The Boy at the Back of the Class

Publisher: Orion Children's Books

Review

This is the story about how one ordinary nine-year-old child and three classmates are full of empathy for Ahmet, a boy that comes to their school as a refugee from Syria (he is the boy at the back of the class).

Through their sensitivity, curiosity, ingenuity, bravery and innocent niceness, they make a massive impact on Ahmet’s life, friends, class, school, community and wider world. There’s a lovely lack of stereotyping on gender and backstory for the narrator, which adds to the message of not judging people before you know them.

An inspiring and sweet tale that will help children think about what it is to be a good person whatever your circumstances (the narrator is from a poor background with a single parent mum who struggles to make ends meet), and challenge prejudice and push for fairness, whenever possible.

This is a beautiful, open-hearted debut from Onjali Q Raúf that should help children be the best they can be and realise the power of kindness.

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