Growing up in a struggling coal-mining town, Billy Elliot knows his father wants him to learn to box like he did, but he has other ideas. Encouraged in secret by a local teacher, he’s determined to dance his way to a different future.

Age recommendation and challenging content: Offensive language,
Gender stereotyping

Notable reasons for recommending this book: Great text for challenging stereotyping as well as helping students see importance of context on a text, due to setting within 1984 miner’s strikes and reign of Margaret Thatcher.

Other useful information: Engaging text covering big ideas of acceptance, class, individuality and gender.