#50 – Pigeon English – Stephen Kelman

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 his grade, Harri races through his new life in his personalized trainers — the Adidas stripes drawn on with marker — 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 to 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. – Publisher’s Website

I really loved this book!  The innocence of Harrison is incomparable in any sense of the word.  You can feel the innocence in him even before you know anything about him and the world he has moved to from Ghana.  In his home country, he is innocent, open to everything, can do anything within the confines of his little village.  His parents who have strived for a better life – his mother, sister and Harrison move to London, England, to ap lace that is the exact opposite of what they left in a sense.

Will the innocence of Harrison ultimately get him into trouble?  Will his innocence be able to exit him from situations he has no idea what will happen with the neighbourhood gangs?  I have to admit, I was praying that Harrison would find the killer(s) in the end.  Did he ultimately? I know, but I can’t tell you, hence the reason of the book review – for you to go out and get the book !

Guaranteed, one of the best books I have read this year!! Harrison’s innocence and vernacular is laugh out loud funny throughout the book, don’t let this book pass you by, I beg of you !

Wait, cannot forget about the pigeon !! You will know what I mean…when you read the book 😉  Make sure you also view the videos I have posted as well, stupendous.

Bloomsbury also publishes this book in the UK – Official Website


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