LONG LIST REVIEW: Kick

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Budi has a plan- he dreams of playing football from Real Madrid. Every chance he has, he plays with his friends, focusing on his goal. But his life is a million miles away from his fantasy. Every day, he stitches football boots for others in cruel conditions, earning a pittance. Life is tough in Jakarta where he lives, yet he steadfastly believes in his dream.

Things go from bad to worse when Budi comes to the attention of The Dragon, the most feared man in Jakarta. Now so much more than Budi's dreams are at stake...

Endorsed by Amnesty International, this is a powerful, poignant book about the horrors of child labour, exploitation and cruelty. It brings into sharp focus the 'hidden' lives of those we don't see and so many are unaware of and should provoke countless conversations about things we take for granted and the true price that is paid for things we take for granted. It could be a bleak read because it highlights the life lived by many.

However, this is a story about resilience, about hopes and dreams. It is also about true friendship and family and how these can thrive in the worst circumstances.  Budi is an amazing character, beautifully developed, offering such an amazing outlook on life as your heart bleeds for him. His family offer love and support in the midst of everything and his friendship with Rochy is just wonderful to read. 

'Kick' is not an easy read, but it is an essential one. Thought provoking and challenging, it is perfect for our 'Moving On' category.

Kick    Mitch Johnson

Usborne     ISBN -9781474928151

You can read another review of 'Kick' here.