Balal is 14 and runs a YouTube channel with three pals, where they play innocent pranks on people in the street. But traffic on the channel is pretty low, and they realise they have to do something that will really attract attention. That’s when they come up with the idea of a stunt at subway station in central Oslo at rush hour on a Friday – a so-called terror challenge.
Balal isn’t sure whether this is a step too far, but his friends are already in full swing, firing up the comment field and promising to livestream the action to their subs.
But the terror challenge is far from successful and has an impact on Balal’s parents, who are already burdened by their traumatic experiences. Now his father is convinced that terrorism has come to Norway and that war will follow. He builds a shelter in the flat and refuses to leave it. And even when the police quickly confirm that the action subway station was just a stunt, it does no good. Because, as his father asks, who on earth would be so idiotic as to joke about something like that?
Over several hectic weeks, the story from their homeland unfolds and Balal is seriously put to the test.
Backyard Dog is a fast-paced YA novel about belonging and friendship, and about carrying on with life when you are burdened by difficult histories.
To the top