Dreamrider Preview this book with Google Preview Buy Online Download Teachers' Notes (PDF Format)
Published June 2006

From the author of The Whole Business with Kiffo and the Pitbull and It's not all about YOU, Calma comes an intense, confronting, unforgettable novel to challenge our assumptions about bullying, coping strategies and mental health.


We stared at each other, the fat boy and the boy with ice for eyes. And I waited.

'So what have you got to say for yourself, fat boy?'

Michael Terny is the fat boy. He's at his seventh school in four years and he knows that even if he keeps his head down, he can't change the script. He will be ridiculed and laughed at and pushed around.

But Michael has a powerful secret that allows him to escape to a safe place, and everything changes when he makes a new friend.

Now he can make plans to exact his revenge.

But will revenge have a price?


Shortlisted for the Ethel Turner Prize for Young Adult Books (NSW Premier's Literary Awards 2007)

The Author Says

I wrote Dreamrider before It’s Not All About You, Calma!, but it was published as my third book.

Let me be honest, here. I think Dreamrider is my best novel. I certainly think it is the best writing I have done so far [or at least the best writing until Being Here is published in February 2011. Check out my comments on my new book in this site]. The prose is tight and the structure of the book just seemed to come together in a very satisfying way. Nearly every review of the book has raved about the quality of the writing.

The judges of the Ethel Turner Prize [for which it was shortlisted] even compared me to William Golding, the author of The Lord of the Flies and a Nobel Prize for Literature winner. Needless to say, I didn’t complain. The story came out of an interest in lucid dreaming – the ability to control what happens in your dreams.

I hadn’t read a novel that dealt with this phenomenon which was another reason why I had to write it! Michael Terny is a strange, disturbed character to whom terrible things happen. I suppose it’s a story about the awful things that people do to each other.

This is a book that, unusually for me, isn’t humorous. In fact, it’s pretty dark. But it is also, I would like to believe, very powerful. I guess you’ll just have to read it and make up your own mind…

Barry Jonsberg