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Written with great empathy, this book has themes of friendship and kindness whilst celebrating the fact people can change – and often for the better
I don’t think Raúf has put a foot wrong so far with her novels to date – and this is no exception. Told from the interesting perspective of the bully in school, Hector gains our sympathy quite unexpectedly – we can see how and why he gets the blame, often deservedly, but also when it’s not really his fault.
But when a prank on a homeless person gets out of hand this leads to Hector being befriended - somewhat reluctantly at first, by Mei-Li – who introduces Hector to the shelter she helps in and thus to an understanding of some of the pressures and causes of homelessness. An important social message for all – but this book is also a who-done-it trying to solve mysterious, slightly odd crimes whilst the graffiti left at the scenes of these crimes seem to indicate that homeless people are involved in some way.
Can Hector and Mei-Li get to the bottom of these crimes? Can Hector’s new understanding help him be less of a bully? Could Hector turn out to be a bit of a hero?
Written with great empathy, this book has themes of friendship and kindness whilst celebrating the fact people can change – and often for the better. Another success for Onali J Raúf.
'The boy's an absolute menace.' 'He's a bully. A lost cause!' 'Why can't he be more like his sister?'
I've been getting into trouble for as long I can remember. Usually I don't mind 'cos some of my best, most brilliant ideas have come from sitting in detention. But recently it feels like no one believes me about anything - even when I'm telling the truth! And it's only gotten worse since I played a prank on the old man who lives in the park. Everyone thinks I'm just a bully. They don't believe I could be a hero. But I'm going to prove them all wrong...
Told from the perspective of a bully, this book explores themes of bullying and homelessness, while celebrating kindness, friendship and the potential everyone has to change for the good.
Praise for The Boy at the Back of the Class;
Raul's book is at once tearjerking and chuckle-inducing and will go a long way to restore faith in human nature. - Sunday Post
|Publication date:||15th October 2020|
|Author:||Onjali Q. Raúf|
|Publisher:||Orion Children's Books an imprint of Hachette Children's Group|
|Year Groups:||Key Stage 2|
|Topics:||Bullying / Violence / Abuse, Family / Home Stories, Personal Social Health Economic|
Onjali Q. Raúf is the founder of Making Herstory an organisation mobilising men, women and children from all walks of life to tackle the abuse and trafficking of women and girls in the UK and beyond. In her spare time she delivers emergency aid convoys for refugee families surviving in Calais and Dunkirk, and supports interfaith projects. Her first novel, The Boy at the Back of the Class, won the Waterstone's Children's Prize and The Blue Peter Award.More About Onjali Q. Raúf