In April 2019, I went to Waterstones for an Easter holiday treat. I chose The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf. I picked it up because the plain cover had all the writing on the back of a boy’s rucksack. When I turned it over and read the blurb, I liked the sound of it. I like reading about adventures and this sounded like a new adventure. When I read it, I really enjoyed it and recommended it to everyone in my family. I like to read stories about children who could exist in real life.
This book makes people think about why refugees come and what happens to them. It helps you understand what refugees are thinking and tells you the story from Ahmet’s friends’ point of view instead of Ahmet’s. Ahmet is a very brave refugee who got separated from his parents and sister. He had to go to a new school where he didn’t even speak the same language as everyone else. He made friends with a group of children and they did everything together. When Brendan, the school bully, starts being mean to Ahmet, a group of kids help Ahmet get his own back. They hear that the government are going to stop refugees from coming into the country. The children make their way to Buckingham Palace to tell the Queen that Ahmet’s family is still out there and they shouldn’t do it. Ahmet needs to find his family.
On World Book Day 2020, I went back to Waterstones and was excited to see that there was another book about the same people. I really enjoyed the first book so I couldn’t wait to read this one. In this story, the Queen invites the children to have tea with her in the palace since they had worked so hard to stop the gates to the country from being closed. Before they went, they had to do an assembly in front of the whole school about the visit and what they wanted to ask the Queen when they met her. When they were on stage, a massive failure happened in the middle of the hall. They didn’t know what would happen next… Would this spoil their chance to meet the Queen?
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