The Boy at the Back of the Class

Winner of the 2019 Blue Peter Best Story Award.

Winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019.

There used to be an empty chair at the back of the class. Now a new boy called Ahmet is sitting in it. He’s nine years old, like the others, but he’s very strange. He never talks and hardly smiles and doesn’t like sweets – not even lemon sherbets! But Ahmet isn’t really strange. He’s a refugee who has run away from a war. A real war, with bombs and fires and soldiers who hurt people. And when Ahmet’s classmates find out the truth, they decide they want to help. Which is why they’ve come up with a brilliant plan…

  • An uplifting refugee story with a message of kindness
  • Told in a child’s voice full of heart, hope and humour
  • The debut novel of activist and campaigner Onjali Rauf
  • Perfect for fans of Once and The Unforgotten Coat

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

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Recent reviews

  • loved it

    This book is amazing. I read it in class. I really loved how the author didn’t say if the protagonist was a boy or a girl at one point when the guards caught her when I was deep into the book. My favourite part is when the author makes us thinks it is a boy. This 8s because the protagonist liked tin tin and she also liked a lot of things that a boy would usually like. But when we heard it was a girl, we were confused. With so much detail we couln’t still be able to find the answer. Overall,this was an amazing book and I give it 5 stars. Thank you

    11 February 2021

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  • Awards

    Winner of the 2019 Blue Peter Best Story Award and the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for The Boy at the Back of the Class.

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