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.
“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
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 264 g
Dimensions: 198 x 130 x 24 mm
'Raul's book is at once tearjerking and chuckle-inducing and will go a long way to restore faith in human nature.' - The Sunday Post
'Onjali Rauf's debut, The Boy at the Back of the Class, 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
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