Saturday 8 June 2019.

The Harris is excited to welcome Onjali Q.Rauf, author of The Boy at the Back of the Class and winner of The Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2019 and Blue Peter Book Award 2019.

Onjali will be reading from and signing copies of her prize-winning book. The Boy at the Back of the Class is the story of new boy Ahmet, a refugee from Syria, told from the point of view of an anonymous classmate. One who goes to (at times) hilarious lengths to make friends and give Ahmet a sense of belonging. The unexpected adventure that follows strikes the perfect balance between humour and poignancy, topped off with a terrific twist. The result is an unforgettable story that will find a home in the heart of every child.

Onjali Raúf portrays the refugee crisis through the eyes of a child in a way that’s accessible, warm and funny. It’s a story about friendship and how naturally children celebrate, rather than fear, all our differences.

Councillor Peter Kelly, Cabinet member for leisure and culture, said:
“What a wonderful opportunity to meet Onjali, right here in Preston. Stories covering subjects so often in the news is vital for children to understand the world we live in, and reinforces the message that we should be kind and welcoming to everyone. That’s one thing Preston is definitely famous for – it’s warm, northern welcome.”

Come and meet this wonderful author as she reads from her book. 

Onjali Q. Raúf says: ‘The Boy at the Back of the Class was born of an ongoing global tragedy, the outcomes of which will be borne by children the world over in the coming years. My intention was to tell this story through the unique lens of humanity, kindness and innocence that only children possess, and by doing so make our world just that little bit more beautiful and compassionate.’

The event will take place in the newly re-furbished Heritage Reading Room.

Tickets cost £2.60 Booking is essential on Harris Eventbrite
Books will be available to purchase on the day.

Meet the author is a Making Your Mark event. 


Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library
Harris Museum

A great day out for all the family, the Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library is a treasure trove of fantastic art and fascinating objects.



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