Dream On by Bali Rai - Barrington Stoke Book 35

Dream On by Bali Rai has a lot of elements that indicate it is going to be a bit of a cliched 'multi-cultural' story, but this turns out to be completely wrong. Baljit's family run an Indian take away, but it's a fish and chip shop. There is family tension, but there are no arranged marriages. They suffer racism, but authority figures step in to deal with it. And these themes aren't even the heart of the story.
Dream On is all about Baljit's attempts to be a top-flight footballer, and as he says "I never see even one Indian playing the football". A brilliant turn-of-phrase, and the book is full of them. I learnt a few Indian slang words myself ("Chadd deh" means "leave it"!). As a result the dialogue is really sharp, and the relationships between mates, school staff and family members highly believable. Baljit's Dad uses"innit", but this doesn't stop the youngsters taking the mickey.

The endearing characters mean the football trials are nail-biting affairs, they are really well described. However, the story could end any way, and it wouldn't matter because it is the personalities Bali Rai has created that matter most.

[The publishers, Barrington Stoke, produce a pack of resources to accompany Dream On, which look like they are worth checking out.]

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