By A. M. Dassu
In this stand-alone companion novel to the acclaimed Boy, Everywhere, A. M. Dassu returns to extend the story of Sami's best friend Ali, who organizes a charity soccer match for their friend Aadam while his whole life is privately unraveling.
After their friend Mark's mum wins the lottery and gets a giant house with an indoor pool, Ali and Sami have been having the time of their lives hanging at Mark's house. Even their friend Aadam gets a job there, which means he can make more money for his legal battle for UK residency. But when some money goes missing, Aadam is accused of stealing it — and all three boys are unceremoniously kicked out of Mark's house in suspicion.
On top of that, Ali's dad, who abandoned the family when Ali was little, is suddenly turning up everywhere in town, and a half-brother Ali never knew has shown up at Ali's school. Ali feels miserable and resentful about it, making it hard to be a good friend.
The boys know Aadam is innocent, and if he doesn't raise thousands of pounds right away, he could get deported back to Syria amidst its civil war. At least Ali has a plan: they'll host a charity football penalty match to raise money for Aadam so he can stay in the UK.
But can Ali pull together the match — even if he feels his whole life at home is falling apart?
About the Creators
A. M. DASSU is the internationally acclaimed author of Boy, Everywhere and Fight Back, which have collectively been listed for 46 awards, including the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Week Junior Book Award, the Carnegie Medal, The Little Rebels Award for Radical Fiction, the American Library Association Notable Book List and Jane Addams Peace Book Award.
She is a director at Inclusive Minds, which is an organization for people who are passionate about inclusion, diversity, equality and accessibility in children’s literature; a patron of The Other Side of Hope, a literary magazine edited by immigrants and refugees, which celebrates the refugee and immigrant communities worldwide, and one of The National Literacy Trust’s Connecting Stories campaign authors, aiming to help inspire a love of reading and writing in children and young people.
A. M. Dassu grew up in the UK dreaming of becoming a writer but studied economics instead and worked in marketing and project management before realizing her dream. She writes books that challenge stereotypes, humanize the “other” and are full of empathy, hope and heart. Her most recent book, Boot It! was a World Book Day novel, published in March 2023. You can also find her on Twitter @a_reflective or Instagram @a.m.dassu.