A World Book DayAuthorWINNER OF THE BLUE PETER BOOK AWARDWINNER OF THE WATERSTONES CHILDRENS BOOK PRIZE SHORTLISTED FOR THE JHALAK PRIZE Told with heart and humour, The Boy at the Back of the Class is a childs perspective on the refugee crisis, highlighting the importance of friendship and kindness in a world that doesnt always make senseThere used to be an empty chair at the back of my class, but now a new boy called Ahmet is sitting in itHes nine years old just like me , but hes very strange He never talks and never smiles and doesnt like sweets not even lemon sherbets, which are my favourite But then I learned the truth Ahmet really isnt very strange at all Hes a refugee whos run away from a War A real one With bombs and fires and bullies that hurt people And the I find out about him, the I want to helpThats where my best friends Josie, Michael and Tom come in Because you see, together weve come up with a plan With beautiful illustrations by Pippa Curnick


15 thoughts on “The Boy At the Back of the Class (English Edition)

  1. IndigoViolet IndigoViolet says:

    Wow Just, wow I m not really sure if I can add anything else of value in all honesty but I ll give it a go I m a teaching assistant and have read many, many books aimed at children of all ages This particular book was recommended to me by a 10 year old pupil any book that engages a young child so much that they spend a whole lunch break telling their class adults all about a story that has inspired them instead of heading straight out to the playground to run amok with their friends has to be a winner in my eyes.I bought the book instantly and when it arrived, excitedly presented it to my 9 year old boy He s an incredibly capable reader but often finds it hard to engage in stories he s far too analytical for his age and pulls text apart rather than enjoys a story just for the sake of it you can imagine my horror so inevitably I end up reading to him instead This book, for the first time in a long while, captivated him from the very first chapter and he was completely hooked, asking me to share the story with him each night.The writing is completely compelling I was on the verge of tears at times and bursting with pride at others It triggered so many questions and enriching discussions between my son and I, invoking a new found compassion and empathy in him that I have been trying to instill from birth The characters are a force to be reckoned with but they are also just, well, nice children that any parent read also teacher teaching assistant etc would be proud of given their efforts to help their new friend They are friendly, welcoming, open, considerate and mindful standing up to the bullies, the preconceptions and the prejudices.I have waffled a lot but feel a genuine affinity with this book that is rare and now recommend it to anyone who will listen An absolute gem of a book Every child deserves a copy.


  2. rtyui rtyui says:

    I bought this book to read with my son We finished the book, but neither of us was gripped by the story It might be ok for children aged about 6 or 7.The basic plot is ok, but the characters have no depth they are just a list of names on the page, who are either friend or bully or racist with no motivation than that.Also, the actions don t really ring true Children aged 9 are not so naive as to believe that they can solve their problems by writing a letter to the queen The incidents of racist bullying portrayed don t really fit in that age range either Worst of all is the fact that the racists in the story are basically all the white men in the story In such a preachy book, this kind of lazy stereotype pretty offensive For a considered book about racism I d recommend once and it s sequels.


  3. Zahra Zahra says:

    I am in my early 20s and thought I d read this book before I recommend it to my class and my teenage sister.I m 55 pages in but for the first time, I feel compelled to write a review at such an early stage The book is beautifully written and has forced me to tears twice already I d definitely recommend it Please don t hesitate in savouring this read


  4. Amber Amber says:

    This is a review typed up on behalf of my son Noah aged 6.I really loved the story it made me feel happy and sad at the same time and I wanted to learn about what happens when you have to leave your house It was my first chapter book and I read every page and loved finding out interesting things about the people in the book.


  5. Kindle Customer Kindle Customer says:

    The person that recommend this book thought it would be a good story to read to the class, I agree, it is thought provoking and gives an insight into the lives and dilemmas faced by refugees, especially the children Miss Ra f has seen this suffering first hand in refugee centres and has written this novel to educate others without making it seem like she is lecturing them The protagonists are a small group of 9 year olds who try to befriend a new boy who as they discover is a refugee They help to make him welcome while fighting off bullying and ignorance.


