When Kartik and Kavya move from Kolkata to Rourkela, neither is enthusiastic about living in a small town and leaving their old friends behind. But it is especially tough on Kartik. At school in Kolkata, no one paid much attention to the fact that he was one-armed, whereas in the new school he is treated like a freak. Worst of all, the school football coach refuses to let him play. Will Kartik overcome the odds and play again?


  • Sports stories are always fun, even though you know the formula – the nail-biting match at the end, where the protagonist saves the day.
  • Unfortunately, Against All Odds feels more like a book outline than an actual book – a lot of telling (instead of showing), stilted conversations, contrived and convenient situations, and a predictable outcome. Moreover, the bullying scenario could have been explored in greater depth.
  • The story is mainly about Kartik and his struggle to not be judged by his disability; Kavya is a token character, suddenly presented with an interest in dance. It might have been a tighter and better fleshed-out story without her.
  • There is some Enid Blyton-esque sexism thrown in – the boys always knowing better or explaining/taking over.


This book takes on some important issues – disability and bullying, for instance – but it remains an indifferent read.


Author: Ramendra Kumar
Language: English
Page Extent: 92 pages
Price: Rs. 199
ISBN: 978-93-83331-60-4
Publisher: Duckbill, 2018
Subject category: Fiction/Chapter Book/Sport/Disability
Age-group: 10+

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