There used to be an empty chair at the back of my class, but now a new boy called Ahmet is sitting in it. He’s nine years old (just like me), but he’s very strange. He never talks and never smiles and doesn’t like sweets – not even lemon sherbets, which are my favourite! But then I learned the truth.
Ahmet really isn’t very strange at all. He’s a refugee who’s run away from a War. A real one. With bombs and fires and bullies that hurt people. And the more I find out about him, the more I want to help. That’s where my best friends Josie, Michael and Tom come in. Because you see, together we’ve come up with a plan …
This book is suitable for readers between 8 and 12 years of age.
Told with heart and humour, The Boy at the Back of the Class is a child’s perspective on the refugee crisis, highlighting the importance of friendship and kindness in a world that doesn’t always make sense.
Onjali Q. Raúf is the founder and CEO of Making HerStory, a UK nonprofit that works to fight human trafficking and gender-based abuses and crimes. She lives in the UK, and you can find her on Twitter at @OnjaliRauf. The Boy at the Back of the Class is her debut novel.
Pippa Curnick studied at Camberwell College of Art before graduating from the University of Derby with a First Class degree in illustration. From 2012-2014 she worked as a Designer for Alison Green Books. She now works as an illustrator and freelance designer.