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A Sudden Storm

"A thought-provoking, punch-packing exploration of the devastating consequences of racist hatred"

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LoveReading4Kids Says

LoveReading4Kids Says

Interest Age 13+ Reading Age 7

Inspired by a tragic real-life event, Bali Rai’s A Sudden Storm presents a tremendously impactful, character-driven account of a horrifying racist attack.

Ahead of celebrating his 16th birthday, Arjan’s dad shares the sage advice that, “Life is about moving forward. It is about doing well and being happy.” Feeling happy ahead of celebrating his birthday with his mates, with the possibility of something special happening with Jem, Arjan is subjected to racist remarks when he almost collides with a white van: “Probably can’t hear with that nappy on your head,” the driver says of Arjan’s turban. “You ain’t English with that stupid rag on your head!”

A little while later, while getting changed for his night out, Arjan reflects on the incident: “What did they know about turbans? Mine was like my Sikh crown.” At his mother’s suggestion, Arjan adorns a bright red turban to wear to the cinema: “Arsenal FC red, or so I told people.” Shockingly, a second encounter with the white van man comes to a violent crescendo that’ll leave readers stunned, and ready to question and call out bigotry.

Juxtaposing the joy of Arjan’s loving family, close friends, and a sense of him being of the cusp of good things in life with the ignorant hatred of racists, A Sudden Storm is a powerful, thought-provoking read, with top-notch dialogue and crisp writing that’ll grip even the most reluctant of readers.

Joanne Owen

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