All children deserve to be visible in stories, but they also need to see themselves represented equally, not just as the means to communicate serious cultural, religious or political issues.” “It’s these experiences that inform the content of the series, like the issues I write about and my writing style which is absurd. “From my books I hope readers are in stitches from laughing but also experience a sense of empowerment, particularly girls who have a multicultural background or belong to a minority ethnic group. “I want them to feel good about themselves and proud of their unique heritage.” With three books so far in the series – Mystery and Mayhem, Torment and Trickery and the third Bloodlust and Blunders, to be released in early 2016, Alana is the story of a 12-year-old who, thanks to a slightly erratic mother, feels like she is going on 24. Given the wealth of interesting characters in her books, Poppy says people have been particularly intrigued by their ethnic makeup, because diversity is a hot topic in kid’s literature these days. “People have started to question if there’s enough diversity in the books we offer children,” she says. “All children deserve to be visible in stories, but they also need to see themselves represented equally, not just as the means to communicate serious cultural, religious or political issues. “We need books about diversity, as well as books that represent diversity, which makes me think that on both counts, we have some way to go. “Children are much more accepting of a multicultural society now and I believe by focusing on what we have in common, and respecting our differences, we can continue to foster greater tolerance and understanding.”]]>