Bali Rai - Author

About the Author

I was born in Leicester in 1971 and have lived there for most of my life apart from the five years I spent in London, doing a bit of uni work and a whole lot of other stuff. I eventually graduated in Politics ( I think my professor took pity on me ) from Southbank University in 1994. Upon leaving uni I decided that I had to get a job and join the real world. This led to a period in which I did some really boring jobs, like selling random things over the phone, managing the stacking of shelves and letting people into a cinema ( all roles which obviously required a deep knowledge of Marxist philosophy ).

 

I came back to Leicester in 1995 with no money and a distant dream about becoming the next Sue Townsend and eventually found myself managing a bar and then a nightclub. Now I'm not saying that it was particularly hard work - it was fun - but at the same time I started to write the story that would become (un)arranged marriage, my first novel for teenagers.

My own influences are wide-ranging. My favourite writers are Roald Dahl, Sue Townsend and crime writers such as James Lee Burke, James Ellroy and Walter Mosely. I'm an avid fan of Reggae Music and artists such as Bob Marley, Burning Spear and Dennis Brown, amongst others, not only have me singing along (badly) but inform much of the way that I look at the World and things in it.

Featured books by Bali Rai

Other books by Bali Rai

Stay A Little Longer

Stay A Little Longer

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/09/2018

Aman's dad is gone, leaving her feeling lost and alone. She struggles to talk about it, but it's a fact and he isn't coming back. When a lovely man called Gurnam moves onto her street and saves Aman from some local bullies, he and Aman quickly become friends, perhaps even like family. But Gurnam has his own sadness. One that's far bigger than Aman can understand, and it's tearing his life apart. A touching and evocative tale of unlikely friendships and finding happiness in the hardest of times. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 13+

(Un)arranged Marriage

(Un)arranged Marriage

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/08/2018

Reissued in Penguin's ORIGINALS series of powerful teenage fiction. MANNY WANTS TO BE A FOOTBALLER. OR A POP STAR. OR WRITE A BESTSELLER. HE DOESN'T WANT TO GET MARRIED... 'Harry and Ranjit were waiting for me - waiting to take me to Derby, to a wedding. My wedding. A wedding that I hadn't asked for, that I didn't want. To a girl who I didn't know... If they had bothered to open their eyes, they would have seen me: seventeen, angry, upset but determined - determined to do my own thing, to choose my own path in life...' Set partly in the UK and partly in the Punjab region of India, this is a fresh, bitingly perceptive and totally up-to-the-minute look at one young man's fight to free himself from family expectations and to be himself, free to dance to his own tune.

Tales from India

Tales from India

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/08/2017

A collection of 20 stories from India's rich folklore heritage. From wicked magicians to wise old priests, charming princes and beautiful princesses, to greedy tigers and wily jackals, these magical tales are full of adventure and trickery, and infused with deeper messages about morality, Life and the world around us. Founded on the work of folklorist, Joseph Jacob, and from tales from India's Mughul period, award-winning author Bali Rai's lively retellings are a delight for readers of all ages. The book includes endnotes with a glossary, additional information as well as ideas for activities that children can do to explore the stories further.

The Harder They Fall

The Harder They Fall

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/05/2017

Cal's family are proud to live in an 'analogue' world - no wifi in their house , just an ancient black-and-white TV. At school, Cal has no choice but to live in the 21st century, coping with a range of bullies and chancers on a daily basis. When Cal's mum decides to 'rebalance' the family with a stint as volunteers at a local foodbank, Cal inadvertently discovers new kid Jacob's secret, and Jacob flips. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 13+

Them and Us

Them and Us

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/10/2016

Game on

Game on

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/04/2015

A fantastic tale about football and growing up. Baljit couldn't be happier with life - his parents are supporting his ambitions, things are going great with his girlfriend Hannah, and best of all, he's in with a chance of playing football for his heroes, Liverpool FC. But life doesn't always work out the way you hope and Baljit has some big decisions to make that will affect everyone. Uplifting teen drama with a sporting focus and the long-awaited sequel to bestselling Dream On. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+

The Gun

The Gun

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/01/2015

Gritty urban drama. When Jonas finds a gun left from a shooting he takes it home. He can't wait to show his mates Kamal and Binny, who reckon they can use the gun to bolster their own street cred. But when Kamal starts to use the gun in robberies, Jonas realises it's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt - Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+

Dream on

Dream on

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/10/2014

A warm and witty football tale from teen favourite Bali Rai. Baljit works in his dad's chippy but dreams of football stardom. When the chance of a lifetime comes along in the form of a national team's rep, Baljit works in his dad's chippy but dreams of football stardom. When the chance of a lifetime comes along in the form of a national team's rep, he is sure that his parents will disapprove and so a chain of lies begins. Will Baljit's fibs mean the end of his potential football stardom, or will his dreams win out? Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+

The Night Run

The Night Run

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/06/2014

Amritsar, India, 1919. A city on the verge of meltdown, as tensions between the local people and the British colonial rulers explode. 12-year-old Arjan Singh learns that his father has been falsely charged with serious crimes and faces hanging. But there has been a terrible massacre in the city, as British troops fired on unarmed Indians, and the city is under curfew. Anger and fear have left the population seething and danger lurks around every corner. Arjan sets out on a perilous mission to save his father, in the face of armed troops, martial curfew, and vicious local bandits. Can he escape and get to his father before it's too late?

