Bali Rai

Bali Rai

Bali Rai was born in 1971 and grew up in Leicester. As a child, Bali wanted to be a footballer or to write stories. Always an avid reader, he hails Sue Townsend, Douglas Adams and Robert Swindells as his writing heroes. Bali grew up reading Dr Seuss and Meg and Mog and his first book purchase was The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. He realised he wasn't good enough to play for Liverpool F.C. and after gaining a politics degree in London he returned to his home city and combined a variety of jobs in pubs and clubs with completing his first novel. Bali set about writing a story he had been thinking about for many years. He wanted to write accessible material for children of all ages and backgrounds and realising there were no British Asian authors writing for children, he saw a gap. Bali hopes his novels capture the unique ethnic mix of the UK, of which he is proud to be a part. Bali writes stories inspired by his working class Punjabi/Sikh background, but his aim was always that his writing should be enjoyed by readers everywhere, irrespective of class or culture. His has the ability to tackle the harsh realities of growing up in the UK and blend this with humour and often a overriding optimism. Bali visits schools and libraries in every major UK city, averaging 70 school and library events a year.His first book, (un)arranged marriage, created a huge amount of interest and won many awards, including the Angus Book Award and the Leicester Book of the Year. It was also shortlisted for the prestigious Branford Boase first novel award. Rani and Sukh and The Whisper were both shortlisted for the Booktrust Teenage Prize. All of Bali’s teen titles have been short-listed for awards across the UK, including twice making the Booktrust Teenage Prize shortlist. His third novel Rani and Sukh has represented the UK at the International IBBY awards and this title has its own Facebook tribute group set up by fans. Bali’s first three novels appear in The Ultimate Teenage Book Guide. Bali also writes shorter novels for Barrington Stoke, his first book, Dream On, was selected for the Booktrust’s inaugural Booked Up list. He also writes the hugely popular Soccer Squad series for younger readers.
The Night Run, Bali Rai
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