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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.
'Honour,' I repeated, wondering how such a small word could have caused so much trouble. When Sat's sister, Jas, is married off into the Atwal family she changes, she's quiet and distant. But Sat's too busy with his own life; his girlfriend, his friends, football ...Then Jas disappears. According to her new husband, she's run off with another man.
An edge-of-your-seat thriller that will have you hooked from the first page. A missing girl, a web of clues and a race to find the truth by a close friend who made a promise to come and find her if she every went away. A promise he is determined to keep.
A highly personal and admittedly biased introduction to some aspects of politics. As a background, Bali Rai looks at how the institutions of government work and at what the different parties stand for and some of the ideologies on which they may, or may not, rest their core beliefs. He then takes a direct look at some of the key issues of the day â€“ the Iraq war, the war on terror, global warming, racism and education and gives his own account of what they are and why they are important. Thought provoking, this is a valuable source of information from which to challenge whatâ€™s on the news.
A gripping adventure in an exciting new series reflecting the authentic, unsung stories of our past! Now or Never brings a young soldier, Private Fazal Khan, from his home in India to the battlefields of the Second World War. Fazal's world is now focused on Company 32 and the animals he cares for in the midst of one of the most frightening times in history. And as he and his friends make their way to the beaches of Dunkirk, Fazal must deal with even more than the terrors of a dangerous trek to reach the evacuation zone. The Company's captain defends his troops in the face of a terrible betrayal at the point of rescue: not everyone has welcomed the help brought by the Royal Indian Army Service Corps. Now Fazal is forced to question why he is even there and why he is expected to be loyal to a king whose people don't all see him as their equal. VOICES: A thrilling new series showcasing some of the UK's finest writers for young people. VOICES reflects the authentic, unsung stories of our past. Each shows that, even in times of great upheaval, a myriad of people have arrived on this island and made a home for themselves - from Roman times to the present day.
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?
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 in to 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. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 13+
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.
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.
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+
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+
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+
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+
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 . . .
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.
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+
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.
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.
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+