Web of Darkness

Web of Darkness

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/06/2014

When the incredibly attractive Benedict befriends Lily online, she is thrilled. He is so much more mature than boys her age and he seems to know exactly how she's feeling. She finds herself opening up to him, telling him things she wouldn't tell anybody else. And she needs someone to confide in more than ever before as a spate of apparent suicides rocks her school - and her group of friends. But is Benedict the kind, charming person that he seemed to be initially? Lily soon realises that now, with half our lives spent online, you can be found - even if you try to hide . . .

Kiss of Death

Kiss of Death

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/02/2014

I drop my bag of chips and run. I can hear them, shouting after me. Telling me to stop. Four of them - all older than me, all of them angry. Are you wondering who they are, the people chasing me? Easy. They're my girlfriend's brothers ... Joey only wanted a kiss. He'd been seeing Ria - the fittest girl in year ten - for four months, seeing her in secret because her family wouldn't approve. When someone sees them together, Joey knows he's in trouble. Big trouble. Soon, a simple trip to the chippy turns into a life and death chase. And that kiss, that one, little peck, might turn out to be the kiss that kills him... *Help Key Stage 3 students move from Level 3a to Level 4c in reading.*Support comprehension with the age-appropriate graphic-novel-style illustrations.*Encourage shared and guided reading using the ready-made tasks and discussion points on the activity pages at the back of the book.* Suitable for Key Stage 3 students with a reading age of 9 years and 6 months.

Old Dog, New Tricks

Old Dog, New Tricks

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/01/2014

When the Singh family move into a new house, their neighbour Mick is far from welcoming. He's mean to everyone and his racist beliefs make living next door to him hard for the Singhs. But Harvey is convinced that Mick just needs help and that he's the one to do it - he just needs to work out how! A charming and heart-warming story about the importance of family and friends. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+

Secrets

Secrets

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/08/2013

JIT can't be bothered with school. His mum's new boyfriend is doing his head in, and the last thing on his mind is dealing with lessons and homework. He needs the gang's help, and fast . . . SUKY and Imi have been going out for ages. But there's trouble in paradise - namely, Suky's strict parents. A whole load of drama is about to kick off . . . Two great stories from the Devana High gang.

Trouble

Trouble

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/06/2013

GRACE and her mates hate late lunches and being last in the canteen queue. They always get stuck with the rank leftovers. But then they think of a wicked plan . . . DEAN is always up for making some extra cash. When he gets his hands on a sweet stash of mobile phones and games, he knows he's going to make millions. Unless school bully Jason makes trouble instead . . . Two hilarious stories from the Devana High gang.

The Guru and the King

The Guru and the King

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/01/2013

Guru Hargobind and 52 princes have been unjustly imprisoned by the cruel King. The King says he will release the Guru, but the Guru refuses to leave without the princes. The King tells him he can take as many princes as can hold onto his clothes. Can the Guru find a way to rescue all 52 princes? Lively retelling of the well-known Sikh tale, suitable for average ability readers at KS1. Book band: Gold Ideal for ages: 5+

Fire City

Fire City

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/08/2012

Twenty-five years ago the world changed forever. A great war, which had raged for three years ended, and the reign of the Demons began... Within the crumbling walls of Fire City, fifteen-year-old Martha is a member of the resistance, a small band of humans fighting for freedom in a lawless and horrifying new world. Amidst the chaos of battle arrives Jonah, a handsome stranger with a thirst for revenge and a power to destroy the Demon rulers. As Martha and Jonah's lives collide, the future of the resistance is altered forever. The battle for humankind will now begin. An epic story of catastrophe, survival and the power of humanity.

The Guru and the King

The Guru and the King

Author: Bali Rai Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/07/2012

Guru Hargobind and 52 princes have been unjustly imprisoned by the cruel King. The King says he will release the Guru, but the Guru refuses to leave without the princes. The King tells him he can take as many princes as can hold onto his clothes. Can the Guru find a way to rescue all 52 princes? Lively retelling of the well-known Sikh tale, suitable for average ability readers at KS1.

City of Ghosts

City of Ghosts

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/03/2010

It's 1919 and Amritsar is a city on the brink of rebellion. Riots, violence and tension spill onto the streets . . . Bissen Singh fought bravely for the British Empire during World War One. Now he waits patiently for news from England. Gurdial, a young orphan, is desperate to marry Sohni, the daughter of a rich and evil man. And Jeevan, Gurdial's oldest friend, is swept up in the revolution and changing beyond all recognition. Bissen, Gurdial and Jeevan are looking to the future whilst trying to escape ghosts from the past. But as the fight for Amritsar reaches a terrifying climax, their lives will be changed for ever. An epic story of love and life, war and death from multi-award-winning author Bali Rai.

Soccer Squad: Glory!

Soccer Squad: Glory!

