The Boy At the Back of the Class
By Onjali Q. Rauf
WINNER OF THE BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD 2019 WINNER OF THE WATERSTONES CHILDREN'S BOOK PRIZE 2019Told with heart and humour, The Boy at the Back of the Class is a child's perspective on the refugee crisis, highlighting the importance of friendship and kindness in a world that doesn't always make sense.There used to be an empty chair at the back of my class, but now a new boy called Ahmet is sitting in it.He's nine years old (just like me), but he's very strange. He never talks and never smiles and doesn't like sweets - not even lemon sherbets, which are my favourite!But then I learned the truth: Ahmet really isn't very strange at all. He's a refugee who's run away from a War. A real one. With bombs and fires and bullies that hurt people. And the more I find out about him, the more I want to help.That's where my best friends Josie, Michael and Tom come in. Because you see, together we've come up with a plan. . .With beautiful illustrations by Pippa Curnick
By Alan Gibbons
Aidan has it all - a happy home in leafy suburbia with two cars parked on the drive, and all a boy could ask for in terms of designer labels and gadgets. He's top of the class, captain of the swimming team and has the gorgeous Emily hanging on his every word. So a trip up North with Mum to visit his dying Grandfather doesn't go down well. But it does teach Aidan a thing or two about real life - and friendships, trust, loyalty and survival. He's shattered to discover his real father is a gangland drugs dealer recently released from prison and out to regain his scrap of turf whatever it takes. He's surprised and confused to find he's falling in love with the intriguing Jade even though she's already pregnant after a fling with one of the bad lads who hangs out on the estate. He's humbled by his grandparents, how little they have, but how much wisdom and love they offer him. In a crackingly paced, hard-hitting, real life thriller that deals with drugs and crime, Alan Gibbons also describes the summer of one boy who must grow up super-fast - from hormonal to responsible - in one huge leap of faith.