REVIEWED BY MIRA, YR 5, NSW
The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q Raúf, illustrated by Pippa Curnick, Hachette Australia, ISBN 9781510105010
Mira reviewed her own copy of this book. This review was longlisted in Alphabet Soup’s 2020 Young Book Reviewers’ Competition.
This story is about a nine-year-old named Alexa and her three friends that felt so much pity for a refugee boy, named Ahmet. Ahmet ran away from war in Syria. He sailed the sea and walked for days. They run away from school, just to help Ahmet find his parents!
The main characters are Ahmet the refugee boy, Alexa, Michael and Tom. Michael, Tom and Josie are Alexa’s best friends. Tom has short, spiky hair and a side smile. He’s really small, but really funny. Tom moved from America to the UK. He has 3 older brothers. Josie has large, brown eyes and at least a million freckles on her face. She is the fastest girl in Alexa’s year and can kick a ball straight past a goalie from the other side of a pitch. Josie and Alexa’s mums were friends at school. Michael has glasses that are broken, and his shoelaces are never done right. Michael is a quiet boy, but when he does say something, adults look impressed. He can’t run fast or kick a ball in a straight line, but he doesn’t care.
Ahmet is a quiet boy and is a refugee. Although he ran away from war, he is a really nice boy, despite how many people laugh and bully him. He’s really fast and is amazing at soccer. He is from Syria and isn’t so fluent at English yet.
Alexa is Ahmet’s best and first friend. She’s really nice and is good at spelling. She helps Ahmet a lot and gets mad at people who tease and bully Ahmet.
Alexa’s courage and care towards Ahmet made a huge difference, bringing happiness into his life and taking away sadness and loneliness. They run away from school, just to help Ahmet find his parents!
It is a heart-warming story written by Onjali Q Raúf that teaches children about the power of friendship, kindness and care towards others. I highly recommend this book, especially to people who like adventure and fictional stories.
During May and June Alphabet Soup will be posting all the book reviews by those longlisted in our 2020 Book Reviewers’ Competition.