The Boy at the Back of the Class

Onjali Q Raúf

Told from the point of view of a curious nine year old who is intrigued by the silent new boy at the back of the class, this story tackles the tricky topic of child refugees to the UK. As the unnamed narrator and her close friends try to discover more about Ahmet, the reader is introduced to the difficult concepts of family separation, drownings and UK government rules and regulations. The success of the book is that whilst it doesn’t shy away from these subjects, they are explained with a light, sensitive and at times humorous touch, which makes for compelling and heart-warming reading. It’s a good choice to read aloud to the class and will produce interesting discussion.

Published by Orion Children’s Books

Reviewed by Rachel Bolton