This book needs to be on every bookshelf in the country. This has to be one of the most wonderful stories I have ever read.
Onjali Q. Rauf has written the Children’s book that needed writing – I could not believe how easily accessiable she has made the issue that she tackles in this novel.
Through the innocent eyes of nine-year-olds, we meet Ahmet – a young refugee boy who is running away from the bullies. And all our young heroes want to do is help him find his family. The most wonderful adventure then unfolds as they attempt to ensure no borders are closed before Ahmet is reunited with his family.
This tale will make you smile and it will make you cry. Tears of happiness as well as of sadness. And this book will stay with you long after you have read the final words.
The thing that made this novel was the fact that the children who befriended Ahmet saw nothing but a friend who needed help, without being influenced by any opinions of others. It also makes it so clear that we can all learn so much from each other and that a multicultural society is one of the best gifts that we have.
This book truly deserved to be a ‘Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize’ winner – but it should never only be read by children. It is a gift that should be read by all to remind us that, metaphorically, we should all make friends with the boy or girl at the back of the class.