  6. Omar.zzzz Omar.zzzz says:

    I saw some reviews on Facebook and decided to order the book It comes days before expected, on Sunday.It s an amazing story of a friendship beyond all barriers that grown ups try to build between kids Sad at times, but mostly funny, happy ending, beautiful story.I read it to my 4 and 6 years old before bed , and they loved it, and can t wait for chapter 2 tomorrow The book is very easy to read, so older child could do it alone easy The story is nice, fun and interesting Would recommend.Update Just finished chapter 8 The you read , the you love the book My 12 years old and husband actually join in to listen to the story, they love it so much 2


  7. Daft Monk Daft Monk says:

    This story is adequately written and builds to a nice emotional climax, but the opening 100 pages are sluggish.Sadly the characters are all such obvious good guys and bad guys and the political points so preachily black and white that at times it feels like propaganda than a story about real kids.


  8. Andrew Andrew says:

    Having really enjoyed the book my 9 year old daughter suggested I Have a go and I truly enjoyed it Written from the point of view of a nine year old boy the story really captures the imagination and prompts deep thought in an amusing way Totally recommend to both children and adults.


  9. rnrs17 rnrs17 says:

    I bought this book because it was highly recommended on Twitter and the reviews on here are mainly 5 but I must admit, it didn t grip me I wanted to love it but it was disappointing The characters are simply boring and some of the dialogue is far fetched and ineffective in the portrayal of prejudice and presumptions of white British.


  10. bargain hunter bargain hunter says:

    LOVE this book A huge hit with my children 13, 9 and 7 We loved the realistic nature of the characters, although the adventure was a bit unrealistic for my eldest the others were so excited by it The main character remains a mystery right until the end, as you know what they love and how they think but is it a he or a she Great for challenging gender stereotypes.The way the children all group together to help the refugee boy is beautiful This is a great book for empathy and teaching acceptance My reading club at school are loving it too I highly recommend it as a class book for teachers to read The main characters are in year 5, so would be a great book for a year 5 class to relate too But it is suitable for years 3 year 6 and even beyond.


  11. Poppy Poppy says:

    My 11 year old son wrote this review I think this book is spectacular, it has really good descriptive language and it is a medium read so it is great if you want to up your level of description.The main character Ahmet is from Syria On the way to London he was separated from his mum, dad and sister During the journey Ahmet s cat died because the journey was too much for her.A brief description of the book is that a refugee a person from another country that has run away from something like war boy has come to England and he has lost his mum, dad and sister, and his friends help him try and find his them by going to Buckingham Palace and informing the soldiers to tell the queen about Ahmet s situation During his time at school, a bully, called Brendan is bullying Ahmet but something unbelievable happens to Brendan.


  12. Kindle Customer Kindle Customer says:

    My 6 and 8 year old children are lapping this book up It s meant to be written from the point of view of year 5 children, but as a year 5 teacher, the narrator definitely sounds like a year 2 or 3 child However, the simple language means it s easy to understand The main theme, of the sadness of a refugee s life prior to arrival in the UK, is dealt with effectively Not too graphic to horrify younger readers, but clearly enough to help them open their eyes to the tragedy some of their class mates may have been through My 8 year old was particularly touched by the emotive parts of the story I too choked on tears a few times.We can t wait to finish it.


  13. LEG LEG says:

    The best book I have ever read with my son, it had us both gripped and filled us with every emotion possible It was so good that I had no problem getting him to read it with me, which is a first It changed his love for reading from it being a chore to being a pleasure and something we both looked forward to at the end of the day He even wanted to go to bed just so we could read another chapter I have just ordered The Star Outside My window and we both can t wait to see how this compares It s so much than any David Walliams or Tom Gates book, a must read for all.


  14. Joan W Joan W says:

    This was a great way to kick off my year of reading Had heard about this one a while ago but was not initially drawn to it Finally decided to see what all the fuss was about and I have to say it was a book worth the hype I loved the characters and their friendships A great insight into the plight of refugees seen through the eyes of children We could learn a lot from these fictional characters Made me laugh, smile and cry well nearly I m pretty tough


  15. Gemma - Read A Book Gem Gemma - Read A Book Gem says:

    This is an amazingly constructed story about a sensitive topical issue which couldn t be timely I feel like adult readers could get as much out of this book as children It certainly made me want to read children s books By exploring the attitudes and assumptions surrounding refugees, through the eyes of a child protagonist, the book really takes a step back from the politics and puts compassion and heart at the very centre In this way the story never feels preachy and is all the powerful because of it.