Old Dog, New Tricks by Bali Rai

Old Dog, New Tricks

Written by Bali Rai

13+ readers   Super-readable Dyslexia-friendly   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

One of our Dyslexia Friendly Books of the Year 2014 - Interest Age Teen, Reading Age 8+ Award-winning Bali Rai pulls no punches in his story about Mick, the neighbour from hell and his unpleasant, racist attitudes. Harvey’s family do all they can to show friendship but Mick won’t change his views. But when Mick is taken ill and Harvey looks after his scruffy dog Nelson, another side to the story is uncovered. The question is, can Mick change his views. Bali Rai tells a moving and important story simply and with great insight.


Old Dog, New Tricks by Bali Rai

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+


Bali Rai hits hard in this dark and haunting teen novel – Julia Eccleshare on Shivers

About the Author

Bali Rai

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.

Bali is Booktrust's online writer in residence. Click here to read his blog.

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Book Info


96 pages


Bali Rai
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Barrington Stoke Ltd

Publication date

15th January 2014




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