The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q Rauf

August 1, 2019 (by Jessica Girotti)

A wonderful and timely novel that will help middle graders gain some insight into the refugee crisis (but don’t worry – they won’t realize they’re learning). Ahmet is the new boy at the back of the class. He doesn't speak English and he looks very sad. A group of his classmates befriend Ahmet and learn that he is a refugee. They are inspired by his story to come up with a brave and risky mission to try to help Ahmet and his family. Filled with adventure, humor and loads of compassion. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Hachette Books for allowing me to read an advance copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion.

Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Enjoyable by kids and parents: Yes

Kids chose reading over extra screen time: Yes

Offensive Language: None

Violence: Some - there is some hitting and bullying.

Adult Concepts: The refugee crisis is obviously front and center in this book and while deaths are mentioned and it is heart-wrenching at times, it is handled well for the middle grade audience.

Age Range: 7 and up

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