The Boy At the Back of the Class (Paperback)
  • The Boy At the Back of the Class (Paperback)
  • The Boy At the Back of the Class (Paperback)
  • The Boy At the Back of the Class (Paperback)
The Boy At the Back of the Class (Paperback) The Boy At the Back of the Class (Paperback)

The Boy At the Back of the Class (Paperback)

(author), (illustrator)
Paperback 320 Pages
Published: 12/07/2018
  • 10+ in stock

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Waterstones Says

Based in part on the stories she encountered when working in refugee camps, Onjali Q. Raúf’s remarkable debut deserves to be ranked as a modern classic. Told with humour and tenderness, it is an unforgettable story of hope, curiosity and the importance of kindness.

Overall Winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2019

Waterstones Children's Book of the Month for April 2019

A story of friendship, hope and the importance of kindness, The Boy at the Back of the Class is a story full of heart and humour, told from a unique perspective. Featuring illustrations from Pippa Curnick, this is an exceptional book by an emerging voice in children’s writing.

When a new boy joins their class, a group of children try to befriend him. They soon learn that Ahmet is a refugee and has been separated from his family. None of the grown-ups seem to be able to help him, so the friends come up with a daring plan, embarking on an extraordinary adventure.

Onjali Q. Raúf is Founder and CEO of the London based human rights organisation Making Herstory, working in partnership with other movements to end the abuse, trafficking and enslavement of women and girls in the UK and beyond. Based in part on the stories she encountered when working in refugee camps, The Boy at the Back of the Class is a remarkable debut that deserves to be ranked as a modern classic. 

Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award 2019

“In this future classic, Raúf has distilled what it means to be a genuine and positive person into a story that sparkles with kindness, humour and curiosity. Her characters step out of the book with a warm smile, fully-formed as role models for everyday life, ready to take you on an ambitious adventure which is both fun and exceptionally gripping. Children’s books have a raft of difficult topics to convey to young readers, and Raúf embraces this with an approach that is funny, upbeat and overwhelmingly open-hearted.” - Florentyna Martin, Waterstones Children’s Buyer

Published on Thursday 3 October, Onjali Q. Raúf’s brilliant second novel, The Star Outside My Window is available to pre-order now, signed by the author.

Publisher: Hachette Children's Group
ISBN: 9781510105010
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 288 g
Dimensions: 196 x 128 x 30 mm


Raul's book is at once tearjerking and chuckle-inducing and will go a long way to restore faith in human nature. - Sunday Post

Onjali Raúf's debut, The Boy at the Back of the Class (Orion), illustrated by Pippa Curnick, offers a child's eye view and an ambitious, adventure-filled plot. When a new boy is introduced at school, no one is exactly sure where he has come from; what is a "refugee kid", anyway, and how can Ahmet be helped to feel that he belongs? Though the narrator's voice is overly young at times, this is a lovely, warm-hearted first novel, a celebration of courage and friendship leavened with mischief. - The Guardian

Rauf's touching debut could hardly be more topical. Syrian refugee Ahmet is struggling to adapt to his new life in London, until our nine-year-old narrator and friends come up with a very clever plan to reunite him with his lost family. Utterly delightful, Rauf's book centres on the importance of friendship and encourages children not to fear those who are different'. - The Mail On Sunday

Bravely tackling the difficult issue of refugees, The Boy At The Back of The Class is about a Syrian refugee arriving in a class in the UK that shows us how children can sometimes get it so much better than adults. - Angels & Urchins

This is a powerful story about friendship and kindness. - Family Traveller

This book's greatest strength is how it conveys the motive nature of its main theme (the refugee crisis) in a way that opens up conversations instead of shutting them down. 'The Boy At The Back of The Class' is not only a well-written book that begs the reader to keep reading, but also one that opens up a dialogue that we need to be having with our young people. - TES

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Nicole @WstonesHemel

“Who Is The New Kid?”

I loved this story so much. Not only has it got some very trying words for KS2 children to be looking up, like 'seclusion' but it has a very real look at todays attitude to people who are 'not like... More

Paperback edition
9 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 141

“Important and Timely”

A new boy starts at the narrator's school, and he doesn't seem to smile or talk. Our main character decides to befriend him and find out more, and learns that Ahmet is a refugee, fleeing the war in Syria. It... More


This is a fantastic book for competent readers, it covers the topic of refugees from a child's point of view.
I bought it on recommendation and read it in one evening. My children are now fighting over it. Eye... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 109

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