There used to be an empty chair at the back of the class. But now there is a new boy sitting there. Although he's the same age as his class mates, he seems strange- never talking to them, never smiling and working with a helper.
As his peers begin to learn Ahmet's story, they discover that he is a refugee who has had to leave his home. A group of friends in his class are determined to befriend him and together they form a plan to help him.
This is such a special book; heart-warming, touching and funny, it looks at some very difficult issues through the eyes of a nine-year-old. The open curiosity of the children and their willingness to learn and make friends is beautifully portrayed. There is an innocence about their behaviour which allows the author to answer questions and explore events which children are increasingly aware of in a way they can understand.
'The Boy at the Back of the Class' encourages children to be thoughtful and challenge prejudice. It really is a beautiful read, poignant and thought-provoking. I was moved to tears as I read it and cannot recommend it highly enough. Definitely one I'll be sharing with my class.
The Boy at the Back of the Class Onjali Q Raúf
Orion Children's Books ISBN: 978-1510105010