Coming 19th October 2023 in the UK and in 2024 in the US
Kicked Out is the much-anticipated sequel to Boy, Everywhere and follows on from my World Book Day title Boot It! Kicked Out is a story about rejection, finding your self-worth, friendship, family, loyalty and belonging.
Kicked Out finds Ali and Sami living their dream, playing football for the school team and hanging out in their friend Mark’s new luxury pool. But money goes missing and racism rears its ugly head when their friend Aadam is accused of the theft. Can the boys prove Aadam’s innocence, keep their friendship –and help fight Aadam’s threatened deportation?
Meanwhile Ali’s dad is back in the neighbourhood. Can Ali navigate his emotions and stay focused now his dad is back and his half-brother has joined his school? Early readers have praised (reviews below) Kicked Out for tackling important themes unflinchingly and honestly, while displaying emotional sensitivity.
In this story, I wanted to explore what it feels like to grow up without a father and then have him come back into your life. How does someone navigate feeling rejected and the emotions that arise from it?
I also wanted to shine a light on the plight of unaccompanied minors and asylum seekers. It has been eight years since I first started writing Boy, Everywhere in 2015, when the rhetoric around refugees was divisive and dangerous. It saddens me that it has not improved and instead, politicians and the media are still using refugees and asylum seekers to further their own agendas. I wanted to show how we can step up.
Through my main character, Ali, I wanted to show how resilient young people can be, and how people treat you or whether they choose to be absent from your life is not a reflection of you. That is a reflection of their thinking and decision-making and it has no bearing on who you are and who you will become.
I hope anyone reading Kicked Out will feel inspired by Ali’s story and see that you have to first believe in yourself and the rest will all fall into place.
You can preorder Kicked Out here:
Choice of Independent Bookshops via Litalist: https://litalist.com/marketplace/see-all?productIdentifier=9781910646892&stockId=
Amazon: order here
SIGNED AND DEDICATED orders at Wonderland Bookshop: https://wonderlandbookshop.co.uk/product/kicked-out-a-boy-everywhere-story-pre-order/
“A.M. Dassu explores real-world issues and injustices without a rose-tinted lens, expertly weaving a thread of hope through her tales that leaves readers empowered to step up themselves. Kicked Out is an important and well-crafted story with family, friendship and community values at its core. A powerful commentary on the daily struggles that some face just to survive and the resilience we all need at times to see our self-worth. Whether already familiar with the characters or not, readers will get right behind Ali, Sami and Mark both on and off the pitch as they fight for justice for themselves and others. A heart-warming, empathy-inspiring tale – and a call to action – deserving of a place in every school library and on every good bookshelf.” Dr Graham Fairweather, Senior School Librarian
“Boy, Everywhere was one of the best debuts I’ve ever read so I was nervous about revisiting Sami & Ali, but it was wonderful to see how their friendship had grown and their support for one another through thick and thin. Aadam’s story was upsettingly realistic but, as ever, Dassu shows readers there is always something we can do.” Caroline Fielding, School Librarian and CILIP YLG London Chair
“A. M. Dassu has done it again. She’s managed to encapsulate the depth of human feeling and emotion whilst tackling important themes on race, identity and the very topical, immigration. As with her other books, Kicked Out is a voice of contemporary teens told unflinchingly and honestly. An absolute must read!’ Sajeda Amir, Secondary School Teacher
“This is a great story about friendship, courage, determination and kindness! Friends who don’t focus on where they came from. Instead, they see the humanity in each other and make positive change! How much do we need this right now!” Jimmy Zacharia, Chief executive of Baca Charity
“Warm and perfectly observed. Dassu writes the best child characters out there – flawed, messy, cheeky and utterly believable” Louie Stowell, Children’s Author
“A powerful & empowering portrayal of hope against adversity. A M Dassu is one of our most authentic voices in children’s literature” Hannah Gold, Children’s Author
“A. M. Dassu builds bridges of empathy and understanding with her books: while they make me despair the present, they give me so much hope for the future.” Kathryn Evans, Children’s Author
“Kicked Out is an incredibly important and relatable book, exploring sensitive and powerful themes of racism, family and the experience of refugees. Dassu understands her characters and writes them so well, and I found myself completely caught up in Ali, Aadam, Sami and Mark’s story. I found the whole book incredibly engaging and moving, and ended the final chapter with a huge smile on my face, feeling inspired and uplifted.” Dr Philippa East, Clinical Psychologist and Author
“Without missing a shot, Kicked Out is a fast paced novel that doesn’t shy away from pulling any punches. Seamlessly weaving in strong themes and characters you’ll continue to cheer for, A M Dassu has done it again.” Emma Perry, founder of My Book Corner and Children’s Author
“Some really powerful messages about family, friendship, coercive control, racism and prejudice and the experiences of unaccompanied minors and asylum seekers. As with all of Dassu’s books the compassion with which she writes is incredible and her story felt timely given all of the rhetoric and punitive laws and campaigns being pumped out by the government and politicians at the moment and the negative narratives about asylum seekers in the media. It’s a story that’s going to be hugely important in terms of challenging this rhetoric, the damaging, unjust and inhumane policies of the government and the negative narratives in the media and will encourage people to understand the need to show humanity and compassion to those seeking asylum and refuge. I also think Kicked Out will inspire our young people to become involved in social activism and capitalise on the positive difference that they can make in their communities. Another great book with powerful and important messages at a time when we really need them.” Kevin Cobane, Secondary School Teacher
The Bookseller: https://www.thebookseller.com/rights/old-barn-books-scoops-dassus-kicked-out
THEMES IN THIS BOOK
• Supports speaking up
• Difficult subject made more palatable
• Social/political commentary
• Universal identity issues – being different to people at
• Troubles of friendship/family/at school
• Lots of positive emphasis on community/love/family
• Harmful stereotypes, comments and bullying
• The environment is dangerous but not wholly bleak
• Standing up to unjust laws and inspiring others
to find a voice and fight back too
• Empowerment; protesting powerfully without violence
• Impact of family life on personal life
• Workshops exploring allyship, human rights and self confidence are available with A. M. Dassu