The Cheat Book (1): Can Kamal cheat his way on to the cool table?

The Cheat Book (1): Can Kamal cheat his way on to the cool table?

By Author / Illustrator

RAMZEE, Mascuud Dahir


School Stories

Age range(s)



Hodder Children's Books




Paperback / softback




'Laugh-out-loud funny. Kids are going to love The Cheat Book!' Cressida Cowell
'Comedy gold!' Louie Stowell

Forgotten your homework and need to WING it?
Wish you could talk your way out of DETENTION?
Want to SQUASH your bullies and RISE to the top?
Join Kamal as he attempts to go from PUKE BOY to POPULAR!

Kamal is better than anyone else in his school at fading into the background. When you're a refugee and you've started a new school three times in as many years, you learn to keep your head down.  But, after a major puke incident in front of the whole school, being invisible is no longer an option. And when Kamal finds a mysterious CHEAT BOOK in the library that promises to help him gain popularity, he sees a chance to finally make his mark . . .

This hilarious guide to being 'too cool for school' (or just cool enough) from brilliant author-illustrator Ramzee. Perfect for 8+ readers of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Loki, with black-and-white illustrations throughout!

Find out more in ReadingZone's Q&A with author & illustrator, Ramzee!



Kamal desperately wants to be one of the 'cool' kids at school, but life is not making it easy. So, when he finds a book called 'The Cheat Book' he decides to take any advice that it can give him. With the help of his best friends and his inner 'angels', from his Muslim heritage, he hopes to up his score on the social media app that is taking over the school, but things do not always work out the way he hopes.

The Cheat Book is a delightfully funny look at the trials and tribulations of school. From bullies and angry headteachers, to trying to be the coolest kid around, life is definitely not simple. The first chapter is totally hilarious, as we find that it mainly consists of Kamal's daydreams - and he is about to come back down to earth with a bang.

Kamzee, the author/illustrator, has struck a balance between the humour and sensitively addressing the themes such as bullying, the power of social media and the issues around not wanting the world to know that you are a refugee. The illustrations bring the story to life and I particularly love the two 'angels', Raqib and Atid.

This story will really appeal to children aged eight years plus and in the classroom, can be used in discussions about this range of topics, as well as about being a Muslim. It also reminds us about the power of friendship and understanding and empathy.

256 pages / Reviewed by Margaret Pemberton, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 7+


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