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Betty - Bywyd Penderfynol Betty Campbell - Nia Morais

Updated: Mar 26

♥ Book of the month: November 2023


(suggested) interest age: 7-11

(suggested) reading age: 7+

Gwales description:

Read about Betty Campbell's valuable contribution to our culture as Wales's first black headteacher. Another book in the popular 'Enwogion o Fri' series.


Gwales Review - by Delyth Roberts

This is a new volume in the critically acclaimed ‘Enwogion o Fri’ series. Betty: Bywyd Penderfynol Betty Campbell was written by Nia Morais, the current Bardd Plant Cymru, and illustrated by Anastasia Magloire.

What we get is the life story of Wales' first black headmistress, and her ambition and struggle to overcome prejudice and resistance because of the colour of her skin. Betty Campbell grew to be a strong symbol of an inspiring and selfless individual in pursuit of her goal. Anastasia Magloire is an artist who lives and works in Florida. There is a good marriage between word and image, and the names of other heroes are noted in their chosen fields on the pages celebrating the establishment of October as Black History month. The naming of King Charles and Nelson Mandela on the preceding pages is probably deliberately omitted.


The writing is simple and effective, and as Children's Poet of Wales Nia Morais herself wants to encourage children to build their independence and their identity while developing their own personal and powerful voices like Betty Campbell did before them.

A review from, with the permission of the Books Council of Wales.


Quick review by Sôn am Lyfra

As you know, we're big fans of this series in Sôn am Lyfra, and I think the books are very popular all over Wales, whether it's the Welsh or English versions. I've seen them in homes and in our schools. They are excellent and useful educational resources, particularly in the context of the New Curriculum for Wales.

Betty's' life has been an amazing one. I'm so pleased that there's proper recognition of it here in Wales – in the form of a statue – and now in this book as well! The recently unveiled statue of her in Cardiff is reportedly the first one of a real, non-fictional female in a public place in Wales. That is hugely significant. (But also outrageous to some extent that there aren’t more of them!)

The cartoon/comic style of the book is modern, colourful and striking. It stands out, perhaps more than any of the other books in the series. Betty was a very remarkable individual, and so it's very fitting that the look and feel of the book reflects that.

I remember hearing about Rosa Parks' story when I was in primary school, but I think we need to tell our children about our very own Welsh inspirational figure, Betty Campbell, who was determined not to let anything stop her from succeeding. Not even her own nasty teachers, who told her she’d never achieve her dreams! Her story sends a powerful message I feel.

This book is well suited for a morning assembly at school or it could be useful when undertaking work exploring the history of Black people in Wales. And whilst it’s a very useful educational resource, but it would also make a nice gift for a child between the ages of 7-9+.

This series is going from strength to strength. I’m looking forward to seeing who will be under the spotlight in future books.

*There is also an English version of this book.


Publisher: Broga

Released: 2023

Series: Enwogion o Fri

Format: paperback

Price: £5.99




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