Last week, The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q Raúf was announced as the overall winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019.
It’s been a fantastic month for Onjali as the book also won the Blue Peter Book Award on the 7th March. And it was also longlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal this year.
Children across Sussex are currently reading the story, as it has been selected as the book for this year’s Young City Reads and Onjali Q Raúf will be appearing at the Brighton Dome on the 22nd May for a special live, interactive schools event. Schools and book groups that registered to take part in the Young City Reads programme this year have been receiving free resources relating to the book on a weekly basis since March.
The Boy at the Back of the Class, which is written in the first person narrative, gives a child’s perspective on the refugee crisis, highlighting the importance of friendship and kindness in a world that doesn’t always make sense. Reading notes, suggested writing activities and project ideas based around the story have been compiled by Hachette Schools. Click here to access them.
Other winners of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize were:
Illustrated Books Winner
The Girls by Lauren Ace & Jenny Løvlie
“The Girls is a winning celebration of difference, individuality and friendship that lasts a lifetime. The beautifully illustrated story follows four friends from childhood into adulthood. As different as they are the same, each girl takes her individual path, whilst always staying part of the others’ lives, wherever their journey takes them. ”
Older Fiction Winner
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
“Once an enchanted land, the magic of Orisha vanished without warning, leaving its people enslaved to a ruling and bloodthirsty elite. Now one girl, Zelie, has the chance to return power to her people and strike at the heart of the kingdom, but at what cost? The first in an epic new fantasy series, Children of Blood and Bone is a fierce and unflinching saga of divided love, belief and legacy. A book that combines heart-stopping drama with unforgettable characters, it ripples with rage and magic, haunting the reader long after the final page. ”