Being Me by Adele Vialli
Publisher: Hope Road
Adele Vialli is fourteen and a brilliant footballer, not that anyone in her family cares. Her mother is constantly drowning her sorrows in a bottle of vodka, mourning the loss of her baby eleven years ago; her dad's job is so high pressured he is never home, although when he is it just means fights, thrown objects and a lot of yelling; and her older brother gets all the attention just because he is a boy.
Adele has a plan though; she is going to play football for England one day, with her (sometimes) best friend Mikaela by her side and her football crazy boyfriend Marcus on her arm. Unfortunately life has a way of ruining things.
This is a bitter-sweet novel that looks at the roles of gender and race in forming an identity. Adele wants to be recognised as a talented footballer as easily as her brother is, and also yearns to be black - just like her best friend and boyfriend. Her unstable home life causes her to lash out in unpredictable and sometimes idiotic ways that have repercussions for her future.
Pete Kalu has written this second book in the Striker Series with Adele as the author, and the erratic writing style perfectly matches her character.