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Told from the point of view of a nine year old girl called Alexa, ‘The Boy at the Back of the Class’ is a sweet story about a refugee boy.

Alexa is curious to find out more about the new boy who has joined their class. Ahmet is quiet and shy, piquing the curiosity of Alexa and her friends as well as the wrath of Brenden the Bully.It is a sweet story about kindness, inclusion and standing up against prejudice.We first read this book last summer and then Sugarplum re-read it as a part of Emirates Foundation’s Chevron Readers Cup.Although this book was recommended by a number of people, I was disappointed by the basic plot of the story. Personally I’m turned off by books in which meeting a celebrity or a royalty is a high point in the story. Or worse when the celebrity/royalty in question swoops in to save the day. The character of Ahmet comes across and strange and exotic and I feel we barely get to know him on a human level. I’ve been reading a number of middle grade novels about the Syrian crisis and in my opinion N.H Senzai’s ‘Escape From Aleppo’ does an amazing job depicting the experience of those fleeing from war on a human level. I asked Sugarplum aka Miss Rahmarkable what she thought of this book and she said, “It’s good.” That’s the target audience so I guess her opinion counts more.

Interest age: 6+Reading age: 8+

#middlegradebooks #middlegradebookstagram #diversebooks #booksaboutrefugees #syriancrisis #theboyatthebackoftheclass #onjaliqrauf #muslimauthors #littlemutaqeen

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