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Newly arrived from Ghana with his mother and older sister, eleven-year-old Harrison Opoku lives on the ninth floor of a block of flats on a London housing estate. The second best runner in the whole of Year 7, Harri races through his new life in his personalised trainers - the Adidas stripes drawn on with marker pen - blissfully unaware of the very real threat all around him.With equal fascination for the local gang - the Dell Farm Crew - and the pigeon who visits his balcony, Harri absorbs the many strange elements of his new life in England: watching, listening, and learning the tricks of inner-city survival. But when a boy is knifed to death on the high street and a police appeal for witnesses draws only silence, Harri decides to start a murder investigation of his own. In doing so, he unwittingly endangers the fragile web his mother has spun around her family to try and keep them safe.A story of innocence and experience, hope and harsh reality, Pigeon English is a spellbinding portrayal of a boy balancing on the edge of manhood and of the forces around him that try to shape the way he falls.
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Advise yourself! It’s time to jump into Pigeon English and experience the jubilant, infectious voice of Harrison Opuku. See why he is bo-styles. How being the fastest runner in Year 7 makes him dope-fine. And why, when a hutious criminal feels Harri closing in on him, it just feels crazy. You’ll want this book to last donkey hours.
Harri begins his story when he finds himself facing the body of one of his classmates, a boy known for his crazy basketball skills, a boy who seems to have been murdered for his dinner. The police have no leads, so Harri and his best friend launch into action. Armed with camouflage binoculars and detective techniques absorbed from television, they gather evidence — fingerprints lifted from windows with sellotape, a wallet stained with blood — and lay traps to flush out the murderer.
Recently emigrated from Ghana to London and its enormous housing projects, Harri is awed by the city. Filled with curiosity and ebullience — obsessed with gummy candy, a friend to everyone he meets (even the pigeon that visits his balcony) — Harri is still tempted by the glamour and power of the gangs running his neighborhood. His world will be forever altered by the Dell Farm Crew.
And your world will be forever altered by the discovery of the searing, endearing, and virtuosic writing of Stephen Kelman, who, in the great tradition of Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, takes us deeply and fully into one boy’s life.
Praise for Pigeon English
“Simultaneously accurate and fantastical, this boy’s love letter to the world made me laugh and tremble all the way through. Pigeon English is a triumph.” — Emma Donoghue, author of Room
“After another hutious gangland chooking, Harri is on the case, tracking the murderer for donkey hours while impressing Poppy with his bo-styles. Rich with lingo, energy, and occasional terror, Pigeon English is a compelling anatomy of our inner cities, navigating the hectic, modern world while coping with its most violent accompaniments." — Tony D’Souza, author of Whiteman and the forthcoming Mule
“Pigeon English is a book to fall in love with: a funny book, a true book, a shattering book . . . If you loved Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time or Emma Donoghue’s Man Booker–shortlisted Room, you’ll love this book too.” — Times (UK)
“Like Harper Lee’s Scout Finch and Miriam Toews’ Thebes Troutman, Stephen Kelman’s Harri is an original who seems to breathe real oxygen.” — Winnipeg Free Press (Canada)
“The humour, the resilience, the sheer ebullience of its narrator — a hero for our times — should ensure the book becomes, deservedly, a classic.” — Mail on Sunday (UK)
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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1408826143