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/03/2009

Dal, Chris, Abs and Jason have made the squad for the local youth club under-lls football team. And after their first match (not as successful as they'd have liked), they are determined to prove that they've got what it takes to be winners. Rushton Reds for the Cup! Chris is a striker - but can he put the ball in the back of the net when Rushton Reds meet Evington Eagles, their chief rivals, in a big Cup game?He and his team-mates - Dal, Jason and Abs - all want to lift the trophy. But Evington Eagles are the Cup-holders and won't be easy to beat . . .

Soccer Squad: Stars!

Soccer Squad: Stars!

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/01/2009

Dal, Chris, Abs and Jason have made the squad for the local youth club under-11s football team. And after their first match (not as successful as they'd have liked), they are determined to prove that they've got what it takes to be winners. Jason, Dal, Abs and Chris are about to be famous! A TV documentary is being made about their team and everyone wants the chance to shine in front of the cameras. But what is more important - looking like a star, or playing well as part of the team? When Abs takes his posing a bit too far, is he getting too big for his boots?

Soccer Squad: Missing!

Soccer Squad: Missing!

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/07/2008

Dal, Chris, Abs and Jason have made the squad for the local youth club under-lls football team. And after their first match (not as successful as they'd have liked), they are determined to prove that they've got what it takes to be winners. The Rushton Reds have lost their first two matches. Missed chances, missed goals - even missed penalties! Their coaches say they need to play more as a team - and they have an idea for a great team-building day. But will it help the Reds hit the back of the net?

Soccer Squad: Starting Eleven

Soccer Squad: Starting Eleven

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/07/2008

The local youth club are putting an under-elevens squad together - and Dal, Chris, Abs and Jason are determined to be picked.They know they're the best players in their school - but what if that isn't good enough and they don't make the team? Dal knows he'd be gutted if his mates made it and he didn't . . . Then once the team is picked, they have to do the business on the pitch - go out and win! And their coach has a couple of surprise new players to help the team . . .

The Last Taboo

The Last Taboo

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2006

Simran likes Tyrone from the moment she spots him in the crowd. He's gorgeous and he won't take no for an answer. There's just one problem. . . Tyrone is black and Simran's not sure how her family will react. Even though her parents were a 'love match' and married each other against the wishes of their families, Simran doesn't think they will approve of her having a black boyfriend, and her nightmare uncles and aunts certainly won't. Like her cousin Ruby says, it's the last taboo. But Simran likes Tyrone too much to walk away, so they face the problems their relationship causes together. But it becomes harder than either of them predicted and when the hatred they encounter escalates into violence, with families and friends turning against each other, Simran and Tyrone are forced to question whether they are strong enough to fight for what they believe in.

The Whisper

The Whisper

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2005

The Crew didn't think things could ever get that bad again. They were seriously wrong. Things have calmed down for the Crew (Billy, Ellie, Della, Jas and Will) and life in the Ghetto is ticking on as usual. But things are about to kick-off all over again. The police have launched Operation Clean-up and dealers are regularly being pulled off the street and into the police station. Someone's got to be grassing them up, and soon Nanny and the Crew are getting blamed. Billy is mugged, Ellie is picked on in school, and Billy's house is being targeted. The Crew need to find out who's pointing the finger before things get really serious. As tough and uncompromising as ever, Bali's latest novel won't disappoint his army of fans and will undoubtedly win him many more. A thrilling sequel that also stands alone.

Rani And Sukh

Rani And Sukh

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/05/2004

A powerful and gripping novel that sweeps the reader from modern-day Britain to the Punjab in the 1960s and back again in a ceaseless cycle of tragedy and conflict. 1950s Punjab - a secret affair goes terribly wrong and the bride commits suicide after her lover is attacked by her family. The two families part in violence and conflict. 2004 Leicester - Rani and Sukh fall in love, unaware of the terrible legacy of the past and the conflict between their two families-Can tragedy be averted or will the two young people be able to escape the cycle of violence and draw the families together for the future?

The Crew

The Crew

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/03/2003

Meet Ellie, Jas, Della, Will and Billy. They're tough. They're street-smart. They're the Crew, and they live in what they call the Ghetto - the estates round the city centre where everyone is skint and it's important to stick together. No-one has a go once you're part of a gang. Except, sometimes, the older gangs who can be really dangerous- A new, contemporary novel for today's teenagers from the author of the critically acclaimed (un)arranged marriage.

(Un)arranged Marriage

(Un)arranged Marriage

Author: Bali Rai Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/05/2001

MANNY WANTS TO BE A FOOTBALLER. OR A POP STAR. OR WRITE A BESTSELLER. HE DOESN'T WANT TO GET MARRIED... 'Harry and Ranjit were waiting for me - waiting to take me to Derby, to a wedding. My wedding. A wedding that I hadn't asked for, that I didn't want. To a girl who I didn't know... If they had bothered to open their eyes, they would have seen me: seventeen, angry, upset but determined - determined to do my own thing, to choose my own path in life...' Set partly in the UK and partly in the Punjab region of India, this is a fresh, bitingly perceptive and totally up-to-the-minute look at one young man's fight to free himself from family expectations and to be himself, free to dance to his own tune.

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