BOOT IT! AGES 10-14+

Boot It! is a World Book Day novel and will be published in February 2023 and will be free for anyone with a National Book Token

SO INCREDIBLY HONOURED to be doing this! I’m so excited to be a WORLD BOOK DAY author and to reach hundreds of thousands of readers thanks to this phenomenal life-changing charity.

Your favourites, Sami and Ali are back! This time,they’ll be booting out racism in sport 💪❤️

These World Book Day books will go into schools, shops, supermarkets and even prisons, reaching those who have never owned their own book. I LOVE THAT SO MUCH.
All I ever wanted was to inspire and empower readers, and so this is an incredible honour.

BOOT IT is an empowering story for everyone. Think of the cast of BOY, EVERYWHERE meeting the energy of FIGHT BACK — it’s about racism, harmful “banter” in sports and achieving your dreams despite being told you can’t because of your background.

We need more football books especially since the European Championship win, right? And we need to address the impact of hateful “banter” in sports. Well this book is about being told you don’t belong on the team and standing up and speaking out to make sure no one can stop you 💪❤️


Sami and Ali dream of playing for the school football team. They practise in the park every day and work hard on their skills.
But acing the trials is the last of the boys’ worries when they’re made to feel they don’t belong on the team because of the colour of their skin. Ali just wants to tackle the ball on the pitch. Now he’s being forced to tackle the racism in his team too.
But how can he, when he’s told it’s ‘just banter’?

Here’s the book on the official World Book Day website:

Read my World Book Day interview for Anti-bullying week here:


“This book expertly tackles an issue seen in schools up and down the country. But it’s time to take a stand and hit back at hate, ignorance and racism. Boot It! is another excellent read from A.M. Dassu that leaves readers empowered to take on the world. 
This book is so important, and I’m delighted that it is going to be available for free with World Book Day tokens! Ali and Sami just want to play football, but they have more standing in the way than the opposition. A.M. Dassu takes aim at “harmless banter” and hits the spot. Ignorance and racism in schools and grassroots football have to be addressed through education and this book is an excellent place to start. A gripping story showing the power of friendship with a hopeful and empowering message that we can all effect change!” Dr Graham Fairweather, Senior School Librarian

“Boot It is such an important novella that depicts the bonds of brotherhood, camaraderie and what happens when you decide to fight back against all that is wrong in society.  Just like A.M Dassu’s previous books, Boy, Everywhere and Fight Back, Boot It depicts how hope can be found even in the throes of despair. especially when you have the right people on your team.” Sajeda Amir, Secondary School Teacher

“Sami, Ali and friends make another welcome appearance standing up to bullying and prejudice, this time on the football field. A fast-paced page turner with a big heart, and positive message that if you stand together even the worst bullies can be vanquished”. Joanna De Guia, School Librarian

“It was wonderful to revisit Sami and his friends and family, but equally enraging to encounter the sadly realistic bullying. A call to friends to team up and support one another, in sports and beyond!” Caroline Fielding, School Librarian and CILIP YLG Chair

“Boot It reminds me of what I suffered at a young age wanting to play football. It was the same situation, getting called all these names whilst actually being better than other boys at football but having my credibility shut down because of racism…” Bilal Masood, FA Qualified Football Coach

“An inspiring and encouraging story of children fighting back against prejudice and making a difference where they are” S J Wills, Children’s author

“I loved seeing how Sami was settling in at school and getting on with his football. Also the fact that it shows that not all adults are willing to help you with your issues is so important. It will help young people realise, there will be setbacks when you try to stand up for the right thing, but there will always be someone who can help. This is a great book for WBD, a football story tackling the important issue of racism and standing up against those who treat you unfairly.” Rumena Aktar, School Librarian and Carnegie Judge

A huge thanks for consulting on the book:

Joe Friar, Performance Analyst, Newcastle Football Club
Jack Coulbeck, Professional Football Physiotherapist, Tottenham Hotspur
Jack Bennett, PE Teacher
Rachel Dunne, Year 7 Lead and PE teacher
Russell Martin, Head of PE