Wish We Knew What to Say

Wish We Knew What to Say


We want our children to thrive and flourish in a diverse, multi-cultural world and we owe it to them to help them make sense of the confusing and emotionally charged messages they receive about themselves and others. These early years are the most crucial when children are curious about the world around them, but are also quick to form stereotypes and biases that can become deeply ingrained as they grow older. These are the people who are going to inherit this world, and we owe it to them to lay a strong foundation for the next phases of their lives.

Wish We Knew What to Say is a timely and urgent book that gives scenarios, questions, thought starters, resources and advice in an accessible manner on how to tackle tricky conversations around race and racism with confidence and awareness. it brings in the science of how children perceive race and form racial identity, combining it with personal stories and experiences to create a handy guide that every parent would refer to again and again.

Written by behavioural and data scientist, Dr Pragya Agarwal, Wish We Knew What to Say will help all parents, carers and educators give children the tools and vocabulary to talk about people's differences and similarities in an open, non-judgemental, curious way, and help them address any unfairness they might see or encounter.

Our Review

Wish We Knew What to Say: Talking to Children About Race is a timely book. It is something I have thought about a lot over the last few months because it is clear that in a lot of cases conversations about race are not being done well if it all.

My child is only a toddler but already I am thinking about how to make sure that he is aware of this thorny topic and can negotiate it without offence. I also wanted to broaden my own horizons by reading more widely not just on the topic of race.

Whilst many of the things covered in this book may not be new to those of us who are reading about white privilege and racism, they are covered thoroughly and in a way that is easy to understand. Wish We Knew What to Say is backed up by numerous studies.

The book itself is divided by the age of the child in question but the author says it is necessary to be flexible, if you feel your child is at another level then follow the advice for that section. At the end of each section is a series of question to get the conversation flowing.

The recommendations for further reading are numerous and I will be checking some of these out.

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 3/5

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