Ali's first day at school

Reviews by Sasi and Latika

Atawhai, a Young Enterprise company


When I read this book, it takes me back to my childhood days at school, when we moved from Sri Lanka to India, and I went to English school in Year 6. Previously I was learning in my mother tongue Tamil. I didn’t even understand a single sentence in English, which was really difficult. However, my teachers and friends helped me a lot, which allowed me to become class leader in two years.

I think everyone should take responsibility to support newcomers not only in school, but in every setting. Help them to feel welcome so that they love to be part of the place they have started their new life – so that they start to feel they belong.


This book wonderfully portrays a boy’s first day at school in New Zealand. I loved the cultural and environmental differences throughout the book and how Ali overcame these.

The Mental Health Foundation’s Information Service brings you reviews this Pink Shirt Day on books with bullying prevention themes.

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